F1 Winter Break
Barcelona Test Day 2: Perez Heads The Field As Times Get Competitive
McLaren Honda
Posted By:   |  20 Feb 2013   |  5:43 pm GMT  |  140 comments

Sergio Perez showed that pre-season testing is in full swing today by going fastest on the second day at Barcelona with a time just shy of last year’s pole position, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Perez and Vettel both set their times during a one-lap run on the soft tyre, before switching their attentions to extended stints in the afternoon. Whilst Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton behind set their fastest laps on the medium and hard compound respectively, with Hamilton’s lap in particular likely to make the other teams raise an eyebrow as it was set during an eight lap run.

Vettel began the day quickly, leading the field by half a second at lunch time after his series of short runs on the soft tyre. In the afternoon Red Bull set their sights on a race simulation, which was cut short as Vettel brought out the red-flags when exiting the pits to complete the second half of the stint.

Raikkonen said yesterday that a telemetry issue had disturbed the day for Lotus and any hopes of a smoother run today were ruined by a gearbox issue early in the morning. The gearbox had to be changed and Kimi did not set a competitive time until the final ninety minutes of the day.

It was another encouraging day for Mercedes, who topped the times yesterday with Nico Rosberg; today Hamilton managed to complete 121 laps. The Briton spent the morning switching between different exhausts – with and without the Coanda system. And like many others this afternoon was focused on longer, fuel-laden stints.

Fernando Alonso made it the five top Constructor’s filling the top five spaces as he gained more familiarity with the F138. After posting his fastest lap on the medium tyre, Alonso conducted a number of long runs on the hard tyre as the day came to a close.

Valtteri Bottas took over from Pastor Maldonado today to have his first taste of the William FW35, with the young Finn ending the day 2/10ths quicker than his team mate could achieve yesterday.

Further down the field, Max Chilton put Marussia in tenth place and ahead of Caterham  for the second time this week.

Testing continues tomorrow, but on Friday rain is forecast, so teams may alter their plans to cope with that. Many will be keen to take the opportunity to try the new Pirelli wet tyres. The wet was the weakest tyre in the range last season and has been changed for 2013.

JA on F1 Technical Adviser Mark Gillan gives his assessment at the half way stage in the second test:

“It is clear that the Teams are struggling on the tyres in the cold conditions. Barcelona is a stern test for the Teams’ new cars and it is a fickle track at the best of times and track evolution throughout the Event and even through the day can be large.

“Most Teams will bring a new 2nd chassis to this test, with a 3rd chassis in preparation for either the 3rd test or an aero test prior to Melbourne.

“The way it works is this: Most Teams will use this first Barcelona test to check for reliability and then bring the new aero update package for the 2nd Barcelona test to concentrate on performance – Ferrari’s
post Day 1 debrief, for example, was pretty much in line with this programme.

“It is therefore surprising that with the exception of a couple of Teams, headed by Ferrari, that more mileage was not done yesterday. There were clearly a number of small but very irritating software/electronic/mechanical issues that curtailed running.”

Barcelona Test Day 2
1. Sergio Perez McLaren 1m21.848s 97 Laps
2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1m22.197s +0.349 84
3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.697s +0.849 43
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.726s +0.878 121
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.247s +1.399 76
6. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m23.561s +1.713 98
7. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.718s +1.870 70
8. Paul di Resta Force India 1m23.971s +2.123 62
9. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber 1m24.205s +2.357 88
10. Max Chilton Marussia 1m25.115s +3.267 67
11. Charles Pic Caterham 1m26.243s +4.395 102

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To: Lewis

From: Sergio

Dear Lewis,

The seat fits just fine. Thank you once again.

Best regards.


To: Martin

From: Ron


Why are the staff emailing former employees?



Well..it was always only a matter of time before "the suits" called time-out on the free-speak.

Who can Sergio contact to have the posts removed? 🙂


To Sergio , Jenson

From Lewis

That pedal on the right is the accelerator - you need to keep your foot on it all the time. Do not not use it with the one on the left- that's called a brake and is only used when a wall near by... Oh what's the use Ive been telling Jenson for 3 years and he still doesn't get it. Just follow me to the finish line and if you loose me stay close to those purple & red cars they won't be too far behind !


To: Sergio

From: Lewis


BTW, can I borrow your steering wheel? Really don't like all these buttons and LEDs on mine.

I think it's only fair since I let you borrow my seat.

I'll come by your bus later on to pick it up.


Val from montreal

To Lewis from Sergio : " hey Lewis , Please stay at Mercedes , Ron Dennis just found some new speed over here " ....


Didn't Whitmarsh say that they would welcome Lewis back, even as early as next year. Whaaa? What does that mean for your current driver lineup, Martin?! Doesn't seem like something a team principal should be saying publicly. Basically puts both Jenson and Sergio on notice.


Val, Ron could probably use "speed" now that he lost Lewis's speed as he is still heart broken and knows he lost the fastest driver.lol

Sergio will be there or thereabouts though & definitely deserves the drive... Mmm what to do about Button now.


Perez and Lewis are in different leagues: Lewis was WDC, driving a top F1 car since 2007 and earns +10M per season… Perez while not rookie is still in the first stage of the learning curve.

But undoubtedly the McLaren seat fits him fine!


To : Lewis and Sergio

From : Jenson


While you two slug it out, I can't wipe that grin off my face... by the way thanks Lewis, you gave me a hard time many a times on Saturdays, left me scratching my head... thanks for moving on 🙂

Now it's time for Nico to get some....




From: Jenson

To: Sergio, Lewis

Forgive me gentlemen but I did the fastest lap on the very first day in Jerez on HARD tyres. TAKE THAT! And shut your bloody mouths both of you

Love, hugs, kisses. And God Save the King, that would be me

Yours trully


Hehe!!! I just wanted to add more fuel to the fire



Maybe you missed the part where Lewis was on the HARD compound and doing LONG runs when he set his fastest time.


To: Jenson

From: Lewis

Yo Jense, hows it goin? Hope Sergio is teaching you a few tricks, apparently he's quite good at looking after tyres.

To: Lewis

From: Jenson

Who is this?



Too funny!


Agreed, very funny


I really did "lol" when I read this !

Nice one.


I think too much is being made of Hamiltons time on the hards. Most commentators are assuming that the lap from Perez was the fastest the soft tyre could give.


IMo Perez time was nothing special


A good sign!


Not at all. Saw it clearly. But bottom line is Perez knocked out a nice one setting a new best and that has to count for something here. He did it in Lewis' car, showing some of the expected McLaren speed and his ability to tap it. Also, Mercedes was good in the cool conditions last year too, but we don't tend to race in these conditions most of the season.

I am by no means overlooking the encouraging signs from Mercedes. But I am not punching my ticket for ze Benz bandwaggen just yet.


Good post. You are correct, Merc always worked especially well in cold dry conditions. The lap by Lewis was good but as you say the races will be much hotter. If they haven't gotten on top of those rear tyres then they have no chance.


haha. i can see a whole bunch of from/to replies on that post 🙂

true, mclaren looks fast.


Yes, but "Sergio" is so polite and appreciative toward "Lewis".

While "Lewis"...well, let's just say I'm not quite pickig up the same.



I am talking about the "Sergio" and "Lewis" posting notes to each other here.


Oh I see, so youve been around them? What was the conersation about? Tire degradation? Pray tell...


To: Sergio

From : Lewis

Dear Sergio,

That seat looks a little soft and short for me , a lot like your tyres and you're run, much prefer my seat a bit Harder and my reach a bit longer , just like my tyres and my run.


To: Sergio

From: Lewis

Dear Sergio

Have you ever heard of a British TV show called Topgear?

Love and hugs



To: Lewis

From: Sergio

Dear Lewis,

I did see the show, congratulation! At last you can beat Vettle at something.

Can you remind me how much world championship you got from that "pole"? ah that much!

Your best friend forever



To sergio

From Lewis

You need to win WDC before you can say that budy. LOL How many wins do you have? I forget...


Sergio mate,

Your naivety is so refreshing, won't take long for McLaren to fix that. You are correct, there are no championship point on top gear, but there is bragging rights and if you think Vettel wasn't trying when he did his lap you know nothing about racing drivers.

The main thing you should know is that none of this does any harm to "Brand Lewis" and I will let you into a secret, Formula 1 is all about the money, not just salary, but what you can make from marketing yourself, oh forgot, you can't do that at McLaren can you.

Best of luck



Man... you really, really ruined the fun with this one!


To: Lewis

CC: Jenson

From: Checo

Dear Lewis,

Thanks for keeping this seat warm. Just like your first year in a McLaren, I intend to replicate your achievements, but go one better and win the WDC - hehehe. After I win this year's championship, I'll shout you a cold one.

No offense Jenson, but I think I will own you this year.

Forever thankful.



To: Segio

From: Lewis

Dear Serg

Now that I am out of the team you should suddenly find a car which is reliable and fast. Martin Whitfarce and No grip Button will not find you a threat so your tyre changes should be perfect and you should not run out of fuel in qualifing and lose pole.

Just make sure that you do out qualify "no grip" and im sure you will ahve a good season.

Anyway ill be looking down on you sprayng champagne very shortly.

Most talented driver in the history of the sport.



Topgear is good for entertainment but that lap was ridiculous, you really think he is over 1 second quicker than Vettel especially in that car? He was on average 3 tenths quicker than Button in quali over 3 years, hardly setting the world alight, nice one Sergio for showing this overrated driver what he's missing, the 'best' car on the grid.



Of course! British guy, British show, British fans vs. German dude. You don't think they did something to the reasonably priced car? Little tweak?

Just look what they did to Schumi. Drew him in on the Stig hook.with his FXX only to rip the time off the wall. They would have never done so if Lewis came by with some race track only Mercedes. Conspirace 100%. Lets have them ther same day, same car. Even then I woukd worry thay Top Gear wiuld build some RC activated booster into the car.


Dave C: It is merely ment to be a bit of fun. I'm a huge F1 fan and I don't believe Lewis is realistically a second quicker than any driver on the grid in F1. Ok maybe Narain Karthakaine!

alastair emmerson

So you think its a conspiracy?



Looks like Mercedes' F1 new additions--Hamilton, Wolff, Lauda and Brawn's pit lane leadership have got that Team gettin' down to some serious business.... And Mclaren are just rocket quick with Red Bull, confidently, solid. Lotus could be the big surprise, though....


Apart from the fact of how unreliable times in testing are, do you honestly believe that Lauda from last September, Wolff from a few weeks ago and Lewis from the Jerez test have made such fundamental changes to Mercedes to bring them straight to the top of the pile?

what about all the designers who have worked on that car last year?

I'm assuming the tabloids will call Hamilton a genius if Mercedes is turned around, only the true F1 press will understand this was all done before his signature.

Brawn's leadership hasn't changed from when Michael was there, so again, careful with your summation


Hey, Hero!

Yeah, I believe so.... It seems to me that Mercedes made quite a big step in improvement, from Jerez to Barcelona with Hamilton's feedback on the car's lack of downforce as compared to last years' McLaren. (Just one example)

That's just the kind of imput and motivational factors Mr Brawn and Co., at Mercedes F1, were expecting when they signed Hamilton. Wolff and Lauda are doing their thing, out of sight, in the background.

And I do reason that Brawn is, now, (through Wolff and Lauda) getting the support he needs to lat his pitlane talents flow. Forget about the past few seasons.

The design Team has been around for the duration (past three years)and now, in my opinion, look like going in the right direction. By the way, I'm not a big tabloid reader....



But then again, you cannot discount the raw speed that Lewis has which MSC doesn't have the luxury of.


True, but he wasn't a slouch last year in China or Monaco. I don't think MSC had that 1/4 second per lap in him anymore, like Lewis has.

It's very difficult in testing, Hamilton is still only talking or points and maybe podiums

Wasn't it after the first test, he said the 2013 Mercedes had less downforce than last years Mclaren??

Makes you wonder just how poor was the 2012 Merc to state they have improved massively

Val from montreal

Great post Hero was Senna ! For once your being honest and rational ... Good for you ! Now why were you so hard on Schumacher these last 3 years given the lemon he had to drive and his mechanics total imcompetence ?


That was 'short and sweet'?! Spare me the verbose version then, ok? 🙂

Val from montreal

Well I guess we cant agree or / Disagree on everything ... I dont like to use alot of words so I will keep it short snd sweet ... Take Raikkonen for instance ... Even though he stopped F1 for a couple of years , he was still racing competetively in Rallying where as Schumi was racing motorcycles !

MSC left F1 ( by force ) in 2006 and when he came back the cars he once knew were totally different .. And he was used to racing on real tires , not the joke of Pirelli ...

So when u say Rosberg this and Rosberg that , yes 2010 was a complete write-off ... Schumacher really started being competetive in 2011's second half .... Montreal Canada (!!) , Monza , Spa - were all vintage Schumacher performances that nobody can deny , not even you ... Then finally 2012 was looking really good both car performance wise and Schumi's too ... Schumacher finally outqualified Nico most of the season and when both drivers finished in the races, Schumacher finished 75% of the time in front of Rosberg ... MSC was able to put the W03 higher up the grid in 2012 ... He qualified on the first 2 rows something like 8 times while Rosberg was in 7 , 9 , 10 places ... And if Schumacher finished each race in the position he started , he would have been leading the championship by mid - season ... But that Brackley team really screwed him with all those dnfs abd lousy strategy calls and lousy pit-stops ( China 2012 ) , miscalculating qualifying in Canada etc etc ....

So I'm not dissappointed with MSC but I do wish for Mercedes-Brackley's demise .... Schumacher is a realiste because In 2010 , 2011 and 2012 He always made clear at the beginning of each season that Mercedes did not have a championship winning car .... And Rosberg is far from being a slow-poke .... So MSC has nothing to be ashamed of ... At 43 years old he was faster than his team mate in 2012 , qualified better and had way better race pace ....

I have nothing against Ferrari but as long that Alonso is in Maranello , I hope they lose every year ... The tifosis Italians loved Schumacher as their own son ... Alonso is only in it for himself .... Schumacher ate , slept and breathed Ferrari from 1996 to 2006 ..But that jerk of Luca turned me off since 2006 after what he did ... Jean Todt never forgave him btw ... So in 2007 you had the best driver in the world sitting on the Ferrari pit-wall , looking at HIS car win races sbd eventually the championdhip when in reality it was supposed to be his ....


I'm always honest with my opinion, not necessarily rational 🙂

Honestly, as Michael would say, I felt he was a shadow of his former self.

I think you misunderstand my view sometimes. I was deliriously happy when he signed for Ferrari in 1995, because he was clearly head and shoulders above his comtemporaries. He was also a leader and I knew he would bring success.

He is someone I have the highest respect for and a driver who changed F1 with his levels of fitness.

In an era of sprint races between pit stops, he was king.

It always concerned me before he finally won in 2000, that he might join someone else.

Of course he had every available advantage that Ferrari and Bridgestone provided him and having Todt and Brawn in his corner worked wonderfully with the murkier decisions required.

The problem is that the Schumacher era at Ferrari has changed how people see Ferrari. In the sense that Ferrari were always a no.1 & no.2 driver team.

Anyone who has read any history of Enzo and his cars would know that wasn't true.

But many fans have been drawn into the sport due to better media coverage. They won't necessarily be looking for books on the history of F1. In fact with the advent of the Internet, do people read books anymore, they just glean facts from a few snippets on websites.

To my eyes, I knew that MSC wouldn't be able to perform to his previous level, which meant someone like Rosberg would be competitive with him.

I personally don't rate Rosberg but by out performing MSC over the three years it underlined how one sided the Todt-Ferrari era was. That's unfair on Ferrari and on Michael's legacy.

I'm a Ferrari fan first. I love that Alonso is with Ferrari but because of what Todt brought to Ferrari, people believe that Massa actually is on the same level and is being hampered!!

So to finish my rant, lol, I loved MSC at Ferrari, respected him enormously, but never actually loved him as a supporter..


A nice fence sitting nothing statement there, and probably wrong as didnt mention Ferrari.


Sorry, Timmay!

But Ferrari have not quite impressed me as much as the others I've mentioned. Not quite sure they have been as consistent in terms of speed or reliabilty--but anyway what you have to say can instruct a fence sitter on fence sitting any day!


Do you really think that the car which has been developed in the course of the last year, was suddenly made quick by changing two managers in the last 2 months?


Sure Wanja!

It's just a matter of changing the Team's approach--a matter of motivation and dedication to winning, knowing that everyone is on the same page. Those aspects can evolve in a positive way almost overnight....

I think the Team knows they now have the fastest driver in Hamilton, and the driver to push him, mightily, in Nico Rosberg. Believe me, even Nico is groovin'!

And once again, I sense underestimation when it comes to the name Niki Lauda, who, really, is a very shrewd human being. Toto Wolff had a lot to do with Williams F1 turnaround towards competitiveness. So yeah, I consider the new arrivals impact as immediate.

Check out last year.... Mercedes was going backwards at this time in preseason testing and that car was chewing up tires and spitting out rubber, and they hadn't really a clue how to solve the problem--right off! Hey, I'll say it again--Mercedes F1 mean business this time....

But it will take a little time to push the Red Bulls, McLarens, along with, Ferrari and Lotus. When Spain or Monaco rolls around, the Silver Arrows will have to be dealt with by the front runners.


Lewis used the Harder tires and heard they where testing some weird sh*t so it seems like it gonna be good for us as we don't be too slow!


Absolutely anyone's guess at the moment! Good to see Mercedes in touching distance at this stage after those awful 2 days in Jerez.

Colombia Concalvez

''with Hamilton’s lap in particular likely to make the other teams raise an eyebrow as it was set during an eight lap run.'' - Can somebody explain to me why Hamilton's lap on hard was so special please


I think this question should be passed on to Paul Hembery and the FIA, with a note saying all this hard / soft / super hard / super soft / medium / super medium / wet / super wet / intermediate / super intermediate are all too confusing for some portion of the fans.

Bridgestone's way of going about it was fine, if things has to stick with 2 compound rules.


It was the same with Bridgestone wasn't it?


Really? OK -

Soft tyres = faster, short runs = probably low fuel, hence less weight

Hard tyres = slower, long runs = definitely not low fuel, hence more weight

Of course, McLaren could have been doing short runs with the same (or more) fuel, but why would they? That's not simulating either quali or a race, so isn't really a configuration that they'd want to spend precious testing time on (even to sandbag).

Either way, I echo a sentiment from another comment - it's nice to see that perhaps this year another team is starting to properly knock on the door of the top three (Lotus has been for a couple of seasons now, but they always seem to walk away when nobody answers ... they need to kick it down this year :)).

It's also true that you shouldn't really read much into any of the times set during testing. That doesn't stop it being fun though 😉


You're right when you say we shouldn't read too much in the times set, but I don't think those times are meaningless. It's like James is saying in the article; times are getting competitive and Perez' time is just shy of last year's pole. Business is on if you ask me..


Because the Hard tyre is around 1 second slower than the soft tyre, which Perez set his time on.

Also had at least 8 laps of fuel on, whereas Perez and Vettel did their times on a one lap run.

It's all guess work at the moment, but fingers crossed.


Hard tyres are supposed to be at least 1 sec slower per lap than the softs Perez & Vettel used. Perez & Vettel also did 1 lap flyers & Lewis did 8 laps more and was still less than 1 sec behind (1 lap pace)


Hey, Concalvez,

Hard tires are made for endurance and, thus, have less overall adhesion. Also, the fact that he did his lap during a somewhat long run means that he actually had some fuel in his car, and wasn't just on a one lap flyer!


The difference between the soft and the hard compound is about six tenths of a second and Hamilton did his best time in a eight lap stint.

According to James Allen report about this particular track the fuel consumption at Barcelona is about 2.34 kilos per lap, so 10 kilos of fuel cost around four tenths per lap. Hamilton was carried at least 18 kilos of fuel during his best lap.

You can do your own calculation and see that Hamilton could be as faster as 1m21s if he was on a flying lap mode with just one or two laps of fuel onboard.

Thats why Hamilton's time was so special.


No hard to medium would be 6/10. Hard to soft would be more than 1sec .


Is it really that hard to work out?

He did it on the hard which is over a second a lap slower than the soft (which Perez and Vettel were on), and also a not insignificant amount of fuel onboard weighing the car down too.


Hard tyres are normally slower.


I think:

1: Hard tyre (Perez + Vettel soft)

2: He did in on a 8 lap run (Perez + Vettel on 1 lap run) and the new tyres seem to lose performance pretty quickly. Hamilton setting that time under those circumstances could be a very good sign.


Because the Hard tyre Lewis was using has been up to a second slower than the Soft tyre Sergio was using.

Sergio did his fastest lap on a one lap run, so he went out, did a lap and then came in, so he would've had very low fuel levels, and thus less weight in the car.

Lewis' time was set during an 8 lap run, so he would've had at least 10 laps of fuel, weighing considerably more.


the hard tyre is estimated at about a seccond a lap slower than the soft and hamiltons 8 lap run although not long-wasnt short either indicating more than a couple of drops of fuel on board where as perez & vettel did shorter runs on the much faster tyre.

i.e merc look like they are not far behind if behind the others at all, who knows what fuel they were all running but if pirelli are right about the performance gap between tyres then Lewis could have been fastest by two tenths of a seccond had he been on the softs!

doesnt mean much at this moment of course but hopefully points to merc making up much of the 1.5-2 seccond defisit in performance thay had at the tail end of last year.


But, how do we say all tires have been run for the same no. of laps before setting the fastest laps. For all we know, the soft tire might have already completed 40 laps when the fastest time was set, while the hard tire was fresh. So, I am not sure if we can just compare the time on hard tire and the soft tire


Vettel and Perez did their times on a 1-lap run (so just a single lap on the soft). The only question mark is the fuel load. Lewis was on a 8-lap run.


It's still all speculation though really. For all we know, even going for a fast lap, they could have put a longer run's worth of fuel in the McLaren. With the amount of data they have on Catalunya, it's not like they couldn't get a pretty good indication of what it could do from there on light fuel.

The only real indicator will be once the cars hit Melbourne quali, and we know they're all running as light and driving as hard as possible.


I'm no expert but I think top time was done with a number of laps worth of less fuel and on softs (which are supposed to be around a second faster)...

Do the maths and Lewis times looks pretty competitive (usual caveat that its testing and no one really knows applies of course).


Because it was on the harder, slower tyre, and because it was on a decent length run.


It was a good time, but can't read anything into it really. McLaren looked like world beaters in Melbourne last year, and look how that ended ... 3rd!

The thing that's funny here is that the OP is a Lewis-slagger, but their question just betrays that they know the car is king in F1.


It wasn't special don't worry the Hamilton lovers loves to be deluded, this overrated driver can't even get the job done in the best car last year, it's Sergio's turn, also he couldn't beat Button over 3 years, says it all really, and Mclaren should have hired Webber he would have shocked Button with his pace, also Rosberg is looking every bit as fast as Hamilton if not faster.


Hamilton was quite often "getting the job done" last year, but then the car would fall apart. Without the reliability and operational problems, most likely Lewis would have been a fair way ahead of Jenson last year, even in with a very good shot at the WDC.

At which point your "Jenson beat Lewis over three years" argument would also go out the window.


Yeah, yeah... JB was better than LH 3 years in a row!!

And I'm Napoleon!!! [mod]

Let's see how good ML will do this year, mainly if the car is not much better than the rest!


Why do you think he left genius

Val from montreal

I've said that too - but It's hear no evil see no evil around here ... Rosberg will bug the hell out of Hamilton this year ... Rosberg is fast when it's qualifying time but often he lacks race pace and goes backwards during a race ...


The others set their best times on shorter runs with softer tires and were not far off the Merc's best?


8 laps worth of fuel, hard tyres and in 2012 he was known for driving well within his limits in practice sessions compared to some of his qualifying laps. It should mean Merc are in contention for some good points in Melbourne.


Hamilton's time was done on Hard tyres, which is about 0.8 seconds slower than Soft, or so I have read elsewhere.


Hard tyre less grip, soft tyre more grip faster round the corner


It's funny, I'm not saying it will happen but how good would it be if Lewis was up there this season with Mercedes. That time was very quick considering fuel, length of run, tyre used!

It will be reported by the media that its all about Lewis and not the car if he does!


Probably because it will be, how often did Lewis take nearly half a second out of Jenson in qualifying.

I think it's pretty much accepted amongst most, that over one lap on raw pace, Lewis is the fastest in F1.


think it’s pretty much accepted amongst most, that over one lap on raw pace, Lewis is the fastest in F1.

Not by me. Fast, Yes. Fastest, No. That honour belong to Sebastian Vettel my friend. Qualifying lap, race lap, whatever lap, Seb is the man.



My understanding is that the McLaren was the fastest car of 2012. With that in mind, I would gladly bet that SV would be even quicker than he already was in the slower RB. No offense to you my friend, merely my opinion. I respect all the drivers, especially WDC's. They don't give those prizes to just anyone. I hope your fav driver does well in '13 🙂


Put them in the others' car, and ask yourself if Vettel would've got within a tenth of Lewis in Austin (as LH did on SV)?

LH was the only driver to make every Q3 in 2012. I think it's accepted by most in the paddock that LH is the fastest over one lap.

LH said near the end of last year that Alonso (and I'll assume he was including himself in with FA) was more "accurate" in terms of making apexes and taking correct lines, than SV was, but that the car was covering up for any of SV's "misses".


And all it won him was a last corner championship against Massa of all drivers, lol.


Seeing as Massa and Kimi had the faster car that year, yeah, it should mean a lot. The only driver on the grid to have won a WDC in a car that wasn't the fastest (or best, taking into account reliability as well). Heikki was all the way down in 7th! Alonso almost repeated that feat this year (Massa finished 7th, and Ferrari 2nd), losing thru some cruel misfortune in Belgium and Japan.


I think Massa will surprise you this year 😉


Also it maybe possible that the Merc heats up tyres quickly, ok for a short run, but put softs on and it will eat the tyres.


It's getting interesting, and the eyebrow raiser will be Hamilton's run on the hard compound with more fuel. Perez and Vettel on single lap runs with soft tyres not that much quicker considering the fuel and the tyres. Of course it's still guess work but Mercedes aren't the slouches everyone seemed to think. I hope Lewis and Nico give the field a run for their money.

Tornillo Amarillo

Kimi said something like "fix the stupid software!"

Ha-ha! Nice phrase for the records.


Yet another disrespectful, unhelpful comment, that had it come from any other driver would have been considered rude offensive. But because it's Kimi, and he's "such a character" it's not only acceptable, but legendary?

I just... I just don't get it.

Tornillo Amarillo

Well, maybe it is more disrecpectful to give a software non properly tested to F1 teams with not too much time to run on track.


The software disrupted the whole teams running all of Tuesday even other teams had glitches too ! bet the engineers were calling it "stupid software" too it's just the media focus on it because its Kimi- Im sure he doesn't want it aired either- just normal work frustrations- Yoi guys seriously need to get a life !

Colombia Concalvez

It's not nice, it's RUDE


He's talking about software not insulting your mother- gosh how's that rude


So we´re having chassis change this test. I guess they will start tomorrow with that. If it rains on Friday its a good news, bad news thing. The good news is they can test wet tyres and the bad news is they can´t get on with their programmes.So all teams or some of them may think it´s a waste of time


I have said it before and I will say it again.... Mercedes spent a lot of the tail end of last season getting ready for this one. I am not at all surprised by the performance of the mercedes. In fact the only thing that surprises me is how many people were doubting LH and the Mercedes team.


I thought Lewis set his fastest lap on a harder compound than Kimi. :S


looks like perez will surely push vettel come march 16th.

Val from montreal

While 95 % of British F1 fans were focused on Hamilton these last 3 years , other people such as myself was focusing on Mercedes and Michael S. .... Schumacher also set "fastest times" during testing but Nobody seemed to give a damn ! All it takes is a fast lap from Hamilton and the flood- gates open loose ! Mercedes will be lucky to score a podium this year , and the next year , and the one after that .... So go ahead and rejoice if it will make u guys feel better but please don't count yout chickens before they hatch .... Go Vettel !


Val you wrong. You shouldn´t judge fans that way. I was checking Mercedes for 2 reasons. One reason you said yourself, Schumacher. I was curious about what he would do in his return to F1. And the second reason was Mercedes itself. Mercedes Benz is a household name all over the world. I´m happy that Mecedes is back in the F1. They were big back in the 50´s thanks to Fangio.

So I was aware of Schumacher fastest laps you mentioned. It wasn´t very misleading after all. Keep in mind that early in the season Rosberg won in China. And Schumacher won the pole in Monaco and he was in the podium in Valencia. Their biggest problem last year was that they run out of money later on. So they couldn´t came up with important upgrades.


I am impressed! Most so called expert commentators on F1 are reluctant to even predict the first race without more data. But after only six days testing you have predicted the next three years...

Any chance you can give me the Oz Lotto numbers for next week.


Ha ha Brilliant Jake !


I hear ya Val, and totally agre with your sentiments aside from "go vettel". Being an Aussie I am firmly in the "Go Webber" camp, although I wait with anticipation to see how the two Merc drivers fare off against each other and have a sneaky suspicion that Rosberg wont be quite the pushover that many Hamilton fans simply assume he will be.


Im an Aussie and want Wenber to do well but Im also a realist and realise he can't get off the line well enough otherwise he would have won twice as many races.

Hamilton has already worked out the Mercedes and I can already tell who on these posts will be surprised and I lnow it wont be me. He won't win the championship but he will win a race or 2 and he will beat his team mate who Val knows goes to sleep in some races- maybe he will wake up this year with lewis pushing him along.

Val from montreal

I always wanted to visit Australia ... Australians are cool people with great humour ... They were/are huge Michael Schumacher fans. , unlike most brits ! And Mark Webber has always been one of my favourite drivers on grid also ... So good luck to Mark Webber in 2013 !!


Val do you have a German thing going on ?.. First Michael the. Seb- oh sorry you just go for whoever is winning right - Makes it easier for you .

The Merc is definitely not as good as the Mclaren but I reckon Lewis will win 2 races- Canada will be one of them the other probably Hungary. So be ready to cheer ! Lol


IF your crystal ball is THAT good then give the lottery numbers, Ill split it with you, yeah?


Good to see Bottas putting some presure on Maldonado, he will be the car to avoid for the top teams... is record isnt good, and now hes going to be angry with Bottas putting the presure on. Will be very surprised if he isnt the next to receive a race ban!


James, is the system that sends the telemetry the same as what sends the timing data to the FIA? I'm just wondering if the issue Lotus have been having is anything to do with Rolex taking over as time keeper. I know WRC have a new timekeeper this year and had major problems in Monaco earlier this year.


Are Williams and Catherham still running their illigal exhaust system, or did they take it off?


Horno - I read somewhere that the teams are allowed to run the 'illegal' parts during testing as testing does not constitute a grand prix event (so they couldn't run it in a Friday practice session for example)

If they are running the illegal parts, it would strike me that the teams consider that the FIA ruling is going to be clarified/overturned - why would they want to test a part that's illegal and they can't use in a race?

If they are not running them, that might indicate that the teams consider that hte FIA ruling in unlikely to change. If this is the case, Williams might be particularly disadvantaged as they did not run the new car in the first test so have less time to develop a legal alternative.


A few questions:

1. Are the tires really that bad that they degrade 0.5 second every lap as seen from tests (not sure if they were soft)?

2. Is Lotus using DDRS? If not, are they planning to use at all?

3. Why does only RB have so much secrecy about their car that they cover it immediately and park it in a side alley where no one can see while others do not take that extra trouble?

4. McLaren's long runs today were consistently in 1:29s and 1:30s for many laps. Does this mean they have better tire management or was it Perez's special drive that we saw.



Dear James.

According to Mercedes that flying lap by Lewis did was actually a 10 Lap stint not an 8 lap.

Rgds, S


I think it depends on if you could the in and out lap, or not


Yeah the 2013 form guide gets clearer and clearer thanks to Barcelona.

For one we aren't having the mid field pretenders anyway near the top of the timing screens and it's a little bit strange this winter testing in that we aren't seeing one or two of the lads bolting on the supersoft tyre for a good old glory run >>> it seems everybody wants to hide their assets.

Anyway it's been a pretty revealing day and for sure the tyres are going to have a major say this year (or at least till the teams figure them out) for we seeing drivers times fall off after a couple of laps and some teams are more consistent on certain tyres than others e.g. Red Bull is consistent on the hards but is struggling with the softs likewise Mclaren is having a hard time with the mediums but is okay on the softs.

All in all, has been another interesting day that has confirmed Lauda could have been right when he said Mercedes could now compete with the top 3 teams whilst Ferrari and Mclaren aren't exactly the teams to beat.


No Button and Whitmarsh to slowdown Hamilton now... Looks like Hamilton is providing excellent feedback to the Merc engineers...

I will close my eyes during those sissy DRS overtakes, but will enjoy watching the Merc battle to the front this season...


Yes guys, those stickers dont line up and we need more downforce! 🙂 great feedback .......

Button and Whitmarsh to slow Hamilton down? Oh dear, really, you really believe that?

It makes it so much easier to see where the worldwide phrase "a whinging po* " (fill in the blank *) comes from hey, its never his fault, he is the greatest at EVERYTHING!!! Now whom or what can we blame....


Anybody any solid info on the difference in tyre compounds over a lap?

AMuS says soft to medium 0.5, BBC's Benson says Pirelli said soft to medium is 0.8 which seems excessive and don't believe until see someone else say it or a direct quote from Pirelli.

Perez done one lap on hard then pitted and changed and done one lap on soft with a difference of 0.7.

James or Meadows, any idea on the differences in the compounds?


I'm not shocked that Mercedes will put in very quick times, over one lap, Lewis will get that bit extra out the car.

BUT, it's the consistently and race pace, especially looking after their tyres (which is even more crucial this year) that Mercedes need to improve on.

I'm getting excited though.


Unless the times were an aberration, I would hold off on getting too excited about the Merc pace just yet. It really slows up over a run. Comparing it to the others it looks to be gnawing at it's rubbers pretty hard. May not be the case as I'm not even on the same continent as the testing but it looks kind of ominous.


well if you are not in spain how can you tell they are eating their tyres??? This is a typical case of " the power of suggestion". From what I saw on the timings, mercedes were not worst than any of the other big teams when looking after ther tyres. Mclaren were struggling with tyre degredationa nd perez could not get a proper feel for the car due to his tyres ging off after 2 laps.


Yes yes, the power of suggestion, I'll give you that. The timing feed I watched showed the Merc regularly starting a session strong and steadily falling off around five seconds over the course of the run. The others looked like they were more consistently off around 3 seconds per stint. What that "suggested" to me was they were using the tires aggressively.

Now that doesn't mean that I know all there is to know about what they were doing and they did do a lot of long runs. I feel fairly certain they were looking for data on degradation, if that was their plan, I'd say they pocketed a huge amount to dissect after that day of running.

I'm watching the feed again today and they have not turned near the laps as they did yesterday. It will be interesting to see the day progress. Would be a lot more entertaining to be there so I could lay hands and eyes on the tires after each stint, but alas I am not. I suppose babysitting the GT1 car this weekend will have to suffice.


I saw that today and I completely agree, Nico did look much more consistent today than Lewis did yesterday. That could very well be from the work Lewis put in yesterday. Probably also from Nico's experience in the car. I'm sure that will play into it as well. No doubt it will be interesting to see how it goes as the season unwinds.


Just saw the Autosport feed earlier Kevin and Rosberg managed 8 laps after lunch on mediums all around the 1.24's with lap 3 in the 1.23's which was very good compared to those around him dropping 1 + second a lap - including Ferrari at the very front. Way too soon tell and the aero updates come Melbourne will change the pecking order again but I think right now the Mercedes very consistent on its wear rates.


Testing is testing. The only thing I truly believe up to this point is that Red Bull and Ferrari haven't gone for a truly fast lap yet. More speed to come from them.


James - could you (or the Prof) advise how many chassis a team usually makes during the season?

Given the number of laps the teams are doing in testing, does this have any impact on the chassis? Or are they capable of doing many more?



There're a few quotes appearing from drivers stating that the tyres are causing major concerns re the degradation.

Perez is quoted as saying that Melbourne may see "something like seven or 10 stops".

I think I saw Nico quoted as saying that the tyres were only lasting for a lap (!).

Are you hearing the same concerns from your sources ?


Just curious: Why is Perez's helmet changed to yellow? A request from McLaren or Hamilton is Perez's hero?


I think it's the latter 😀


As Hamilton spent part of the day using the old non-coanda exhaust system, I'm wondering if he set his time with that configuration. I understand there is a performance penalty in using the coanda system, which the others would have been using.


'A performance penalty in using the coanda system'?

You mean the same system that everyone has spent at least a year and millions of dollars developing in order to gain back some of the benefits of a blown exhaust?

You might to have to explain that one...good luck 🙂


Could Perez be quicker than Button in 2013?


Yes, when Button stops for a pit stop.

JK, couldn't resist 🙂


Yes why has Perez changed his helmet to yellow does he think he'll be another Lewis I'm getti g confused its going to be hard enough with rosburg helmet and Lewis yellow helmets think you'll get the commentators mixed up as well but there's only one Lewis Hamilton so great luck Lewis you'll outshine them all whether you win or not you make formula1 so exciting racing goes dead when your car let you down again and again last year no fault of your own. Your the spark that keeps f1 going so keep in shining

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