F1 Winter Break
Ice cool Raikkonen breezes through red return
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  28 Jan 2014   |  8:49 pm GMT  |  125 comments

Rewind back to January 2007: Kimi Raikkonen’s first ever pre-season test in Ferrari-red overalls was taking place. It was also in Spain and he went on to win the world championship. Seven years later he has not only chosen to race with the same number, but he is back testing with the Italian team, once again in Spain.

Kimi’s start to the season at Ferrari today was a totally different story to back in 2007, however, a story of new challenges, a new car, a new engine… and patience. A lot of it. “We’ve been working very hard to get the car ready; we expect to learn many things,” he said with typical understatement.

As is his wont, Kimi ambled from the team motorhome across into the garage with sunglasses firmly fixed in place, even though the sun still hadn’t broken through the early morning clouds. He looked calm, he looked untroubled, he looked… well, he looked Kimi. Another day at another office, same Raikkonen.

After a slow start to the morning, Kimi finally drove out of the garage at 09:40, with the Ferrari V6 engine breaking the silence. Pit-limiter off, up the hill to Turn 1, and rosso corsa Kimi was back.

Unfortunately, his installation lap didn’t last long. Just as he was getting to the back straight, he was stopped by his engineers – just a precaution. Funnily enough, it was just before the back straight at Turn 5, which is named after double 250cc Motorcycle World Champion Sito Pons… Stating his intentions, perhaps?

To give an idea of what Kimi’s F14 T sounds like, when his car came to a halt on track, the sound of an engine revving could still be plainly heard. Two bright red Ferrari road cars roared past near the stricken F14 T, making such a similar sound that it was easily confused with the Finn’s engine. It made those who heard it smile when they realised the similarity.

“For sure we want to complete more laps”, Kimi shrugged afterwards. “but its pretty normal that things don’t work when there are so many changes.” You could tell he wanted more, much more. He didn’t take his helmet off when he was dropped off back in the garage, but his eyes said it all: determination to get back in the car again as soon as possible, despite it being a two-hour wait before he was finally in the cockpit again.

After another patient wait, in the afternoon Kimi seemed to be getting to grips with the car and going out for longer stints than just the one installation lap. Even though he was still way off last year’s fastest lap here in Jerez (a 1:18.148 set by himself), his times were improving rapidly and he appeared to be gaining in confidence. He finally eased past Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time and topped the time sheet with a 1:27.104. More importantly on this first day he also completed more laps than anyone (31).

“Lap times don’t mean anything right now, we just want to run as much as we can,” he said. “It will take a little bit of time before we can run at 100 per cent all the time and not have issues, but we have started pretty okay.”

By Tabatha Valls Halling in Jerez

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"Another day at another office, same Raikkonen".

Loved that sentence, James!


9 second pace difference between last year and this, thats barbaric!


With all the changes to power train, available fuel and fuel rate, wing sizes and lack of exhaust blown diffusers, I'm expecting the 2014 cars to be quite a bit slower than last years.

9 sec is a fair chunk (about 12% ?). Does anyone have any projections on the ultimate 2014 car pace?

Any chance caterham and Marissa can run their 2013 cars ? They'd clean up.


I'm hoping part of that is the teams taking it pretty easy on the first day, more focused on just making sure the car can actually complete some laps before worrying about setting fast times and really putting the aero to work. Hoping.


Keep in mind that they aren't pushing at all. The engines will be turned down to say 8-10,000 revs and they'll have plenty of fuel onboard. Once we get to Bahrain we'll see them pushing.


I don't think it is James writing .....something about the grammaticals is not quite 100% James.


Yes, there is something wrong with the grammar here. More years ago than I care to remember, we were taught at school that it is always 'different from'. Definitely not 'different to'! Had my knuckles rapped over that one several times!

Great material to read, none-the-less and thank you for the good straight reports.

Go Kimi!

Mike A.


Posted by: Hynes

Right at the bottom...


I have the same feeling that this is not written by James.


Too much hyperbole to be written by James

"You could tell he wanted more, much more. He didn’t take his helmet off when he was dropped off back in the garage, but his eyes said it all: determination to get back in the car again as soon as possible"

That's some pretty communicative body language right there!


It's not the fact that it says "By Tabatha Valls Halling" at the end of the article that gives it away? 😉


Surely that's just a red herring? 😉



Loved that sentence, Tabitha!


Hi James, can you elaborate on that coment about the engine noise being very similar to the Ferrari road cars? Why the smiles exactly


Ferrari doing some engine testing on its road cars perhaps?


The Ferrari's were just driving past nearby (a street close very close to the circuit), nothing to do with the team - it was just funny that they drove past at that exact moment when Kimi was stopped out on track 🙂


Cos F1 is a joke now? Joke cars, joke engines, joke tyres, joke gymics (DRS & double pts), joke circuits, and now joke acoustics that sound like road cars. I'm being totally cereal here - it is a dawning realisation on some men who just realised A FORMULA ONE CAR sounds like a road car in 2014.


Unfortunately, I have to agree...


Which cereal are you totally being?


Corn Flakes

or Sugar Puffs? 😀

They sound great...I've never heard a road car that sounds like the new Mercedes..it's as butch as a butch thing gets!!

I agree that some of the new circuits are poor and the last race double points idea is bonkers, but c'mon...it's F1 & it's really exciting!!

If it no longer presses your buttons maybe you should take up crown green bowling. 🙂


Weetabix or Corn Flakes?

Valentino from montreal

It's already "kimi's team" ..

Ferrari needs either a German or a Finn to win .. The Latins are way to temperamental .. Trulli and Fisichella were never considered as prospects despite being Italian !

Raikkonen will do the job , just like I said last year , 2014 is going to be Vettel vs Raikkonen ..

Valentino from montreal

To all those who think I'm against Latins , well I'm not obviously , I am of Italian heritage .. Just don't see any positives that a Latin TEAM like Ferrari would benefit with a Latin driver .. I say this because I remember reading an article in the early 2000's that was written in the F1 Racing magazine .. Most of what I remember from the author was that British F1 teams like Williams and McLaren avoided Italian drivers altogether , because of said temperament ..

Alonso flipped on Ferrari radio last year with the "imbeciles" incident .. Alonso could'nt of stopped waffling his arms at Petrov ! Alonso has no patience behind the wheel , and that's why Raikkonen is gonna walk all over him in 2014 .. Just wait and see how he's going to handle the first qualifying session when he sees Raikkonen ahead of him on the grid .. Popcorn time !


If it is true that British teams didn't hire Italian drivers due to supposed hotheaded uncontrollable tempers, then this is because these teams are prejudiced.

This 'temperament' claim is no more valid and just as insulting as saying there has never been an Asian champion because they can't see properly or that Lewis Hamilton only won the championship because he is half white. Such claims would be considered ridiculous and horrendously insulting (and rightly so). You are painting a picture of Italians (and Hispanics, Latinos) as being loud, flighty, over-animated cartoon caricatures from a 19th century pantomime. The worst thing of all is that few people even care. Why is this? Because it's prejudice directed towards a European based ethnicity?

The irony of me going on this tirade and somewhat undermining my argument perhaps, is not lost on me either, considering my heritage. 🙂

Anyway, on a positive note, good to hear Schumacher's condition has made significant improvements.


Obviously, if you look at things superficially... Maybe Kimi wouldn't have even be in a position to fight for the WDC in that Ferrari



Vettel v/s Raikkonen ? For what ? 2 or 3rd Place Finish ?

We never know Kimi can even Finish P5 or P6 come the end of season. Yes vettel have superb chance to add a fifth WDC.

We do not have any evidence to say Ferrari will compete at the front of grid in First place. As for as RBR i expected thier usual domination to continue irrespective of the regulation changes.

Nothing more than a typical Fan boy comment


Trulli was never considered simply bec. he wasn't good enough, and Fisichella ended up driving for Ferrari for the last few races of 2009!

Let's see how Kimi will do. Let's see how different and how motivated he is now, given he's back in a front running team. Let's see if in 2008 and 2009, he just really lacked motivation. Regardless, you shouldn't assume that he will walk all over Alonso. Remember, when Fernando first came to Ferrari, a lot of people were also saying he will have trouble coping w/ a faster and more mature Felipe Massa - the one who occasionally beat Michael Schumacher (God bless him!) and the one who out-scored Raikkonen in 2 of the 3 seasons they spent as team-mates; but in the end, Alonso dominated Massa w/ consummate ease.

Alonso lives, breathes and eats Formula 1. It will take a heck of a lot more than talent and some petty intra-team politics to put him down (see 2007, where he finished level points with Hamilton and also came within 2pts of the WDC, despite alienating all of McLaren and initially having trouble adapting to the new Bridgestones).


@ Rafael

You have hit the nail on it's head man "Alonso lives, breathes and eats Formula 1" - Simply TRUE.

Alonso is not only just super talented pilot. He is everything. HE dedicates his life to F1 and very committed when he turn up to the circuit. Alonso will wipe the floor with kimi and will also shred kimi totally.

People here who suggest here kimi will outpace alonso are blind Alonso haters. Nothing else

I will not be suprised if kimi been ousted again after Alonso put him completely to the sword come the end of 2014.


Massa is hardly the same driver after his accident. If you are saying Massa in 2008 who almost won WDC is same as Massa in 2012, then you are saying many things: (i) Ferrari engineering+design team is stupid to design a very poor car compared to other teams as Massa is finishing below top-5 laways. (ii) Probably Hamilton also has improved a lot from 2008 to beat Massa easily but is still not good enough to beat Vettel/Alonso/Raikkonen now (iii) Alonso is the best ever driver to be born to put that lowly Ferrari in second place in WDC rankings.

I think it can be saimply and safely said that Massa is not the same driver before and after

the accident.

Also Raikkonen was beaten only 1 season by Massa. In 2009, the season was not completed and also in 2009 he was better than Massa although the points don't reflect it up to the point of Massa's accident.



"Massa is hardly the same driver after his accident" - Clear myth and complete Drivel

If you recall the first Quali session in Bahrain 2010 just after the recovery when massa returned. He out qualified Alonso. Alonso came back on the race day where he overtook massa on the track and won the race by some margin. This is clear evidence which reflects massa have NO post Traumatic signs. Also he has passed the Rehabilitation quite easily.

All this "massa is not the same driver after 09 acident. Massa have confidence issues. Massa is 08 WDC winner for few seconds. Massa played number 2 role at Ferrari" These are complete non-sense and excuses in favour of massa for his under performance. Or the Alonso haters use these parameters to degrade alonso's Heroics.

Wake up and smell the coffee man. Massa is and still the same driver once he was before 09 accident. He himself confessed this fact and also accepted Alonso is far too hot and difficult to handle than Kimi or even Schumi.


I'm sorry, remind me again who ended up second in 2012 and 2013 with a sub-par Ferrari?

And forgive me again - my memory's a little fuzzy - but didn't he also win a couple of championships?

Fernando "150%" Alonso

@Wade Parmino

When Valentino from Montreal is writing something about Alonso, you should use your own filter!


Viva Val

Valentino is not only right, but he also braved 20 ft high blizzards to post this from the only posting station with elec still running


I hope you are right, my favorite two drivers 🙂


Firstly, I don't think only a German or a Finn can win for Ferrari. I don't think anyone can blame Alonso for losing any of the titles since 2010 when Ferrari produced good cars with good reliability. Alonso was able to do well against better cars (e.g. McLaren) and fight to the end on two occasions against the best car.

Secondly, I don't think it's going to be Vettel vs Raikkonen. Hamilton and Alonso are very likely to be involved in the title fight, probably ahead of Vettel.

The problem with the Ferrari pairing is that they are poor qualifiers, and that this year, they can't count on the support of a "second" driver so both will take points off each other.

Anyway, reliability will play a big part because a DNF is very costly with the current points system, so the ranking is likely to yoyo quite a bit.


"Ferrari needs either a German or a Finn to win. The Latins are way to temperamental".

Not only do I NOT agree, but why do people think it is acceptable to make claims like this. If a comment of negative connotations was made about Asians or Africans, there would be outrageous indignation. Euro-centric (all types of white) targeted prejudice seems to be acceptable and this is unacceptable.

19 championships are held by drivers you would describe as Latin. There are many more winners. Ferrari has a mere single championship achieved by a Finn.

Alonso has attained excellent results with Ferrari considering the performance of the cars relative to the competition. Had he not been taken out by the Lotus drivers at Belgium and Japan in 2012, he would have almost certainly collected enough points to be champion.


I see no discrimination here, just statistics. I looked at wikipedia and found that only 3 out of 15 drivers championships of Ferrari were won by Ascari and Fangio. The rest are British, German, American, South African and well, one Finnish, guys 🙂

Of course it is not a basis for drivers selection, skills are more important, but we never should underestimate cultural diversity and how it works in highly competitive conditions. IMHO, of course.


There's nothing wrong with numbers but one should know how to use them. In Soviet Union they used to demonstrate everything and the contrary of everything using statistics and they were right each time!


@Wade Parmino

I know you disagreed bitterly with me in the past - over Senna being a playboy - you accused me of "backhanded sarcasm" (when I guarantee there was no such intention on my part), and said there was no need for derogatory names, which YOU started using when you called some drivers you don't like "playboy lads" - and that's why I didn't deem your answer worthy of a reply (http://jaonf1.wpengine.com/2014/01/eddie-irvine-gets-six-months-for-italian-nightclub-brawl/#comment-888016).

But let's call it water under the bridge, shall we? Because I totally agree that it's utterly unacceptable that people still casually refer to Latins as "too temperamental". It's a stereotype that is self-reinforcing, it taints people's perceptions. I know you don't like him but, to give an example, "Leave me alone, I know what I'm doing", would be a typical Piquet attitude (who, as I said in that comment, didn't pander to the media or the crowds). When Kimi says it, he's the "iceman". When Piquet said similar things, he was seen as bitter, or worse, uppity. And since you have so much respect for Senna, let me quote (and translate) him from memory, not sure it made the press outside Brazil: "A Brazilian in F1 has to be twice as good to achieve the same level of recognition" (or something to that effect, as I said, from memory).



Japan 2012 was completely Alonso's own fault...had he not been overly aggressive on that start and left Kimi more room (cause he clearly could have done so, check the vid from YT from Massa's view), then he would have avoided the incident and most likely scored the points needed for the championship.


I think Ferrari needs a quick car to win, not a particular nationality.

In my view this Latin temper thing is no argument at all, it's far too simplistic.

It's rather hard to argue that Ferrari's winningless streak is the resault of Alonso's outbursts, isn't it? To me, it's clearly the other way round.

Give Alosno a decent car and he'll get the job done.


Latins weren't too bad with Ayrton or Fangio!


it sounds like a road car! that's really not good


It's apparent you have not driven or being in one or alternatively witness a Ferrari go past with its engine in full scream.


Have you heard a V10 F1 car before in a qualifying session? Huge differenc


lol you’re wrong on all 3 accounts, I’ve done them all.

Ferraris sound great (particularly the 360 stradale) but an f1 car should sound like an f1 car eg. Individual and certainly much noisier and higher revving than a road car.


it's not so bad if your 'road car' is Ferrari


Is that a Schumacher tribute helmet? Looks amazingly similar if not


I agree it does! Any word on that James??


I like your writing, James.


Kimi like he would´ve never left. So good to see him in red again



Great to see Kimi back at ferrari! I hope it is going to be a great battle between him and Alonso (and may Kimi come out on top!)


@ Jeffrey

"(and may Kimi come out on top!)" - In your dreams mate

This guy have been ousted from the team after he was conquered by massa in 08 and 09 till hungary. Now he his going to race against the Golden driver of any generation in the history of F1 (Alonso). Nothing can save Kimi from a clear Chastening.

Our King Alonso for the 2014 WDC all the way...


raikkonen is far more naturally talented than alonso. alonso is good and one of the best, but not the same level of talent. sorry.

and for me talent should come first, not exercise, commitment, psichological games, twitter writers and so on.

how could you call king someone who won a wdc simply because of another driver's car unrealiability(he was always second, but with little efforts won because of raikkonen's many dnfs) and another one thanks to a car that had some irregular mass damper?

come on.

massa is definitely not the same driver he was till 2009 for four main reasons:

first--he signed and resigned to be alonso

slave. he went on loosing all the power he had during his first period at ferrari.

second--pischological issues related to his role.

third--do you guys think he drove the same car alonso drove? webber drove a dog(less reliable) if compared to vettel's car...maybe, but maybe also massa was given a car which was weaker than alonso's ferrari.

fourth--development made on one driving style.

rbr followed vettel driving style, and guess ferrari which driving style followed...

santander is the key to understand massa's role from 2010 to 2013. only a person with no business knowledge would not get it.

f1 is a business after all.


"Raikkonen is far more naturally talented than alonso" how did you conclude this ? What evidence do you have to back up your notion ?

Kimi was soundly beaten by massa at ferrari. Even grosjean proved to be quicker than kimi. Boullier did cofess this fact as well roman is quick, however he is erratic and prone to errors. Kimi was not even a factor in 2008 WDC. Despite the edge ferrari had over in Mclaren in terms of car how lewis won the WDC ? Now that's call talent. Heck even massa did well to take fight to lewis whereas kimi was erratic and reckless. The so called talented driver has not proved anything in his career.

If you term alonso as a lucky WDC winner in 05. Then what about kimi's 07 WDC win ? Now that is the most luckiest WDC won in the history of F1. Heck the political unrest at mclaren and massa let kimi through and sacrificed his win for kimi to win WDC

You talk about reliability issue yes. Mclaren had the edge over renault on outright pace in 05. Whereas renault wad reliable and did not had the pace to compete with mclaren. Despite this fernando won WDC which makes his 05 title even special. One classic example is vettel suffered quite a lot of reliability issues in 2010 yes RBR had the pace edge over ferrari yet vettel overcame the reliability woes and won the WDC. Now that' called talented

Finally RBR had so many illegal device on their car between 2010-2013. Like flexi wing, adjustable ride height. Engine throttle map and movable floor. Yet the won WDC four on the row and pundits / people agree it's valid. Hence alonso 06 victory was vintage because he weathered the strom from ferrari in the second half.

As far as massa. It's very tired topic. He is not quick enough to match alonso he knows that. Ferrari knows that and entire world know this. Andrew benson @ bbc done a analysis as well in the past. Massa himself tipped alonso will trump kimi on his head. This article is in JA page as well. Kudos to you for your honest opinion.

Finally your post is full of notion about kimi and you have blind hatred towards alonso.

Wake up and smell the coffee man kimi is the most over hyped driver of this generation. Whereas alonso is still and will be the king in F1 always


Didn't Kimi race #6 in 2007?


Yes, he drove with number 6 in 2007 but i was playing with the fact that 7 years later he has chosen to drive with number 7. A few sevens there 🙂


No 5 Massa, No 6 Kimi.


Obviously not


yeah, OBVIOUSLY! that's why he took his nummer 7 comment away from the article.

I didn't have to look it up, but I suggest you do!

unF1nnished business

James, would you know if Kimi and Fernando have similar preferences with car handling / setup? I know Kimi prefers a sharp front end/oversteery. Not too sure what Alonso likes.


Gary Anderson once described Alonso as a man without a style or with all the styles you want. He is pretty good at changing his style to suit the car which is why he's often called the complete driver. He's probably not the best at any one area (as he himself says) but he's pretty adaptable to any situation.


Alonso always liked a stable rear and doesn't mind a unrrsponsive front as long as the front turns in when he can hard steer the car, quite different styles but ultimately its about overall grip so a neutral car is what Ferrari will aim for, but I suspect with the extra torque and small rear wing woth no blown diffusers a looser rear it'll suit Raikkonen slightly more but will it be enough to dislodge Alonso? Probably not, it'll come down to consistency and commitment again, areas where Alons thrive.

unF1nnished business

I think this year will be a very good measure of both drivers.


I heard Felipe and him were similar with the car handling they liked, but i don't know Felipe's style of drivig. In the Michelin era with Renault Alo always liked a strong rear he could rely on at turns (understeer), but with so many tyre and rules changes since then, who knows his (if he has) preferences when it comes to set up now...


Expectations aside, i really enjoyed the atmosphere on the net today during the live Sky coverage of the test. Reading the tweets on one tab, then refreshing youtube with "Jerez 2014" in another. Overall i like the new noise and the look of the cars, well, maybe they'll grow on us with time.

I am worried about the accidents this year and how the new ""ramps"" will launch cars over the tracks. If you know what i'm mean? 😉 Referencing Newey's comments regarding the submarine effect of the new nose ofc.

Bring on day no.2!


F1 had most of history with low noses, it was not problem in history so i do not know why now it is? Maybe just Adrian doesnt like it for his car...


James do you write all of the articles on the site? this writing style seems a bit different from your usual self. Or is it just me lol


Most of them, but you can see the name of the writer at the bottom of the post. This was Tabitha Valles in Jerez


Oh yes. My mistake



I liked the build up...


Thank you


"Seven years later he has not only chosen to race with the same number, but he is back testing with the Italian team, once again in Spain."

I think Kimi won 2007 championship with no. 6 on his Ferrari. Right?


Yes, very true, he drove with number 6 in 2007 but i was playing with the fact that 7 years later he has chosen to drive with number 7. A few sevens there


Whatever his number was I have to say I wouldn't mind if Raikkonen wins the title it'd be a nice way to end the Redbull show and the look on Alonso's face if that happened would be priceless but in reality its hard not to see Alonso having a bit of an upperhand and also the real championship battle will be if RBR and Ferrari can chase down Hamilton, if Brackley does a 2009 again then even Vettel/Newey will not be able to beat them.


Love the picture with transparent paint on car that shows how nicely and evenly it stained both front wing and nose and it appears that vacuum cleaner nose might not look nice but from aerodynamic point of view it is definitely doing a job! Might be wrong but that is my first impression.


The pic you're talking about is a shot of Kimi pulling out of the garage. The flo-vis is evenly applied all over the nose and wing to show the engineers the airflow patterns. In other words, this is the "before" picture. It would be nice if there was an "after" pic to see the streaks of flo-vis to see how the front aero is working.


Sorry I have seen an after picture prior to this article on Sky Sport site and that is the one I was referring to. Here is the link; http:http://www1.skysports.com/f1/news/12474/9138456/kimi-raikkonen-insists-topping-timesheets-on-day-one-at-jerez-didnt-matter

But I am not an engineer so like I sad I can't be sure but it is just my impression!


You can count the laps by how many marbles are on the floor bib after being sucked up that nose. There won't be a Ferrari ending underweight.


Never rated Kimi too highly before, but I'm looking forward to seeing him against Alonso.

Alonso's credibility is on the line...


People who think kimi can outpace or match Alonso clearly need to have a reality check

The guy has not even managed to beat massa in 08 and 09. Despite the quick machinery which he had in 2008 (F2008). He was not even factor in the 08 WDC.

I am more the cent % sure Alonso will wipe the floor with kimi like he did against massa and no one will be able to save kimi. As LDM pointed out Kimi has been hired bcos they need consistent points for WCC and at best kimi can only help ferrari with WCC.

Forza Alonso


Ahhh - you bought into the hype that Kimi is 'bored' 'unmotivated' etc. I think he can beat Fernando. The Kimi of circa 2004-2006 WOULD have beaten Fernando.


Alonso's hability is going to be tested, yes, but depending on how he passes it, he could end this year stronger that ever, inside and outside the track.


Not really. I do rate Kimi but recall that he won his championship by a point when there was civil was between Alonso and Hamilton in Mclaren.

On the other hand, Alonso won his 2 championships by larger margins. Also, just look at how Alonso has outperformed his car in the last 4 years and come second (in a car that was sometimes 3rd or 4th.) Having said this I just want Ferrari to win and if Kimi does this it's better than nothing.


Talking about selective evidence, Alonso's both titles were given to him on silver plate by mechanical failures of others. Hence his constant talk about bad luck and crashes. Sorry Fernando, karma.


Eh, maybe you should think back on what happened in 2005 and why exactly Alonso managed to get the championship that year by such high margin....

It wasnt because Alonso/Renault combo would have been the best that year, but because of Mclaren (or should I say Mercedes engine) failed Kimi countless times and cost him the points he would have otherwise easily gotten to beat Alonso....I mean despite Alonso winning the championship that year, quess who team-bosses voted as the best driver of the year?...Yeap, it was Kimi 😉


Was there a team-boss poll in 2005? Autosport's team-boss survey only started in 2008.


Winning Margin != points.

Civil war = human problem.

Unreliable machine = machine problem.

Please decode this - if you have not watched 2005.

If you have, you get the drift....


James, do you have any news on Renault engine woes? I've read they have problems with crankshaft. It can't handle all the vibrations, or something...


Renault have been struggling, as you say. Yesterday evening Renault Sport F1 head of track operations, Remi Taffin, explained what the problem was: “You just have to bear in mind that the power unit is made up of a lot of subcomponents and its not a matter of saying that none of it is working, its just a problem of integration of all these systems. In particular for this problem, we have to fix it through the energy store. I'm not going to go into detail about the architecture of our system, but we have clearly identified something that we have to change”.

It seems like they have sorted it after working on it all night. This morning Vergne has already done 14 laps, and Caterham has also been out. Just waiting for Ricciardo to drive the Red Bull out for the first time now...


Why are the Pirelli tyres all-black? Is this a different tyre compound? Or just good photoshop. Perhaps the teams don't want to reveal which compound they selected.


This is apparently a winter compound, made especially for this test and the colder conditions 🙂


+1 Thanks! 😀


Ferarri went well today. looks like the running the La Ferrari with a..ahem.."prototype" engine in it helped. Maybe we will see a McLaren with a similar prototype engine from Honda during the year...


Yep Kimi's F14-T sounded suspiciously similar to that La Ferrari Prototype when he did the installation laps 😛


Judging from the odd YouTube videos:

1. The V6 engines sound fine.

2, Mercedes and Ferrari seem to be on top of their game early on (sans Hamilton accident)

3. Mercedes, Red Bull and to a lesser extent McLaren seem to have the best looking cars - everyone else has gone the lazy route with pointy appendages to comply with the regulations.

I was going to skip the Australian Grand Prix this year but hearing the Mercedes and Ferrari at speed have prompted me to make the pilgrimage and take my 5yo son to his first ever GP.

Let's hope former world champions, and perhaps Rosberg and Ricciardo, can be some sort of competition for Vettel/Newey this year.


Rosberg? As good a journeyman he is I doubt he's championship material, it'll be Hamilton leading the challenge for Mercedes, I suspect judging by his skills and likely team choices Lewis will end his career probably a 3-4 time world champion and its likely Alonso will have his best chance for a 3rd this year, just on another note Renault seems to be in trouble I hope I'm wrong but if day 2 is as bad as day 1 then expect Renault's flawed engine to have a redesign and at this stage they'd be out of the running, RBR must be anxious to say the least.


Geezus, you're incredible! Now you're ceding 2-3 titles to Lewis, based on two days of winter testing?!?! Screw your head on!! This is almost as ridiculous as when some posters on here were saying after last year's Hungarian GP (which was a closer race than it looked) that Hamilton should easily go on to win the title! They were ludicrous comments, based on one race, even though they did serve to highlight the regard which avowed ABH (Anyone But Hamilton) supporters have for his driving abilities, even though they'll then post to the contrary. I just don't get the prism through which some view their F1.

Rosberg is no journeyman ... he's a very good driver, one of the better ones out there. I don't think he's top-tier, but he's right there in the second-tier of drivers. And who knows, the new F1 might suit him better than Hamilton. I don't think he can beat Hamilton over a season, but we just don't know.


Nope, this will be the year when Nico completely outperforms Lewis.

Call it a hunch 😀


There is no doubt that Lewis is one of the best drivers out there, but consider this:

In seven years of competition he has won one championship. Extrapolate that to three or four championships and that means he'd have to stay in F1 for the next fourteen to twenty one years.

Still, I'll be cheering on old man Lewis 🙂


Whats wrong with Renault Engine? Nothing on this that I picked up anywhere ...


Really have a look at how testing is going at the end of Wednesday! No Renault powered car achieving any meaningful amount of laps or a time that would even get within a 5 seconds of Mercedes power, just look at Redbull in 2 days they've managed like 10 laps and a best time of 1:38, over 12secs off the pace, still nothing wrong with the Renault engine?


Forget the laptimes! Considering World Champions Redbull had too much problems to not even go out on a proper run, it shows all the teams were on the programs to collect data and evaluate the complicated systems.

As Redbull said, we will have to wait to see the cars going for pure performance and speed in Bahrain. There we will see more competitive lap times for sure.

The 2 "Full Manufacturer teams" have proven they are better in dealing with stressful situations and their drivers have shown a calm head above the shoulders so far! Shows how much experience comes into play here! I am proud to say the least for Ferrari and Mercedes great start to a very long season. GO KIMI!


"As Redbull said, we will have to wait to see the cars going for pure performance and speed in Bahrain."

Except Lotus. They'll be doing this in Bahrain.




Its great to hear the new powertrains- they really sound good- especially on the over-run. The whirring sound is like a supercharger - Im guessing thats the turbo being spun at 150000 rpm by the electric motors when off throttle.

Its fantastic to see Kimi get a decent few laps in when so many other didnt even get out on track - we can only hope they do Wed.!.

Does anyone have any idea what caused Lewis front wing failure ? ( I reckon hes clipped a kerb somehwere).


Max 125,000 rpm for the turbo.


People moaning about the engine noise bugging me I agree its a different noise but no team was fully on it today and not the best track to judge so before we all start moaning lets see and give it a chance. But god the cars are ugly that caterham but you can say they have tried something new that no-one else has but don’t think will be fast! I hope the mclaren gets some laps looks a tidy by ugly car n think the regs will suit jenson driving style n like the look of the Ferrari as weird as it looks I think kimi maybe on it this year


"......he looked Kimi."

Hahaha that's funny!

At least a positive start with 31 laps done by the Iceman, nevermind the time.


From certain Front-Side angles, the Ferrari nose looks similar to the old McLaren noses 😛 I might be wrong. Lets say the Mp4-21 if the tip of its nose was a little more straightened?


It is me. or do the Ferrari and Caterham wings looks like they have very little holding them to the nose. One little nudge and they will be off ??


I'd be more worried about Mercedes in that area 😉


According to a article on Autosport yesterday Gary Anderson predicted that F1 cars might by 5 to 6 seconds slower then last year and he thinks they will only find another 2 to 3 seconds over yesterdays times given that the best time yesterday is 3 seconds slower then the best time a GP2 car managed around Jerez.

That means we will have F1 cars that are the same pace as GP2 cars but wait what about the fact that they still hav2 save fuel?

So during a GP we might end up with F1 cars running at GP3 pace?

F1 is dead its over! The sport may carry on but in spirit F1 is dead!

These turbo engines are a joke they nothing at all like the 1500HP engines of the past!

U get 4 door saloon cars that have more power!

its 1 thing if they overly complex but they produce mega power but they overly complex’d with poor performance!!

is that F1? really?


I completely agree and have been expressing this concern for the past 2 years, these 'F1' cars have been getting slower and slower especially in straight line performance and now even lap times have suffered big time, 10 secs slower than last year's equivalent test? Pathetic and yeah it won't be long before big heavy 4 door saloons like a E63 or a M5 being faster in a straight line than these F1 cars, and oh yeah these cars sound bloody awful.


Suggest we a lid on our emotions...frankly I think none of the "experts" know anything at this point, and are just talking to sound like experts.

Remember the speculations on engine noise? Lawnmower/leaf-blower etc? Now most people think it sounds just fine...different but fine! Let's see how it pans out before we start lamenting F1's demise!


oh ya right lets wait and see!

I'm sure these cars are going to smash lap records where ever they go aren't they?

Lets conveniently forget Hi Deg tyres, Fuel restrictions. I'm sure thats not going to have any impact!

But lets wait and see!


Same guy concluded that since McLaren now have 5 flapped front wing instead of 3, they're in for a good year.

Sounded pretty dumb to me. Like adding two flaps immediately eliminates the "fundamental problems of the 2013 car..."

Yes, if they got it right. No, if they didn't.


Yes this same guy actually designed and engineered real racing cars! So I would assume he knows a fair bit more then any fan of us do!

And secondly what he said about Mclarens front wing last year makes sense!

Why would Ferrari, Red Bull, Merc & Lotus who were all faster then Mclaren last year have front wings with multiple flaps in some cases up2 7 flaps? clearly they were generating performance and not there for no reason hence they were all faster then Mclaren!

I havent heard these engines in real life but the fact that they only rev to 15000rpm already tells me they going to sound crap!

Most turbo charged road cars sound crap! Turbo's kill the engine sound and thats a fact!

its why Ferrari and Lambo don't make turbo charged road cars!


Yes, I know Gary, but he can't possibly know if the McLaren has got past their front wing problems they supposedly had last year.

It's not the flaps, it's more does the front wing work like it supposed to (regardless of the flaps). Maybe that line is just poorly phrased.

My real point is, as professional Gary is, he's making educated guesses too, so don't jump into conclusions just yet.


Looks like Ferrari already have a redesign - albeit along the same lines.

Snapped before they could get it back behind the covers.



James, could you have a word on the battle that is taking place between constructors at the moment, regarding the engine safety cover to keep the pieces of the turbo inside the car in case the engine breaks down? As far as I know Renault and Mercedes have demanded Ferrari, as they believe this safety cover has to be part of the engine, while Ferrari has managed somehow to mach the safety regulations without this supposed cover. This supposed cover would weight 3 to 4 kilos, this is the reason why Renault and Mercedes are a bit nervous.

Am I right? Or is this far from accurate? What is going on here?


True, but it has already been resolved by FIA: The cover is not part of the engine, if constructors want to have it they can, but at its weight cost.


Thanks! Do you have a link?

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