Day 10 #F1 2015 Winter Testing: Barcelona, Afternoon Report


Circuit de Catalunya

So this morning the Ferrari engined cars topped the time sheets with Nasr quickest on a 1:24:071 set on the soft tyre

Early doors there were ‘rakes’ aplenty adorning the cars as they ran plenty of aero test laps

The VJM08 appeared early – well 26 days later than some of the others – but earlier than their revised estimate of this afternoon.

McLren Honda amass 44 laps, though well of the pace of most of the field.

Mercedes have been the subject of complaints from several teams over their FIA regulated camera mountings



The cameras will now be mounted high above the chassis thus with minimal airflow disruption – and possibly also with some aero benefits. However, it does appear this bracketed solution does comply with the wording of the FIA’s regulation – if not the spirit.

The question is – will we see Mercedes bolt on the soft tyre this afternoon – or wait a little longer?

Oh and never unaware of how the media operates. Fernando Alonso issued this during the lunch break in Barcelona


green Green Flag!

Ferrari had this to say at lunch: ‘The second day of testing at the Catalan circuit sees Sebastian Vettel at the wheel of the SF15-T. The weather is definitely better today and that has allowed the team to make good progress with its programme. Today, Scuderia Ferrari has been concentrating on aerodynamic tests and long runs. Vettel also set the third best time this morning in 1:25.339, completing 69 laps. The team will be back in action this afternoon.’

Maybe try a first race simulation of the winter tests too?

The weather is glorious. Vettel bolts from the pitlane and starts a run immediately – on the hard tyre and is in the 1m29s – 1.29,461 – 129.161 – 1.29,268 – 1.29,569 – 1.29,760

Maldonado and Kvyat come out to play too. Kvyat nails a 1:27:461 straight up – 2 seconds quicker than in the morning.

AMuS are reporting they have GPS data showing Alonso lost control of the car at 135kph and hit the wall at 105kph.

Not exactly a high speed accident – but when an F1 car tank slaps a wall sideways on – the crumple zones do not come into play and the carbon fibre suspension struts just snap and so the driver feels the full force of the impact, rather than with crash protection offering some controlled deceleration.

Ten laps in on the hard tyres and Vettel has slipped to times in the 1m30s – 81 laps in the day so far. Vettel pits after 12 laps – still no race simulation.

Button pops out to see how far his McHonda will run today – and just before it breaks down, Jense is back at base – 6 more laps racked up – 50 in the day.

Hulkenberg manages 10 laps too – with a best on the development tyre of 1:28:866 – bottom of the time sheets still.

Kvyat improves his time by 3 seconds to a 1:26:965 on the medium tyre as does Bottas with a 1:25:789 also on the medium tyre.

Vettel is out again, but on the hard tyre this time…. surely a long run this time

…plenty going on this afternoon…. Button is back on the circuit on the medium tyre… THE WORD IS McLaren Honda will run the Australia specification engine tomorrow.

Nasr and Maldonado are on loong runs setting times between 1m31s and 1m34s

OVERTAKE – Vettel sweeps by Maldonado – HEY, McLaren – get Jense on the same bit of tarmac and he’ll pass the Lotus too as its doing 1m35s times at present!

All is clearly not well at McHonda as 55 minutes have passed since the session went green, Jense has done more than 10 laps and then they tweet the following


Bottas on the medium goes green, green, green and jumps to second with a 1:24:944 almost a full 1s improvement..

Nope – no race simulation for Ferrari – Vettel is in pit row along with Rosberg – everyone else is busy driving their cars.

Vettel (medium tyre) then Button’s (hard tyre) last run times

1:29.114, 1:29.186, 1:29.046, 1:29.181, 1:29.608, 1:32.432, 1:29.511, 1:29.812, 1:30.523, 1:37.520

1:30.963, 1:30.870, 1:30.969, 1:31.111, 1:30.861, 1:31.057, 1:31.268, 1:31.135, 1:31.365, 1:31.355

The McLaren looks to be not in too bad shape if it can do a GP distance.


Driver Team Car. Lap Time Diff No Laps
1. Nasr Sauber C34 1:24.071 83
2. Bottas Williams FW37 1:24.944 +0.873 65
3. Rosberg Mercedes GP W06 1:25.216 +1.145 67
4. Vettel Ferrari SF15-T 1:25.339 +1.268 92
5. Verstappen Toro Rosso STR10 1:26.766 +2.695 80
6. Kvyat Red Bull Racing RB11 1:26.965 +2.894 47
7. Maldonado Lotus E23 1:28.013 +3.942 78
8. Button McLaren MP4-30 1:28.052 +3.981 55
9. Hulkenberg Force India VJM08 1:29.287 +5.216 11

3 hours left running toady – and soon TJ13 devotees, you will be in for a very large treat….. The last 2 and a half hours will be brought to you by the man who… some say is Germany’s answer to Oliver Hardy. All we know is that he’s big – he’s so very very big – and the waterhole closed early today – so FAT HIPPO is on his way…

Babu Felipe is doing a very long stint on the  medium tyre – 1: 32.7, 1: 31.0, 1: 31.6, 1: 31.5, 1: 31.3, 1: 31.3, 1: 31.4, 1: 31.5, 1: 31.4, 1: 31.6, 1 : 31.7, 1: 31.7, 1: 318, 1: 31.8, 1: 31.6, 1: 31.9, 1: 31.7, 1: 31.7 and 1: 32.1

Here we go – Bottas quickest on the soft tyre now – 1:23:995 – still around half a second slower than Massa yesterday. This tyre doesn’t last very long, so Valtteri has another one or two laps at best before his times deteriorate.

Everyone else has been running the medium this afternoon except Vettel on the hard and Hulkenberg on the development tyre.

AS WE REPORTED to watch out for this morning, the FIA has just published the official entry list for 2015 – and Manor Marussia Racing are on it. Of course there’s the matter of Will Stevens getting a racing super licence to resolve.

green And we’re stopped!

15:20. First stoppage of the day. The usual media scrum ensues to see whose fault this is. And it wasn’t that easy to spot – as the CamoBull is pulled up at turn 1. Spectators swarm like ants across the grass to take pictures…

Kvyat is chauffeured back to the pits…

Whilst we wait – in othe news Gene Haas is milking the living daylights out of his future connection with F1.


He’s got his own version of Carmen Jorda by the looks of it too.

And on that ever so slightly sexist note (it was said with irony) – it’s over toooooo FAAAAAAAAAAAAATTTT – HHHHHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPOOOOOOOOOO

Thank you, kind Sir and hi everybody out there from the TJ13 commentary booth. We’ve lost quite a bit of usable real estate due to the veritable mountain of empty beer bottles our Chief Editor has stacked up. I hope tomorrows morning crew won’t mind if I add to AJ’s artwork.

Wait… I’m on duty for tomorrow’s morning session. Well, I certainly don’t mind…

green Green Flag!

Anyway, just as I finally made my way across Mount Beck’s, the Camo Bull is back in the pit lane and the session goes green again.

The competition for energyzer bunny of the day is currently a three-way tie between Verstappen, Nasr and Vettel. All of them have currently 96 laps and go out as soon as the light turns green.

Instant karma for Toro Rosso – last time Nasr spoiled a race sim of the mothership and now the big bulls have swiftly returned the favor as Kvyat’s stoppage ruined STR’s long run.

The fans definitely get a lot more bang for the buck today. With still over two hours to run, we already have more lap-centenarians than yesterday. The good wheather does certainly help with that, too. At 14°C it’s so warm, the Finnish and Swedish fans in the sparse crowd start chucking their shirts to prevent heat stroke. And at 25°C the track is the warmest we’ve seen so far this year.

I must admit that it is a weird sensation to look at the live-timing screen and see a team with less laps than McLaren-Honda. We’ve not seen them for a while, so I can only speculate that the mammoth 70 laps Jenson’s done so far has boggled their minds so hard, they’ll need to have a lie-down for a minute.

Meanwhile Nasr, Verstappen and Vettel continue their long runs. The German is out on hard tyres, the baby bull and the Sauber wear the medium socks.

And just as I was done writing it, Vettel abandons his longrun and starts pitstop practice. His last run reads like this : 1:30.2, 1:34.3, 1:29.6, 1:29.2, 1:29.7, 1:29.5, 1:29.9, 1:29.6 und 1:30.1

I think I just saw a McLaren whizz past. Button is out and the lap times look almost F1-ish, so it looks as if the, by now seven-fingered, executive manager of seal production has either gotten his stuff together. Or Macca has done a Red Bull and fixed the engine by themselves. Your guess is as good as mine. At 77 laps Jenson comes in just shy of eclipsing their entire Jerez tally.

It looks like Lotus haven’t lost their knack for building cars that make the tyres last forever. Maldonado has been out there since shortly after the green flag and he’s still going on medium tyres.

Meanwhile Mercedes have done ‘a few mechanical changes’ to the car and Rosberg rejoins the fun.


Here’s one for the folks on her Majesty’s island

With Vettel having done some pit stop practice in between, the fight for the kilometer millionaire is left to Verstappen and Nasr, who are tied at 122. With still two hours to go, that’s quite an impressive number. They could end up beating Rosberg’s 150+ laps from Jerez day #1.

Optimism is the flavour of the day in the McLaren garage

Meanwhile Verstappen has finished a longrun on mediums: 1:29.2, 1:29.2, 1:29.7, 1:29.9, 1:30.2, 1:30.1, 1:30.2, 1:30.3, 1:30.9, 1:31.6, 1:30.8, 1:31.0, 1:30.9, 1:30.6, 1:30.8, 1:31.2, 1:31.4
The Ferrari does that on hard tyres, so the overhauled Baby Bull is far from sorted out yet. Interestingly, the car was running without a monkey seat if my eyes didn’t deceive me…

Vettel darts out for a short sprint on mediums: 1:26.6, 1:27.6, 1:27.9, 1:27.8

Red Bulls excuse comes in. It was a precautionary stop caused by a hydraulic sensor issue. Why is it that the sensors, who are supposed to tell if something’s wrong always go wrong themselves? That’s crap you’d expect from a horrid ecobox, not a multi-million dollar vehicle…

Toto-ench-Amun of Mercedes fame moves to the pitwall in person to see what Nico does on soft tyres. At least we’ve seen mechanics rolling softs about. Do they dare let their hair down this early? By the way, if you’re keen to learn what that Merc can do on super softs, you’re out of luck. We’re being told that the super-glue variety was missing from the order that the team posted to Pirelli before the test period.

Rosberg improves to 1:24.319, but still on mediums.

McLaren News: Jenson has done more laps than the entire team did at Jerez and he moved the McLaren off the bottom of the table. But his 1:26.362 on soft tyres is still only about what most others do easily on the medium compound.

It looks as if Toro Rosso really makes sure that Verstappen goes into the season with enough experience driving the car. The young Dutchman has done 132 laps already. Well, those were the days… No stamina problems at that age…

Sauber, meanwhile, is right on schedule with their plans by the look of it

Hülkenberg’s longrun on hard tyres reads like this: 1:31.0, 1:31.0, 1:31.2, 1:31.6, 1:31.8, 1:31.7, 1:32.0, 1:32.4, 1:32.4, 1:32.4, 1:32.7.

disgusted-mother-of-god Mercedes, soft tyres, 1:22.792. Nuff said. That’s almost 0.8 of a second on Massa’s time from yesterday on the same compound and 1.2 secs up on Bottas today, also on softs.

After demoralizing everybody and his dog, Rosberg comes back in after only four laps. Something tells me they weren’t even low on fuel yet.

To give you an idea – that is 2.5 seconds faster than last year’s pole position lap. Most teams have gone quicker than Hamilton’s 2014 effort, so F1 has definitely become a whole lot quicker.


Here’s something positive. I kid thee not – we could see a McLaren break the 100 lap mark today. Jenson Button has so far done 95.

Meanwhile young Max has to pack early…

Maldonado is out on soft tyres, but his 1:26.705 looks a wee bit catholic to be honest.

More people go out for long runs on mediums. Everybody tries his best to ignore the Hippo Elephant in the room and goes on with the program.

You know your car is shyte when the driver starts promoting his sponsors during a test…

With 45 minutes to go, we’ve already seen the day with the most running so far. Already four drivers have gone past 120 laps and even Force India have completed 68 laps so far. Not bad for a car that was only nailed together this morning.

Ferrari and Red Bull are hauling a lot of fuel around. Both are lapping in the 1:30s. Hülkenberg is 2 seconds slower than that.

Oh the suspense… GO MCLAREN!!! Just two more laps and the Woking crew will have a three digit number in the laps column for the first time. Jenson comes in at the end of lap 98.

It looks as if nobody can be bothered to go for lap times anymore. After Merc bent the lot over the nearest piece of furniture and administered a darn good seeing-to, everybody trundles about, somewhat lost, on longruns.

Our commentary booth is shaking from the loud cheering in the McLaren garage as Jenson finally cracks the century. From seven laps yesterday to over 100 today – well done, McLaren, well done.

green And we’re stopped!

Bloody commentators curse! The boys of AMuS next door are joking that McLaren might have run the fuel tank dry, seeing that this is the first time they’ve been running long enough to achieve the feat.

Button’s car is stationary near turn 8, but the trackside cameras seem to be built for anything but recording pictures. No idea yet if something broke or if Jenson had an off.

The car’s on the hook, but well wrapped, so we’ll have to rely on what the team says the reason was. But any absence of medical cars means there’s been no drama and the Honda engine merely broke a few hours later than usual.

The driver of the pickup truck seems to be in no hurry, so apart from a possible quick dash out of the pits, this looks like that’s been it for the day.

There’s one thing the few fans out around the track can’t complain about – lack of running. At 73 laps Force India has done the least laps. No less than six teams were below or barely above that mark yesterday.

green Green Flag!

Wrong again, Hippo. The AA lorry takes the service road at turn 7 and the session gets going again for the last few minutes. The race for the lap count is close: Verstappen (139), Vettel (138), Nasr (137), Maldonado (136)

The Williams crew cannot be bothered anymore and go for a Martini. Don’t forget the olive, boys…

Hülkenberg improves to 1:28.412 on medium tyres, but the Force India rush job remains the slowest car of the day.

green And we’re stopped!

With less than a minute to go Maldonado’s steed runs out of steam at the pit entry. That’s it for the day and despite working hard all day, young Max failes to be the busiest man. He has that distinction nicked by an evil German in a red car at the last minute, but the numbers are impressive Vettel (143), Nasr (141), Maldonado (140), Verstappen (139). Some people have really earned their pay today.

With that the Hippo heads down before the Red Bull buffet has been plundered by the mob and will return shortly with the day’s final standings.


The Hippo is well fed and bids you a fond farewell until we shall see again in 13 hours for the morning coverage of the penultimate day of winter testing.

1. Germany Rosberg Mercedes W06 mercedes 1:22.792 106 Soft
2. Finland Bottas Williams AMG FW37 mercedes 1:23.995 +1.203 90 Soft
3. Brazil Nasr Sauber C34 ferrari 1:24.071 +1.279 141 Supersoft
4. Germany Vettel Ferrari SF15-T ferrari 1:25.339 +2.547 143 Soft
5. Great Britain Button McLaren MP4-30 honda 1:25.590 +2.798 101 Medium
6. venezuela Maldonado Lotus E23 mercedes 1:26.705 +3.913 140 soft
7. Netherlands Verstappen Toro Rosso STR10 renault 1:26.766 +3.974 139 Soft
8. Russia Kvyat Red Bull Racing RB11 renault 1:26.965 +4.173 84 soft
9. Germany Hülkenberg Force India VJM08 mercedes 1:28.412 +5.620 77 Soft

27 responses to “Day 10 #F1 2015 Winter Testing: Barcelona, Afternoon Report

  1. Over at the dreaded autosport, an interesting snippet from Chandhok, on Verstappen:

    “Through Turns 1, 2 and 3, Verstappen really impressed me…

    “He was the only one – apart from Rosberg and Vettel – who was able to drive every lap of his run on exactly the same bit of tarmac, which says something.

    • I’ll believe the hype when I see it. He’s so young and to perform when it really matters in the races is a whole different ball game to testing. If he does prove to be as good when it comes down to it, then we’ve got to wonder how well other drivers, who have a better record than Verstappen, would have done in his place.

      • I’m with you on being skeptical.

        OTH, for expert eyes like Chandhok’s making a comment like from track-side is very interesting.

        In addition, Will Buxton has seen a ton of young driving talent, and he recently said, “this guy is either going to be on his arse by the age of 20, or he’s going to change everything. I firmly believe it will be the latter.”

        I’m intrigued…

  2. Good point on lotus tyre saving car. Because last year was so awful it was not visible. It should bode well

    • I suspect they haven’t even turned the wick up!!!. Ominous signs though. Just hope the likes of Redbull, Ferrari and Mclaren have closed the gap to them

    • Only 1.2 sec faster than the Sauber – and Massa’s time yesterday was on a less rubbered track.
      Clearly Mercedes are runaway favourites for the championship, but ‘game over’ is a little too gloomy.

    • I don’t think that’s a particularly good lap on the softs for Merc to be honest – I’d be expecting a much lower time than that based on their times on the mediums.

      • Absolutely @formula. Maybe Rosberg’s comments explain why his time was a tad tardy

        “Today was a difficult day because even though the numbers looked like they were in the right place, actually the set-up was far away from where it needed to be,” Rosberg told reporters after the day’s running.

        “I don’t really understand that. The whole day we have been chasing the set-up and trying to find the right direction.

        “It’s really difficult to understand which way to go.

        “I had a lot of oversteer in the car, so the rear was all over the place, and poor traction.

        “The car was not good on the rear, the opposite of planted”.

        Fear and tremble F1 teams who are to compete this year against Mercedes

        • Though you missed the bit where he went on to say how that didn’t matter much of his quick lap:
          with the soft tyres on, that gives the grip anyway so it doesn’t really matter what the balance is…

        • Reuters reported Rosberg’s comments differently:

          “During the early runs, even though the numbers looked like they were in the right place with the setup, it was actually very far away from where it needed to be, which was unusual and caught us off guard a little bit.

          “But eventually, towards the end especially, it was feeling more and more decent. Then, putting the soft tyres on, that gives you the grip anyway so it doesn’t really matter what the balance is.”

          So they were chasing the set-up early, but then it came back around to them…

  3. Mercedes, soft tyres, 1:22.792.

    Not too shabby.
    Button’s 1.25odd is possibly more surprising, though. Will they turn the engine up tomorrow ?

  4. That Tweet from Mercedes sending Nico out on the soft tyres, seemed like they were telling everyone…..

    “hold on a second there lads, lets not get ahead of yourselves, you’ve still got a lonnnnngggggg way to catch up”

  5. That’s what you call a commentator’s curse!!!!. Mclaren has brought out a red flag after the century mark

  6. @Fat hippo, As an extension of this pre-season coverage, is TJ13 planning a live quali/race commentary

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