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Hello and welcome everybody to TJ13a coverage of the final day of F1 pre-season testing. Today’s action will be covered by the Fat Hippo and Matt Trumpets again.
Red Bull are being ridiculous again. They’ve switched to a different garage to bluff the photographers. The only thing we could make out was that the back end got even tighter. Note to Red Bull: If you don’t want people to know what you changed, don’t mark the spot with bright green Floviz paint.
Force India are in dire straights and Andy Green is quite open about it. He says that they are low on spares, so if the wrong part breaks it will be an early end of the day for Checo. It looks like after the attempted necromancer job on Marussia and the resulting shitstorm they don’t even try to keep up appearances anymore.
Vettel goes out with what looks like a revised nose and I think a different front wing as well. He marks a 1:29 lap on soft tyres, but Rosberg is having none of that and does a 1:27 on the winter tyre. It looks as if Merc are not willing to tolerate any gods beside themselves. However, their massive mileage is coming round to bite Merc in the derriere. Word is they went through most of their tyre contingent already.
Meanwhile Rosberg has raised the bar to a 1.25,492. Normally we don’t see such times so early in the session. God knows what they’re up to, but I get the feeling that we’ll be taught a lesson in ‘deal with it’ today. We won’t see any times on super softs as Merc didn’t order those, but as Rosberg proved two days ago, they are well able to demoralize the opposition on soft tyres just as well.
The Ferrari has two lights near the diffusor. Since it is a wee bit early to pose as a christmas tree, some sort of measirung run seems to be going on.
LØL. Do you know where Arvidsjaur is? Apparently it’s a town at the arse-end of Sweden. That’s where Rosberg is headed tomorrow for a sponsorship event, accompanied by Mika Häkkinen, Toto and his lovely wife Susie. You just gotta love corporate obligations.
Maldonado finishes his sixth lap, but hasn’t posted a time yet as everytime he’s driving through the pitlane instead of crossing the line on track.
The AMuS boys next door have been quite quick with pictures most of the days, so we’re waiting until they have some snaps of the weird light show on the butt of Vettel’s Ferrari. Rosberg has found some medium tyres at the back of the garage and misses his best time by a mere 0.014.
Here’s ‘Our shit is broken’ in Ronspeak:
Bit of a delay with today’s programme, the team are running some system checks, but hope to be out later this morning…
— McLaren (@McLarenF1) March 1, 2015
Vettel goes out without disco-lights and posts a 1.28,805 on medium tyres. Quite a catholic pace from everyone except Rosberg so far.
Having ended up at the bottom of the pile yesterday, Danny RIC positions himself a bit more prominent in 2nd place with a 1:26.587 on winter prototype tyres.
When a German is chased by a Dutchman it normally means the Teutone has weed in the pocket, but as young Max chases Seb’s vehicle, we are sure that isn’t the case. Little Max isn’t old enough yet to know what weed is.
Force India might be strapped for parts, but they’re certainly not short of flowviz paint. That VJM7.5 looks like there’s been a veritable bukkake session going on in the FI garage.
Rosberg comes back out again on winter prototype tyres. We’ve investigated and found out that Merc have chewed through their entire supply of soft tyres and most of the mediums. That means there won’t be another shocker today. Merc made their point two days ago.
There’s been a short red flag period as Danny RIC’s Camo Bull croaked at the end of the pitlane, but the session resumes after less than ten minutes. Back out on track Vettel cracks the 1:26s on medium tyres. Alonso must be utterly devastated. Just as he left the Ferrari looks much better than what they offered last year. When it comes to being at the wrong team at any time, he surely can mix it with Jean Alesi and Chris Amon.
Bottas demotes the stricken Camo Bull to third with a 1:26.440, while Merc have found another set of mediums and Rosberg does stable 1:26 laps.
I’m really starting to like Mauricio Arrivabene. When news broke yesterday that Bernie plans to reduce the number of paddock passes for Melbourne, the Ferrari boss tried what it is like to watch the action from the other side of the fence, grabbed test driver Guttierrez and headed for the grandstand sendíng the fans into hyperventilation mode. “This could be a way to get closer to the fans,” the Italian remarked drily, but he’s well aware that the toad from Suffolk doesn’t suffer mingling with the plebs lightly. “I’m expecting to be called by Bernie,” Mauricio says, aware of his fate.
Meanwhile it’s another clusterfuck in the Mclaren garage. They still have a big phat zero next to their name. How in the name of all that’s holy do you get it wrong like that?? They wanted to run a race simulation today. The only thing they simulated so far is the Thursday before the race…
Vettel and Perez are back out on mediums. Nobody seems to be interested in serious lap times so far.
The Mclaren fans seem to become quite fed up with their team’s ineptitude. The twittersphere would make a trucker blush.
Thanks to the boys of Auto Motor und Sport we have a picture of the Fezza with disco lights…
Jeez, even the live-timing is broken today. When the system boots up again, we see Valteri Bottas on top with a 1:25.099 on winter prototypes. Merc doesn’t seem to be the only team that has gone through all their ‘normal’ tyres.
Fezza have some mediums left and Vettel orbits the track with times that the Hippo describes as: meh… 1:26s for the German.
Two and a half hour gone and McHonda are still ‘checking systems’. Jenson must feel like being in the midst of a cruel prank by now. Should have retired and gone to race Porsches at LeMans, pal. At least they’re not perpetually broken.
Track conditions look good, but for some reason times are utterly mediocre today. My pet theory is that teams run high on fuel.
Mauricio Arrivabene chalks up the winter tests as a success, but despite seeing Merc’s massive advantage he sees the team’s future in the drivers: We have two polar opposites. One barely talks, the other talks a lot.” MA admits that Kimi is a wee bit enigmnatic. Sometimes you talk to him and he just walks away being silent. At some point he comes back and wants to talk to you when you already thought that’s been it.” The convo with Seb apparently is a multi-language affair. “I ask him something in English and he responds in Italian. Seb is a true ferrari fanboy. He’s already 120% part of the family.
Mauricio’s unique approach to algebra notwithstanding, the action on track continues and valteri lays down a 1:23.063 on supersoft tyres, still 0.4 off what Rosberg did with soft tyres, without DRS and his finger up his nose…
NC17-alert. Here’s the jizzed upon Force India…
We’re hearing that Sauber plans to run a quali sim before lunch and race simulations after feeding.
Is this some kind of ritual or something? Everyday at 12pm the action dries up. The track is empty.
BOOM. Felipe Nasr puts his Sauber in 2nd with a 1:24.852 on soft tyres.
Perez, Maldonado and Rosberg join Nasr on track. Peresz posts a 1:26 on mediums. Rosberg beats that by more than a second on the same compound.
The action has died down again. Rosberg orbits the track in the 1:27s, not even breaking a sweat. Nobody else can be bothered. They’re all in the pits.
Ba-dum-tsss. Ferrari is out on supersofts, but Vettel comes short 0.2s of Räikkönens time of yesterday and 0.4 off the fastest time of the day. You’ll have to do better than that, pal…
Perez does a 1:25 on supersofts and local wildlife is heard cackling…
Well, knock me over with a feather – there’s a McLaren on the track. Only 3:55 hours after the session started. Not bad, lads, not bad!
Vettel narrowly misses out on improving his best time while Button completes his second lap and nothing has exploded in his face so far.
There’s the table cloth!!
That’s it for the first session – Merc-powered teams have been the flavour of the day and McLaren have been shambolic as always, so normal business has been resumed. We will meet you in an hour when the last 4 hours of this year’s pre-season testing take off.
1. Bottas Williams 1:23.063m
2. Vettel Ferrari 1:23.469m
3. Nasr Sauber 1:24.023m
4. Perez Force India 1:25.113m
5. Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.186m
6. Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:26.267m
7. Ricciardo Red Bull 1:26.587m
8. Maldonado Lotus 1:28.272m