A Quick look at how much each team managed to extract from 2013 pre-season testing
Team Total Testing Laps
|1. Sauber 1161 laps|
|2. Mercedes 1095 laps|
|3. Ferrari 1068 laps|
|4. Red Bull Racing 1008 laps|
|5. McLaren 1008 laps|
|6. Caterham 985 laps|
|7. Sahara Force India 980 laps|
|8. Toro Rosso 960 laps|
|9. Marussia 798 laps|
|10. Lotus 770 laps|
|11. Williams – FW35 666 laps|
|12. Williams – FW34 305 laps|
Driver Total Testing Laps
|1. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 607 laps|
|2. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 572 laps|
|3. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 554 laps|
|4. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 553 laps|
|5. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 553 laps|
|6. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 550 laps|
|7. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 536 laps|
|8. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 523 laps|
|9. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 516 laps|
|10. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 513 laps|
|11. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 513 laps|
|12. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 513 laps|
|13. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 505 laps|
|14. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 495 laps|
|15. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 495 laps|
|16. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 469 laps|
|17. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 458 laps|
|18. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 455 laps|
|19. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 424 laps|
|20. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 259 laps|
|21. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 253 laps *|
|22. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 249 laps|
|23. Luiz Razia Brazil Marussia-Cosworth 112 laps|
|24. James Rossiter Britain Force India-Mercedes 61 laps|
|25. Pedro de la Rosa Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 50 laps|
|26. Davide Valsecchi Italy Lotus-Renault 16 laps|
Sauber have been quietly going about their business and on the whole had a car that is reliable, with Esteban getting exactly what he needed – more miles under his belt than any other driver in the pre-season tests. Given the inclement weather the No. of laps the busiest teams achieved is not far from the target mark of 100 laps per day average over the entire schedule.
Most people have not noticed and neither has there been anything I can see in the media, but this year testing days were reduced by agreement amongst the teams from previous 15 down to 12.
Kimi appears to be the big loser here, with Adrian Sutil and Bianchi who were only announced late achieving similar mileage as the former world champion. 8 drivers completed double the number of laps that Kimi managed and though he can learn a new track without using the simulator, getting the feeling and understanding the car pre-season is vital for any driver and will possibly hurt Kimi’s ability to perform at his best.
Mercedes recovered their lack of running in testing 1&2 by delivering nearly 500 laps for Lewis and Nico, whilst Red Bull were clearly disappointed with just over 300 laps.
Whatever you think about sand bagging, this is not what Newey et al would have wanted. They test a lot of components for later in the year and the lack of running last week in Barcelona may hinder their development programme somewhat further down the line.
There is definitely something amis, but what exactly?
Team Barcelona 2 testing laps
|1. Mercedes 481 laps|
|2. Ferrari 428 laps|
|3. McLaren 395 laps|
|4. Sauber 388 laps|
|5. Caterham 373 laps|
|6. Sahara Force India 340 laps|
|7. Marussia 338 laps|
|8. Toro Rosso 325 laps|
|9. Red Bull Racing 314 laps|
|10. Williams 298 laps|
|11. Lotus 252 laps|
FIA rule clarification
We’ve discussed before the Renault cock-up/trying it on over the engine mapping regulations. For those who missed it, here’s a quick review of the situation.
Approaching the mid summer break, the FIA ruled against Renault who were operating different engine configurations at different circuits to improve the blowing of exhaust gasses into vital regions at the rear of the car. They had a ‘clever’ interpretation of the ‘each engine must have a base line configuratio’ rule and was allowed to vary slightly from that base line’.
Renault had been creating new and quite different base line engine configurations for each weekend – thus allowing them far more freedom than the other manufacturers. Rpaco or Somers will correct me if I’m wrong in the detail, but that was the gist of the ruling.
To stop Renault being allowed to optimise the engines for the next few races, the FIA instructed the engine manufacturers/teams to pick 1 engine configuration from the 1st 4 races of 2012 and use this ‘map’ as the base line – from there they could deviate engine configuration within slight parameters.
A cunning plan? or silly mistake?
Renault decided they would be clever/stupid this winter and by clever engine mapping again offer their customers ingenious ways to blow exhaust gasses onto the diffuser and assist stability under braking. They claim they naturally believed that 4 new engine maps for the first 4 races of 2013 was allowable and then argued this process of select 1 of these maps as a base line going forward was enshrined in last years ruling.
It wasn’t, because the FIA’s methodology to enforce one base line engine map was a retrospective fix of Renault’s naughty activities. Therefore the base line engine configuration the teams were instructed to select August 2012 remains the one they can use in 2013.
The FIA clarification of this position only became clear during Barcelona test 2. Red Bull and Williams have said little or nothing on the matter, however James Alison of Lotus commented, “We were experimenting in testing, on the last day of the last test [Barca 2], with an engine map and we explained to the FIA what we were doing. But having run it on the track we found it did not work very well anyway. We learned from the FIA that they were not so happy with what we proposed, so we are not doing it.”
Aah, so the engine maps were rubbish anyway James?
Renault teams designs flawed by engine mapping mistakes
Ross Brawn chirped in suggesting the FIA clarification would hurt the Renault teams hard and leave their development plans for the season up ‘a dead end’. His comments were described as ‘complete nonsense’ by Alan Permane, Lotus trackside operations manager.
Alan attempts to persuade us that Ross hasn’t got a clue what he’s talking about and that the new Renault engine maps – designed with weeks and weeks of R&D investment – were in fact useless. He persists, “Kimi hated them” and “they were not what we want” and they “served no purpose”. Alright… alright Alan – we hear you.
Is it me or are there some very touchy people out there at present?
Regardless of James Alison and Alan Permane’s protestations, this left Red Bull, Lotus and Williams scrabbling around having to re-design some fairly important parts of the car. They had just 5 or 6 days before the final test in Barcelona began. Indeed (I can’t find pics – sorry), all the Renault teams arrived with revised bodywork/exhaust configurations which all looked fairly similar. The packaging and rear panels were remarkably like those used by Red Bull used in 2012, whilst the rest of the teams have moved on.
If you look at the table above, which 3 teams ran the least in Barcelona? Coincidence? Mmm. Even Marko admitted that Red Bull were having problems getting the car properly balanced during the final test. “We have problems with balance. The car can not be set up properly.” This was a change of tune from the week before.
If the car has less stability now in the braking phase due to less downforce than prior to the illegal Renault maps ruling, by definition it becomes harder to set the car up. Vettel as we humorously reported yesterday was harping on almost obsessively about the tyres.
When asked how he felt his final day’s testing had gone, Vettel reflected “Overall, the tests were good for us, but we could. have liked more consistency, especially with the tyres where I think all teams had the same problems. In all three tests we were dependent on what the tyres would allow us to do. It was very difficult to understand changes to the setup and find the right one. So you have to trust the car because the tyres were not good enough. ”
Vettel’s claim that this must be an issue for everyone sounds a little hollow as there has not been this level of complaint about the tyres from the other teams.
He was then asked what more he would like to have achieved, Vettel responded “We would like to continue working on setup, but that the tyres would not allow it”. The areas for improvement are apparently difficult to identify as Vettel said, “It is very difficult to determine the exact area, because the tyres were not good enough. On the last two days the weather was very good, blue sky, sunshine.. and it was not particularly cold. The asphalt was also quite good, but the tyres were still bad.”
Sebastian concedes the car requires more development and soon yet strangely repeats they cannot achieve this until they “better understand how the new car behaves. “ Is it the case that Newey and co. need to make a major change to the RB9? Their ambassador, Helmut Marko in typical bullish (or Pinscheresque) form, dismisses the matter saying, “it isn’t over until the fat lady sings”.
Quote Discussion: Which team principal said this and why. “It makes no sense to analyse the situation”.
Check out our TJ13 YouTube TV channel there’s regularly stuff going up there. I like the one Usher found on Sauber’s pit stop 🙂