F1 Winter Break
Plenty to puzzle over as fascinating Jerez test draws to a close
McLaren Honda
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  31 Jan 2014   |  7:53 pm GMT  |  186 comments

What a difference four days make. We’ve gone from that slightly eerie day one silence, which was only sporadically broken by the sound of a car heading out for a single lap before gingerly returning to the garage, to a cacophony of V6 engines pounding out laps here in Jerez today – unless, of course the power unit in the back of your car was a Renault.

It was always going to be a fascinating week, but few could have predicted just how many talking points would crop up as the days wore on. A nightmare start for Renault; questions over the part Red Bull Racing’s packaging is playing in their woes, a dream start for Mercedes after day one difficulties, impressive Ferrari reliability, a resurgent McLaren with a possibly stellar new recruit and Mercedes completing a full race simulation just four days in. All remain to be dissected and analysed in the coming weeks.

There is one story that doesn’t require intense examination to understand. Simply, it has been a dreadful week for Red Bull Racing. The champions ended today’s final day rooted to the bottom of the timesheet – again. Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo completed just 21 laps between them across these four days in Jerez. “This is, by far, the biggest challenge we’ve faced,” said Red Bull’s team boss Christian Horner at the start of the test. How prescient. The team and Renault believe solutions will be found in time for the Bahrain test but how much head-scratching and how many all-night stints at the factory will go into those over the next fortnight is not something many of us would like to contemplate.

Ricciardo’s final day in the car (well, mostly out of it) ended at lunchtime as the team called an early halt to their troubled week. However, despite day one’s incorrectly mounted part, which prevented any real running, plus Renault’s energy store problems and the team’s own overheating issues, the Australian remains positive: “Time is still on our side. These guys know how to win, that is important. I am sure that sooner rather than later we will get it all together. It’s still really early days. It’s not like the season has started yet. We’re not losing points by not driving now.”

They might not be losing points but they are losing valuable time. Kamui Kobayashi, back behind the wheel of a Formula One car after a year competing in the World Endurance Championship with Ferrari, knows how precious time is.

“We are missing a lot of mileage,” he said. “Today is the first time we completed a proper run this week. We got some proper data, but technically it’s not enough. We had a problem with the power unit system… it’s a very difficult time”.

But the Japanese racer can see a silver lining: “I have to say we are better than Red Bull at the moment because they’ve done very few laps. We have data and the cooling looks fine. We now just have to develop the car and we know how much cooling level we need, so it’s a good start.”

Would Felipe Massa, today’s quickest driver, be concerned if he was in Red Bull’s situation? “Yes, I’d be worried”, he said. “They have some problems and they [maybe won’t be] always winning races and pulling away like we saw in many races last year. Not seeing Red Bull winning all the time can also be a positive thing!”

It’s definitely been a positive start to the year for the Brazilian and even though it’s still early days, today there was no way he could mask a cheeky grin: “It’s good to smile; I always like to smile in life. I think that when you smile it means that things are going well, so I’m happy with the day and the first impressions with the team. There’s still a lot to work on and we can’t forget that this is still only testing – and a more difficult test than last year.”

While Massa’s former outfit Ferrari will also leave Jerez content after watching Fernando Alonso grind out 115 laps today, it’s Mercedes who are most likely to be celebrating after this week’s running. Their progress in Jerez has been impressive, with Nico Rosberg completing a total of 91 laps in three hours and Hamilton adding a further 41 to the team’s tally this afternoon.

Ultimately, however, it’s not about how you start, but how you finish. These four days have been tumultuous but there’s a mighty long way to go before the cars even get to Melbourne, never mind that controversial double points finale in Abu Dhabi. We’ve seen just a cameo of how 2014 will shape up. The big picture will take some time to snap into focus.

Tabatha Valls Halling in Jerez

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Roll on Bahrain.!!


And roll on Felipe. Great to see him relaxed and unshackled, been a while.


Really hope to see Williams and Felipe back in podiums. Bottas will be good news too. Even if it happens in 2015!


I'd be really excited in both Felipe and Valteri find themselves up on the podium (hopefully the top step) this year


Very true. In yesterdays interview you could definitely feel he was truly happy after his first test with Williams. A long way to go yet, but its good to see him smile


Is true that the cars are 10 secs slower than in 2004? How must this make the fans feel?


Sorry, damm typing error again. I meant to write "forgot" not "forget". I wonder if my new keyboard is the new 2014 Red Bull/Renault model by any chance?


Don't read to much into these laptimes. Teams were doing installation runs, and tried to understand the whole power unit and how it does its duty. The final Bahrain test will show the times better, but there is always uncertainity - only teams know how much fuel was in the car, for example. Or if the power unit was at 100% throttle. The timesheet of this test shows nothing. Take it with caution.


People who keep talking about some mythical "fans" sound to me like those who keep screaming "will someone think of the children" if you get the reference.

I consider myself a big fan, after watching and reading about F1 everyday I could, even before F1 got onto the internet at all, in the early 90s.

And what I can tell you is, I couldn't care less if they are slightly slower. It's not like they are slower because they don't know how to build fast cars. It's the rules that have to limit them so much, because they actually know extremely well how to develop very quickly, very fast cars.

What does leave an impression on me is a technical innovation and I'm loving the new power trains and all the challenges the teams are facing. It's what makes F1 great for me.

Last era got to a point where it was so stale that it started stinking.


Let them vent their anger, some have a selective memory and view it through their rose coloured glasses. The vast majority will still follow the formula despite their whining.


I watched f1 since 1981. And yes speed matters. Mostly ir you go to a tilkedrome and you have been removed from the action with those huge runoof areas. Ir you watch on tv it doesnt matter as much. Are you a sofá type of fan?

In 2009 i went to istambul park And i was in shock to See how slow those cars felt. Ir you remember there was a change in the rules that year. No grunt meant no speed sensatión out of slow corner and at the fast bends you were so far away from the cars, that there was no speed sensación either.


These cars will have a higher top speed than last years cars. Suits was saying that because they have 8 gears they will not hit the limiter on the straights. On the other hand they have less downforce so slower in the corners.


The only reason they hit the limiter on straights last year was because they geared aggressively for that track and on the basis they wouldn't be using DRS or getting a tow - at which point the optimum final gear ratio is different to when you are getting a tow and have DRS. Red Bull did this lots last year, gearing their car for non DRS/no slipstream, which makes it quicker over a lap, but equally it means it's bloody tricky to overtake.


Sutil not Suits


The cars are slower, but I'd be surprised if any of them have put in a flier, or even close to it, this weekend. If we have stable chassis and engine rules for a few years, they'll be a bit closer.


I like the sound, I like the look (Caterham/Ferrari aside), I like the anticipation and the thought of the racing ahead. It isn't proper F1 though. I won't bother buying tickets- the trackside spectacle of screaming power and speed is gone. I won't upgrade my TV subscription - it isn't F1. This season is going to be nail biting, but so is the upcoming GP2 season. And they are louder...


They are running a special 'hard' winter tyre which will be much slower than the actual tyres. The cars are also at the beginning of a development era; just compare the 2009 cars to the 2013 ones.


Would like to point out that in addition to the special 'hard' tyre you mentioned the teams also ran with regular tyres (as soft as medium as far as I know).


You'd go softer in winter - the track at Jerez was resurfaced a few years ago with quite coarse bitumen, so the track is very abrasive compared to anywhere else F1 runs, so Pirelli has had to deal with that and it will tweak things as it learns about the power train and downforce demands.


10 seconds slower or 10 seconds faster - it really doesn't matter.

What matters is how fast or slow the cars are relative to each other.


Commentator--"And the winner is: Max Chilton!". F1 Fan--"Hold on a minute he was last, Hamilton was first past the flag!". Commentator--"Yes but Max managed 40 miles to the gallon and Lewis only got 25 tut tut". Modern F1 soon to be a sport for Grannies


But just on the off chance you're right Jeremy Clarkson would be screwed as an F1 driver 😉


Gaz makes a good point. Remember Silverstone last year?

Team: Slow down and avoid the curbs.

Driver: Okay.

*bang on the curbs*

Team: Just take it easy okay and avoid the curbs.

Driver: Heard you the first time...

*bang on the curbs*


Driver: No problem 🙂

*bang on the curbs*

Team: *smacks forehead*

So my point (assuming I actually have a point) is that we might see one or two drivers running out of fuel, but I wouldn't worry too much. And after all, it wouldn't be the first time 🙂


Nah, won't happen. All these fears about drivers tarting around to save a few drops of petrol are a bit of embellishment. I remember at the start of the 2005 season, the one set of tyres per weekend, and there were fears that the drivers would just go a Sunday afternoon cruise.......didn't happen, and it won't happen this year. Two reasons: clever fuel management systems and secondly F1 drivers are programmed to go fast.....


True, but i wonder how far are the GP 2 cars away now in term of pace. Cant be that much of an difference?


Ha ha! By the way, Jezza and Adrian both went to the same school!


Kamui Kobayashi still holds the record for the fastest time in a GP2 car in Jerez: 1:24.262 (Jerez GP2 Test, 2008). Magnussen's fastest lap of the week here in Jerez this week was a 1:23.276.


Just what I was wondering. What are the GP2 lap times for Jerez? Sure I realise the F1 cars have been dialled down this week (lower revs and no driver pushing), but still would be interesting to compare.

And, James, are the GP2 cars now louder than the F1 cars? Hoping not!


I hope not too. We'll have to see when they get together for the first time

F1 cars need to pick the speed up too!!


Agree with Random. All any F1 viewer wants is a race like San Marino 2005, Europe 2005, Germany 2007 or Canada 2011, thrilling races with the race undecided until the last few laps at the very least. If that happens, the majority will be happy.


Not as much as there used to be.

As I understand it GP2 is a stock formula where all the cars are the same, whereas F1 the teams are allowed to innovate - even if it's not as much as the good old days - but if the FIA ever decides to make all the F1 cars identical they might as well dispense with the pleasantries and merge the two so we can have a decent 40 odd car line-up.


Of course it matters..... if it didn't matter how fast the cars were, sure they could all buy a bunch of Fiesta's and race em around til dusk.

F1 is supposed to be the pinnacle of motorsport. As road cars continue to get faster and faster, F1 is slowing down. And for fans attending races, its the speed and the noise that excites. More often than not you could be at a stand watching cars go past with very little overtaking seen. The sheer thrill is lost when a car rumbles by as opposed to the old V8's and V10's which roared by with eardrum shattering noise.


Agree and disagree Random. While a race of 24 Hyundai Excels would be interesting ( for about 5 mins), I believe that F1 should be the pinnacle of motor racing, at least from a lap speed point of view. The current crop of GP2 cars were not that far behind F1 in recent years. I dont think it would do to have F1 lap times fall back into the GP2 bracket. Obviously the F1 teams, those who can actually run at the moment, are not yet too interested in running the engines at 11/10ths. I get that and honestly hope that the competition will be reasonably even and above all, reasonably reliable. At the end of the day, F1 must remain to be the highest level of open-wheel racing and not just a joke.

Roll on Melbourne.


If you read an interview by Rosberg - http://www.formula1.com/news/interviews/2014/1/15451.html - he says that as far as he's concerned the drivers haven't been driving flat out for at least eight years.

Every now and again the FIA tries to curb the speed of F1 - mostly for safety reason - but I actually think that's a good thing.

Imagine how hard it is for the drivers to overtake, even with DRS sometimes. Jose says the cars are 10 seconds slower than they were 10 years ago and that's due to the loss of engine power / aero devices / F-ducts / blown diffusers / tricky wheel hubs and god knows what else.

Given how much the teams get back after each attempt to slow them down can you imagine how fast the cars would be today if the FIA had let them run riot?

The cars would be mega-fast - probably at least 10 seconds faster than they were in 2004 - but it would be ridiculous and not what I would call real racing.

F1 is the pinnacle of motorsport not because it's the fastest, but because it's the pinnacle of technology. Just because they're not as fast as they used to be doesn't mean that every area of the car isn't pushed to the limit.

I don't just want to see driver zipping around a track faster than I can blink. I want to see drivers racing - cars actually dicing on the track and not just following each other around for two hours - and that is what I think we're going to get in 2014.

For anyone who is after pure speed there's always drag racing, but given the choice I know which one I'll take every time 🙂


F1 lap times resemble that of a bell curve at the moment. Faster faster faster peak slower slower slower slower. 2004 was the year in which many of the lap records were set.... most long standing tracks that have always been on the calendar since then clearly show a significant drop in pace, of course some of that is down to starting races on full tanks in recent years. But still, F1 is going forwards by going backwards. It is ironic that in the pursuit of safety and efficiency, F1 is quickly losing all that made it the sport that we love... the excitement, speed, noise, power, danger all rolled into one big fossil fuel burning extravaganza.

And now look at us, 1.6 litre V6 engines with enough umph and excitement to put a hardcore fan off his dinner. I'll continue to watch the sport I love, that will never change, but I'm most unhappy about the way F1 is headed.

The pinnacle of motorsport.... pah... not anymore.

Darrin from Canada

The day I watched Greg Moore die, right in front of my eyes, was the day I started taking the lives of the HUMAN BEINGS who drive race cars very seriously. Give your head a shake. F1 is no longer Death Race 2000, and that is a very good thing. We, as fans, owe a debt of gratitude to Jackie Stewart, Sid Watkins, and others for dragging F1 kicking and screaming into the modern world. The Roman crowds loved seeing Christians torn apart by lions, that didn't make it right.


The key to safety in motorsport is track safety. The cars/helmets and equipment are all currently more than sufficient. The overwhelming bulk of safety is dependent on track safety.

Large expanses of runoff with super abrasive grippy surfaces where appropriate (like at Paul Ricard). No sand/gravel traps as these can cause a car to bite and roll. Purpose built energy absorbent barriers (not mere tyre walls) and the axing of these deathtrap street circuits like Monaco.

Greg Moore's death was a result of the track which, being an oval track is inherently unsafe particularly for open wheelers. If the car was 10 or 20 percent less powerful the result would still have been the same. This particular crash, whether it was at 300, 280 or 240 kmh would still likely have been fatal.

I am all for safety but car performance is not the main factor. Car performance should be maximized to the limit of human endurance and every inch of the tracks on which these cars race should be made safer than is necessary.


Well said Darrin. Let's enjoy drivers skill, not see them get hurt.


totally agree rayz. it seems the FIA want to destroy what f1 is all about. I don't understand why they are constantly trying to slow the cars down, what exactly do they want. might aswell give them top gear reasonably priced cars to race each other. the Fia are a joke to this racing series


All that matters is the quality of the racing. Remember classics such as Brazil 2001, Brazil 2003, Britain 2003, Monaco 2004, Belgium 2004, San Marino 2005, Europe 2005, Hungary 2006, Germany 2007, Japan 2007, Brazil 2008, Brazil 2009, Canada 2010, Canada 2011, Brazil 2012 just to name a few? They were all thrilling races, irrespective of who was driving what and when. To be balanced, you are always going to get races that are dull, whatever the Formula. You will have noticed most of the races I have listed were rain affected. Imagine what these machines will be like in the wet.........what a thought. Let's hope that the European/Canadian season has plenty of rainy days. I bet if we do get some precipitation during the Euro/Canada season we'll have some more classic races. Let's all pray for a wet summer!


Sorry, forget about that 2005 Suzuka epic! That overtaking move by Kimi......still amazing nearly 10 years on


Japan 2005, anyone?


Many of the cars are considerably more than 10 seconds slower!

Having said that ... what does it matter? The important thing is to have some decent racing. Race laps are rarely anywhere near as fast as quali. It is impossible to race at a qualifying race (even if adjusted for fuel loads) for 70 laps.

Actually it is not as bad as you think. With not even Mercedes having pushed their car at full power yet there is a lot more time to come.


I've just been on You Tube, as some kind spectator have posted a HD video showing these new F1 cars hitting the track. On first impressions, they sound fantastic! I didn't like the old 2.4 litre V8 sound: it had a shrill, whiny, adenoidal vocal delivery - too much treble and not enough bass for my liking (as well as having no torque and being very inefficient and massively wasteful of fuel). Thankfully, the new V6 sounds massively better. The new turbo's have a guttural gravely gargling growl with a slight turbo-muffle off throttle. Much, mucj more like it! Comparing V8 with V6 turbo: a good analogy would be comparing Mick Hucknall's or Mick Jagger's reedy, nasal adenoidal whine with Tom Jones or Isaac Hayes deep, gravely, guttural roar. Very different vocal delivery; the bass wins my vote. Sounds like Thor gargling nails!

By the way, for a possible taste of what is to come, go onto Youtube and type in "SATORU NAKAJIMA ONBOARD LAP AT JACAREPAGUA. YEAR 1987" Then turn up the sound and just listen to that incredible guttural Honda V6 roar! If F1 2014 sounds just half as good as that 1987 Honda bi turbo we are in for a sonic overload!


I'm with you there. I was keeping an open mind about he new engines and have to admit I like it. A bit retro, and muscular rather than shrieking.

I do think its a shame that the gobsmacking volume has gone as it was always a thrill to turn up at a track and hear that sound again, BUT having said that I found that after an hour of it even with ear plugs it would get pretty uncomfortable, which didn't exactly add to the enjoyment.

So pluses and minuses, but I can live with the new f1 and am finding myself more interested than I have been for a while, silly noses notwithstanding.


When we heard the sampling of the turbo sound, it wasn't mounted in the car. Now that it is in the car, the body acts as a soundbox and is much louder.


This is news!


Each to their own.


Lap times are definitely meaningless at this point. But, Red Bull and Renault definitely have to be worried about the reliability issues. They're already a big step behind on development.


Lap times are not important but lengthy runs are. It's cool in Jerez, I bet when they are in Bahrain we'll see more stoppages from the searing heat. So looks like Red Bull are on the back foot at this point.


Well done Caterham, being best of the Renault runners - and proving there is some reliability in the power unit. Just a shame they have the ugliest car!

Michael Frennesson

The new Caterham reminds me a little bit of the Ferrari driven by Jody Scheckter in 1979 - but a Ferrari is always more beautiful then a Caterham.


They're both mingers though. A bit like saying "who looks better in speedos, John Prescott or Eric Pickles?" Er.........


They should give double points in the FIRST THREE races and not the last. That would really make it interesting since teams wtih larger budgets will eventually get over their problems, while smaller but smarter teams could walk away with some points earned (you could say) over the winter...


Great idea! (if we had to have double points at all)


Very sensible suggestion.

But F1 doesn't do sensible.


Pretty much what Massa said.


Yes the biggest surprise of the Jerez test has been the Renault/Red Bull problems.

When Red Bull unveiled (then immediately covered up their car) in the pit lane, the car looked so nice and menacing that the fans were already contemplating on seeing another dominant performance from the team and so the reliability issues came out of the blue.

On the other scale, Williams' possible resurgence has been a positive surprise for the fans because it's been forever since the team looked this competitive (and incidentally, Senna was the last Brazilian to race for the team)

Regards the Mercedes engines, we suspected they may be strong but what we didn't envision is that they would bolt out of the gates with good speed and consistency.

As for Ferrari, not surprised by their testing in Jerez seeing as Alonso has had 1 mechanical DNF in 4 years with the team.

Perhaps the only worrying thing about the Ferraris' performance is they have tried to make sure they're always in top bracket of the timing screens something, a team with an ace up their sleeve won't necessarily do.

Overall, a promising season awaits the fans seeing as the Pirellis not play a major deciding factor of performance.


I wouldn't go counting my chickens when it comes to Williams. I didn't always agree with him, but former F1 Racing editor Hans Seeberg put it best one year (2011?) when he said something like: "Every year someone makes a quiet prediction that this will be the year in which Williams make a return to the winners' circle. It's become F1's equivalent of 'this time next year Rodney, we'll be millionaires!'"

Obv they won one race in 2012, and they seem to have started positively this year in Jerez. They're also more financially secure than they have been for a while. But every winter recently there has usually been at least one report of them 'looking good' and yet 2011 and 2013 both ended up being disappointing seasons.


Senna wasn't the last brazilian at Williams.


scratch that. The senna you refer to doesn't register much in my book...


/(and incidentally, Senna was the last Brazilian to race for the team)/

Mind if I ask what's so particular in Bruno Senna being last Brazilian driver for Williams?


Think it's more because some of the above posters thought the OP had thought that Ayrton was the last Brazillian to race for Williams, when the OP had meant Bruno. Of course, Bruno was there only 2 years ago - the last Brazilian to race for McLaren on the other hand was Ayrton 20 years ago, meaning it's the 20th anniversary of his death this year. I hope there's a tribute.


> and incidentally, Senna was the last Brazilian

> to race for the team

Humm, nope, I remember Pizzonia and a certain Barrichello...


Senna the last Brazilian to race for Williams? Clearly forgot about Pizzonia in 04/05 and even more recently Barrichello drove two full seasons 10 and 11!


Or more recently Bruno SENNA in 2012. You thought he meant Ayrton Senna didn't you? Goferet just deliberately sold you a dummy which you bought despite James warning you not to.


Just for information and I am not trying to be clever here, but I think the last Brazillian who drove for Williams was Barichello and before that Antonio Pizzonia, deputising for Ralf Schumacher and Nick Neidfeld respectibely in 04/05.

Either way its great to see Williams back at the pointy end 🙂


Shows how much of an impression Bruno made; nobody remembers him.


Wasn't Ruebens Brazilian??


And you meant Bruno Senna, right?


Still is 😉


Oops my bad.

Thanks for the correction


Hi James, do you have a list of number of laps completed by each team? The lap times are meaningless, but the count might give a better indication of how far the teams have managed to test their car, are any teams getting to the point where they might start race simulations for example.


Total Laps Completed by Team:

1. Mercedes – 309

2. Ferrari – 251

3. McLaren – 245

4. Williams (Mercedes) – 175

5. Sauber (Ferrari) – 163

6. Force India (Mercedes) – 146

7. Caterham (Renault) – 76

8. Toro Rosso (Renault) – 54

9. Marussia (Ferrari) – 30

10. Red Bull (Renault) – 21

Total Laps Completed by Manufacturer:

1. Mercedes – 875 (4 teams)

2. Ferrari – 444 (3 teams)

3. Renault – 151 (3 teams)


Rosberg did a race sim this morning and there are plenty of lap listings available - most notable is that more than half of the whole test laps by all renault engines were by Caterham today... although it looks like they ran without the ERS working.


hope this does not become a Mercedes run away season.... though Ferrari is fairly matching them..

too early to decide on title contenders...

but you need to watch, Kimi Alonso and Lewis for 2014


I'd add in Nico Ros and Frome Flyer as well.


Just want to say I like the black helmet for Rosberg. Hopefully he ditches the neon yellow gloves for black as well. Much cooler.


Agree, looks much better. Mind you in the sweltering heat of Malaysia, Bahrain, (sometimes) Canada Hungary, Singapore, Brazil and Abu Dhabi might be a bit hotter than the old helmet.


Not really. The cushion lining the helmet also damps down the heat as well, so a black helmet isn't going to be much warmer. I've had silver, grey and black for my motorcycle helmets, and I really can't tell the difference. They're all miserably hot in the summer, and not warm enough in the winter.


Thanks for the info grat, you are right, helmet technology has come a long way. Netherless, you don't see many drivers wearing black helmets and black overalls in hot weather out of choice, they tend to stick a lighter shade.


Formula 1 at its best over these 4 days. Just cars doing their best to go fast. It has been great.

Keep it simple and things work.

No doubt the powers hate this and have been thinking of ways to spice up the testing show.

Good job F1. Now give us live streaming of Bahrain test.

Now is the time to place some money on Vettel, I bet his current odds are the best you will see this year.


I agree they should do live streaming. I'm amazed how poor the BBC (website) coverage of this test has been...Gary Anderson seems to have been doing all his great work for Autosport.

At least Sky has been taking an interest..the Beeb didn't even mention Jenson doing rather well on day 2..maybe they're trying to show a lack of bias!! 🙂


Doug, I think Gary Anderson was told his services are no longer required at the BBC. Such a shame as his technical insights etc were so fantastic. Its good to see Autosport could recognise this too 🙂


Thanks for the info Aussie...the BBC must be crazy to pass on Gary. It's such a technical sport..Suzi Perry's shoes are nice but they don't really give you much insight into who's got the best low downforce aero package!! 😀


How could Renault get all of this so terribly wrong? Would they not have been testing their engines back at the factories? Have they been complacent in delaying the development of the 2014 power plants?


Renault has been a bit heat sensitive all along-- remember the alternator failures? For that matter, (K)ERS problems in a Red Bull aren't exactly headline news.


Will Fernando explode is Massa wins in 2014 before he does? I really hope Felipe and Williams have a good year.


Will do James, respect your wishes and wisdom. I'll conclude by saying the rivalry between Ferrari and British teams over the years has been enthralling and has enriched F1 hugely. Nothing like great wheel to wheel action.


I don't think so, he will say that the Williams is far superior than the Ferrari, remember that last year he even try to mention that the Ferrari was slower than Sauber and he was a hero, a race goddess because he ended second in the championship.


@ d vega

Why should fernando explode if massa wins ? Your wish and assumption is a complete wit

Massa will not achieve anything. After a couple of season his career will wind up like his fellow country man rubens. With quick car and alll the support which ferrari provided to him between

07-09. Massa achievef nothing. in fact i am sure even bottas will match him for pace easily

Fernando will be a dominant wdc winner come the end of 2014

Forza Alonso


To spectreman, I think you've missed my point. I wasn't suggesting superiority between catholics vs protestants or anything as simple as that. What I was hinting at was a different ideology and methodology between the Northern European British/german teams and that of the Southern European Ferrari. It isn't stereotyping, because there has always been a cultural difference between North and South Europe, and it permeates through in every aspect of life and sport, including Formula 1. If you noticed with the recent (and ongoing) Euro crisis, all the countries in big trouble have been Southern European. Like I said, big cultural difference between Europe North to South.

On the subject of Red Bull, yes Red Bull is owned by an Austrian, but I am pretty sure Red Bull F1 is based in Milton Keynes. Last time I checked that it was in England, which is a liberal secular country. That's actually my point: the Northern european liberal secular societies believe in science and technology, and a cool, calm, open, transparent way of operating. I think that gives them an advantage in high technology industries, which is why the British and German car industries are so much more productive and efficient. Could it be why Southern Europe has two F1 teams, and Britain has eight teams operating from their bases in the "motorsport valley" of central england? Plus add on all the small suppliers based around Oxfordshire and Northhamtonshire, and it's pretty clear than British/Northern European engineering dominates F1.

As for Sebastian, he is German, and Germans are a Northern European people. So are the British actually: we're a mixture of Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Vikings, all of which originated in Northern Europe. English is a West Germanic language which originated in Lower Saxony, so German and English belong to the same language family, along with Danish and Dutch. When I meant Sebastian was an "Anglo-Saxon" I meant he is of Germanic North European descent, as are British.

To Wade, again, you reinforced my point when you talk about "passion". That is ultimately a weakness in Formula 1. You need cold, hard, scientific technological thinking to be successful in Formula 1, which is exactly how Northern europeans think. As for the originals being gone, I'm pretty sure Macca are still going, founded by a commonwealth alliance of New Zealanders, Australians and British in 1966, that legendary year when Britain was swinging and England won the world cup. I'm pretty sure Frank is still going strong too, and he started off in F1 in 1969. The current Merc team has its roots in Tyrrell (BAR bought out Uncle Ken in 1998), and Uncle Ken started in F1 in 1968. Don't forget Jackie Stewart turned down a big fat salary from Ferrari to stay with Ken, winning three world championships. Jackie stayed with Ken because he wanted a British built Cossie engine and Ken's streetwise, savvy efficiency. Job done.

Incidentally, the world's least corrupt countries are Holland, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Sweden, Germany, Norway, Belgium and the British commonwealth countries of Singapore, Australia and New Zealand according to the corruption perception index (2013). So, what has this got to do with Formula 1? Well, Formula 1 is a reflection of western society. Western societies in Northern europe and Australasia put a lot of emphasis on open-ness, honesty and transparency, belief of high technology and science, and also a governance of liberalism and secularism: make sure church and state stay separate. I'm not sure that exists in Southern Europe.

I'm not here to cause offence, and I apologise if I did; I think my comments were misconstrued. What cannot be argued is that the Northern european society is different to the Southern european. The ideology and methodology is very different, and the differences permeates in all stratas of life and sport, and in Formula 1 over its history we have had a fascinating contest between them. As I said, no offence meant, I was just making an observation on sport, and sport is a reflection of society at large.


Sorry, I meant Isaac Newton discovered gravity, not Isaac Hayes! Ha ha, imagine that! Mind you on the subject of the Shaft scorer, I think these new V6 turbos have a deep, guttural bassy growl just the chains and spandex vocalist.


Thanks Robert. I felt my comments were misconstrued. I'm not advocating supremacy of Northern Europe on racial ground, that is just nonsense. No, what I was pointing out Europe is divided North to South by ideology and methodology, which is a very valid point.

You're right in pointing out Southern Europe believes in passion, hope and the intervention of a "higher being". I'm not sure those beliefs can ultimately deliver though. For example, Italy and Portugal are prone to earthquakes and I don't think praying to your maker is going to help when the earth starts to shake. However, investing in technology and infrastructure that can predict an earthquake and help with evacuation is probably the better option. There used to be a Dutch grand prix at Zandvoort in Holland, which is built on sand dunes and reclaimed marsh land. The Dutch don't have problems with earthquakes, but they do have a problem with flooding as most of their country is under sea level. However, the Dutch are a technologically and scientifically advanced nation who have created technology, engineering and infrastructure that has so far stopped Amsterdam being the world's first underwater capital.

I think the Northern European primacy of science, technology and engineering has its roots in the reformation. One of the consequences of reformation in Northern Europe has been education being available for girls, a fascination with science and also the creation of social democracy. I don't think its any co-incidence that it was Northern Europeans who discovered gravity (Isaac Hayes), invented the internal combustion engine (Karl Benz) and created modern day carbon fibre (Mr Watt, Mr Phillips and Mr Johnson at Farnborough air base, Hampshire which was then patented by the UK MOD). What do you get if you put together gravity (downforce), petrol engines and carbon fibre? Why, you get Formula 1! Since Northern Europe has a high tech-industrialised technology sector, it is hardly surprising that Northern european technology dominates Formula 1.


I think we've and enough of this discussion now thanks


Great post - and I write that as a cross-breed Italian / Brit.

You asked what exists in Southern Europe in place of secularism and technological faith? Passion, hope, and a potentially self-fulfilling belief in a positive outcome delivered by a "higher authority". Sometimes that belief is all you need...


Great riposte!


Hmm......Fernando to be champ depends on Ferrari car AND team being faster and superior to those pesky Brits who have pretty much beaten Italy at everything in a conflict capacity since 1943.......including F1.......and then there is the small matter of that man from the Viking lands called Kimi.........

That's a point, anyone noticed in the last few years we've had a fascinating battle of ideology in Formula 1, the very Southern European conservative catholic Alonso/Ferrari combination versus the very Northern European liberal secular Anglo-Saxon Vettel/Red Bull combination....the Northern European combo of Seb and Bull has well and truly headbutted the Southern europeans into humiliating defeat. I think this year will be the same: the Northern European Mercs and Macca's will take over from F1 as pace setters, possibly another Fernando/Ferrari humiliation. Also, we've got a true Viking in F1 in Kev Mag. Interesting how the Northern european Anglo-saxon approach of a cool, calm, organised, disciplined and clever approach has dominated F1 at the WDC and constructors championships. I'm not suggesting superiority or anything like that, but there is certainly a different methodology and ideology between Ferrari and British teams. But I guess it's always been like that.


The team Enzo started is still here. Vanwall, BRM, Cooper and every other Original is long gone. The Maranello crew are still around achieving regular wins/podiums from season to season. Pretty much all other teams lack either the ability or the passion to stay in the sport and they either fold or sellout (incidentally, most of these have been British).


Red Bull is an Austrian team. Austria is predominantly Catholic (about 2/3 of the population), it is neither Northern European (look at a map) nor Anglo-Saxon (go study some history). I very much doubt Vettel could be deemed Anglo-Saxon, either, so there goes your "theory".

("Interesting how the Northern european Anglo-saxon approach of a cool, calm, organised, disciplined and clever approach has dominated F1 at the WDC and constructors championships. I’m not suggesting superiority or anything like that [...]" - the hell you aren't.)

What I do wonder is how this disgustingly stereotyping post was approved by the mods.


I like to think Fernando will be happy for his buddy. And on the cynical side, he'll probably consider that Felipe is a very unlikely 2014 WDC contender, taking points away from the real competition. That being said, I do share your hopes for Massa and Williams.


McLaren and Williams look promissing. If that doesn´t materialize during the season. And RB finds a way to dominate despite the problems they have shown. Lucky for me this season the Premier League is a thrill so I have something else to enjoy. And of course The World Cup


I note a lot of the press has been saying that the Mercedes team has come out the best due to the mileage they did.... Well its true that is good, but I think McLaren is far more shrewd.

Instead of a gazillion laps (they let Mercedes do that for them) to prove reliability, they went for a much more clever plan of do short runs looking at the various areas of the car. This way you go away knowing what aero bit works, which does not. That gives you the next two weeks to develop and change in those areas.

While Mercedes did a race sim, they could not be adjusting wings, car trim etc to see how the car responds.

So I think the winner was McLaren, by getting their own agenda done while letting Mercedes prove the relaibility of the powertrain


This test was about reliability, and a race simulation is the way to prove that. A Mercedes powertrain in a Mercedes will react differently than in the McLaren, and both need a thorough shakedown to be confident. It looks as though the McLaren is fast, but until we have seen them thrashing round in the final test willwe have any clue to the pecking order. It's my feeling that McLaren had their engine turned up more than the Mercedes, but we have yet to realise the effect of the McLaren rear suspension which of coursr may be worth half a second or so. We won't know for sure until qualifying in Melbourne which is fastest, but it will be the team that FINISHES the race first that counts.


There are benefits in both approaches. By running a race simulation there is the opportunity to properly assess the reliability of the systems with all the heat soak and vibration etc in the car. However, in the cool weather of Jerez and Rosberg's best time on the day being 1:36, the systems weren't being pushed hard.

The way McLaren did it has positives and negatives. The entire aerodynamic package is likely to be revised for Melbourne, possibly even the rear suspension blockers subtly changed, so there's a limit to how much can be gained from coming in a tweaking things each time. By doing shorter runs, the drivers can push harder for a short time and test the reliability that way by seeing what the sensors tell them about all the temperatures and then letting the car recover.

The F1 chassis is still dominated by the downforce, so the cars are not like touring cars where damper adjustments are key to lap time performance. Small changes to camber etc can be made, but the tyres are not the final design from Pirelli at this stage.


Well said Martin. Downforce rules. I think I'm right in saying the thermal discharge properties of the new turbo/electrics have a big influence on downforce potential as well; may be wrong, but I seem to remember Gary Anderson saying whoever can get the best sidepod/radiator design with the best cooling requirments can generate more downforce on the rear axle.


Martin, as always, superb insight. Martin, you should seek a vacancy at Red Bull and Regie - they could do with your fantastic widsom at the moment!


While I don't agree with everything Gary Anderson says, his opinions are worth more than mine.

In this case Ferrari seem to have favoured downforce over weight with water cooling, so that is to its performance advantage, but the trackside comments on Autosport by Sam Tremayne and Gary Anderson suggest the Ferrari lacks rear downforce at the moment. Now it could be that the Mercedes cars will overheat in Malaysia and the Melbourne edition aerodynamics on the Ferrari and Sauber give more performance as the safety margins are reduced following testing.

In that regard Bahrain is likely to be much more useful than Jerez for understanding the coiling limits. However, that is getting to be too late for the CFD-wind tunnel-full size part production processes. So as always Barcelona should offer the big changes. Red Bull has planned new aero parts for the last Bahrain test / Melbourne, but cooling will be still a big question mark for them in the aero equation. How much can be solved by Renault and much just needs more cooling air?


The impressive thing about the Merc race sim is that it shows that the team had collected sufficient aero data for their next development step and moved on to long runs.

Remember this year is not going to be about outright speed but more to do with efficiency and reliability, this data can only be collected by actually doing long runs.

I am sure if McLaren had not missed day one they to would have done a race sim.


Agree. and same goes to Ferrari, they did a stint of 30 laps but most of them were-short runs. And with like 400 or 450 laps without a power unit problem, their reliability has already been proven.


But as we have seen with Renault, an engine can react differently from one car to another. Either way, still plenty of time for Mclaren to rack up some race sims.



I have the same opinion, Mclaren impressed me the most.


Great series of articles, Tabatha, I hope we can read more from you this season.

Tom Haythornthwaite

Agreed. And thanks for the grammar.


I echo that!


One would think that with such a huge budget to work with, the bulls will have a plan B, knowing that they were pushing the packaging boundaries as usual.


They do. It's called 'double points finale'. Double facepalm that.


Did Bernie know Renault were in trouble when this idiotic double points system was touted?

I see a conspiracy afoot.


And Horner would like the last _3_ races to be double points.


A Plan B? Are F1 teams that forward thinking?

Clever they are, but when it comes to control systems, back up plans etc, they are sadly lacking. It's still all or nothing for some of them.


Close of Jerez testing and we learn Renault has system integration issues going from the Dyno room to the cars. Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari had the advantage of developing the car and power unit as an integral package. We even know Ferrari had the unit running in a car around Fiorano. So testing round 1 goes to MB, Ferrari 2nd and Renault DNF.

The only thing we can surmise from this week is the season has begun, everyone has more information than they had last Friday and data is like gold. We know F-1 racing is an intensely paced I.Q. test; the fewest mistakes made by the team who has the best understanding of the problem presented on race day finishes first.


James, which teams are struggling with the new fuel restrictions this year? If merc have performed a full race simulation, was there any comment from their camp whether they had enough or possibly ran short?

Plus what's the sound of these new cars like as they rush past pitlane lap after lap?


Rosberg's best lap time was a 1:36, so his race pace was not competitive. He did further than the 305 km apparently, but it was a reliability exercise, not a performance or economy one.

As the cars are fuel weight limited, rather than fuel capacity limited, the teams need to consider the hottest starting temperature of the fuel to take account for expansion. Being a morning start in Jerez in winter, there's nothing stopping Mercedes starting with more than 100 kg of fuel in the car if it wanted to.


Have you considered that the lap times set by Rosberg may in deed be competitive and this is what we have to come for the rest of the season?

Last year tyre limited this year fuel limited.


I guess the answer is no. Qualitatively to be that far off the pace doesn't stack up. There's no way they'd be this bad.

If we assume full throttle for 60% of the lap, which is probably reasonable in terms of time, and a ultimate lap time of 1:20 to take into account the list downforce and hard tyres for this test. So that gives 48 seconds of full power demand per lap. So Rosberg's best, not average, turned 48 seconds of flat out into a 64 second cruise.

When you consider that peak fuel flow is 100 kg / hour and the 100 kg of fuel needs to last for approximately 100 minutes, the peak is 66% greater than the average. When you factor in that the full throttle percentage over a lap is much less than 100%, then the engineers comments about fuel saving mode being in the 1-2 second per lap range make a lot of sense.

Rosberg was cruising to look after the car and ensure reliability.

The cars have been fuel limited for a long time. Since refueling was banned no car has started with fuel to run flat out all the way as the weight penalty is too great. In the refueling era especially since qualifying with race fuel came in, it was common for drivers to try to save fuel to gain an extra lap or two for strategy reasons, especially if such in the Trulli train.


Martin, I am right in saying that measurement is affected by temperature, where as weight isn't? If a driver weights 12 stone, he weighs 12 stone whether it's 10 C or 35 C. Is that right? Is that why fuel in Formula 1 is weighed reather than measured, as the fuel weight is unaffected by differences in track/air temperature?


Hi Gaz,

Yes, dimensions are affected by temperature. Water/ice does a pretty much unique thing of starting to expand at 4° C. I've forgotten at what temperature below freezing ice starts to contract again, but that's largely trivia.

The temperature of something is directly related to the velocity of the of particles that it consists of. I don't know the physics and chemistry that well, but as the individual particles move around each other at greater velocities, each particle in a probabilistic sense takes up more space and the body expands.

The fuel is still made up of the same number of particles, so it's mass doesn't change, just the size of the particles changes.

Getting pedantic, a kilogram is a mass and a pound is a force. Scales measure forces, so I presume F1 being the technology fest that it is that the scales are calibrated to the altitude of the track being raced at to take into account the factional variances in local gravity.




Rejoice all the Earth!!!! We might just have an interesting season that is not dominated by a single team that managed to bend rules on their favor. Rejoice all the Earth!!!!! One of the happiest week in years of watching F1!!!! I need a fresh air...new teams winning, different people winning....Oh...how close it this dream now....Rejoice all the Earth!!!!


Lotus look smart now, skipping the entire test and the expense that goes with it.

Let's face it, Renault was just not ready in time for the Jerez test!

What else is there to say?

Yes, the Mercedes power looks good and reliable.

But the team that looks to be flying highest, is... McLaren!

As predicted, with the steepest improvement trend over last season, McLaren are definitely back!

If Mercedes power does turn out to be the best, then I believe it will be McLaren in front of Mercedes at the end!

And I publically eat my words on declaring the McLaren the ugliest car of the last 30 years, it's looking the fastest, which always looks good to me, but also, Force I, Caterham? Oh boy, are they ugly! (I'll still love their looks if they win!)

Also back, Williams, Filipe to Williams, Bottas, a decent car, Mercedes power, look for the blues to be on the podium this year, fingers crossed.

Still hoping for Red #7 domination, and Ferrari looks to have a solid platform to build a winning car. Too bad they don't have that fancy McLaren back suspension; thus far, the defining technical advantage.


I think you may be reading a little too much into the times. None of the reports I have seen indicate the teams were running the cars flat out. We won't really no how quick anyone is until after Q3 in Melbourne.


that's right; I'm not arguing with meaningfulness of any superficial metrics, here.

It's just a feeling about McLaren. They seem to be back. I still think that their recovery of rear end aerodynamic grip could be a differentiator this season.


I’m not arguing with meaningfulness of any superficial metrics, here.....

Please don't think I am having a dig, but do you say things like that in normal conversation - I'm curious, I really would like to know 🙂


Remember when you were a kid the image/stories of the boogeyman? Um, has he taken form as the Caterham?????


If he has can we put him back in the closet?


Ha ha! Mind you, if Lady Penelope pitstop was a Formula 1 driver, not only would the car be pink but so would the crash helmet, overalls and mechanics overalls! Argh!


Ha! "You're going back to Oxfordshire and don't come back until you sorted your face out!"

By the way Random, do you agree Green is a rubbish colour for F1? Looks like Gilbert the ailen!


Nah, I think the green is fine.

Beats bubblegum pink anyway...


There still is a lot of performance we have not seen yet. I expect several seconds at a minimum.


Mercedes look reliable, but to call it a race simulation is a bit misleading. They covered a race distance, but it's not a race simulation unless you go flat out, I presume they were at 70-80% of engine capacity.


Given that they can only use 100kg of fuel, and at full consumption, would run out in one hour, it's difficult to say what race conditions are.

But, they covered the full distance of a race, with pit stops, without any car issues-- that may make this the most reliable Mercedes chassis yet.


Given the fuel restrictions, I doubt if they will be running the real races flat out either.


That maybe true at most races, but to a lesser extent teams have been doing that already by deliberately under filling.

I don't think the 100kg fuel limit will be such a prominent feature as people think.


Andy,I disagree. IMHO this year is going to be back room engineers making resource and timing decisions about how and when to use the available resources. Optimizing the energy usage for the given race distance and conditions will be the “race,” driver battles car on car are very likely to be counterproductive. The drivers who can drive the most accurate “performance profiles” are going to average higher finishes. The FIA should replace the tachometer with Fuel flow/ Fuel Remaining readouts for the onboard shots.


Rbr car looks the most aerodynamic by far, there are lots of very complex and clever aerodynamics all over the car especially at the rear it is packaged so so tight

Only problem is is that might be why it's over heating

if they can sort that out with out haveing to compromise to much it could be another really fast car from red bull

Atm I think ferrari are in the best position tho

there really reliable and also really quick!! Sound like a winning car to me

They also have the best engine cooling package this means they don't have to open there car up much for cooling and can package everything tighter with out rbr over heating problems

I have also herd they have quite a light car compared to others

although I think all the teams including Ferrari are struggling to get to the minimum weight

Mercedes looks the most reliable and it looks quick

it's just atm doesn't look as cutting edge aerodynamic as sum of the others but still looks like a really good solid and quick car

McLaren also look like they have a much better car this year and could be up there especially if there new suspension at the back does not get band I'm sure else is already trying to copy it


James, what is the feeling at Ferrari following this test?

Some track-side analysis believe the new car suffers from a relative lack of downforce like its predecessors.

I wondered how much James Allison influenced this car given so much of it was conceived before he arrived?


positive. Pleased with the mileage and adamant that they have been well inside the maximums on power/revs at this point.


God! Between dinosaurs and purists it is a miracle this sport moved on at all!!! Maybe an explanation/ introduction to what Zeitgeist means should be mailed to their homes and places of business. Corsets and the death penalties are a thing of the past. F1 is about the sharp end of the tech that defines that zeitgeist. The way forward now is about efficiency! So F1 will lead the way. As it should. For those who mourns for the "good old days"... There's always The Goodwood Revival!


And since Gaz Boy is allowed to talk politics but I'm not, let's talk about the internal combustion engine. It was NOT invented by a "certain Mr Karl Benz", its history is much more complex than that. Check it out, nice reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_internal_combustion_engine

You will notice that many "conservative" Southern Europeans made quite important contributions to Herr Benz's "invention".

And to finish this nonsense, let me quote a much smarter German: "Faith: not wanting to know what is true." (And of course, "faith" isn't restricted to what people commomly call "religion".)


Well put Richard. F1 represents European society, sport and technology. Europe is the most liberal, democratic, progressive and technologically advanced continent on earth; Formula 1 should reflect that. After all, the internal combustion engine was invented by a European, Mr Karl Benz. He didn't start off going "nah, this machinery larkey won't work, let's stick to getting around on the back of a horse eh?" Europe = progress.


To the mods: sorry again for double posting, having some trouble with slow internet, could you please delete this? Thanks, again. (And for chrissakes, please do something about Gaz Boy, his racist attitude should have no place here.)


Can someone please ban this Eurocentric imbecile "Gaz Boy" already? Have we gone back a hundred years in time? Thumping his chest and claiming Europe is the best in everything, ORLY?


To the mods: you know I answered Gaz Boy. You guys don't wanna make my answer public, well, that's within your rights. But I hope at least this reply will be published, so that people know that I was silenced.


Yes, we just don't want to continue what has now become a tedious debate

Thanks -Mod


Dear spectreman, I'm not making a political statement, as you rightly say this isn't the place. My point is if that Formula 1 since the late 50s has effectively been a battle between Ferrari versus the British teams. Great Britain and Italy have a very different ideology and methodology when it comes to design, engineering and technology, and just as significantly a different way of operating. I actually think the way a country and its' people function and operate has a massive influence on its engineering and technology, and that includes Formula 1. My theory - and you can disagree if you wish - is that because Northern Europe had a political and religious reformation, it allowed new ideas and ideologies to flourish in Northern Europe: such as girls receiving education on a par with boys, a fascination with science, and the creation of social democracy with the primacy of technology to benefit all of its citizens. That's not a sweeping generalization, that's factually correct. The fall out of the reformation and the fascination of science would be the industrial revolution, which swept across Northern Europe, replacing the old rural age with the new big brash cities with their clanking machinery and big engineering projects. Arguably, the roots of Formula 1 can be traced back to this age, and a certain Mr Karl Benz who of course invented the internal combustion engine. Another knock on effect was the spread of industrialisation to Japan, Singapore and Australasia. I think its fair to say that New Zealand, Australia, Japan and Singapore have technology and engineering that is on a par with Northern Europe: Formula 1 has blessed with some great drivers and engineers from the commonwealth realms over many years, and I'm looking forward to Honda returning next year.

If you read my other essay, I have said I'm not here to cause offence, and I sincerely apologize if my comments have been misconstrued. I think we can all agree that Formula 1 is effectively a peace team technology arms race, and that who can out develop their competitors has a massive advantage. It is in my opinion - just an opinion - that because Britain and Northern Europe has social democracy, low levels of corruption, excellent infrastructure and transport networks, an educated skillful workforce and above all a history of innonvation and love affair with creating new inventions it can respond better to implementing new technology than Ferrari, as Southern Europe does not have the industrial might and pedigree of reformation and social democracy which is required to create and sustain a technologically advanced society.

I also think you believe I am having a go at the people of Southern Europe: I'm not, I'm having a go really at their outdated governments and institutions which are crooked and corrupt and stifle progress. Like I said, the high levels of corruption and violence which exist in Southern europe have hindered its industrial development, which in turn is why Southern europe does not have a successful Formula 1 industry as found in the motorsport of central england.

Any well balanced comments welcome, as I believe in social democracy. If anyone thinks I'm wrong in my theory, I will stand to be corrected.

Thank you!


Yeah, don't worry, I knew it was the opening of for a joke! Thanks anyway, I like a sense of humour, and a bit of banter. Much appreciated! PS I like your comments, I think we seem to be on the same wavelength.


@Random 79

"I’m not sure I’d call that backing you up Gaz – more like making the most of an opening for a joke "

That's exactly what I thought you had done, but it wasn't my place to call it, so I'm glad you clarified it. I believe this site should be about F1, period.

@Gaz Boy

You wanna talk about F1, fine, I even grant you occasionally make a good point. But please keep your politics to yourself. Talking about individual drivers' temperaments is one thing, but making broad generalizations about peoples cultures or whatever is a hell of a can of worms.


I'm not sure I'd call that backing you up Gaz - more like making the most of an opening for a joke 😉

The 79 is in relation to the year I was born.

The first couple posts I did were just under "Random", but I soon found that this resulted in two problems:

First, some other joker was using the same user name at the time so I had to improvise.

Second, when I'm having a quick look through to check for replies I find that searching for Random alone in any F1 / FIA / Pirelli related article these days yields far too many hits 🙂


Thank you Random for backing me up! By the way, is your name related to the Lotus 79? If so well chosen - in the black and gold JPS livery that Lotus is one of the beautiful creations in Formula 1. I was watching some footage of the other day and was drooling.............mind you, when it was launched in May 1978 I think everyone in F1 was drooling!


Well Mr spectreman, in case you hadn't noticed this "eurocentric imbecile" is commenting on a form of motor sport called Formula 1 where ALL the cars, engines, gearboxes, teams and even tyres are based, designed, engineered and manufactured in Europe (I'll admit Pirelli had a few niggles, but they were resolved). Most drivers are of European stock too. I know Formula 1 is a world championship, but its heartland and core audience is european, my gosh even the phrase "grand prix" is european too, as was the invention of the internal combustion engine itself! I'm sorry if you think I'm a Euro supremacist, I'm certainly not. I have a great deal respect for Japan, South America and Australasia for they have enriched Formula 1 with their superbly talented drivers and brilliant engines over the years. Europe has a good relationship with Japan, Australasia and South America built on of course trade, but also culture and new ideas. Europe, Australasia, Japan and South America actually have a lot of crossover and the same beliefs and visions for the world, which is why Brazilian and Australian racing drivers come to Europe they fit right in, and get along just fine.

What does the comment gone back in a hundred years in time refer to? World War 1? That was a total tragedy and waste of human life agreed, but it was a WORLD WAR, not just in Europe.

The fact that you called to ban my comments suggests you have fascist tendencies. This is a forum open to debate, whatever the opinion, for that is what a mature, liberal secular society is allowed to do. So if you don't like someone's informed comments you try to ban them? Bit paranoid?


For someone who's gone back a hundred years in time he has a remarkably good internet connection 😉


Don't speak too soon - you might see Vettel and Ricciardo on the back of a horse yet... 😉


Ha ha! That would be one horsepower more than Daniel has been used to in the last few days!


At the moment cars are 10 seconds behind last year. But they are not in full revs yet. My gut feeling tells me by Melbourne the gap will close to 5 seconds and gets smaller as the season goes by. Nevermind the gaps if the racing is closer and the leader board keeps changing constantly.

Please, no runaway this year!


I remember reading an article over the winter where someone from Ferrari (maybe James Allison?) said that Ferrari and Mercedes will have a leg up this year because they are the only two teams that are designing both engine and chassis in-house: they are making everything to fit everything from scratch, rather than DESIGNING to make things work. And look where we are.

I've done the math: 1368 km for Mercedes & 1111 km for Ferrari. Compare that to 93 km for Red Bull. FOUR ENTIRE RACE DISTANCES already under their belts compared to less than a third distance of ONE race.

The one enemy that every team faces, every driver, engineer, mechanic, team boss, all of Formula 1 faces is TIME. You can't buy it, no matter what money you have, no matter what clout you have with Bernie or the FIA, no matter if you have Seb Vettel or Adrian Newey, or both. Track time is more valuable at this point than some sublime innovation that will give you a second a lap. If you can't run it, you can't PROVE it DOES give you that second per lap. There is no dollar amount that can express the value on the hundreds of laps and terabytes of data Mercedes and Ferrari, with "honorable mention" to McLaren (I'm a hardcore Ferrari guy), have gained at this Jerez test. Red Bull will always be 4 days and a couple hundred laps behind the other big teams. And this year, when we see the largest technological/engineering change the sport has seen in the modern era (maybe ever), that could very well haunt them for a while. Maybe to the first race, maybe all the way to Catalunya. Maybe it doesn't hurt them and they sort it out by the first day in Bahrain. But if there was a bet to be had, I'd put my money on 309 and 251 laps. (And I guess 245...)


This was like the first exercise before a world war that hasn't even started yet, someone's tanks sputtered and overheated, but all it takes is a software patch and cooling duct and they might be unbeatable.


Thats a wrong comparison, if that was a war they would loose it hands down, problems RBR face are not simple and and they already lost so much time. Remember Ferrari in 05' where everyone thought they will recover till Melbourne? I think this will put a stop on a red bull dominance which wasnt fair either(mid season tyre change and boom they were dominant again.)You can hope but hteir problem can not be patched easily.


What a week of testing! Mercedes looks to be in the box position at this early stage, while it is shocking to hear about the lack of running from Red Bull.

James, who do you think has the speed and reliability to do well from the start of the season?


It's early days but Merc powered teams have hit the ground running

We'll know more in Bahrain


Well, what can you say. I have been reading for weeks rumours about Renaults engine, but to have dropped the baton that far out has surprised me and if the inherent oscillation issues prove to be the case, this could be a massive issue for Renault, including a redesign of the block and internals, let alone the ERS issues the renault teams are having. Newey and his clever packaging has caught up with him, to be honest, it was a little arrogant of them to have not thought about the heat implications and start the tests with a 'looser' bodywork for more cooling. Seeing pictures of fire coming out of their hastily cut 'vents' shows they really didn't thinking about the thermodynamic changes the new engines would bring. Still makes for an interesting area to watch over the coming 6 weeks.

As for Mclaren, I did enjoy watching their volta face from last year, but their tricky suspension will be tested more on the Bahrain track with it's longer straights and I think it's there we'll see if there is any advantage, from what I saw of the speed trap on the straights at Jerez, Mclaren hadn't set those on fire, so the jury's out for me on that. Mercedes just kept pounding out the miles, getting lots of data and as they're sharing data with Mclaren, they'll be able to see what kinds of loads and speeds the MP4 was getting on the straights too. I can't help but see them as favourites given how relaxed they were and also how they weren't chasing the headline times, despite having a board watching their every move. Mclaren looking fro a sponsor too? Interesting days I must admit. I have taken Hamilton for £50 at 9/2 for the championship, but covered that with a cheeky free £50 on Magnussen at 18/1 each way too. The boy really does look like he has some speed. Maybe the death knell for the Frome flyer next season, but we'll see.

Very, very interesting times ahead indeed.


I agree Lewis will be in there. Don't count out Jenson. He seemed pretty pleased with the car, just as he did when he first tested the Brawn in 2009. Could be a good year for our two British lads.


Amusing, when one read the coments of some contributors of the cars being some 10 sec slower then a cars of last year.My two bob worth is give the Teams a chance to sort it out

before they let loose with the song.

How many of you will remember Nelson Piquet in the BMW 4 cyl 1500 cc Turbo producing 850 bhp (640 KW) and later over 1000 bhp and with out any additional electrical bhp that the current will have at their disposal.

Its a wishful thinking if FAI keep their butt out of the R/D on Engine develpment, within a year F1 will begin to sing again like OLD TIMES


Outright pace can't be judged right now after this first test. The cars will be much different for the first race, more so by mid season and even more so by the end of 2014.


Team Boss; "Well boys we've saved 5 gallons of fuel today,so that's 50 gallons for the car, 800 gallons for the trucks and 10,000 gallons for the planes, umm, well done I think we've made a worthwhile impression and set an excellent example of conservation"


Pretty shallow thinking. Think of how the savings translate into road car technology. Big picture, my man.


Joking!! Actually I think if they want to translate to road cars Lemans is a better place to ala Audi, Toyota etc


Is it safe to say that Vettel and Company have decided pach up early and head home to hang their balls into the pool while all the other teams spent day and night improving the car? Lmao


Is it safe to say that Vettel and Company have decided pack up early and head home to hang their balls into the pool while all the other teams spent day and night improving the car? Lmao


Right on with the "pool" comment. Great statement to put arrogance in perspective...


This year, so far, 2014 Red Bull is running like 2013 McLaren.


Kind of, except that it stops and wheezes after 3 1/2 laps.

The McLaren might have been slow, but at least it got there in the end 🙂


A we bit early I know James considering not pushing yet but any idea about tyre life this year yet ?


Good news for RBR, they have already analyzed all their data ... conclusion, the rain light flashes on and off ... sometimes.


Then that's working perfectly.

Rain drop hits: On.

Water trickles away: Off.


10 seconds faster or 10 seconds slower. It doesn't matter - relatively NO one will really notice - unless projected times are visible. Moreover, at Jerez, it was not primarily important to set lap times, rather set reasonable times - and work towards relaibility. Good work Mercedes, Ferrari, Williams and Caterham. Who would have guessed that Caterham would do more laps and set lap times than Vettel and Ricardo in their Reb Bulls. Time will tell. Gone are those trickery aerodynamic exhaust mod-cons. Now its engine and reliability that really matters.

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