Jerez testing summary: Lewis a changed man, Mercedes’ troubles may be bigger than 1st thought, Lauda and Ross have an amicable dinner, Di Resta very upset with steering

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Judges chambers is a new section on TJ13. Here I will release my musings, sift debatable evidence and give judgements on what are and what are not reasonable assumptions for current ‘goings on’ in F1.

Having battled with no WIFI and hardly any 3G all day, I am finally ensconced in guest chambers where I can communicate, even though the speed of access reminds me of  early forms of internet ‘dial up’ access.

Mercedes and Hamilton

Testing day 1 and what do we know. Let’s start with Lewis. Testing has previously appeared somewhat of a chore to Mr. Hamilton who has preferred to play golf on his non-driving days and compare notes with another keen golfer – Heikki.

Heikki is of course no longer driving and Lewis appears to have found a renewed interest in day 1 of Jerez testing even though it was not his turn to drive. He was in the pit lane area before the morning session began, and was notably taking interest in the entire class of 2013 as they each emerged from behind shrouded garages.

Later in the morning he was in the McLaren home seen chatting to Sergio and renewing old acquaintances. Then he chatted to Ted Kravitz of SKY UK in a most open and affable manner.

This is a different Lewis at pre-season testing than we’ve seen before. He has not always been the most amiable of F1 drivers to fans at the pre-season events. Early in the morning last year, a couple of eager supporters were waiting for him outside his hotel in Jerez, they just wanted an autograph and picture with him but he brushed them aside remarking, “It’s the wrong time of year for this”.

Hamilton drives the Mercedes today, though rather worrying was the fire on the W04 that curtailed early Nico Rosberg’s track time. Those in the know have suggested to me this evening that fire such as this can often be caused by a fundamental design flaw – and to correct this problem is no means a quick fix.

McLaren

Despite an interrupted session, Jenson delivered the fastest lap of the day and Felipe Massa commented, “That was a fantastic time. I don’t know how he did it”.

Playing it by the book as expected, Jenson had this to say, “It’s been a very mixed day,” Button said. “With the first day of testing there is so much excitement within the team, but for us the excitement was very short-lived, doing three laps this morning and having the fuel-pump issue. It’s never what you want at the start of a test, but it’s better to have it at the start than at the end so we can solve the issue.

Lauda Watch: Tonight Niki came down to dinner and met Ross Brawn. despite his brash and at time arrogant demeanour he spent several minutes with a handful of fans who wanted to speak with him and then did a photo call with them before amicably shuffling off for some scram.

I have to say, the dinner with Ross was a most amiable affair – and I was surprised following the recent events that Ross was quite so ‘entente cordial’.

Having said that, if Paddy is now on the back burner until 2014 then Ross has another year in which to deliver improved success to Mercedes AMG. After all, he bought Brawn from Honda for £1 and sold it for around £60m to Dailmer Benz 1 year later.

So if anyone can be sanguine over usurped authority – Ross can.

2013 F1 calendar

Bernie confirms today here will be no 20th race this ear. True or pressure on a promoter?

Force India: Paul Di Resta was heard by a TJ13 source to complain vociferously about the feel of the steering on the car. A problem not easily fixed.

Okay v v tired…been awake 24 hours…more to come later

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5 responses to “Jerez testing summary: Lewis a changed man, Mercedes’ troubles may be bigger than 1st thought, Lauda and Ross have an amicable dinner, Di Resta very upset with steering

  1. While it’s always difficult to determine actual performance at testing, it’s interesting that Maldonado in last years Williams was quite competitive.

    • Last year the (by far) quickest time in the first test session was set by Rosberg in the old Mercedes, so I guess that those testing with a previous year car have to push a little harder to make the test valuable

  2. Interesting to see that Jenson’s odds of winning the WDC have reduced already from 8/1 to around 6/1 or 13/2 with most bookmakers, after only one day of testing.

  3. Yeah I believe lap times in testing means SFA! The cars aren’t much different to last years so I am not reading much into it. I think McLaren were pea cocking and Ferrari couldn’t be out done. I don’t think we will get a clear picture until Melbourne. And I don’t expect the order to have changed much. Expect vettel and his finger to reign this year, that’s my bet

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