Day 5 #F1 2015 Winter Testing: Barcelona, afternoon report

This page will be updated throughout the session.


The headlines from the morning session were that Lewis Hamilton was taken unwell after completing just 11 laps, reporting a fever and Toto Wolff suggesting it was flu. Mercedes kidnap their test driver back from the Force India cockpit, claiming the schedule is tough and they don’t want to over burden Rosberg.

It is now emerging that Nico Rosberg has an inflamed nerve in his neck – and may not be able to drive tomorrow or even at all this week. If Hamilton truly has flu, the symptoms last for several days and he is hardly likely to be fully fit by tomorrow or even Saturday.

McLaren Honda are out of running for the rest of the day, having completed 21 laps. A faulty seal in the energy recovery system requires a complete engine change. Fernando Alonso may suffer the same problems tomorrow as the new design seal will only be available on Saturday.

Suzie Wolff was not particularly quick, but was the only driver to cover a Grand Prix distance amassing 77 laps for Williams – the most mileage of anyone in the session.

Red Bull suffered from limited running. Just 17 laps for Ricciardo though he was second quickest. The team claim ‘teething problems,’ though TJ13 has been informed it was more like PU issues. Toro Rosso again by comparison managed 35 laps.

It has emerged that Manor Racing has been an agreed entrant for the 2015 season, but must make the grid in Melbourne or lose their 2014 prize money. The three race absence of leave teams are allowed under their agreements with FOM are during the current period and up to 2020 – not an annual allowance. It is going to be terribly difficult for the newly born Manor team to be able complete a fully functioning 2015 car by Melbourne – given all the factory time lost and the veto by Force India to prevent them using a 2014 car.

However, if Manor can put something together which is a compliant 2015 car – it doesn’t even have to qualify within the 107% rule – the team will then have met their obligation to FOM, so its more than possible Manor will yet complete their comeback. They have a crash test for the 2015 car booked early in March.



Having had a snooze for the hour before the lunch break, Kimi was keen to go as the lights went green for the afternoon session. He set off on the unmarked winter hard tyres and immediately went quickest with a 1:27.180. The Ferrari was clearly pushing as Kimi did a sequence of quick laps followed by a slower one and improved his time again to 1:27:141.

There are an increasing number of murmurings in the paddock that the Ferrari pace is genuine, however so far their quickest runs have been on very short stints. Ferrari topped the time sheets regularly in winter testing in 2014, so you tifosi – better just stay calm for now.

Force India have located their Mexican driver following Mercedes hauling back their on loan test driver Pascal Wehrlein who this morning drove for Force India. The word on the street is that this ‘loan’ arrangement is in lieu of late payments by Force India for engines, but of course you didn’t hear that here.

The team claim checo will be wearing a ‘nija style helmet’ made of carbon fibre. And here it is – not looking so pretty.



With around 15 minutes of the session remaining, the red flag came out again. It appears that Wolff and Nasr have had a coming together down at turn five. Something pretty unusual in testing.

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Sauber tweeted, “Felipe went off track. He is ok..Details to follow” By the time both cars were cleared from the gravel, some 20 minutes had passed. There is a rumour that Lotus have adopted the Red Bull livery this afternoon and whilst we didn’t see him – Pastor Maldonado was in fact to blame.

Seriously though, Williams report that Susie Wolff was on an outlap and travellking slowly. Felipe Nasr attempted to pass her between turns four and five causing the two cars to collide. Suzie Wolff does not believe it was her fault and is unhurt.

There is front left damage to the Williams and the curse of the rookie error in testing strikes again.

1 Raikkonen 1m25.598s, 41 laps
2 Perez 1m26.888s, 8 laps
3 Nasr 1m27.307s, 68 laps
4 Ricciardo 1m27.363s, 18 laps
5 Maldonado 1m27.510s, 48 laps
6 Verstappen 1m27.951s, 35 laps
7 Button 1m28.182s, 21 laps
8 Wehrlein (Force India) 1m28.329s, 32 laps
9 Wolff 1m28.906s, 77 laps
10 Wehrlein (Mercedes) 1m29.286s, 6 laps
11 Hamilton 1m30.429s, 11 laps


Kimi starts the second hour of the afternoon session by posting a time of 1:25.167. This lap time is 1,506 seconds quicker than his qualifying lap in 2014 and faster even than Lewis pole lap of 1:25.232. Further he is the quickest through the speed gun in sector one.

All common sense suggests circumspection at this time – but @sherrec asks on twitter whether Ferrari have done a ‘Brawn’ and turned their project ‘666’ into a world beater – by accident?

Despite all the recent talk about revolutions and big rule changes in Formula One, clearly this new engine technology is offering plenty of opportunity for development given the progress of the teams form last year. It may be better if those behaving like a cat on hot tin roof – Calm down – and carry on ‘developing like hell what is in front of them’.

untitledBy the mid point of the afternoon, just Raikkonen and Wehrlein were circulating. The Ferrari clearly doing higher fuel runs with times well below those set earlier. Despite 14 laps in his second car of the day, Wehrlein’s best time of 1:29.286 in the Mercedes did not equal his best form the morning session in 2014 Force India car.

More is coming out regarding the Suzie Wolff and Felipe Nasr incident. It appears Suzie is now saying she didn’t Felipe. The Sauber has sustained a damaged to the rear wing, rear suspension, gearbox and the floor, so is unlikely to appear again today.

As the second hour of the afternoon session draws to a close, it looks as though none of the teams will break 100 laps given that Nasr and Wolff are probably done for the day.

Wolff 83 laps
Nasr 68 laps
Raikkonen 58 laps
Maldonado 48 laps
Verstappen 35 laps
Wehrlein (Force India) 32 laps
Ricciardo 27 laps
Perez 22 laps
Button 21 laps
Wehrlein (Mercedes) 20 laps
Hamilton 11 laps


For those of you interested in the technical developments the team makes, Mario Keszeli @@techF1LES has some interesting observations on the Lotus car.


You can see in the upper picture, Enstone have introduced slotted barge boards


Also the bodywork around the exhaust outlet has been tightened up.


Mercedes have changed the vanes behind the mirrors on their car.



Sauber added (1) strakes on the outside of the rear wing endplates and also (2) bigger engine cover outlet


In other news, Formula E will run a double header weekend in London at the season’s finale. The 15-turn, 2.92km circuit will host rounds 10 and 11 of the 2014/2015 Formula E season on the 27 and 28 June, adding an additional race to the calendar.

Securing permission and designing the track has taken months of planning. The layout will use the Carriage Drive roads around the beautiful park, and will include a mix of long straights, high-speed bends and slow chicanes.

Preparation works on the Battersea Park track will begin next month. The next Formula E round takes place in Miami on the 14 March.



And back to testing. With 90 minutes left in the day here in Barcelona, its Daniel Ricciardo alone on track. He’s been doing spasmodic short bursts of 3 and 5 laps through and it can’t be long before Red Bull’s mileage is again being questioned.

Remember Force India are using their 2014 car. Well Sergio Perez qualifying time at the Barcelona race weekend in 2014 was 1’28.008. The Mexican has just nailed a 1’26.636 in the same car… in February….

So is this the new Pirelli rubber and the softer tyre the Italian manufacture promised? Paul Hembery did state over the winter that last years rubber was a little conservative and they would be looking to get back to 2 and 3 pit stops predominantly this season.

Maldonado completed a stint of 10 laps on the soft tyre during this hour and it appears the tyre degradation is pretty high. His best time was a 1:25.751 which by lap 10 had fallen to 1:29.058.

Mercedes announce their plan for Friday. Nico Rosberg will start the day and Lewis Hamilton too take over – if Rosberg’s neck hurts too much. Apparently the fever is much better this afternoon.

Meanwhile the team’s test driver isn’t pulling up any trees.  Wehrlein has managed so far this afternoon just 20 laps and a best time of 1:29.286. The only slower time today is that of Lewis Hamilton who drove just 11 laps when the track was relatively cold,

Mercedes now admit they’ve had a fuel pump problem this afternoon. It’s not clear whether Werhlein will be out again.


Not many laps for Jenson this morning – but a nice colour coded helmet


As we enter the final hour, here are the number of laps completed.

Wolff 83
Nasr 68
Maldonado 60
Raikkonen 58
Verstappen 57
Ricciardo 42
Wehrlein (Force India) 32
Perez 30
Wehrlein (Mercedes) 20
Button 21
Hamilton 11

Manor Racing have just announced they have finalised a deal with creditors to exit administration. Another step on the road to Melbourne

The first 15 minutes of the final hour saw three cars on track, Maldonado, Ricciardo and Verstappen. Whilst Max V plodded on in the Toro Rosso, Riciardo continues his short burst runs almost beating his best time of the day but having a gentle off in the process.


Then BOOM, Pastor Maldonado with the yellow soft Pirelli time sets the quickest time of the day with a 1:25.011.

Wehrlein manages his best time of the day for Mercedes with a 1:28.821 on the hard tyre – but this is still only quicker than Hamilton and Wolff and slower than his best time set in the Force India 2014 car. Mercedes look to be nursing the car today.

With 30 minutes to go, Kimi is out on track using medium tyres on which he set is fastest lap of the day. But he’s clearly doing a high fuel run as he is 3 seconds off the pace. Will Ferrari go for a glory run just before the end?

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It looks as though the Sauber mechanics have done a great job fixing Nasr’s car considering how dejected they looked when it arrived back on the flat bed truck. He’s ready to go for a final dash.

Some say that Sauber should do better with their livery. But @F1halcyon – possibly predictably observed: “What I like about the Sauber this year is that it’s bland-looking, and quite ugly in fact, and it doesn’t care. That is admirable, and harkens back to some of the more insipid teams of the 1990s, I think”.

As we enter the last 15 minutes, Kimi ends his long run and pits. Nasr is a touch slower than his quickest run set this morning, Wehrlein II is now just a tenth slower than Wehrlein I was in the Force India and Suzie Wolff is also now back in the car. A great effort too by the Williams mechanics – are we about to see a Wolff/Nasr rematch?



13 minutes to go and the Red Bull fires up in it’s garage, will the team from Milton Keynes now prove their doubters wrong? Ferrari look as though they’re not playing… Verstappen is also on track. Will Crashtor retain his moment of glory AGAIN in Barcelona or will someone pip him to the evening news headlines?

5 minutes to go and Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Nasr, Verstappen and Wehrlein are all still out on track, though none of them look as though they will improve their best times of the day.

RED FLAG….. Nasr stops at turn 9… which of course means the wild eyed Pastor from Venezuelia tops the time sheets for day 5 of F1 winter testing.



So day 5 of 2014 winter testing was fairly bizarre for the world champions Mercedes AMG F1. We won’t know until the morning who will drive tomorrow as both drivers are being extremely polite and saying their happy if the other takes to the cockpit.

With just 59 laps in the day, this has been a calamity by normal standards for the Brackley based F1 team.

That said, its the first day this winter a Mercedes engine has topped the time-sheets with a 1:25:011 set on the soft tyre – as Lotus complete a good day for them and 69 laps.

P Driver Team Time
1  Pastor Maldonado Lotus  1m25.011s
2  Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari  1m25.167s  +0.156
3  Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull  1m25.547s  +0.536
4  Sergio Perez Force India  1m26.636s  +1.625
5  Felipe Nasr Sauber  1m27.307s  +2.296
6  Max Verstappen Toro Rosso  1m27.900s  +2.889
7  Jenson Button McLaren  1m28.182s  +3.171
8  Pascal Wehrlein Force India  1m28.329s  +3.318
9  Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes  1m28.489s  +3.478
10  Susie Wolff Williams  1m28.906s  +3.895
11  Lewis Hamilton Mercedes  1m30.429s  +5.418

Toro Rosso and Max Verstappen top the mileage time sheet with 94 laps, though Nasr and Wolff were well on course to do over 100 laps prior to their ‘coming together’

Both Sauber and Williams got their cars out for the last half hour and Suzie Wolff completed an impressive 86 laps in the day, with Sauber third in mileage on 79 laps.

Ferrari have become all shy and retiring after their headline grabbing four days in Jerez, yet they still completed 74 laps even though Kimi was having a snooze in the hour’s running before lunch.

Lotus may have preferred more running and less glory, but two sensor failures in the first 2 hours of the day restricted them to 69 laps.

Force India ran two drivers and a 2014 car, but Sergio Perez was substantially quicker this afternoon than his qualifying time here during race weekend last year. Their 68 laps is the first tyre data they have generated all year and the team will hope for longer running tomorrow.

It has to be another disappointing day for Red Bull racing. Yes they were running aero runs with all kinds of rakes attached to the car in the morning, but yet again the ex-world champions completed just 59 circulations of the track – again just ahead of newbies Honda McLaren.

In the first five days of testing Red Bull have averaged less than 50 laps a day. And in the famous words of Christian Horner, “when you run an F1 car, your always learning something”. Red Bull are way behind Toro Rosso in terms of mileage – with half the number of laps completed after 5 days. Christian’s team are in fact learning – that a lack of running, is clearly this is not a good thing.

Fernando Alonso may be in for a torrid time tomorrow, as Honda admit they have no redesigned seal to replace the one which saw Jenson restricted to 21 laps today – that newly engineered component will arrive on Saturday.

Verstappen 94
Wolff 86
Nasr 79
Raikkonen 74
Maldonado 69
Ricciardo 59
Wehrlein (Mercedes) 48
Perez 34
Wehrlein (Force India) 32
Button 21
Hamilton 11

Well that’s it folks… till tomorrow

So long – farewell – auf wiedersehen  -goodbye


22 responses to “Day 5 #F1 2015 Winter Testing: Barcelona, afternoon report

  1. Re-Mercedes
    The truth……ish
    Lewis got a booty call of Renaldo’s ex-bird and told the team he got better things to do.

    Nico just can’t be assed to drive due to plenty of laps already and he’d prefer to have his photo taken.

    Paddy didn’t really know what say and hadn’t spoken with Toto so they could match their stories.

    Toto well he talks utter crap most of the time anyway… .

  2. Say what you want, but that Fezza seems definitely much better than last year’s brick. The question is – if Ferrari have already found a second and a half over the winter, how much have Merc & Co found?

  3. I’ve resisted the temptation to comment on the spelling on this site until now but ‘in loo’. Seriously!?

  4. Manor has a crash test booked? Any word on team principals? Factory location? Paying Suppliers? Hiring workers, mechanics, drivers? Inquiring minds want to know.

  5. “Force India have located their Mexican driver following Mercedes hauling back their on loan test driver Pascal Wehrlein who this morning drove for Force India. The word on the street is that this ‘loan’ arrangement is in loo of late payments …” I live in the U.S. but I know what you mean by “loo”. What is the restroom of late payments?

  6. “There are an increasing number of murmurings in the paddock that the Ferrari pace is genuine” – I’d be slightly worried if their pace isn’t genuine seeing as they only seem to be interested in doing flying laps, and don’t seem to have done a long run many times at all (or any for that matter). People saying that it’s a big improvement – well it ain’t bloody hard is it, considering their pace last season!

    I await the season opener where Ferrari turn up having given fans the hope only to disappoint and leave us underwhelmed by qualifying in their only too well known positions – 5th and 6th….

    • Re: qualifying 5th and 6th – That is if Kimi decides to bother in trying to adapt to the car rather than blaming the lack of front end grip and Vettel for trying to ‘unlearn’ what he has learnt over the past 4 years

  7. “The headlines from the morning session were that Lewis Hamilton was taken unwell after completing just 11 laps, reporting a fever and Toto Wolff suggesting it was flu. Mercedes kidnap their test driver back from the Force India cockpit, claiming the schedule is tough and they don’t want to over burden Rosberg.

    It is now emerging that Nico Rosberg has an inflamed nerve in his neck – and may not be able to drive tomorrow or even at all this week. If Hamilton truly has flu, the symptoms last for several days and he is hardly likely to be fully fit by tomorrow or even Saturday.”

    It seems to me that the Merc management is once more coming down with a severe case of, as the Russians say, воспаление хитрости. Or, in English parlance, they may be a tad too smart for their own good…

    • Sorry, but how can the Merc management be blamed for both their drivers having an injury and the other flu like symptoms? Are they to be blamed for global warming as well?….

      Come on man, get real….

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