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

This page will be updated throughout the session

07:30 (GMT)

Well after a somewhat eventful time yesterday here in Barcelona, the dust has settled on day 1 and here were the highlights.

McLaren: Jenson Button’s running was curtailed to just 21 laps yesterday following a seal failure in the MGU-K. Alonso looks as though he will have similar day on track as the team revealed last night, “We’ll need to run a re-designed component to avoid a potential repeat of the problem. Unfortunately, we won’t be in possession of that updated part until Saturday, which means that we may face the same problem when we run again tomorrow.”

Williams/Suaber: Following the collision between Suzie Wolf and Sauber’s Felip Nasr, the knives were well and truly out.

Whilst there are few TV camera’s scattered around the circuit, mostly shooting clips for the evening news, Barcelona does have a CCTV suite of Camera’s which cover much of the circuit.

untitledSuzie Wolff showed reporters the footage of her ‘incident’ with Felipe Nasr. It looks fairly clear from this evidence that Nasr misjudged where the slower Williams was on track, and left no room for Wolff, thus causing the collision.

Wolff told the media: “I went straight over to him and said ‘what the hell went on’? He was a bit speechless and to be honest with you I was also a bit speechless because it was one of those things that happened and you said to yourself ‘how the hell did that just happen?’ It’s stupid.” 

Predictably, Felipe Nasr had a different version of events and blamed the Williams team for not informing their driver of where other cars were on track.

“In Formula 1 the teams are always trying to give you the best information about the cars that are around you and the cars that are coming behind and I think maybe that was something that she missed and it could have been avoided”.

Ferrari: Kimi Raikkonen’s feedback on the days running was minimilistic as usual. “Ferrari have a very nice car”, but the ice man declared he is refusing to get carried away.

Red Bull: For once Spice Boy Horner was strangely silent after day 5’s testing and it was left to Danny Ricciardo to perpetuate the attack from Milton Keynes on their quadruple world title winning partner Renault.

“We are still fine-tuning definitely, we are not where we want to be yet with engine and driveability,” explained the Australian.

untitledRicciardo appeared to settle for less than the optimum day:“In terms of global problems it is OK. We didn’t do 100 laps, but we didn’t have to go through any engine change like we faced in Jerez”. 

Once again Toro Rosso using the same engine did close to double the mileage of the big Bull’s. Fans will form their own opinions.

Mercedes: Who turns up to drive today is anyone’s guess. Rosberg has a nerve problem in his neck, Lewis had flu – later reduced to – “he’s feeling much better” and could drive today – then again there’s Wehrlein ready to enjoy his chance.

However, we have been reporting during the closed season that Mercedes has enhanced its Bosch fuel injection system from 250 BAR to 500 BAR pressure, and yesterday the team had a problem with a fuel pump following Hamilton’s retirement for the day.

Anyway, to make sense of the times set yesterday, here is a chart showing who was on what tyre. Maldonado commented the soft tyre was worth at least 1.5 seconds per lap over the medium.

1. Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Mercedes 69 laps 1m 25.011s – soft
2. Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari 74 laps 1m 25.167s – medium
3. Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 59 laps 1m 25.547s – soft
4. Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes 34 laps 1m 26.636s * – medium
5. Nasr Brazil Sauber-Ferrari 79 laps 1m 27.307s – medium
6. Verstappen Holland Toro Rosso-Renault 94 laps 1m 27.900s – medium
7. Button Britain McLaren-Honda 21 laps 1m 28.182s – medium
8. Wehrlein Germany Force India-Mercedes 32 laps 1m 28.329s * – hard
9. Wehrlein Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 48 laps 1m 28.489s *** – hard
10. Wolff Britain Williams-Mercedes 86 laps 1m 28.906s – medium
11. Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 11 laps 1m 30.429s ** – medium

* Using 2014 specification VJM07
** Unwell, will miss remainder of the opening day
*** Wehrlein driving Mercedes, replacing Hamilton


Cloudier conditions here today and expected tomorrow too. Track temperature 10 degrees and a chilly 2 degrees in the air.

So we have driving today

Rosberg, Ricciardo, Massa, ALonso, Perez, Raikkonen, Palmer, Sainz, Ericsson.

Green light: Kimi and Massa are straight out, with Alonso, Perez and Palmer are not far behind. Sainz looks like he’s forgotten what time the start is.


Oh no. 8 minutes in and there’s something stuck in the pit lane… can’t quite make it out…. Oh yes, it’s the Red Bull in camouflage… stuck 500m metres from the garage…RED FLAG


The dodgy seal inside the Honda MGU-K has left them no choice but to get on with aero and balance work today. Whoops, schmokin….

Honda say they haven’t yet run their engine at full clack, so have no idea what it’s real pace is.


Sauber say their going to do some aero work and Rosberg is trundling around in over 2 minutes at present. Presumably thinking of baby girl names – Vivian is preggers. At least there was a respectable distance between the wedding and the appearance of Mrs. Rosberg’s bump – no shotgun there huh?

Looks like most of them are up for aero work this morning.


Red Bull have obviously now put some fuel in the car and off goes the Colgate Kid, completes an installation lap sucessfully and sets off again for what presumably will be a proper run.

Yesterday, Ricciardo appeared to have some kind of deficiency with the car which saw him only doing short bursts of 3-5 laps. Let’s see if Red Bull put in longer runs today.

Back in June 2014, TJ13 ran a piece about McLaren acquiring a ‘B’ team – though at the time Caterham were in the frame. Well the rumours are strengthening that Manor will be sponsored by McLaren – though wouldn’t it have been better if they’d sorted it out earlier and had a second car testing the Honda engine?

Tyre choices thus far are, Kimi and Danny R on the soft, Palmer and Ericsson on the development tyre and the rest on medium’s.

Not many flying laps in the cold first hour here – but Massa leads on 1m27.9s


Perez, Sainz, Massa and Rosberg grace the track for the next 15 minutes, with times comparable to this time yesterday.

Mercedes are again quickly shrouding the read of their car each time it comes into the pits.

Alonso begins posting times, though the Honda engine is up to 5km slower through the speed traps than the 2014 Force India – which was a lot quicker here yesterday than at last years Barcelona GP weekend.

untitled45 minutes into the second hour, here’s the top times

1. Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:27.242, 31 laps, 2. Perez, Force India, 1:27.424, 14 laps, 3. Massa, Williams, 1:27.445, 14 laps, 4. Alonso, McLaren, 1:27.978, 9 laps; 5. Ericsson, Sauber, 1:30.439, 22 laps; 6. Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1:30.536, 14 laps, 7. Ricciardo, Red Bull, No time, 21 laps; 8. Raikkonen, Ferrari, No time, 9 laps; 9. Palmer, Lotus, No time, 5 laps

The Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus have been mainly doing aero runs, though once again the Lotus appears sleepy in the first two hours of the day with just 5 laps completed.

Lotus have announced, “We’re currently taking off one set of complicated air flow measuring kit and fitting some other measuring magic stuff to the car”.


As the hour ticks by, Alonso completes a short 6 lap run, but ups the pace of the McLaren Honda putting it second. 2 hours in and Rosberg is pumping in the laps – 34 in total

Lap count: Rosberg 34, Ericsson 22, Perez, 21, Ricciardo 21, Massa 19, Raikkonen 18, Alonso 14, Sainz, 14, Palmer 5

Ricciardo then sets his first time of the day with a 1:28.381 and keeping him company is just Massa and Ericsson during the first 15 minutes of this third hour.

Suzie Wolff looking chilled today following her on and off track spat with Felipe Nasr.



News on the helmet ban. The FIA had suggested the cars run a Le Mans style wing so the driver numbers could be easily identified. This was rejected – so we got the helmet ban.

Its all a bit after the Lord Mayor’s show in Barcelona this morning. Yesterday we had the drama over the fitness of the Mercedes drivers together with our first view of the 2015 cars on a representative circuit. There were 2 laps quicker than last years pole position during the GP weekend – and now its down to the nitty gritty of testing.

Quarter past the hour and Lotus are nearing completion on their ‘changeover’ of kit. It begs the question, why didn’t they do this before the start of the session?

Five minutes later and Palmer set’s his first time, though this is eclipsed by Rosberg who sets Mercedes quickest lap of the test on the medium tyre. Its a 1:25.556 and not far short of Maldonado’s top time of yesterday – though that was in warmer conditions and on the soft tyre.


Rosberg goes on to complete a 12 lap stint and then dives into the pits having completed a total of 46 laps to his name.

Half past the hour and the track gets busy with 8 of the 9 cars on show. Alonso pushes the MP4-30 quicker again and now has 20 laps under his belt – just one shy of Jenson’s total for yesterday.

Renault could return to team ownership is another story swirling around this morning. TJ13 reported during the winter break that Renault were considering this, though our speculation was it was brinksmanship in their dealings with the might of the fizzy drinks marketing empire.

Renault Sport F1’s managing director Cyril Abiteboul has said, “We are here for marketing. So if from a marketing perspective we need to do things a little bit differently, we are open minded.

“In effect we only have one customer. It is a situation where we are fully dependent on Red Bull. Is it sustainable for Renault? That is a question mark. I am not saying yes and I am not saying no.”

untitledThis is the second time in a week, Renault have referred to the limited nature of their contract with Red Bull, which runs as an engine supplier to the end of 2016.

Previously, Renault had implied they would be saving up their tokens for developments later in the year to ensure the 2016 iteration of the PU was optimised – and presumably then attractive to other customers.

As previously reported, re-acquiring Lotus is an option Renault have explored, however, Toro Rosso may be on the table too.

It appears some members of the paddock are not convinced.



Here’s a helpful graphic from a friend of TJ13. Lorenzo de Luca which shows after 3 hours today – a 2014car is leading the way on lap times.



During the final hour before lunch we see times tumbling below yesterday’s. Something Red Bull’s camouflage won’t hide just before the half hour is Daniel Ricciardo – on his 50th lap of the day – dipping below the 1:25 mark setting the quickest lap of the test. 1:24.574 (soft). Perez follows suit (super soft) only for Raikkonen (soft) to jump in 2nd spot, just over 0.1 slower than the Red Bull.


Twitter questions are being raised as to how the 2014 car of Force India is so quick when compared to the rest of the 2015 cars.

And here is FOM heralding a new era for Formula One… Mmm



So 10 minutes to lunch. What’s happening?

Nico Rosberg has been out for the last 20 minutes on a run that has seen him putting in metronomic times of 1m27s. Despite rumours of a ‘pain in the neck’, Rosberg appears to be fine in the car.

Ericsson has done 10 minutes and now returns to the pits – a pretty good mornings running again for Sauber with 54 laps under their belts.

McLaren haven’t troubled the time sheets with their latent failure imminent from a didgy seal in the MGU-K.. but Alonso has put in 28 laps so far. Again the least number of laps from anyone.

Kimi starts a new stint on soft tyres and immediately goes quickest through the speed gun at over 280kph.

But once again Rosberg is on top of the lap count.

Rosberg 65
Ricciardo 62
Ericsson 58
Massa 47
Raikkonen 46
Perez 44
Sainz 41
Palmer 31
Alonso 28

And Red Bull are giving Ferrari something to think about in terms of time – despite their put put Renault engine they complain about. (Coloured circles are tyre compounds). Rosberg is less than a second off the pace, on the harder tyre and the soft is worth 1.2-1.5s a lap.





43 responses to “Day 6 #F1 2015 Winter Testing: Barcelona, morning report

    • Maybe he’ll get a little more credit. Maybe he was that factor that made them just that little better.

        • Come off it mate, Ricciardo got lucky, plain and simple, stop making it look like he out drove the others to those wins…..

          Right time right place….

          • Lucky? He beat a 4 time world champion Fortis. He also beat Bottas in lower formulae. The kid is fast.

            And btw, if it was not for luck your hero would have been a 1 time world champion. He was so lucky Timo got it wrong in Brazil 😉

          • Poor Don_quixote i feel sorry for you if you’re still bringing up 08. No it was not for luck why he won, but you’ll continue to use that line until the cows come home (i think thta’s how the saying goes). But i guess you can’t help yourself with that, awe well, life goes on….

            Question….. Would you say that Seb’s title in 2012 was lucky?

            BTW my comment was in relation to the race wins, not him beating Seb over the entire season. I wasn’t questioning whether he was fast or not, i’d have to be blind not realise that he is.

          • Contrary my dear Fortis – it appears you missed the point.

            To be a WDC you need to have a fair amount of luck. Danny Ric is lucky yes, but so too is your hero 😉

            P.s. Don’t feel sorry for me. I am quite happy where I am.

          • @don_quixote….,

            The ‘poor’ comment wasn’t meant literally, it was more in the sense of humour. I wouldn’t call you poor given i don’t know your situation or you personally.

            I can see you’re trying to get me to bite with the ‘hero’ reference, but it won’t work, because no matter what you say, it still won’t change the fact that he won.

          • I think Bottas won the Eurocup title with greater consistency, but there’s no doubting that Ricciardo had some stand-out performances, like winning that duel with Valtteri at Silverstone.

            BTW, the FIA now rates that championship as worth only 5 points to the winner out of 40..

  1. Out of curiosity, any news on Mr. Andrea Stella? I supposed that he joined Mclaren along with Fred. any of the TJ13 guys have seen him in the paddock?

    • There was a pic yesteray, might have been on Autosport’s Twitter feed, showing him having a tea/coffee out the back of the garage with another of the McLaren engineers in their full gear.

  2. As the Kimi was on the medium’s for his best time yesterday and Maldonado was on the soft’s that makes the Ferrari’s time even more impressive, if the time difference in the tyre was 1.5 seconds.
    F1 needs Ferrari to be good, let’s hope they can make a challenge this year. Nothing would please me more, other than a McLaren driver winning the title, than seeing Vettel beating Hamilton to the title in a slower car.

        • Not at all, but having said that, can you list the races where you consider that he outdrove the car to win a race he had no business winning in the car he was in? Please don’t say Monza ’08, as the STR3 was damn good in the wet, and none of the “bigs” were around him up front.

          I am certain I could name more races where he’s lost a win (Canada ’11, Hungary ’13, to start) that should’ve been his, than you can name overachieving victories.

          When he has a good car, Vettel has shown he can haul in consistent points. The SF15-T looks decent, for sure. Arrivabene is already talking about more victories than the previously stated goal of two this season, so they must feel pretty good about the car. They’d look silly if they end up with another goose egg after talking like that. So we’ll see how Vettel does this year. Last year’s RB10 was the second best car, over the entire season, and he ended up 5th.

      • Happened to others as wee, didn’t it? Senna barely managed to beat Berger in the same car (only 1 point), Lewis couldn’t beat Button in the same car in 2011.
        It’s really amazing. A guy is beaten by his team mate for the first time in seven years and is immediately rubbished. I’ve never seen so much bitterness.
        Sure Vettel could start to decline as early as he rose to his peak. But it’s a bit early to make this verdict, wouldn’t you say?

        • Indeed, it depends on how he goes the next few years at Ferrari. He could do a Schumi and mould the team around him as Kimi leaves, thus recapturing his best form as was the case at Red Bull 2011-13. But that still took 3 years to achieve, and he was no slouch in that time period either.

      • In all seriousness though winning last year’s title can’t have felt like that much of an achievement. The ’88 McLaren was the last time a car was that dominant. At least that year Senna had to beat Prost and vice versa. Hamilton essentially had to beat a nobody. A nobody who would have put up much more of a fight if he hadn’t had his confidence smashed in the aftermath of Spa!

          • There’s no denying that but let’s see how he recovers this year. It’s a tad harsh to prenounce him useless after one bad season.
            If Red Bull had started the year with the double diffuser in ’09 I imagine he’d be a 5 time world champion.
            In fairness Seb did make it easy for all his detractors last season by getting beaten by his team mate in a car, that for the first time in his Red Bull career, wasn’t good enough to challenge for the title. Hence, everyone putting it down to him being rubbish and Adrian Newey essentially winning his four titles for him.
            But are we going to start slating Senna for winning on cars which were the class of the field? Or Schumacher for that matter.
            At least give him this season before writing him off.
            Even if he does turn out to be rubbish again this year I still don’t his titles can be put down to luck. He was just essentially the best driver of the blown diffuser era, and for that he still deserves plenty of credit.

        • @Tommo, imagine it was Rosberg and Schumacher in last year’s cars. Then Rosberg would’ve won the title over the GOAT (statistically speaking), and been hailed as a revelation. Have 4 years of that, and it would sound a lot like another recent driver pairing.

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