Ahead of a 21 race season, Formula One testing started in earnest last week at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona. The Spanish track will play host to both of this year’s pre-season tests with the second of these set to start on Tuesday.
All eleven teams – including new team Haas F1 – were present with only Sauber running their 2015 car. The C35 is due to break cover ahead of the second test this week.
During the four days of testing it was Ferrari who set the headline times topping three of four days. They ran with Pirelli’s new Ultra Soft tyre compound and Sebastian Vettel’s 1:22.810 on day three was the fastest lap of the week. He was also fastest on day one with team-mate Kimi Raikkonen ending the test on top. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was fastest on day three.
While Ferrari were putting in the fast laps, reigning world champions Mercedes were concentrating on the mileage – completing significantly more laps than any other team. They also used the medium compound tyre.
Elsewhere Haas F1 enjoyed a reliable start to their Formula One career. Bar a front wing failure on the first day of testing, the American team suffered no real issues and completed a number of laps. Force India were another team putting in low fuel runs on the Supersoft tyre. They also split their running between their two race drivers and their reserve driver Alfonso Celis.
McLaren’s first two days of running saw them eclipse the number of laps they managed in the whole of the first pre-season test last year. It looked like a much better start for the beleaguered team however a few issues crept in on the third and fourth day. A hydraulic leap hampered Jenson Button’s running on day three while Fernando Alonso failed to set a lap-time and managed just three laps due to a coolant leak on the fourth and final day.
Toro Rosso – who were running an interim livery – went for mileage over fast laps, coming second to only Mercedes in terms of laps completed. They will officially launch their 2016 car ahead of the second test this week. Red Bull and Williams had understated starts to testing, getting on with their own programmes. Renault made their return to Formula One as a works team and Jolyon Palmer and Kevin Magnussen got their first tastes of the new car. Renault has described their week as a “solid start”.
For Manor rookies Pascal Wehrlen and Rio Haryanto it was an opportunity to get some mileage under their belts. The MRT05 is powered by Mercedes this year having previously run with Ferrari power. The team also has a technical partnership with Williams and hope to make big steps forward this year. Although the team completed the fewest laps of the test they were satisfied with their work as they look to move on to more significant set up work next week.
At this stage last year teams had already taken part in two pre-season tests. With the first race of the season due to take part in Australia on the 20th March, there are just two pre-season tests this year for teams to start to get to grips with their 2016 machines.
Both of these pre-season tests will take place at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona – the first of which kicks off tomorrow morning.
All 11 teams will be present at the test although only Sauber will be without their 2016 car. Instead their drivers will run the 2015 car with a revised livery. While teams such as Williams, McLaren, and Haas have revealed photographs of their new cars online, testing will be the first opportunity to see all the new cars as they take to the track for the first time.
Toro Rosso will be running an interim livery – with the real deal set to be unveiled at the second test – while Renault’s livery is also expected to change before the first race.
||Alfonso Celis Jr
||Alfonso Celis Jr
Alfonso Celis Jr will be the only test/reserve driver in action, splitting the running with Force India’s regular race drivers Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg. For Kevin Magnussen, Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez it will be their first outings with new teams. 2016 rookies Jolyon Palmer, Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto will also be in action.
Pre-season testing doesn’t give a clear picture of the order the teams will end up come the first race of the season, but it gives somewhat of an indication. It will be an important eight days for the likes of McLaren, Manor and Haas but for very different reasons.
McLaren endured a torrid 2015 season and this struggle started at pre-season testing where they failed to string laps together. They will be hoping for better reliability in the early stages of the year. For Manor it is a brand new line-up with a brand new car. They will have Mercedes engines for the 2016 season, having raced with older Ferrari power in the past. And finally, for Haas it is their first season in Formula One with a brand new car. They are hoping to score points in their maiden season and have a promising line-up in experienced driver Grosjean and former Sauber driver and Ferrari tester Gutierrez.
Ferrari will be hoping that they can close the gap to Mercedes and mount a sustained challenge throughout the whole season. For Williams it is another opportunity to make steps forward, having finished third in the championship for the past two seasons. Renault have returned to the sport as a works team for the first time since the 2009 season while Red Bull will hope to put their engine problems behind them. Toro Rosso will run Ferrari engines this year – having ran with Renault Power Units last year – with Force India coming off the back of their best season in Formula One. Mercedes will remain the team to beat having won the championship convincingly for the past two seasons.
Nine of the ten Formula One teams will take part in the first in-season test on Tuesday and Wednesday.
In 2015 there will be two in-season tests – down from the four last season – and the first of these is due to take place in Spain following the Grand Prix at the weekend. Every team bar Manor will run on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Circuit de Catalunya. The Sporting Regulations have stipulated that each team must run a driver with less than two F1 race starts on two of the four test days.
The schedule for the two days in Barcelona is as follows:
As well as seven current Formula One drivers, seven test and reserve drivers will also take the wheel. Pascal Wehrlein, Raffaele Marciello, and Pierre Gasly will be the busiest drivers as they split their running between two teams. Mercedes test driver Wehrlein who also tested for Force India during pre-season testing will continue to run for both teams, starting with Force India on Tuesday. Marciello is a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy and will run for the Scuderia on Tuesday before taking up his official Sauber test and reserve driver duties on Wednesday. Finally, Red Bull Junior driver Gasly will get running for both Toro Rosso and Red Bull over the two days.
Elsewhere Nico Rosberg, Daniil Kvyat, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, and Marcus Ericsson will kickstart the running for their respective teams. Jenson Button and Carlos Sainz will also be in action. Former Sauber driver Esteban Gutierrez will get his first running for Ferrari after joining the team as one of their test drivers for the 2015 season. Long-time McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey will get a days running as will Williams development driver Alex Lynn. Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer will be in action on Wednesday with Nick Yelloly sharing the Force India with Wehrlein.
The second in-season test will take place following the Austrian Grand Prix in June.
The first race of the 2015 Formula One season is under two weeks away and teams have completed their pre-season testing. All nine teams were once again in action as Force India debuted their 2015 car, which took to the track for the first time on Friday. Here is a round-up of the action in the second Barcelona test including combined times and lap stats.
Fastest lap: Felipe Massa 1:23.500
- Felipe Massa’s time five tenths faster than the best time from the first Barcelona test
- Mercedes running curtailed by MGU-K problem
- McLaren’s woes continue with hydraulics problem leading to just seven laps
- Marcus Ericsson completed a race simulation and most laps of anyone
- Red flags caused by Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz
Day 1 Report
Fastest lap: Nico Rosberg 1:22.792
- Nico Rosberg over a second faster than Valtteri Bottas on soft tyres
- Ferrari enjoyed reliability and a race simulation for Sebastian Vettel
- Jenson Button completed 101 laps for McLaren and set the fifth fastest time
- Toro Rosso’s day brought to an early end by an electrical fault
- The VJM08 made its debut with Nico Hulkenberg at the wheel
Day 2 Report
Fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton 1:23.022
- Kevin Magnussen makes testing debut but day shortened by oil leak
- Kimi Raikkonen delayed in morning by electrical problem but significant running later in day
- Lewis Hamilton’s soft tyre time two tenths faster than Felipe Massa’s super soft time
- Carlos Sainz completes race simulation but day ended early by electrical problem
- Daniel Ricciardo focused on medium tyre runs
Day 3 Report
Fastest lap: Valtteri Bottas 1:23.063
- Sergio Perez gets his first running in the VJM08
- Mercedes switched their focus to medium and hard compound tyres
- McLaren delayed in getting out and complete just 30 laps
- Pastor Maldonado suffers a crash due to a brake issue
- Red Bull had another ERS failure in the morning
Day 4 Report
463 sets of tyres brought to Barcelona:
- 36 super-soft
- 85 soft
- 137 medium
- 72 hard
- 66 intermediate
- 47 full wet
- 20 prototype medium
290 sets of tyres were used:
- 30 super-soft
- 74 soft
- 122 medium
- 42 hard
- 4 intermediate
- 0 full wet
- 18 prototype medium
Longest run per tyre:
- Super-soft: 5 laps (Marcus Ericsson; Sergio Perez; Felipe Nasr; Nico Hulkenberg)
- Soft: 15 laps (Felipe Massa; Nico Rosberg)
- Medium: 26 laps (Marcus Ericsson)
- Hard: 27 laps (Felipe Nasr)
- Intermediate: 6 laps (Lewis Hamilton; Daniil Kvyat)
- Prototype Medium: 28 laps (Kimi Raikkonen)
Fastest lap tyre choices:
- Day 1: Felipe Massa 1:23.500 – soft
- Day 2: Nico Rosberg 1:22.792 – soft
- Day 3: Lewis Hamilton 1:23.022 – soft
- Day 4: Valtteri Bottas 1:23.063 – super-soft
Total number of laps completed by driver
Felipe Nasr 300
Sebastian Vettel 272
Nico Rosberg 254
Marcus Ericsson 245
Nico Hulkenberg 235
Max Verstappen 224
Carlos Sainz 218
Kimi Raikkonen 216
Felipe Massa 205
Daniel Ricciardo 200
Romain Grosjean 191
Valtteri Bottas 179
Pastor Maldonado 176
Daniil Kvyat 159
Jenson Button 138
Sergio Perez 130
Lewis Hamilton 124
Kevin Magnussen 39
Total number of laps completed by team
Toro Rosso 442
Force India 365
Red Bull 359
Total number of laps completed by engine manufacturer
Mercedes: Mercedes/Williams/Lotus/Force India: 1494
Ferrari: Ferrari/Sauber: 1033
Renault: Red Bull/Toro Rosso: 801
Total number of laps completed by day
Day 2: 1021
Day 3: 1010
Day 4: 878
Day 1: 596
- Nico Rosberg 1:22.792 (Day 2)
- Lewis Hamilton 1:23.022 (Day 3)
- Valtteri Bottas 1:23.063 (Day 4)
- Felipe Massa 1:23.262 (Day 3)
- Kimi Räikkönen 1:23.276 (Day 3)
- Sebastian Vettel 1:23.469 (Day 4)
- Felipe Nasr 1:24.023 (Day 4)
- Carlos Sainz 1:24.191 (Day 3)
- Romain Grosjean 1:24.200 (Day 3)
- Marcus Ericsson 1:24.276 (Day 1)
- Max Verstappen 1:24.527 (Day 4)
- Daniel Ricciardo 1:24.638 (Day 4)
- Nico Hulkenberg 1:24.939 (Day 3)
- Sergio Perez 1:25.113 (Day 4)
- Kevin Magnussen 1:25.225 (Day 3)
- Jenson Button 1:25.327 (Day 4)
- Daniil Kvyat 1:25.947 (Day 1)
- Pastor Maldonado 1:26.705 (Day 1)
- Mercedes 1:22.792 (Day 2)
- Williams 1:23.063 (Day 4)
- Ferrari 1:23.276 (Day 3)
- Sauber 1:24.023 (Day 4)
- Toro Rosso 1:24.191 (Day 3)
- Lotus 1:24.200 (Day 3)
- Red Bull 1:24.638 (Day 4)
- Force India 1:24.939 (Day 3)
- McLaren 1:25.225 (Day 3)
The first race of the season is in under two weeks on Sunday 15th March.
Pre-season testing has concluded with Williams at the top of the timesheets.
Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time on the final day of testing with a 1:23.063, set on the super-soft tyre in the morning session. The team focused on performance with a mixture of long and short runs and completed 89 laps. They wrapped up their running early due to finishing their programme, with Bottas feeling confident about the upcoming Australian Grand Prix.
Next up was Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel who completed 129 laps while doing a race simulation. Felipe Nasr was another driver to complete a race simulation as he racked up an impressive 159 laps for Sauber. Max Verstappen took the opportunity to work on some final set-up ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks. Daniel Ricciardo’s day got off to a difficult start when he stopped at the end of the pit-lane – bringing out a red flag – due to an ERS problem. He soon got running again and completed some low fuel runs with soft tyres and longer runs.
Sergio Perez got his first time out in the 2015 Force India, taking over from Nico Hulkenberg who drove yesterday and on Friday. After 158 laps yesterday, the VJM08 once again covered significant mileage with Perez completing 130 laps. They also ran a mix of performance runs and longer runs. Day two pacesetter Nico Rosberg completed 148 laps and focused on medium and hard compound tyre runs, setting the seventh fastest time of the day.
McLaren described their day as having a “slow start” but they made “steady progress”. They were delayed getting out due to system checks following an oil leak yesterday. Jenson Button eventually completed 30 laps and set the eighth fastest lap. Pastor Maldonado completed aero assessments in the morning before his running came to an early end in the afternoon. A braking issue resulted in a crash in the barriers and the team decided that, due to the fact they’ve enjoyed reliable testing up so far, there was no need to rush repairs on the car to get it out again.
Times from the fourth and final day of testing were as follows:
- Valtteri Bottas – 1:23.063 – 89 laps
- Sebastian Vettel – 1:23.469 – 129 laps
- Felipe Nasr – 1:24.023 – 159 laps
- Max Verstappen – 1:24.527 – 85 laps
- Daniel Ricciardo – 1:24.638 – 72 laps
- Sergio Perez – 1:25.113 – 130 laps
- Nico Rosberg – 1:25.186 – 148 laps
- Jenson Button – 1:25.327 – 30 laps
- Pastor Maldonado – 1:28.272 – 36 laps
The Australian Grand Prix takes place on the the 15th March.
Reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton continued team-mate Nico Rosberg’s form from yesterday by keeping Mercedes at the top of the time-sheets.
Hamilton’s time of 1:23.022 was seven tenths off Rosberg’s pace from yesterday but it was still a clear sign from the world champions. He ended the day two tenths clear of Williams driver Felipe Massa who set his fastest lap-time on the super soft tyres, while Hamilton’s was on the soft. After initial runs on the medium tyre, Hamilton returned to the garage for, what the team described as, experimental set-up changes. He put a set of the soft tyres on late in the day and moved to the top of the times.
Today brought Massa’s pre-season testing to a close as Valtteri Bottas returns to the car tomorrow. The Brazilian spent the day completing chassis and aero work along with longer runs on scrubbed tyres. Kimi Raikkonen ended the day third for Ferrari and he is another driver who has wrapped up his winter running. After an early delay due to an electrical problem Raikkonen had a highly productive day, completing 136 laps. He completed a consistent race simulation in the afternoon.
Carlos Sainz got the opportunity to fine-tune the set-up of the car and completed a race simulation in the afternoon. He will make his Formula One racing debut in just two weeks time at the Australian Grand Prix. Unfortunately an electrical problem late in the day caused a red flag and brought an early end to Sainz’s running, just after he had set his best lap of the day. Romain Grosjean set the fifth fastest lap of the day for Lotus. As was the case with most other drivers, his day included aero work and a race simulation in the afternoon. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson completed 123 laps and set the sixth fastest time of the day. He caused the first of two red flags when his car came to a stop out on track in the afternoon.
Nico Hulkenberg continued Force India’s positive start to testing by completing 158 laps. The team’s 2015 car made its debut yesterday and has been showing good signs in terms of reliability with Hulkenberg being able to complete a substantial amount of laps. He will hand over the car to Sergio Perez tomorrow for the fourth and final day of pre-season testing.
Kevin Magnussen was in the car for McLaren and he managed just 39 laps before his day was curtailed by an oil leak. After the highs of yesterday, when the team completed 101 laps, it was back to the usual scene for the team as they continue to try and get to grips with their new car and engine. Rounding out the times was Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull after he spent the day focusing on long runs on the medium tyre and not chasing the ultimate lap time.
Times from the third day were as follows:
- Lewis Hamilton – 1:23.022 – 76 laps
- Felipe Massa – 1:23.262 – 102 laps
- Kimi Raikkonen – 1:23.276 – 136 laps
- Carlos Sainz – 1:24.191 – 132 laps
- Romain Grosjean – 1:24.200 – 116 laps
- Marcus Ericsson – 1:24.477 – 123 laps
- Nico Hulkenberg – 1:24.939 – 158 laps
- Kevin Magnussen – 1:25.225 – 39 laps
- Daniel Ricciardo – 1:25.742 – 128 laps
Pre-season testing concludes tomorrow.