The Mercedes W06 and Williams FW37 were launched this morning to a media scrum that had braved the cold conditions. The launches were predictably short, but revealed the new offerings from Brackley and Grove as light crept over the circuit.
As TJ13 had brought to light exclusively, the Red Bull test car was launched with a special test livery…
A man on a mission, Sebastian Vettel overtook Nico Rosberg to make sure he was out on track first.
There were huge cheers for the Spanish rookie Carlos Sainz Jr as he took to the track earlier. A lot of pressure rests on his shoulders, with a larger than normal crowd in to see him in action.
45 minutes into the session and we were finally treated to the first look at Fernando Alonso back behind the wheel of a McLaren, although a slightly problematic morning has ensued.
It was a cold but still morning in Jerez, as the shakedown for the 2015 season began. A track temperature of less than 10 degrees centigrade limited useful tyre simulation at first, as the new powertrains were put through their paces. The Spanish fans filtered into the stands to see their home heroes, Fernando Alonso and Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr.
So far it has been the Mercedes team that has put the hard laps in, completing 63 laps by 13:00 local time, 4 hours into the day. Daniel Ricciardo was in action for the Red Bull team, as the car rolled out using a camouflage livery which will aid disguising the intricate bodywork at the rear of the car. Is there some Newey genius at work back there?
They had completed more laps in 3 and a half laps of the session on day 1, than they did in the whole of the Jerez test last year. Save for a brief spell of powertrain trouble, signs are positive for the RB11.
Monisha Kaltenborn was in good spirits ahead of the new look Sauber heading out, saying, “We have learned our lessons and are confident for the new season.” However, this confidence may have been short lived after Marcus Ericsson caused the first red flag of the season, spinning into a spiral of tyre smoke before later recovering to the pits.
A steady rise in track temperature and steady air temperature meant it was ideal for testing the new Pirelli tyres. Paul Hembery had spoken of his expectations for the 2015 cars, believing the new tyres will need to be quite different to cope with the heightened power delivery.
The FW37 set about testing its capabilities as it enjoyed a clear track as other teams seemed to stop for a lunch break. However, lap times were slower, with a 1:25.167 down on the 1:23.106 Rosberg set earlier.
And finally, one driver who is not here this week is Max Chilton. The Briton clearly missing Formula One already…
Expect a lot more running this afternoon as track conditions are fantastic for testing!
I kinda like the RB11’s livery……
It’s proven a hit at the circuit as well
With a few colour accents (on th sponsor logos ?) it would look pretty good.
Props to the judge for breaking the news first.
Anyone think the RB might be trying to blow the rear wing ?
The central support looks like a tube.
What are RedBull hiding? Maybe the chassis is near identical to last year as they felt the reached near optimum on the aero and are expecting the improvement to come from Renault?
I wouldn’t be surprised if the RBR shell & livery for this test constitute something of a double bluff – so this time around there’s not much interesting in it apart from the skin colour. So systems / upgrades checks in Jerez more than whole-of-package evaluation.
My guess is that what you see in the pics is something akin to a zebroid, I guess.
Regardless, RBR & their marketing crowd have got everyone talking about the RB11 for the price of some vinyl wrap and a hair dryer. I can’t believe that RB would stoop so low as to only pull such a stunt for purely technical reasons.
FWIW the nose in the official photos (shown above) doesn’t look like the one they’re running on track.
New nose on a plane as we speak. Will be on car tomorrow
“Cost crisis? What cost crisis! We fly new parts out whenever we fancy” 😛
“F1 drivers? We’ve cut down from 9 to 7. That’s cost cutting ;)”
Don’t do that to the photos. Give em a small judge sign in the corners or something. They look like cap now…
For one split second I thought: ‘Is TJ13 sponsoring Mercedes?’
If you put a small logo in the corner, it will easily get copied and cropped off sadly, whilst this is removable, its less easy to do so and will make most theifs go elsewhere.
I know. But i like a good f1 photo as a wallpaper on my mobile. And sadly enough these one’s aren’t ideal due to that. 😉
Using a less garish colour and reduced opacity would be more effective both in terms of making it harder to remove the watermark from them and making them look less incredibly budget (“Thrown together in Paint” isn’t a strong look).
As it is there’s nothing stopping people from poaching the photos and reposting them as-is with the low quality watermark probably making people not even necessarily want to check this site out due to bad the watermark looks.
There’s a pretty big gap between the quality of the visuals on this site and the text content as it is, and things like that don’t really help. If the photos look nicer it’ll give people a much better impression of the place and could draw more people into checking the place out.
I’m following the live updates on autosport, I know it’s only testing, but its looking like the Merc has picked up where it left off last season.
Nico’s time is already 4s faster than last years D1 time.
The McLaren Honda being fired up – http://youtu.be/jhrOh8XachE
I like it, though sound isn’t everything….
Yeuch, ruined by a noise reduction algorithm! Here’s hoping it’s as throaty as it implies…
I doubt the Honda Power Unit is being run at full tilt yet, so I doubt we’ve heard the power unit in all it’s glory. This first test is going to be a hard slog for McLaren Honda. I’ve seen people in other places already writing McLaren off and saying how far behind they are. Well Duh. 2015 = Development year. 2016 and 2017 equals crunch time. Having seen another video of the MP4-30 in action, the aerodynamics already look much more promising than last year.
The reliability of the Merc is scary. Only a miracle can help us or we’ll beat last season in dullness.
Do you mean similar to when Schumacher and Vettel kept winning? 😉
Red Bull had only two years of dominance – 2011 and 2013 and even then their two cars were often split by a Ferrari or McLaren. Unlike last year. Not even the Ferrari years were that bad. It’s more like 1988 reloaded, only that we get to suffer through it for at least two years.
We haven’t finished the first day’s testing and you’re already declaring the season over ?
Bit premature, I think – especially as young Mr Vettel seems quite quick this afternoon, (and doesn’t even yet have the short nose fitted).
No doubt the Merc will still be the car to beat, but I think it’s looking as though it might be quite a bit closer this season.
Times mean nothing, but the fact that they ran 150 laps is scary as hell they didn’t seem to have the slightest problem. If that is the 2015 variant of the engine…
Times don’t mean that much – but they mean a bit more than nothing.
I expect Merc to win the championship, but I also expect at least four teams to win a race.
Interesting question about the engine. I think it’s the 2015 version, but didn’t Merc say they had held back on most of their ‘tokens’ in order to leave maximum room for development in season ?
Which would go some way to explaining the reliability.
Four teams to win races? That’s one helluva optimistic prediction. We didn’t have that since 2012
What can I say – I’m an optimist.
The four engines limit is quite demanding, so I don’t expect anyone to bring their A-game to every race. I’m betting Wiliams and Ferrari will be able to do what Red Bull did last season – take wins when everything runs in their favour. Can’t see that Red Bull should be less competitive than last year.
McLaren have ‘targeted’ a couple of wins, which might be/is probably a dream, but on the other hand they might just surprise.
This is what they said about their tokens……
Do you have info about Ferrari planning a short nose? Can you provide link?
Here, I think (my German is more than a little rusty…)
Ron just announced the livery for the McLaren will change. No dates set yet though.
PS. Think we may need to give Mercedes the trophy already 🙁
What Ron said, sounds like something we heard quite often last season from ‘Eric the believable’…..
The testing livery seems to be an attempt to hide details, so I expect we might see something down under that’s a bit more traditional looking in terms of McLaren Honda.
Interesting to note that Ron Dennis said this about the honda power unit
“Our race engines are two or three steps away from where we are now, therefore we’re still running development engines and will continue to run development engines through to the last test.
“The engine is an integral part of our size zero policy. The car is phenomenally tightly packaged in the back end, which has given huge scope to Peter and his team and they have taken full advantage of it.
“The level of detail and the precision of manufacturer of the components has surpassed anything any McLaren standards of the past. The elegance of some of the aerodynamic solutions as they’re packaged into suspension, brake ducts is done to a level we’ve never been able to achieve before.”
They seem to have had problems with the sensors due to the intense packaging, thus the lack of running. Though I think McLaren may end up in a spot of PR bother if they keep using the phrase size zero too often from groups and charities that help people with eating disorders. Or maybe not.
Basically that’s just Ron’s speak all over again….
Sometimes little snippets of truth are hidden in Ron speak. You don’t know what they are until things shake out.