2015: Formula One Fact-File

On the eve of the first practice session of the 2015 season here is The H Duct’s annual Formula One Fact-File.

Teams and Drivers

Remaining with 2014 teams: Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Daniel Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas, Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Pastor Maldonado, and Romain Grosjean (11/20)

Moving to a new team for 2015: Daniil Kvyat, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Marcus Ericsson, and Will Stevens (5/20)

Returning to a former team: N/A

Rookies: Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen, Felipe Nasr, and Roberto Merhi (4/20)

Returning to Formula One: N/A

Who’s missing?: Adrian Sutil (2015 plans not yet confirmed, has been linked to WEC), Esteban Gutierrez (test and reserve driver for Ferrari), Jean-Eric Vergne (test and reserve driver for Ferrari – in particular simulator work; Formula E driver for Andretti Autosport), Jules Bianchi (remains in a coma in France following his accident at the Japanese Grand Prix), Max Chilton (driving in WEC for Nissan Motorsport), and Kamui Kobayashi (Team LeMans driver in Super Formula).

Statistic pages for all 20 drivers are available.

Milestones

No significant race milestones in 2015.

Nico Rosberg and Toro Rosso are both entering their 10th season in the sport.

Ages
(Ages specified are correct as of 12th March 2015)

Oldest driver: Kimi Raikkonen (35 years 4 months 23 days)
Youngest driver: Max Verstappen (17 years 5 months 10 days)
Oldest driver pairing: McLaren (63 years 9 months 1 day)
Youngest driver pairing: Toro Rosso (37 years 11 months 21 days)

Driver Ages 1 Driver Ages 2

*When drivers ages were added together, a month was taken as 31 days

Experience
(in terms of races entered)

Most experienced driver: Jenson Button (268 races)
Least experienced driver: Felipe Nasr, Roberto Merhi, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr (0 races – rookies)
Least experienced driver (excluding rookies): Will Stevens (1 race)
Most experienced driver pairing: McLaren (504 races)
Least experienced driver pairing: Toro Rosso (0 races)

  • Jenson Button – 268 races entered – debut in 2000
  • Fernando Alonso – 236 races entered – debut in 2001
  • Kimi Raikkonen – 213 races entered – debut in 2001
  • Felipe Massa – 212 races entered – debut in 2002
  • Nico Rosberg – 166 races entered – debut in 2006
  • Lewis Hamilton – 148 races entered – debut in 2007
  • Sebastian Vettel – 139 races entered – debut in 2007
  • Sergio Perez – 77 races entered – debut in 2011
  • Nico Hulkenberg – 77 races entered – debut in 2010
  • Pastor Maldonado – 77 races entered – debut in 2011
  • Daniel Ricciardo – 69 races entered – debut in 2011
  • Romain Grosjean – 64 races entered – debut in 2009
  • Valtteri Bottas – 38 races entered – debut in 2013
  • Daniil Kvyat – 19 races entered – debut in 2014
  • Marcus Ericsson – 16 races entered – debut in 2014
  • Will Stevens – 1 race entered – debut in 2014
  • Felipe Nasr – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • Max Verstappen – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • Carlos Sainz Jr – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • Roberto Merhi – 0 races entered – debut in 2015
  • McLaren – Jenson Button & Fernando Alonso – 504 races entered
  • Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen & Sebastian Vettel – 352 races entered
  • Mercedes – Nico Rosberg & Lewis Hamilton – 314 races entered
  • Williams – Felipe Massa & Valtteri Bottas – 250 races entered
  • Force India – Sergio Perez & Nico Hulkenberg – 154 races entered
  • Lotus – Romain Grosjean & Pastor Maldonado – 141 races entered
  • Red Bull – Daniel Ricciardo & Daniil Kvyat – 88 races entered
  • Sauber – Marcus Ericsson & Felipe Nasr – 16 races entered
  • Manor – Will Stevens & Roberto Merhi – 1 race entered
  • Toro Rosso – Max Verstappen & Carlos Sainz Jr – 0 races entered

Newcomers

There are four rookies on the 2015 grid but who are they and where did they come from?

Felipe Nasr – Sauber: 22 year old Brazilian driver Felipe Nasr was 3rd in the GP2 championship last year. He made his single seater debut in 2008 in Formula BMW, winning the European championship in 2009. He also won the British Formula 3 championship in 2011 before stepping up to GP2 in 2012.

Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso: Max Verstappen is the son of former Grand Prix driver Jos Verstappen and is set to become the youngest rookie in Formula One history when he takes part in the Australian Grand Prix. He only made his single seater debut last year after a successful time in karting. He finished third in the Formula 3 championship and made a successful test debut for Toro Rosso last year.

Carlos Sainz Jr – Toro Rosso: Another son of a racing driver, Carlos Sainz Jr has been part of the Red Bull Junior Team for a number of years. He won the Formula Renault 3.5 championship last year and in the past has also won the Formula Renault 2.0 title. He had been in the running for the Toro Rosso seat in 2014 but lost out to Daniil Kvyat. When Vettel made the move to Ferrari, and Kvyat was promoted, it left an opening for Sainz at Toro Rosso.

Roberto Merhi – Manor:  A late addition to the 2015 grid, Roberto Merhi is another Formula Renault 3.5 graduate. He finished third in the 2014 championship having won the Formula 3 Euro Series title the year before. He had a brief stint in DTM in 2012 and 2013 before returning to single seaters the following year. Manor only recently confirmed their return to Formula One and Merhi was announced on the week of the first race.

Engine Suppliers

Mercedes: Mercedes/Williams/Force India/Lotus*
Ferrari: Ferrari/Sauber/Manor**
Renault: Red Bull/Toro Rosso*
Honda: McLaren*

* new partnership for 2015
** 2014 engines

Calendar

The 2015 season will run from 15th March to the 29th November, starting in Australia and ending in Abu Dhabi. On their trip around the world the paddock will visit 20 countries.

The Mexican Grand Prix is a new addition to the calendar.

2014

Mercedes were a dominant force last season, winning 16 of 19 races and taking pole position at 18 out of 19 races. Lewis Hamilton was the eventual champion after beating team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Daniel Ricciardo was the only other driver to win a race last year. Other drivers to feature on the podium were Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Felipe Massa, Fernando Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Jenson Button, and Sergio Perez. Mercedes and Red Bull both had 32 points finishes. Marussia picked up their first ever points when Jules Bianchi finished ninth at the Monaco Grand Prix.

Technical and Sporting Regulations

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2015: First Barcelona Test Round-Up

Nine Formula One teams have now completed eight days of pre-season testing with just four more left before the Australian Grand Prix. Force India joined the action after sitting out the first test in Jerez bringing their 2014 car with them. Here is a round-up of the action in the first Barcelona test including combined times and lap stats.

Day 1

Fastest lap: Pastor Maldonado 1:25.011

  • Pastor Maldonado’s time two tenths faster than 2014 pole lap time
  • Lewis Hamilton forced to withdraw due to fever with Nico Rosberg sidelined by trapped nerve
  • Pascal Wehrlein split running between Force India and Mercedes
  • Felipe Nasr and Susie Wolff had a coming together
  • Faulty MGU-K seal hampered McLaren’s running

Day 1 report 

Day 2

Fastest lap: Daniel Ricciardo 1:24.574

  • Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg returned to action for Mercedes
  • Race simulation runs for Mercedes and Red Bull
  • McLaren completed 59 laps despite faulty MGU-K seal problem the day before
  • Jolyon Palmer made his test debut for Lotus
  • Sergio Perez got first full day of running after sharing car with Pascal Wehrlein yesterday

Day 2 report

Day 3

Fastest lap: Pastor Maldonado 1:24.348

  • Pastor Maldonado went seven tenths faster than his day one time using super soft tyres
  • Gearbox problem compromised Sauber’s running
  • Sebastian Vettel spun into the gravel at the start of the session due to cold tyres
  • Williams focused on pit-stop practice with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas splitting the running
  • McLaren suffered re-occurrence of MGU-K problem

Day 3 report

Day 4

Fastest lap: Romain Grosjean 1:24.067

  • Fernando Alonso airlifted to hospital for checks following crash
  • Nico Rosberg used medium compound tyres to post a lap-time just two tenths off Romain Grosjean’s super soft lap
  • Drivers complained of wind unsettling car; Carlos Sainz Jr crashed as a result
  • 2014 Mercedes engine failure for Force India
  • More mechanical problems for Sauber

Day 4 report

Pirelli Report

348 sets of tyres brought to Barcelona:

  • 18 super-soft
  • 56 soft
  • 135 medium
  • 51 hard
  • 70 intermediate
  • 44 full wet
  • 18 prototype medium
  • 6 winter hard

261 sets of tyres were used:

  • 11 super-soft
  • 56 soft
  • 126 medium
  • 35 hard
  • 9 intermediate
  • 0 full wet
  • 18 prototype medium
  • 6 winter hard

Longest run per tyre:

  • Super-soft: 5 laps (Felipe Nasr; Sergio Perez; Pascal Wehrlein)
  • Soft: 16 laps (Valtteri Bottas)
  • Medium: 24 laps (Max Verstappen)
  • Hard: 27 laps (Valtteri Bottas)
  • Prototype medium: 14 laps (Daniel Ricciardo)
  • Winter hard: 14 laps (Jolyon Palmer)
  • Intermediate: 7 laps (Sebastian Vettel)

Fastest lap tyre choices:

  • Day 1: Pastor Maldonado 1:25.011 – soft
  • Day 2: Daniel Ricciardo 1:24.574 – soft
  • Day 3: Pastor Maldonado 1:24.348 – super-soft
  • Day 4: Romain Grosjean 1:24.067 – super-soft

Laps Completed

Total number of laps completed by driver

Max Verstappen 223
Daniil Kvyat 216
Daniel Ricciardo 202
Lewis Hamilton 201
Nico Rosberg 197
Carlos Sainz Jr 188
Sebastian Vettel 181
Valtteri Bottas 178
Pastor Maldonado 173
Marcus Ericsson 166
Kimi Raikkonen 164
Pascal Wehrlein 161
Sergio Perez 155
Felipe Nasr 152
Felipe Massa 143
Romain Grosjean 111
Susie Wolff 86
Fernando Alonso 79
Jolyon Palmer 77
Jenson Button 45
Nico Hulkenberg 36

Total number of laps completed by team

Mercedes 446
Red Bull 418
Toro Rosso 411
Williams 407
Lotus 361
Ferrari 345
Sauber 318
Force India 304
McLaren 124

Total number of laps completed by engine manufacturer

Mercedes*: Mercedes/Williams/Lotus – 1214 laps
Renault: Red Bull/Toro Rosso – 829 laps
Ferrari: Ferrari/Sauber – 663 laps
Honda: McLaren – 124 laps

* 2014 Mercedes engine used in Force India – 304 laps

Total number of laps completed by day

Day 2 – 946
Day 3 – 813
Day 4 – 768
Day 1 – 607

Combined Times

  1. Romain Grosjean 1:24.067 (Day 4)
  2. Nico Rosberg 1:24.321 (Day 4)
  3. Pastor Maldonado 1:24.348 (Day 3)
  4. Daniel Ricciardo 1:24.574 (Day 2)
  5. Kimi Räikkönen 1:24.584 (Day 2)
  6. Felipe Massa 1:24.672 (Day 2)
  7. Sergio Perez 1:24.702* (Day 2)
  8. Max Verstappen 1:24.739 (Day 3)
  9. Lewis Hamilton 1:24.923 (Day 2)
  10. Daniil Kvyat 1:24.941 (Day 4)
  11. Felipe Nasr 1:24.956 (Day 4)
  12. Valtteri Bottas 1:25.345 (Day 4)
  13. Carlos Sainz Jr 1:25.604 (Day 4)
  14. Fernando Alonso 1:25.961 (Day 2)
  15. Jolyon Palmer 1:26.280 (Day 2)
  16. Sebastian Vettel 1:26.312 (Day 4)
  17. Marcus Ericsson 1:26.340 (Day 3)
  18. Nico Hulkenberg 1:26.591* (Day 4)
  19. Pascal Wehrlein 1:27.333* (Day 3)
  20. Jenson Button 1:28.182 (Day 1)
  21. Pascal Wehrlein 1:28.849** (Day 1)
  22. Susie Wolff 1:28.906 (Day 1)

* 2014 Force India
** Mercedes lap-time

  1. Lotus 1:24.067 (Day 4)
  2. Mercedes 1:24.321 (Day 4)
  3. Red Bull 1:24.574 (Day 2)
  4. Ferrari 1:24.584 (Day 2)
  5. Williams 1:24.672 (Day 2)
  6. Force India* 1:24.702 (Day 2)
  7. Toro Rosso 1:24.739 (Day 3)
  8. Sauber 1:24.956 (Day 4)
  9. McLaren 1:25.961 (Day 2)

Pre-season testing concludes this week in Barcelona. The action re-commences on Thursday.

Lotus end first Barcelona test fastest

Romain Grosjean concluded the first of two pre-season tests in Barcelona by going fastest.

It was his one and only appearance in the car at this test and he completed 111 laps over the course of the day. His fastest lap signified the end of a strong test for Lotus who were fastest on three of the four days. Pastor Maldonado set the fastest time on the first day of running before handing the car over to test driver Jolyon Palmer on day two. Maldonado returned to the top of the times when he resumed running yesterday.

The order of the day was a race simulation for Grosjean which he abandoned towards the end. His fastest lap was set late on in the afternoon on the super-soft compound tyre. Nico Rosberg, who ended up second, set a lap-time just two tenths shy of the second using the medium tyre. Pirelli report that they expect a difference of about one and a half to two seconds between the medium and super soft compounds making the Mercedes pace look particularly ominous. His day started with a trip to the gravel trap after just 25 minutes but he recovered from that to complete 131 laps, the most of anyone.

Daniil Kvyat’s lap-time was set on the soft compound tyre. He caused one of the red flags after spinning out at turn three. Felipe Nasr’s running was compromised by mechanical problems in the morning after the car stopped at the end of the pit-lane. Valtteri Bottas, who spent much of yesterday completing pit-stop practice, went for longer runs today and set the fifth fastest lap of the day. Early pace-setter Carlos Sainz Jr ended the day sixth fastest and caused one of the red flags.

Sebastian Vettel completed 76 laps in the Ferrari as the team focused on reliability with long runs. They also took the opportunity to test various settings and tyre configurations, with a number of components being changed on the car leading to lengthy periods of the car not running. Nico Hulkenberg’s first appearance at pre-season testing was another one which ended early after the power unit failed. Force India are running the 2014 car – and engine – and were focused on evaluating the 2015 tyres and racking up the mileage.

The biggest news of the day was Fernando Alonso’s turn 3 crash. McLaren had spent the first couple of hours fitting a new part to the car, in order to prevent the MGU-K failure which hampered other days of running. They also carried out pit-stop practice before sending Alonso out for his first run. They announced that they were due to split the running between Alonso and Jenson Button to ensure both drivers got some significant mileage. Following his crash Alonso was taken to the medical centre before being flown to hospital for precautionary checks. The team released the following statement after the incident:

Today at 12:35 CET, while testing at the Circuit de Catalunya (Barcelona), during the fourth and final day of the current test, Fernando Alonso’s McLaren-Honda car left the track at Turn Three, causing the right-hand side of his car to strike the wall.

Fernando was driven to the circuit’s Medical Centre where the circuit’s doctors gave him first aid.

He was conscious and spoke with the doctors.

However, as per usual procedure in such circumstances, he was then airlifted to hospital where he is undergoing precautionary checks.

We will issue a further update in due course.

Alonso was given the all clear following scans but he will remain in hospital overnight for observation. In turn McLaren packed up the garage, bringing an end to a difficult second test for them.

The times after the fourth and final day of running were:

  1. Romain Grosjean – 1:24.067 – 111 laps
  2. Nico Rosberg – 1:24.321 – 131 laps
  3. Daniil Kvyat – 1:24.941 – 104 laps
  4. Felipe Nasr – 1:24.956 – 73 laps
  5. Valtteri Bottas – 1:25.345 – 129 laps
  6. Carlos Sainz Jr – 1:25.604 – 88 laps
  7. Sebastian Vettel – 1:26.312 – 76 laps
  8. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:26.591 – 36 laps
  9. Fernando Alonso – 1:27.956 – 20 laps

The third and final pre-season test commences in Barcelona on Thursday 26th February.

Daniel Ricciardo fastest after solid day of running

Daniel Ricciardo topped the times on the second day of pre-season testing in Barcelona with a time set in the morning session.

The Red Bull driver – who completed 143 laps in total – set his 1:24.574 on the soft tyres having enjoyed a ‘productive’ morning. He was just a hundredth of a second ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari. Ricciardo also completed a race simulation in his running, as did Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was returning to the car after having to abandon testing yesterday due to a favour. He split the running with team-mate Nico Rosberg who also missed yesterday due to a trapped nerve in his neck.

The Mercedes drivers were separated by 6 tenths of a second. Rosberg’s time was set in the morning before Hamilton took over the car in the afternoon. Felipe Massa went third fastest for Williams – taking over driving duty from Susie Wolff who drove yesterday – while Sergio Perez set the fourth fastest time in the 2014 Force India. McLaren enjoyed a productive day with Fernando Alonso completing 59 laps. Jenson Button’s running was cut short yesterday due to an MGU-K problem which the team expected to reoccur today. Alonso managed to make it to the chequered flag in the MP4-30 instead of having to stop early.

Also in action was Lotus reserve driver Jolyon Palmer, making his test debut for his new team. He completed 77 laps on his way to the eighth fastest time of the day. Rounding up the times were Marcus Ericsson for Sauber and Carlos Sainz Jr for Toro Rosso. Both drivers brought out red flags during the day. Sainz Jr went off into the gravel at Turn 9 while Ericsson stopped on the pit straight within the last half an hour.

The times after day two were as follows:

  1. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:24.574 – 143 laps
  2. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:24.584 – 90 laps
  3. Felipe Massa – 1:24.672 – 88 laps
  4. Sergio Perez – 1:24.702 – 121 laps
  5. Lewis Hamilton – 1:24.923 – 89 laps
  6. Nico Rosberg – 1:25.556 – 66 laps
  7. Fernando Alonso – 1:25.961 – 59 laps
  8. Jolyon Palmer – 1:26.280 – 77 laps
  9. Marcus Ericsson – 1:27.334 – 113 laps
  10. Carlos Sainz Jr – 1:28.945 – 100 laps

Testing continues tomorrow.

2015: Jerez Test Round-Up

After four days the first pre-season test has come to an end. Seven teams were in attendance – as Force India chose to delay their debut until Barcelona – with many drivers making their debut for new teams. Here is a round-up of the action including combined times and lap stats.

Day 1

Fastest lap: Sebastian Vettel 1:22.260

Headlines

  • Sebastian Vettel fastest on his Ferrari debut
  • Mercedes complete over 150 laps
  • Camouflage livery for Red Bull
  • Lotus missed a day of running due to waiting for parts arriving
  • McLaren-Honda struggle with electronic problems

Day 1 report

Day 2

Fastest lap: Sebastian Vettel 1:20.984

Headlines

  • Mercedes day ended by water leak but Lewis Hamilton still completed most laps
  • Lotus made test debut with Pastor Maldonado
  • Rain in Jerez gives drivers some wet running experience
  • Red Bull forced to run without front wing due to damage

Day 2 report

Day 3

Fastest lap: Felipe Nasr 1:21.545

Headlines

  • Another solid day of running for Mercedes despite engine shutdown
  • Lengthy delay for Red Bull because of engine change
  • More laps for McLaren-Honda but day ended by loss of cooling water pressure

Day 3 report

Day 4

Fastest lap: Kimi Raikkonen 1:20.841

Headlines

  • ERS problems for Red Bull
  • More mileage for McLaren but another day ended early
  • Most laps for Hamilton despite red flag causing spin
  • Raikkonen sets fastest lap of week

Day 4 report

Pirelli Report

284 sets of tyres brought to Jerez:

  • 5 supersoft
  • 37 soft
  • 120 medium
  • 57 hard
  • 40 intermediate
  • 25 full wet

155 sets of tyres used in Jerez:

  • 0 supersoft
  • 21 soft
  • 83 medium
  • 29 hard
  • 16 intermediate
  • 6 full wet

Pirelli brought 16 sets of their ‘winter hard’ prototype tyres. Two sets of these are available per team for the total of the three pre-season test sessions.

Longest run per tyre:

  • Soft – 19 laps (Day 3) – Pastor Maldonado
  • Medium – 29 laps (Day 1) – Nico Rosberg
  • Winter Hard – 34 laps (Day 1) – Nico Rosberg
  • Hard – 42 laps (Day 1) – Nico Rosberg
  • Intermediate – 25 laps (Day 3) – Nico Rosberg
  • Full Wet – 4 laps (Day 2) – Felipe Nasr

Laps & Combined Times

  1. Nico Rosberg – 308 laps
  2. Lewis Hamilton – 208 laps
  3. Kimi Raikkonen – 200 laps
  4. Felipe Nasr – 197 laps
  5. Marcus Ericsson – 185 laps
  6. Carlos Sainz Jr – 183 laps
  7. Max Verstappen – 170 laps
  8. Sebastian Vettel – 149 laps
  9. Felipe Massa – 144 laps
  10. Pastor Maldonado – 137 laps
  11. Valtteri Bottas – 134 laps
  12. Daniel Ricciardo – 84 laps
  13. Daniil Kvyat – 82 laps
  14. Romain Grosjean – 53 laps
  15. Jenson Button – 41 laps
  16. Fernando Alonso – 38 laps
  1. Mercedes – 516 laps
  2. Sauber – 382 laps
  3. Toro Rosso – 353 laps
  4. Ferrari – 349 laps
  5. Williams – 278 laps
  6. Lotus – 190 laps
  7. Red Bull – 166 laps
  8. McLaren – 79 laps
  1. Kimi Raikkonen 1:20.841 (Day 4)
  2. Sebastian Vettel 1:20.984 (Day 2)
  3. Felipe Nasr 1:21.545 (Day 3)
  4. Nico Rosberg 1:21.982 (Day 3)
  5. Marcus Ericsson 1:22.019 (Day 4)
  6. Lewis Hamilton 1:22.172 (Day 4)
  7. Felipe Massa 1:22.276 (Day 3)
  8. Valtteri Bottas 1:22.319 (Day 2)
  9. Max Verstappen 1:22.553 (Day 4)
  10. Pastor Maldonado 1:22.713 (Day 3)
  11. Carlos Sainz Jr 1:23.187 (Day 3)
  12. Daniel Ricciardo 1:23.338 (Day 1)
  13. Romain Grosjean 1:23.802 (Day 4)
  14. Daniil Kvyat 1:23.975 (Day 4)
  15. Jenson Button 1:27.660 (Day 4)
  16. Fernando Alonso 1:35.553 (Day 3)
  1. Ferrari 1:20.841 (Day 4)
  2. Sauber 1:21.545 (Day 3)
  3. Mercedes 1:21.982 (Day 3)
  4. Williams 1:22.276 (Day 3)
  5. Toro Rosso 1:22.553 (Day 4)
  6. Lotus 1:22.713 (Day 3)
  7. Red Bull 1:23.338 (Day 1)
  8. McLaren 1:27.660 (Day 4)

Sauber fastest on day three in Jerez

After Sebastian Vettel topped the first two days of pre-season testing, there was a different name at the top of the times on day three as Felipe Nasr put Sauber fastest.

Nasr was joined on track by Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Pastor Maldonado, Carlos Sainz Jr, Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso as teams continued with their programmes in Jerez. It was a damp start to the day as drivers took to the track for installation laps. The Lotus was delayed out by a telemetry issue. Lotus started a day later to everyone else due to waiting for parts of their car to be delivered and Maldonado – who managed a lap time yesterday just five seconds off the pace.

Red Bull had Ricciardo in the car after Daniil Kvyat’s stint yesterday when he was forced to complete many one lap runs due to damaging the team’s one and only front wing. It was another day of limited running for the team, however, due to an engine change. Elsewhere it was a much more positive day for McLaren-Honda with Alonso logging 32 miles. Their day was eventually brought to a premature halt due to a loss of cooling water pressure which meant they had to remove the engine. The sounds coming from the team were positive and that it was a problem that could be seen to before Jenson Button’s final day of running tomorrow.

Of course pre-season testing is where teams will want to encounter these sorts of problems so they can work on fixing them prior to the first race. World champions Mercedes had their own issues, after Lewis Hamilton’s car suffered a water leak yesterday. The car suffered an engine shutdown today with Rosberg behind the wheel, but it was something the team could fix and they were able to send their driver out again. He once again more laps than anyone else, with 151 to add to his impressive day one tally. There were three red flags during the day – one caused by Rosberg’s stoppage – with Nasr having a spin out on track and the Lotus coming to a halt.

Up at the front it was Nasr who led the way for Sauber, with Raikkonen continuing Ferrari’s positive start in second place:

  1. Felipe Nasr – 1:21.545 – 109 laps
  2. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:21.750 – 93 laps
  3. Nico Rosberg – 1:21.982 – 151 laps
  4. Felipe Massa – 1:22.276 – 71 laps
  5. Pastor Maldonado – 1:22.713 – 96 laps
  6. Carlos Sainz Jr – 1:23.187 – 137 laps
  7. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:23.901 – 48 laps
  8. Fernando Alonso – 1:35.553 – 32 laps

The first pre-season test concludes tomorrow.

Sebastian Vettel top for Ferrari on day one in Jerez

The 2015 Formula One season officially started today with the first of three pre-season tests.

In 2014 Kimi Raikkonen topped the timesheets on day one on his return to Ferrari. The new dad did not drive today, however, with Sebastian Vettel getting the first proper taste of his new car and team, topping the times by a tenth of a second. All eyes were on the four time world champion who was making his long awaited debut for Ferrari and the German was one of the first drivers out on track at the start of the session.

Other drivers making their first appearance for new teams (or new old team as was the case for a certain Spaniard) were Carlos Sainz Jr at Toro Rosso, Marcus Ericsson for Sauber and Fernando Alonso for McLaren. Alonso completed just six laps – a number of installation laps and a three lap run – after a technical issue confined the car to the pits. “Given the complexity of modern Formula 1 machinery, the sorts of issues we encountered today weren’t too surprising,” Alonso expressed after his day. “They’re just the things you experience on the first day of a Formula 1 test.”

It was a solid start to testing for Mercedes as the reigning world champions completed 157 laps over the course of the day, more than double what anyone else managed. Nico Rosberg was at the wheel of the W06 today with world champion Lewis Hamilton due to get in the car tomorrow. Red Bull were running a camouflage livery as Daniel Ricciardo got to drive the car first. Also in action was Valtteri Bottas for Williams. Lotus are at the test but are still waiting for parts to arrive so did not get to the track today.

The day was interrupted by just two red flags, a small amount for the first day of testing. Ericsson suffered a small spin while Sainz Jr broke down on track. At the end of the first day it was Vettel who topped the (unofficial) times:

  1. Sebastian Vettel – 1:22.260 – 60 laps
  2. Marcus Ericsson – 1:22.777 – 73 laps
  3. Nico Rosberg – 1:23.106 – 157 laps
  4. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:23.338 – 35 laps
  5. Valtteri Bottas – 1:23.906 – 73 laps
  6. Carlos Sainz Jr – 1:25.307 – 46 laps
  7. Fernando Alonso – 1:40.738 – 6 laps

“Today was a good start,” Vettel said. “I can’t say more than that, because this is only the beginning. Everything is different, even the philosophy behind the car, when compared to what I was used to. But I immediately felt at ease within the team and the guys gave me a very warm welcome. For now, lap times aren’t important: I did mine on the medium compound, but the comparison has to be made yet again with Mercedes. They are very quick, let’s just hope they are not quite as fast as last year…”