F1 testing ends with Ferrari setting the pace: New season is go in two weeks
Posted By: James Allen  |  09 Mar 2018   |  8:14 pm GMT  |  319 comments

Ferrari set the fastest time on the final day of F1 testing; but do they have the fastest car? Few think so, as Mercedes has certainly not gone all out to set eye catching lap times.

Ferrari has been the pace setter the past few winters, including last year when it was clear that the car was really fast and stable. This year the car looks drivable, but so does the Red Bull.

Following the pattern of previous seasons, the Silver Arrows have spent their time pounding around on harder tyre compounds, higher fuel loads and very much focussing on their own programmes. They have done a total of 4,841 km of testing and there were some real highlights, not least a race simulation on Thursday by Valtteri Bottas which looked very fast and consistent, starting in the 1m 22s and ending in the 1m 19s.

If previous seasons are anything to go by they will pull out some surprising lap times in qualifying in Melbourne in two weeks and then everyone will know where they stand. But there’s little doubt that there was certainly a 1m16s lap in that car, had they chosen to extract it.

The tyres are softer and the resurfaced track also around 2 seconds faster, so quite a bit of the performance gain relative to last year’s 1m 19s pole are there. The halo has taken about 0.3s a lap of performance off the cars, according to most teams.

“We had some strong pace in testing at times, but then you see what others are doing and then you’re not sure anymore, but I think we’re looking OK,” said Daniel Ricciardo. “I think we still have to find a bit of time, we still have things to improve, but I think we are close enough to be in the hunt,”

Second fastest on the final day, despite another engine change, was McLaren with Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard has had a miserable time of it the last few winter test seasons with McLaren, but here the team believes that it is in better shape than others are giving it credit for.

“I think there’s more to come from the car in terms of performance and also of course with reliability, but now we have two important weeks back in the factory to prepare for the first race. We will see exactly where we are in Australia,” said Alonso.

There were technical niggles also for Renault, who lost a lot of time with a gearbox problem,

Meanwhile Charles Leclerc had an off into the barriers in the morning, losing track time with repairs.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean will sleep well tonight have=ing knocked out 842 kilometres of running in a single day, one of the highest ever totals by one driver.

Another feelgood story is the way that Toro Rosso has managed to cover a massive 822 laps in the eight days of testing (despite the bad weather in Week 1). That’s a total of 3826 km for Honda to assess. The Japanese manufacturer brought a development unit this week and the signs are certainly more positive. Red Bull will be watching closely but also benchmarking Honda’s performance against the Renault engine in the Red Bull car for signs that might lead it to a decision on engines for 2019…

All photos: LAT Images

F1 Testing, Day 4

1. Raikkonen (Ferrari) – 1m17.221s (hypersoft) – 157 laps
2. Alonso (McLaren) – 1m17.784s (hypersoft) – 93 laps
3. Sainz (Renault) – 1m18.092s (hypersoft) – 45 laps
4. Ricciardo (Red Bull) – 1m18.327s (supersoft) – 92 laps
5. Grosjean (Haas) – 1m18.412s (ultrasoft) – 181 laps
6. Bottas (Mercedes) – 1m18.825s (medium) – 104 laps
7. Hartley (Toro Rosso) – 1m18.949s (hypersoft) – 156 laps
8. Ocon (Force India) – 1m18.967s (hypersoft) – 163 laps
9. Leclerc (Sauber) – 1m19.118s (hypersoft) – 75 laps
10. Sirotkin (Williams) – 1m19.189s (soft) – 105 laps
11. Hamilton (Mercedes) – 1m19.464s (supersoft) – 97 laps
12. Stroll (Williams) – 1m19.954s (soft) – 27 laps

Featured Innovation
technical innovation from tata COMMUNICATIONS
Share This:
Posted by:

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!

How about a thorough analysis of who looks fast based on all the data shared over testing including tires used, laps run, average race pace, etc? And include more than the top three teams. PLEASE!!! If I want a short fluff piece on F1, I can read ESPN.


Smart move from Red Bull with putting the Honda in the Toro Rosso. No doubt Honda will now be open to accepting outside help and Red Bull will be paying for outside engineers to work with Honda in getting that power unit up to where thy need it.


I agree this move can only be good for Honda, high maintenance teams have proven to be a nightmare on the grid… Does any1 think Honda would be keen on RedBull if their PU improves… Mclaren and RedBull are supa high maintenance…


Is HALO really most important topic about F1 experience right now?… or is the competivnes of the field more important? Emphasis of the subject of the people here shows the state of F1 it is right now.

V10 or V12 or V8 the same – who cares. Give Verstappen a decent car capable of challenging victories and people will watch F1 with dribble on their chest. All these locked advantages are beneficial only to corporates. It is good for Mercedes to have Ferrari in close proximity and it is painful to tolerate the show where they invent ways to not look like one man show.

All the HALOS in the world will not distract a self-reflective person to critically observe the competition of F1.


Ferrari will start the season with a different rear wing design.


I wonder what you good folks think of Gary Andersons lineup based on his analysis:

Adjusted performance

1 Mercedes 1m16.075s

2 Red Bull 1m16.527s

3 Haas 1m16.560s (day 3)

4 Ferrari 1m16.921s

5 Williams 1m17.089s

6 Renault 1m17.092s (day 2)

7 McLaren 1m17.584s

8 Toro Rosso 1m18.163s (day 3)

9 Force India 1m18.617s

10 Sauber 1m18.844s


Wait Ferrari fourth, RedBull 2 and Haas 3rd, r u sure about that… I know the McLaren wont light up any track but does GA really believe that it’s behind the Williams…. that would be really WOW indeed even more so than Haas in 3rd.


What source did you find this at? JA is short on analysis this preseason

Richard Mortimer


Just goes to show that testing does not 100% reflect true pace. Force India look in the right place based on testings, but, they will be higher come Australia, surely?

I can believe the half second between Merc and RB. But, nearly a second between Merc and Ferrari?

Also, are Haas really ahead of the ‘factory’ team? They’ve been going well, but, it’s not a Brawn fairy-tale is it? That would be, where Gary has them?

Williams ahead of McLaren? That can’t be right….




I seriously doubt it’s a Brawn fairytale! lol


Haas is essentially last year’s Ferrari so it’s a good car.

But I find it hard to believe Ferrari have made their own car slower than last year.


Utterly rubbish. Read Mark Hughes report and you can get the perspective. Even his calculations may be off and that’s totally understandable. Apart from teams, nobody has access to fuel loads, engine modes, setups, trial details etc. These are guesstimates at best.



To be fair I remember Gene Haas saying back at the start of the 2016 season that they weren’t expecting to make any big gains until their 3rd season. A very mature approach and it would be great to see it pay dividends!! 🙂


Haas above Ferrari?!? That would make for an exciting season!!!! 🙂


Wishful thinking!


Haas will spring a surprise, I think, along with STR. Top five in Melbourne is feasible.


I would really hope so!


@ redline

Oh yes, it’s nice to see Haas begin to benefit from it’s partnership with Ferrari, hopefully Sauber follows suit

Brian Boneshark

what is this abomination of this sport? halo? this is a manufacturers competition wtf. can i start a campaign to bring back bernie? hashtag brink back bernie and rite this nonsense


Bernie let the manufacturers have it there way. He did under the table deals with Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull giving them a massive advantage. Bernie was the one who forced the teams to go to ‘crap tesco car parks’ of tracks where the racing is dull but the VIP sections are brilliant if you went there. Classic tracks got the dump.


Pretty smart move by Honda, pull the engine after each day and then inspect them minutely for any issues. Which can then be corrected instantly if it’s engine tune, fuel or lubricant related and/or back at the factory before the first race. Sound engineering practise at work.


Maybe, McLaren should’ve given Honda another year! If STR beats them it will really be embarrassing!


James, is there more to the deal between TAG Heuer and Red Bull other than sponsorship ? Is TAG group involved in anyway with development of the Renualt power plant ? Is there any relationship between Renault and Mansour Ojjeh in the Mclaren deal that may effect negatively on Red Bull and their engine situation in the future.

I think TAG and TAG Heuer are now separate entities and that Mansour has little to do with the latter ?


I’m will to bet an AI driver could hustle these cars around Catalunya faster than these human drivers. Could ditch the halo then too 😀


Twitch, did you see the autonomous FE car? It crashed.


I will take that bet,

By the time you add all the sensors and the mainframe computer to process all the data to allow an AI driver to even approach the skill level of an F1 driver, the car will be too heavy to move.



even if they get it right, would u watch that… There’s an RC track near my house, I’ve never been there once…


Who says the AI has to be onboard? NISMO is already driving their GT3 car remotely, so you could do the same with an F1 car. The main computing hardware could be sat in the garage, control the car by remote control.


Ever driven a remote controlled car. What happens when you lose the signal?

Singapore will be fun, with it’s comms issues, cars stacking all over the place, will be like Seb driving them all.



@ BK Flamer

Our condolences, R.I.P to dad and blessings to the family and friends


Nice picture. Is there a driver in there?


Testing, sandbagging, hiding, no real info regarding set-up etc etc. So hard to conclude anything beside the obvious being Merc, Fer and RBR are at the front. Nothing new there. Fer being fast, Merc having great race pace and RBR trying to nibble a few tenths of their time mostly by aero changes. New drivers making mistakes, old drivers doing their job. Lots of stories about this and that. So not realy exciting was it ? Surprises, well a few, McL’s reliability comes to mind and Honda’s ofc. What a joke in the making there, (a very costly one though). Further Force India, what has happened there, to much focus on selling the outfit ? Oh well, let’s wait and see in 2 weeks time. ‘All’ will be revealed then, won’t it ?


Did you guys see the Sky Sports F1 2018 trailer? The tag line is “Feel it all”. Obviously. It’s not like we’ll be able to “See it all” in 2018.

#HaloSucks #ObstructedViewF1

Meanwhile, who is this saint and were is he getting all this onboard footage from?

Here is all pole laps on-board 2004. He has full races onboard too. I’m watching German Grand Prix right now. Fantastic stuff. No commentary, just purest experience you can get.



Thank you Sebee.

That is the greatest link anybody has ever sent to me.

It brings back such fond memories.


You need to get the super plus VVIP sky package where the Halo will be airbrushed out by a team of artists in real time. Sound engineers will make the cars sound like any vintage F1 car you like at extra cost.

🙂 🙂


Jeez. You just cannot stop can you? You have no filter before you type, the whole website is now full of your comments about V10s and the Halo. Doesn’t matter what the subject is, you bring either or both into it, then the usual suspects join in, and the clap trap starts.

Sebee, you are ruining this forum for me, and others. James was going to look at fixing it, but it seems that’s impossible. The quality of debate has suffered almost beyond hope, and this along with Joe Saward was the last bastion of good debate on F1. Joe shuts down this sort of thing in a pretty brutal way sometimes, but the standard is way higher due to that.

Can you at least ask yourself four questions before typing? 1. Is the subject related to engines? If not then don’t type about V10s. 2. Is the subject related to the halo or aesthetics? If not then don’t mention it. 3. Is your comment replying to or promoting relevant debate? 4. Are you going to type utter drivel to entice the other three or four who dominate the threads into replying with more drivel, thereby making the thread worthless to filter through to make sense of it.

I’ve tried ignoring the “four spoilers” and skipping past them, but the thread is ruined.

The vast majority of posters make great debates possible on here, and certainly make me reconsider my own thoughts. Some who I disagree with are still very good at debate, and that’s what I like.

So Sebee, stop please. You don’t need to have 17 posts on the same thread of say 90 posts too.

Gaz Boy – Go and marry Fernando, gaze adoringly at his beard for as long as you want, just stop filling his forum with your utterings of love and desire for him and about his bloody beard. It really is the joke that’s gone on too long, but you’re unaware of it.

And anyone who types “fanboy” should immediately be banned. Are you 12 years old those who use this term?

Last words for Sebee – I love the scream of V10s, I hate the hybrids, the grid penalties, and the focus on efficiency. I hate the halo with a passion, and want the screen developed as it don’t think it’s acceptable to have drivers hit in the face with flying objects and killed.

Help us James Allen, you’re our only hope….

Richard Mortimer


To be honest, those guys you mention who are making so many posts: if they have so much time to do that, there is no hope.

They should go and get jobs in motor-racing to get a real ‘hands-on’ feel for the subject. That does not mean getting work with the creme de la creme in F1, but grubbing about at a wet Silverstone, etc.

Or, maybe, working in karting, where there is no money. Yes, OK, there is money in karting (rich dads paying for their son’s racing, or, importers selling equipment) but not much!

Either path would take all their time and prevent an ‘arm-chair’ view, which is skewed at best!

Also, totally agree on the screen. I don’t think the Indycar screen they are currently testing would be as ‘safe’ as the halo. (For example: the halo might have saved Justin Wilson, but, maybe that screen would not). I think what is needed is a combination: so ‘thinner’ halo, with 2 smaller struts at the side (on which the mirrors are mounted) rather than central strut and a polycarbonate screen (or whatever). That would mean a better view of the driver and even safer. Still ‘open’ cockpit as there is a hole over the drivers head, just like with the halo.


You need to go and post in a forum. This is a place for comments.


@PaulD Thanks for speaking for many of us… I actually stopped reading the forum for a while because this repetitive hoggers of posts. Now that the season is back, I suddenly realized why I left reading commenting.

We are all lovers and debaters of the F1 sport – but some can just spoil it with their insisting that their opinions are worth shouting about.

Guybrush Threepwood

Or you could, you know, scroll past his comments…

I’m sure you would think it equally absurd if someone had a rant about a poster ruining a forum because they discuss their support for the Halo, or any other opinion.


Give this man 5-stars immediately!


You are my hero! The lot of them have turned me off the website in recent times it makes me wonder how i was going to deal with them going into the 2018 season!


It’s my fault you feel unsatisfied? Not super efficient fuel saving PUs, which burn oil and probably spew huge amounts of environmental violating emissions through that oil burning to gain a slight advantage while “saving fuel”?

It’s my little comments, not Engine modes and engineers writing them and instructing drivers over the radio on when to engage them and follow the software shifting instructions as software deployed the ERS and recovery automatically belittling WDCs as their control inputs are overwritten by said software?

It’s my little reminiscing about “Peak F1” that’s got you steaming, and not the ugly appendage known as Halo?

Little ol’ me. The power I yield! Amazing.


Yep, the power you wield has wrecked the debate on the site. You have no capacity for self awareness. Your post is completely irrelevant to this subject or the fact you’ve been called out as the main instigator for spoiling things – see what happened to MCN comments sections – pretty much closed down by 4 absolute tools. That’s 4 people who can spoil it for the website owner, and all the effort that goes into providing a free service that’s otherwise great.

Sorry James, I’m out for now. I’ll take a look back in a couple of months to see if things have improved.


Have you considered reading the articles but not looking at the comments? Shame to let some great insights go begging..


I enjoy reading his comments, but if i didnt i would just scroll past when i read his name.



Enough’s enough!


I can’t believe your giving into these clowns. You’re literally going to let a vocal minority dictate what can and can’t be talked about, smfh.

You realize if you go down this road, every discussion is going to degrade into “your off topic, James, please moderate this.” The more you hold the hands of these cry babies, the more they will demand from you, mark my words.


I can’t reply to PaulD for some reason, so I’m replying to myself.

Paul, I think you’re confused about what a minority and majority are. The people who do not like Sebee’s comments and want him moderated do not make up more than 50% of this sites viewers/participants, therefore, they/you are in the minority. Just because your comment got 31 likes, that doesn’t mean you have a majority. By contrast, many of Sebee’s “rants” that people “hate” get hundreds of likes, figure that one out lol.


It’s not a minority, and I believe that I and the others have the right to comment too.

All that’s asked is that the subject is stuck to within reason, and that the Beavis and Butthead level comments stay in the playground. Who wants to read an inane back and forwards thread between 4 posters, and try and find the sensible and thought provoking comments in between?


It would be fan to watch Toro Rosso’s Honda beat Alonso’s Renault. I look forward to the coming season.


There is a direct correlation between a team’s budget and its relative standing post testing and later in championship.

Merc, Ferrari, and RB have biggest budget so they are in front. In spite of all their effort McL, Williams etc just don’t have that financial might which explains why things keep slipping through the cracks. It’s not a level playing field. I just wish fans understood this before criticizing specific teams for doing a bad job in testing. There is a reason why Merc is bulletproof. They have many more resources working and fixing the car.


Explain HAAS then?


F1, Formula one; is a Business first.a close circle business.then maybe after that a sport somewhere.The Jean Todt,Ross Brawn;Bernie Eclestone;Max verstapen;Nico rosberg;Nico hulkenberg are all cousins and family.It used to be called the circus.It is a show for sure,and a good one;a very good one when Bernie was running it.So ,please keep in mind that it is Show.Business.Enjoy the show for 2018:it will be “very close”.???? whatever that means showise.


Anyone got any idea why Ferrari engines smoke like an old diesel truck on start up


Autosport F1 explained this quite well.


For this season it was mandated that the oil from the crank housing must not be fed back into the cylinders for the FIA feared this was a loop hole to burning oil for performance.

Ferrari has taken the strategy to drain that oil into a sink located in the rear crash structure, where it, being hot from the engine, smokes. The smoke is vented out through two openings above and under the back light.


It’s a visual aid for all that hybrid efficiency and fuel savings.


🙂 🙂 🙂 . Viva! efficiency and elegance of hybrid engines. I wish they can be quieter too. Noise is a resistance derivative.


Maybe they are putting a squirt of ‘Redex’ down each plug hole before starting!


is not the engine… is Marchionne fuming as he knows RB and Merc are faster


…an issue with their new method of getting rid of the oil in the system that used to be piped back into the engine for oilburn?

They are smoking slightly when running as well, not like on startup where it looks like all the garage staff are exhaling these vaping cigarettes at the same time…

Wonder if it’ll affect their power or their consumption/oil levels over a full race distance?


Apparently it is an ‘oil breather’ housed in a letterbox shaped vent underneath the rain light.


I just hope that Jean Todt gets enveloped by smoke on the grid in Australia when they fire it up!


@Clarks4WheelDrift. No one seems to know. Even the FIA don’t understand what’s going on with ferrari.


Hundreds of millions of $ spent to develop the most efficient IC engines in history… and then make them spray oil out of the back :-/


@ Redline…What you are seeing is a throwback to the James Bond smoke emitting Aston Martin [ ? ] Ferrari are doing the same thing as the Red Devils too. Should any one get onto the back of the Ferrari then a squirt of oil will do wonders!!! I do agree though that they’ve spent a lot on a very easy ploy!!!


I agree it’s nuts!


Aw, Cmon! Where is the outcry?

Ferrari has dominated the preseason championships again. What is it, 2, 3 years in a row? It’s getting boring now. When are they going to let Mercedes or Redbull win the WTC?

Just messing about.

FP1 can’t come soon enough.


Frustrating watching Mcclaren struggle with the same Renault engine the works team and Red bull find quite reliable. Makes you wonder how much of their pain with the Honda unit was self inflicted with the overall design of the car, especially after watching the TorroRosso this test. I vaguely remember the rumours last year of how the size zero design was comprising the performance of the engine.

I always had the belief that Mcclaren was a super professional outfit where every minute detail was planned in a professional structured way, well thats the perception from the outside. Watching Grand Prix driver on amazon changed that view. How a team with so much financial and personnel resources struggled to get even just one car to its own launch and last years test was beyond me, and this was due to a floor issue in their own department nothing to do with Honda. If this same management team haven’t learnt the lessons of last year and fail to make this Renault engine work as other teams do then surely heads must roll.


RedBull and Renault had a few issues as well. Although McLaren had the specs from Renault they have zero experience with how close you can go to the specs. Red Bull and Renault both know how close to the specs they can push things. McLaren have learnt a lot and will learn more as the season continues.


Sound logic, except they didn’t learn with Honda whilst Toro Rosso picked it up straight away.


@ Gary,

And this is Honda’s fourth season, three of which they failed miserably to provide either a fast or reliable PU! Sometimes the facts are inconvenient.


Watched that program and thought exactly the same thing, maybe its just that standards have dropped since Ron and Martin left? For what was always described as a highly corporate outfit, the impression given was of scruffy, unprofessional and unorganised lot, I was quite surprised.


No, the decline started when Lewis Hamilton left….



Suprised maybe, but 3 years of living on what can go wrong must have had an effect. Not making an excuse for them, but with the benefit of hindsight it is to be expected. Red Bull have had that power unit for years, and they know it inside out. Mclaren will learn from it as the season goes on, but I still believe they will be better served as a team with Renault this year than Honda.


How do you explain Toro Rosso getting good use out of the Honda engine straight away? Is it that they learn faster than McLaren or maybe they actually listen to their engine supplier?


Unlike McLaren who have ambition to win races by pushing aero design to the limits, Torro Rosso are Redbull’s testing “also ran” team and supply drivers.


The documentary was shocking wasn’t it, for a business to have hundreds of employees, a year to plan and a eye watering £400+ million budget, the very least you can expect is to have is two cars ready for the Barcelona test. For me there is a serious leadership issue, and that begins with Eric Boullier, not sure if its just his act for the camera but his shrug the shoulders, ce la vie demeanour is sending out all the wrong signals to frustrated McClaren fans like me, and it’s beginning to grate. He must wake up every morning and wonder how he got to head up a multimillion pound race team and how many pay cheques he has left before he gets rumbled. Ron wasn’t perfect, and he may have taken the team in the wrong direction once or twice, but at least there was direction, and with it drive and determination, and i’d have him back in a heartbeat.


Can’t help but think by the time of the Spanish gp Mercedes will get pole with a high 1m 15 lap.


At least we will find out who was sandbagging in Spain!


Though Bottas kept driving ‘slow laps’ and many of them, his lap times were though very impressive! Reason being you should extrapolate the potential fastest lap for him based on his tire selection versus the others setting fastst laps here yesterday Friday. The others sat their fastest laps on the hypersoft tire, while Bottas clocked his 1.18,825-lap using just the slow medium tire.

Using Pirelli’s conversion parameters that gives Bottas a potential laptime yesterday at around 1.16,325 if he had used the hypersoft!
So way faster than any of the others teams during this winter test.

Hope I am wrong, but by Q3 in Melbourne we may all realize that we face another season totally dominated by the Mercedes machinery…


If Mercedes and Ferrari want to keep the MGU-H they will have to ‘make sure’ that There is some degree of competition between the top teams. Unless of course Mercedes plan to leave F1 and then you could expect a whitewash!


No it will be hotter then do not faster even if cars improve


Read it a couple of times and did not understand:-) But English is not my native:-)


I know it will be hotter. But Merc will turn their engine up and take fuel out which they haven’t done yet. Also between now and then the new developments will come fast. Just wish they would revert back to thevold layout.


Also, the Ultrasofts and Hypersofts wont be coming to Spain, so a time like that wont be happening…


well said.and furthermore hypersofts are to be used on very few tracks while mediums;mercedes preferred tyres are used in EVERY grand prix of the season.EVERY GRAND PRIX .Hypersoft Mc laren preferred tyre?Canada,Monaco and maybe another one.go figure people choices.


Mark, fastest lap in testing last year was a 1m18.6 for Kimi, but Lewis’ pole for last years race was a 1m19.1. Depends what tyres Pirelli take, they don’t normally allow the softest compounds for the race.


I really hope Toto has been working on his acting skills. I’m personally hoping for something more than just slamming his fist on the desk when Mercedes let Ferrari win in Melbourne. Maybe some convincing chin-dropping or some “accidentally caught on TV” back room shouting and slamming of doors?


Merc won’t let Ferrari win anything! They will have to earn it!
Pecking order…..


Treadhead, what would it take for you to believe that if Ferrari do win in Melbourne, that it was genuine?


Expect Butt heading Nikki this time. Lol


please don’t set seebee off on a conspiracy theory, seasons not even started yet


After a few years now, the conspiracy should be they’re actually struggling and Toto is genuinely double punching the desk as Lauda sniggers.

…either that or if Lewis ever has a cer failure the conspiracy will be they want Bottas to win the title 😉


From what I’ve read, that “incredible” race sim by Bottas was a two pit stop run but he’d have been disqualified if he had completed the race.

Why? Because he ran mediums throughout. I’ve also heard that Mercedes have been struggling with rear tyre blistering on softer compounds. Is there any truth to this?

A fact picked up from both the Italian media and Mark Hughes..


Bottas can still run 59 laps of the 60 laps with medium tyres.then with more than 1 second per lap faster as it is stated,change to supersoft on the last lap and win the race with 30 seconds plus to spare.Legally without disqualification.

If Lewis Hamilton lets him.


Finish pun was not intended


nice finish


Everyone had blistering to some extent

Paceisnt going to decrease with a stint n a softer compound is it?


Maybe yes, pace will decrease if the tyres are overheating.


Don’t you have to factor in the delta between tire types as well as how quickly one compound starts degrade over the other? We have seen many examples where a switch to a softer tire has not paid off because it actually resulted in having to lose time because of loss of grip.


too early to say but if you factor that then Merc did a 1 18 825 with Bottas on Medium while Vettel was fastest on hypersoft 1 17 192 difference 1.6 seconds… but Pirelli says that delta between Hypersofts and Medium is roughly 2.3 sec so Merc is 0.7 seconds per lap faster than Ferrari…


That delta varies from team to team according to Mark Hughes. It’s related to getting tyres up to working temperature. Softer rubbers are easy to work up to temperature and car is able to run near its full potential. Harder rubber is difficult to work with and teams lower down the grid found it hard to get heat in them eg. Williams and hence could not drive them to near their true potential. That is where the larger delta is coming from. The delta is more in lower end teams and more like 1.5 to 2.0 in top 5.


If they blister quickly, yes.


It seems it’s very much as you were at the top. Red Bull look close, but what happens when we get to Q3? It looks like another curious case of Mclaren, how much trouble are they in? How much potential do they have? How serious or otherwise are their issues?
It looks like we’re in for a real slug fest in the midfield. Renault look promising, as does HAAS. Force TBA and Williams have questions to answer, but I suspect Williams are in more trouble. At the end of the day, I hope it turns out to be an exciting season.


OK James, your choice of photos, especially the front page one for this piece convinced me, there is no way to ever get used to this hideous halo.

It’s like saying you’ll get used to seeing a 3 legged puppy. Not possible.


That side shot of the Ferrari is one of the ugliest F1 cars I’ve ever seen, period.


Twitch, the engine cover is a bit awkward looking, reminds me of a tea pot.



If teams have to buy HALO from one of the 3 approved manufacturers, and HALO being made of titanium, any idea why some of manufacturers (Mercedes and Ferrari for example) would add further weight on it (regardless how little), by wrapping it in carbon fiber?


Aero gains

Very little extra weight


The halo is an abomination. No two ways about it. Hate hate hate.


No worries Sebee. The Halo must and WILL go. Not immediately perhaps, and maybe not before Todt is ousted, but surely the unjustifiable and plain anti-beautiful cannot stay long.


So they will treat it the way the way treated the grid girls?

Do you really believe that?


Grid Girls was a Liberty issue. Halo is strictly FIA. I’m expecting a shake up and changes at the FIA in the coming years. If some things are thrown out, Halo will be one.

Any case it can’t survive long I’m convinced of that.


Completely disagree, you wont notice its there well before the end of the season. F1 has evolved greatly throughout the years with “purists” complaining they haven’t like this or that or the other down the years (ergo full face helmets can’t see the driver what a shame, wings,droopy noses,et al!!) It’s in, there to stay until something better possibly comes along but I believe that given all the brains, blue sky thinkers and design skills in F1 no better idea has evolved since the first mention of the halo and as such there may not be anything “better”, certainly in the near future, that meets FIA requirements.


To my eyes the halo is much different to everything on your list, unlike anything else on you r list its removes the viewers vision of the driver for much of a lap. I suspect that the coverage camera work and its direction will change once they realise how bad it is.


“it removes the viewers vision of the driver for much of a lap”

Come off it, I must be watching a different F1 as all as I have been able to see for years is the top of a drivers head. I tend to overall watch the cars and the ensuing battles and have never been too excited at just being able to see a drivers head. Maybe some of you guys just watch their heads, each to their own hey.


Oh, and only other option is windshield, which is equally bad, as it is a light reflective surface. Meaning we won’t see drivers as well due to light bend until thr angle is just right. And there is no way windshield can equal the halo in strength. This ugliness is here to stay.


@ Sebee…I wouldn’t be so sure. Ever heard of non reflective glass? I’d be pretty sure that there would be some treatment of a similar nature for these hi tech compounds. I would suggest that the issue is not yet over.


I won’t notice it how?

Because it’s not in the way of me seeing drivers?

Because it will become invisible?

It’s a mole on a face. Huge one. Try not to see it.


Stop you Seeing the drivers, you must benefit from x-ray vision cause I can only see the tops of their helmets.


Not your best example Sebee. I could get used to and love a three-legged puppy. A three-headed puppy could be different though. Or this no-headed frog that was in the news recently:


Ricciardo Aficionado

Oh come on KRB, Twitter is not even news.



I have a friend that has a 3 legged dog, it lost a leg when it was hit by a car as a puppy. You definitely don’t notice it when it’s running in the park – a bit like the halo perhaps 😉


You can love a 3 legged puppy, yes – but you’ll never be able to ignore the fact it has 3 legs. That fact won’t disappear one day.


I’ll take that frog and love it for its entire life if it makes halo do what the frog’s head did.

Ricciardo Aficionado

Kiss the frog Sebee…



I hate the halo too … I find myself always thinking these cars would look really, really good IF ONLY the halo wasn’t there, but it is what it is. It isn’t going away.

Not sure if you watch Indy, but gotta make the shout out to Robert Wickens, snagging pole position on his debut!! Race in St. Pete’s goes today at 12:30 EDT. Also just saw that Indy has gone to timing down to the ten-thousandths! Maybe it’s been that way for awhile for the official documents, not sure.


Some great races from Wickens:

Wickens vs Ricciardo 2011 WS Renault 3.5


Great battle. Wickens won the title that year, ahead of Ricciardo and teammate JEV.

I was looking for Wickens’ AMAZING win in Spa in 2010 GP3, where he ran out the clock … video of it used to be on the web, but now I can’t find it! If anyone can find it, please post the link here. All I could find was the chaos in the rain that led to a red flag earlier on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-8FealsfXw

A shame that he only got a couple of run outs with Marussia in F1. Unlike Stroll, Wickens had (has) the real chops to compete in the top tier.


…but then again, that is a lot of explaining KRB. And guilty do tend to over explain themselves.


I don’t know KRB. The way Rossi tells it seems to make a lot of sense. Also, illustrates he evaluated the move quite highly as per rules. After all, Rossi is not new around IndyCar, Wickens is.


Said Rossi: “Normally they don’t allow push-to-pass on restarts, you have to do a timed [racing] lap before you get it, but because of the late call to go green, that lap they allowed it and I got the call when I was in the middle of Turn 13/14.

“So I got a big jump on Rob and he got to the push-to-pass pretty late, so the run was perfect for me. Heading down into Turn 1, I knew there wasn’t going to be many other opportunities for me because he’d had a very good car all day and they did a great job.

“So I made the pop [out of the slipstream], he defended the position which he has the right to do but in doing so, by moving in reaction, he put me into the marbles pretty late into the corner. It’s difficult with theses cars with how much we’re sliding around even on the racing line, so on the marbles it’s hairy.

“Super-unfortunate to see that happen – I feel bad because I think I could have won and he could have been second. Nonetheless it was a great job by the team all weekend. I think we showed we had a car that could qualify up front yesterday and we redeemed ourselves a little bit today…”

Asked if he felt Race Control’s “no call” on the clash between himself and Wickens was a vindication of his perspective on the shunt, Rossi replied: “Yeah, they made it very clear in the drivers meeting that the rule on blocking was that you can’t move in reaction.

“If he’d defended the inside initially out of 14 or even halfway down the straight, and I’d still continued to go to the inside, then yeah, that’s my decision to put my car in danger.

“But there’s no reason why I can’t pop and stay next to him. I don’t have to have all four wheels on the part of the track where nobody goes on.”

On the subject of braking, Rossi said he was in control until the door started closing on him. Asked if his goose was cooked as soon as he hit the brake pedal, Rossi replied: “My goose was totally rare until he continued to move in the braking zone and put me more into the marbles. I had no problem pulling it up, I wasn’t locked up or anything.”


Well, that was an exciting finish.

Halo is a terrible thing for open cockpit motorsport. If you look at motorsport in general, there are many examples of excitement and interesting developmental ideas and series, which faded ir folded. Maybe I’m just wrong to believe that F1 as a product could be better today. Maybe the golden era is behind us and this is just ancient F1 clinging on for relevance to ever shrinking audience? Maybe this is all there will be. Halo, engine modes, software driving under some human supervision?


As a follow-up, Wickens was dealt a cruel motorsports blow today. He bossed pretty much the entire race, then on the last restart, Rossi tried an over-optimistic pass, and ended up sliding into Wickens and putting him out of the race. That restart came about because Max Chilton couldn’t keep it out of the wall after the prior restart. Gotta love how drivers with lower ability, always seem to end up screwing it up for those with high ability.

Wickens deserved to win today, but instead gets only middling points. Rossi still ended up 3rd, and the stewards took no action (what?!), so others will similarly try their luck with reckless moves, in future races.

Top Tags
SEARCH Innovation