#F1 Testing: Jerez 2015 Day 2, morning

The cars trundled out onto the 4.4km Circuito de Jerez, pretty much as soon as the lights turned green, with only Toro Rosso electing to stay in the garage. It was Sebastian Vettel who was once more the first out on track, whilst the sun dawdled in its climb above the hills which create the amphitheatre that is the Autodromo..

With track and ambient temperatures a lowly 3° C, lap times were predictably high, as Hamilton and Nasr traded signature lap times at the top of chart. Not wanting to miss out, Sebastian Vettel got in amongst the action and slotted into second place. Eventually, Max Verstappen emerged in his STR10 leaving only Lotus the who had not done so. Word around the paddock was that they would be out running for the first time in 2015 towards the early afternoon.

The MP4-30, today being driven by 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, continued to cause concern for those in Woking as it sounded more like a baby’s rattle being thrown about.  A return to the garage required, therefore it was left to Max Verstappen and Felipe Nasr to warm the tarmac, though cloud cover would limit this. Track temperature lingered at 8.9° C for the first hour.

Pirelli have brought a special ‘Winter Hard’ tyre for this Jerez test, much like as is done for Moto GP and other biking series which run with different rubber at Jerez.  The Winter Hard is not part of the P Zero range available for the 2015 Grand Prix, as it is a unique design to reduce graining.

The following hour was a fairly sombre affair as teams settled into long runs on the ‘Winter Hard’ tyres. One would be forgiven for not being enthralled by the action on track, as the Ferrari demos around the circuit complex attracted those on the ground.  Lewis Hamilton continued to build on the fast start by clocking up 73 laps by 1pm local time, alternating flow visibility paint around the rear of the car.

Ferrari worked on their 2015 car, breaking into the 1:20s. Already over 2 seconds quicker than last year’s best time at Jerez, the prancing horse sought to prove the advancement these cars have made.  The Tifosi will be content to see the powertrains woes of 2014 have been addressed, not escaping the eagled-eyed Craig Scarborough.

News that will bring hope to those who follow the Maranello team.

Despite the basic livery on the car, Felipe Nasr continued the good work of Marcus Ericsson by setting consistent, but slow laps.  The overcast conditions not proving conducive to any kind of meaningful tyre running here, as was to be expected.  I took a walk trackside to listen to the difference with the cars this year and, in most cases, was pleasantly surprised.

When we consider that these are not powertrains on full power, Honda rumoured to be limited as low as 20% power, they are a leap forward of unimaginable proportions. The new Japanese unit sounded even worse than it had previously when Button remerged from the pits for a short stint at midday.  However, as the man from Frome had stated previously, this test would a case of work in progress.

To even the most unlearned fan the Mercedes powered cars were looking supreme around the fast turn 4 and into the straight after 5.  For any fan who wishes to see the cars in action Jerez comes highly recommended.  The views of the circuit from the tower in the centre of the circuit are fantastic, as the circuit is set into the natural amphitheatre between the hills.  The opportunity to see the cars at a price that will not break the bank is well worth the trip.

One further point of note for the morning is the lack of front wing on the Red Bull.  As TJ13 reported yesterday, one was being flown out here and will be ready shortly.  Perhaps merely a coincidence or an exercise in PR, the wing seemed to break at a fortuitous moment.  The new wing will be a 2015 spec one, not one which was designed for the RB10 as was the previous design.

26 responses to “#F1 Testing: Jerez 2015 Day 2, morning

  1. Awesome work guys!

    “The MP4-30, today being driven by 2009 World Champion Jenson Button, continued to cause concern for this in Woking as it sounded more like a baby’s rattle.”

    Is there any chance you could capture the McLaren on track or exiting the pits?

    BTW, I’ve never heard a V8 before, but from your videos I love how the engines sound. Maybe FOM needs to ditch all their fancy equipment and switch to broadcasting using mobile phones…

    • it’s not so much a problem of equipment, but of where and how they position the microphones and how they are mixing the different signals for the broadcast. the first race in 2014 was horribly mixed and gave a completely wrong impression. it was interesting to hear the tyres screatching for the first time, but when they are louder than the engines, you have a problem. It got better after that, but there is still room for improvement. i suspect the sound engineers are going through a learning process. the old engines were so incredibly loud, that you needed to heavily compress the signal when recording, ecause otherwise you would have heard nothing but distortion. with the new engines, the old recording and mixing techniques deliver very underwhelming results, so they needed to develop something new, which now has to be perfected.

    • I believe the recordings were made on a 4/3 Olympus stills camera which also has HD video function – using the equivalent of a 600mm lens. Not an inexpensive piece of kit – but not the price of a TV camera of course.

  2. Re- special Jerez Rubber
    If I remember correctly, the ‘special’ tyres last year were prototypes for test with regards the possible banning of tyre warmers for 2015 so they had a quicker warm up phase. I would imagine that if the teams used these with tyre warmers too, they will be ideal winter test tyres. At least Pirelli seem to be taking a more sensible approach, for a change lol.

  3. The new Lotus looks nice.

    Vettel’s fastest lap overall of the test so far – 1m20.984s – is already 2.3s quicker than the best time set in the opening test at Jerez in 2014, FWIW.

    And do Red Bull not have a spare front wing ??

    • The significance of the Ferrari’s speed is not the laptime itself (which, as we know from last year is hardly dispositive), but that it shows Vettel must be reasonably confident in the handling of the car.

      And yes, it seems that Kvyat has smacked RB’s only front wing.
      I’m sure JEV wouldn’t have done anything so foolish. 🙂

  4. So Christian Horner said the reason why Kvyat went out without a front wing, was because he damaged it.

    Seriously Christian?!!! pre-season testing and you turn up with only one front wing?

      • But even so, why not bring an old spec wing as back up just incase something like this happens?

        So unless they get a new one soon, then i’d assume that’s the end of testing for them today….

        • Wouldn’t fit the new nose, probably – & don’t forget they produced the whole thing at the last minute.

        • Consider the motivations for it breaking, then an immediate replacement makes it out here in such a short time…

    • The surprise expressed here is interesting (to be charitable).

      Besides points already mentioned:

      1) There are no championship points for RB to score here in Jerez.

      2) This team’s modus operandi is well established. See for example the front wing problems they experienced at the 2010 British GP meeting when championship points were available…

  5. Last year, couldn’t wait for the fist tests, but right now, I’m almost bored!

    Merc are cruising, most laps, really impressive, RBR and Ferrari are in the next pot and then you have McLaren…as expected struggling.

    So, let’s talk about something more interesting, Lewis’ contract. What are the ‘sticky parts’ he was referring to in his contract talks? Money? Sponsors? Get out clauses?

    • Wasn’t he always saying how interested he is in making a hip-hop or rap album or whatever this inane stuttering is called? And isn’t his newly signed management from the music business? Maybe he wants a mobile music studio. 😉

      • You don’t need a studio to make music – a laptop or tablet will do.

        There’s even apps that will let you do it on a smart phone.

      • Maybe it is about providing the music for the personel parties. Wolff doesn’t look a fan of hip-hop and rap 🙂

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