Day 6 #F1 2015 Winter Testing: Barcelona, afternoon report

This page will update throughout the session.


The ever smiling Danny Ricciardo reflecting over lunch on a great mornings work for Red Bull. Their best of winter testing this year so far.

And whilst we eulogise over the cars being quicker than last year, food for thought is that the pole position time in Barcelona 2010 was – 1:19.995


And some quick news from over lunch. So much for the McLaren ‘B’ team story for now, as Ferrari Team Principal – Arrivabene – confirms Ferrari have agreed to supply Manor with 2014 power units this year. BUT there is no contract in place as yet.

Arrivabene also reveals it was a personal phone call form Sergio Marchionne and a chat with Sabine Kehm that persuaded Vettel to join the Maranello team.

The new Ferrari Team Principal looks relaxed and is clearly an amusing soul at heart. When asked about the atmosphere within the Maranello team, Arrivabene quipped “I saw Kimi smiling yesterday…I asked him: ‘are you ok?!'”

Also – presumably feeling a little better, Lewis and his minders are now at the circuit. This afternoon we are going to be getting some ‘Hammer Time”. It’s all very strange.


In helmet news, Alex Wurz, president of the GP drivers association is scornful of the helmet ban. “I am a fan of consistency, but seriously! What’s next? Rules on haircut?”

Felipe Massa, however, doesn’t get the fuss. “The helmet is your second face, I don’t understand why you need to change it all the time.”

Teams refused requests from the FIA and FOM for bigger driver numbers to be displayed on the cars, claiming the space was required for sponsors. So the helmet restrictions were a compromise and the guru of common sense – Niki Lauda has this to say: “I think the rule makes sense. Sometimes I can’t recognise even my own drivers in the car.”


Lights go green – and silence prevails – ok, here’s a little TJ13 prediction – we’ll see someone go sub 1:23:000 today… but don’t hold me to it 😉

Palmer is the first to break cover in the Lotus on what must be a pretty exciting and daunting first time in a Formula One car. It’s just an installation lap after all.

After 15 minutes we now see Perez and Ericsson making their way out on track – soon after joined by the fit for purpose Lewis Hamilton who makes up for lost time reeling off 11 laps but his best is a mere 1m29s

The trio of Raikkonen, Perez and Ricciardo were on track together again with Alonso and the spitting Honda engine – but its all mundane work – nothing stellar to report.

Force India said at lunch they would be doing longer runs – learning plenty about the new 2015 tyres. Checo promptly does an 18 lap stint before returning to base.

Approaching the end of the hour, Hamilton has put in 17 laps, but is still slowest overall on the day. Ricciardo has amassed 78 laps – one more than Marcus Ericsson.


Red Bull are running a race simulation as Ricciardo’s board started with 65 laps displayed. It’s now counted down to 57 and the Red Bull’s times on the soft tyre stint were 1:31.0, 1:31.0, 1:31.3, 1:30.9, 1:31.6 and 1:32.2. Whilst not doing a full race simulation, Hamilton too is on along run – and there doesn’t look to be much between the Mercedes and the Red Bull.

Honda say they are more than satisfied with their morning’s work as Alonso clocks up his 37th lap and breaks into the 1m25s for the first time.

Willaims and Massa are on 47 laps for the day so far, with a time within over 2 seconds slower than Ricciardo. The team have been doing heaver fuel runs and so we should see Massa produce some better lap times this afternoon.

However, the bad weather forecast for tomorrow sees Williams announce a revised driver schedule – both Massa and Bottas will share the wet weather tyre evaluation work.

At 15:13

1. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing RB11 1:24.574 89 <b>Banden</b>: Medium
2. Räikkönen Ferrari SF15-T 1:24.584 +0.010 61 <b>Banden</b>: Hard
3. Perez Force India VJM07 1:24.702 +0.128 66 <b>Banden</b>: Medium
4. Rosberg Mercedes GP W06 1:25.556 +0.982 66 <b>Banden</b>: Medium
5. Alonso McLaren MP4-30 1:25.961 +1.387 38 <b>Banden</b>: Soft
6. Massa Williams FW37 1:26.927 +2.353 47 <b>Banden</b>: Medium
7. Ericsson Sauber C34 1:27.334 +2.760 82 <b>Banden</b>: Medium
8. Palmer Lotus E23 1:28.128 +3.554 43 <b>Banden</b>: Development tyre
9. Sainz jr Toro Rosso STR10 1:28.945 +4.371 57 <b>Banden</b>: Medium
10. Hamilton Mercedes GP W06 1:29.391 +4.817 28 <b>Banden</b>: Hard

Apparently British Horse Racing is far bigger than Formula One, according to Mr. Cameron’s latest tweet.  “British [horse] racing is a massive success story worth £3bn and employing over 100,000 people”.

On the half hour, Carlos Sainz hits the gravel and out comes the red flag. Turn 9 – a fast right hander – he’s facing the wrong way – oops.

The lengthy recovery has sounded the death knell for Ricciardo’s race sim and should ensure a delightful discussion with Herr Dr. Marko this evening for the ebullient Spaniard.

Meanwhile the marshals have been busy and at 15:40 the green flag was dropped with Massa and Perez venturing forth. Hopefully they do a better job of avoiding each other than they did last year at Canada.

Palmer and Hamilton have now joined the fun, no doubt hoping to enjoy the good weather whilst it lasts.

As 16:00 approaches, Massa winds up his run and pits while Hamilton continues to thrash the Mercedes round the circuit, having first removed his name from the bottom of the time sheets with a 1:28.788,. This leaves the forlorn Sainz Jr. the lantern rouge for the moment, as with his car still in the pits he is forced to skulk about the garage and contemplate his life choices.

At the turn of the hour the track has emptied, leaving just Raikkonen and Hamilton circling. Ricciardo has yet to reappear after the red flag as Red Bull no doubt are revamping their plans for the afternoon.


Palmer and Ericsson join the fun, with the Brit sporting softer rubber on the Lotus. Naturally this leads to an improved lap time with Jolyon ringing up a 1:27.654 as the tyres come up to operating temperature. Ericsson meanwhile drives his lap counter north of 90 as the new Sauber Man appears to be focused on reliability rather than lap time at the moment. Alonso has brought the McLaren back to the pits having completed 45 laps, a definitive improvement over yesterday’s misery for Button.

Having talked it over, Red Bull appear to have resumed the race simulation, with Ricciardo’s pit board again counting down the laps, taking him north of 100 for the day. He’s currently running the Medium tyre. Sainz however, appears to have been sent to his room as there is yet no sign that the beached Baby Bull will reappear.

Ericsson brings his car in just shy of that mark as the half hour draws near. And just like that Sainz Jr.’s exile is over and he is allowed back on track, albeit on a short leash. A quick installation lap and he’s right back in.

Hamilton, having hit a full race distance at 16:30, is now picking up the pace as he burns through his fuel, well into the 1:27’s and climbing up the time sheets. Conversely, Raikkonen seems to be taking it easy with just 28 laps since the break.

Auto Motor und Sport report that a tweaked seating position was the cause of Nico’s knackered neck and that has been resolved. So far so good as Rosberg reports all’s well after this morning’s run and his recovery continues apace. And many congratulations to the soon to be father as well, with the joyous news sweeping the paddock earlier today.

Joyous news for Ferrari also as it has been reported that they have concluded and engine deal with the yet to be seen Manor Racing. With Gutierriez and JEV as test/reserve drivers at the Prancing Horse, feel free to speculate wildly about the possibility either one might appear at Manor, should they make the grid.
With 16:45 having rolled around, we have an updated lap count

Ricciardo 117
Ericsson 101
Perez 90
Hamilton 77
Sainz 76
Massa 71
Raikkonen 74
Rosberg 66
Palmer 62
Alonso 46


Hamilton has concluded a long stint of 36 laps with pit stop and as the end of the hour approaches, Massa hits the track to set some faster times.

As the last hour of testing approaches, Massa continues to set fast times with his best being a 1:25.1. McLaren send Alonso back out for more action on the soft tyre, joining Ricciardo who was already shod likewise.


Massa continues his hammeration of the soft tyres, now up to 3rd with a time of 1:24.672. Alonso brings the McLaren in after another short run, mostly in the 1:26’s though again the encouraging news is that they have managed to avoid breaking the engine again while they await the new bits and managed a some decent running.

A cool down lap does Felipe no good as he can only manage a 1:25.4, possibly with the tyres reaching their sell by date.

Meanwhile AMuS has helpfully posted times for Ricciardo’s stint on Mediums:

1: 29.6 – 1: 29.8 – Inlap (red flag) – out-lap – 1: 31.1: 1 – 29.7: 1 – 29.4: 1 – 29.4: 1 – 29.4: 1 – 29.5: 1 – 29.5 – 1: 29.6: 1 – 29.8: 1 – 29.9: 1 – 30.5: 1 – 30.2: 1 – 29.7: 1 – 30.4: 1 – 30.2: 1 – 30.6: 1 – 30.6: 1 – 31.0: 1 – 31.5 – Inlap

as well as his last stint on Softs:

1: 27.9: 1 – 28.1: 1 – 28.0: 1 – 28.4: 1 – 28.7: 1 – 29.1: 1 – 29.4: 1 – 29.4 – 1: 29.8: 1 – 30.2: 1 – 30.6 – Inlap.

Of course,  Hamilton  was lapping on hards the whole time and was running similar times on tyres that are meant to be slower. The word yikes comes to mind, though as always, the usual caveats about fuel loads apply.

As a sop to our Grumpy Jackal, Raikkonen decides to grace the track once more in its final hour, though he is not pushing at the moment as the clock ticks past 17:15

As if to drive home the point about tyres, Lewis bangs out a 1:24.9 on Mediums. It’s definitely looking to be a tale of two races yet again this season, with Mercedes having their own race for the championship whilst everyone else fights over the scraps.

Palmer has a quick go but can’t improve but Sainz Jr. is on fire. No, literally on fire as he pulls up to the garage with his Toro Rosso smoking and mechanics trailing him in with fire extinguishers fully deployed. A nostalgic throwback to the halcyon days of last year where no doubt the annual budget for extinguishers was busted in a single day of testing for Renault.

Hamilton’s go on the Mediums was just 3 laps long, but Kimi continues to bang out the laps with the last half hour of testing coming into view.

Or not as Marcus Ericcson decides to shut it down by parking his Sauber on the Start/Finish straight and drawing the red flag for his efforts.

Not for long though and the track goes green with just half an hour left in today’s session

Massa is first out followed by Hamilton. In the meantime Eric “the Believable” Boullier, is assailing the press with fairly creditable statements that McLaren have just completed their aero work today and roughly 50% of their planned mileage overall.

Back to the track Perez jumps in as temperatures trackside continue to fall. Ricciardo joins as well, this time on the Winter Hards as well as a bit of Flo-Viz on the airbox.

Much on and off to little effect as Alonso and Raikkonen rejoin and Hamilton chugs slowly around before coming back in.

With 15 minutes to go only Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Perez and Palmer are on track.

Off track Honda Head of Motorsport Yasuhisa Arai claims they have finalised their engine design a week ahead of homologation.

Apparently there will be no late runs for glory as the track dwindles to just 2 drivers with 10 minutes left to go, Alonso and Perez.

Apparently Ricciardo also had Flo-Viz applied to his lid, no word from the FIA on whether that violated the new regs.

While the stewards debate that, Hamilton re-emerges from the garage to top off his mileage sheet and Palmer hits the garage.  A quick in and out of the pit lane and in the final minutes it’s just the Mercedes and Red Bull out to close up shop.

And suddenly that’s it. The checkers fall and no last minute glory for the drivers. A brutally effective day for Mercedes, topping the mileage charts yet again with the combined Rosberg/Hamilton total. Red Bull not far behind and more than a few teams over the century mark today meaning that they are getting to grips with the new packaging. Even McLaren-Honda had a good day as they managed to get ahead of their program, probably for the first time in winter testing.

Of course, the teams are alloted one less engine this season before they start to incur penalties so it’s not surprising to see the laps ramp up at this stage of the game. Also, with bad weather called for tomorrow it’s likely that some extra aero work was on tap for today’s drivers whilst the tarmac was still dry.

Toro Rosso and Sainz Jr., managed to provide the most drama today as he not only managed to embed his car deeply into the gravel, but subsequently caught it on fire.

It’s not surprising to see the mileage ramp up at this stage as the regulations state the teams get only four engines before they start to pile up the penalties and tomorrow’s forecast likely precludes any runs for glory. Still, the time when the team’s hand is full revealed draw nigh so we will see you tomorrow for full updates on Day 3 of winter testing at the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona.

1. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing RB11 1:24.574 143 <b>Banden</b>: Development tyre PIT
2. Räikkönen Ferrari SF15-T 1:24.584 +0.010 90 <b>Banden</b>: Medium PIT
3. Massa Williams FW37 1:24.672 +0.098 88 <b>Banden</b>: Soft PIT
4. Perez Force India VJM07 1:24.702 +0.128 121 <b>Banden</b>: Hard PIT
5. Hamilton Mercedes GP W06 1:24.923 +0.349 89 <b>Banden</b>: Hard PIT
6. Rosberg Mercedes GP W06 1:25.556 +0.982 66 <b>Banden</b>: Medium PIT
7. Alonso McLaren MP4-30 1:25.961 +1.387 59 <b>Banden</b>: Medium PIT
8. Palmer Lotus E23 1:26.280 +1.706 77 <b>Banden</b>: Soft PIT
9. Ericsson Sauber C34 1:27.334 +2.760 113 <b>Banden</b>: Medium PIT
10. Sainz jr Toro Rosso STR10 1:28.945 +4.371 100 <b>Banden</b>: Medium PIT

30 responses to “Day 6 #F1 2015 Winter Testing: Barcelona, afternoon report

  1. re’ the comparison to quali in 2010….
    Standard negative internet research based sensationalist journalism tactic – temperature differences between February and May, would result in a huge margin being realised – not to mention tires being vastly different and this being, er…… TESTING?

    Apples and Frogs I’m affraid

    • Nonetheless, it’s going to be interesting.

      Last year’s Force India is nearly a second quicker today than Hamilton’s pole time from last year.

      Given that last year’s Merc was over a second quicker in qualifying than the Force India at the end of last season – and presumably this year’s version will be a significant step up by the time racing starts – the gap between the 2010 pole time and that of 2014 should have better than halved this year.

  2. Helmets – times change. Tattoos were once considered a symbol of low class; now it is merely body art, a personal statement. The TV tells us which driver we are watching faster than we can bother remember what regular helmet they wear.

    Old-timers like me shouldn’t be dictating to the young. The helmet variety is interesting and the lids are often auctioned for charity. Media needs to get the opinion of the driver who started this issue, not drivers who are old or were never historic actors in the sport (sorry Felipe).

  3. The helmet thing ties in with the permanent number rules. There was a suggestion in the Strategy Group to have a WEC style finn on the car with a large driver number on it, so fans and trackside personell can identify the drivers. When that was nixed the helmet ban came in so that drivers are identifiable consistently by their lid.

    Wonder what happens though if two drivers in a team have similar designs – that would crash the whole idea.

    And the ban on changes is only for a season. Theoretically a driver can still change the design before each season.

  4. Not enough room on the cars to increase the size of the numbers? Looks like there is, to me. Might be hard to see on Red Bull’s dazzle paint, but room there is.

      • would cost valuable space

        Looking at last year’s cars, even the well stickered Red Bulls, that just doesn’t seem true.
        In any event, it would be entirely possible to have one of the logos run across the top of a large number, just as the logos run over the top of the liveries.

        Numbers – like Mansell’s red 5 – are far more iconic than helmets, IMO.

  5. It is looming very much like Ferrari are planning to really shield the drivers from any media criticism, at least in the near future anyway, very reminiscent of how Shumi was treated by Jean Todt during his tenure as the saviour of Ferrari. At least the finally realized the were shit, instead of just burying their heads.

      • I believe it was mentioned in the Ferrari press conference this morning. They have an agreement but no writen contract as yet. Will be interesting to see if any driver preference comes with the deal.

        • They may end up with 1 Ferrari junior and 1 McLaren junior, in lieu of payments. Or 4 drivers all getting their super license running throughout the year.
          Bids gentlemen please, how much is a super licence really worth this year?

          • Usual race going rate is £500k per race, which is a season in GP3 for each event. How much are McLaren and Ferrari owed? £10m? Sounds like 20 GPs 😉

          • Better for Magnussen and Gutierrez to be driving than sat on the side. Maybe Stevens can stick around to be the reserve driver.

            Wehrlein is the one with the skills that needs to ‘meet FIA requirements’ for a superlicence. Merhi is similarly screwed from driving in DTM, but Wehrlein is the one turning up at Force India..

          • Plus, if the FIA play hardball, then there’s always Paul di Resta in the Mercedes stable with a valid superlicence… 😛 Could that frown turn upside down!

          • Do you not think the price may go up a bit this season given the changes to super license qualification next year and some hopefuls possibly short on points so only the 5 races in the previous season would allow them to qualify for a super license next year.

          • Would Di Resta qualify? The drivers have to apply year on year for their super license, hence why the drivers were not happy when the FIA introduced that pay per point thing for them same as the teams entry. So as Di Resta didn’t race 5 GP’s last year, he won’t get a super license, he’s not even driven with the new PU’s.

      • I think they’re just pi$$ing Ferrari around – why bust a gut to get a 2015 car on track and end up with that breathless boat anchor that was the 2014 Ferrari p/u?
        If there’s a 2015 Honda on offer, grab it. 🙂

  6. Interesting to note that Honda have finalised the power unit design with a week to go before the homologation deadline.

  7. Any truth to the paddock rumour (that popped up on twitter) about McLaren Honda not running the ERS system at all today ? The laptimes while not the quickest looked better than Jerez.

    • Don’t know. Scarbs tweeted it but not officially confirmed it. Would make a certain amount of sense given that the ultimate failure was with the MGU K. EB did say aero testing which would largely be possible without ERS. Would also explain shorter runs. Probably ate a lot of rear brakes today

      • Well it appears they were running the bare minimum ERS. I guess we are perhaps looking at a fast but fragile MP4-30.

          • I’m optimistic about the McLaren Honda partnership over the long term. I always viewed 2015 as a development year (from hell perhaps) that will be full of issues and problems to be worked through. If they really did run the ERS system at minimal levels yesterday, then it bodes well at least for the speed of the MP4-30 if they can get it running consistently. Reliability is the issue they will have to solve in 2015.

            Anyway roll on the final test, that’s when Honda’s race specification power unit makes it debut. If that’s anything like the development power units then I shall be wincing.

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