Test a Barcellona, ultimo giorno per Kimi–03/03/2016
Barcelona F1 test: Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari top Thursday running
Ferrari stepped up its preparations for the new Formula 1 season as Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest lap seen in testing so far and completed a race simulation on Thursday.
After starting his day with a trial run of the FIA’s halo cockpit protection system the governing body hopes will be on all F1 cars in 2017, Raikkonen went on to set the pace on the third morning of the second test.
Using Pirelli’s ultra-soft tyre, Raikkonen set a time of 1m22.765s, 0.045 seconds quicker than team-mate Sebastian Vettel’s benchmark from day two of test one, which was also set on the new-for-2016 rubber.
Come the afternoon, the Finn put the SF16-H through its paces with a 66-lap Spanish Grand Prix run around Barcelona’s Catalunya track.
Raikkonen’s laptimes fared well against the simulations of Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton on Monday and Nico Rosberg on Tuesday.
The run was put on hold for a short period as Romain Grosjean brought out the red flags for a second time with an excursion across the gravel, as he had done at the very end of the morning session.
The Frenchman made it a hat-trick late on to bring the day to an end six minutes earlier than scheduled.
Although Raikkonen finished comfortably quickest, Williams’s Felipe Massa was only 0.428s adrift with an early afternoon run on soft tyres.
Massa managed to get ahead of two other drivers on ultra-softs in Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso, the former just under half a second down, and the latter just over 0.6s adrift.
Verstappen finished with the highest lap count of the day on 159, more than the two Mercedes drivers combined after Rosberg had run in the morning and Hamilton in the afternoon, the duo clocking up 144 laps between them.
Rosberg opted for a different run programme for his stint, working from a baseline with his car in order to focus on different set-ups.
It resulted in Rosberg completing 81 laps, the highest tally in the morning, before Hamilton took over.
Rosberg finished up fifth quickest, 1.3s down, with Hamilton down in 11th, 3.7s off the pace. Both set their times on mediums.
In between the Mercedes, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr finished two seconds off the pace on soft tyres, with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso in close attendance on super-softs.
Alonso also conducted a heavy-fuel race simulation of his own, and even had a blast on the ultra-softs in a productive afternoon.
Pascal Wehrlein posted Manor’s best lap of testing to date, using ultra-softs, to finish 2.148s behind Raikkonen, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat ninth on softs, and a further two tenths of a second down.
Jolyon Palmer finally managed to get in some meaningful running in his Renault in the afternoon, after only completing 26 laps in the morning to add to the 79 over two days last week when he encountered a range of issues.
A late run on softs elevated Palmer over Hamilton to 10th, with the best of his 98 laps being a 1m26.224s.
Grosjean brought up the rear in his Haas, and despite his trio of red flags, still managed 78 laps after the American team finally overcame the turbo problems that had plagued it since Tuesday afternoon.
|3||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m23.251s||0.486s||137|
|4||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m23.382s||0.617s||159|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1m25.141s||2.376s||121|
Kimi Raikkonen tests F1’s halo head protection system on Ferrari
Formula 1’s proposed halo driver head protection system has appeared on a car for the first time, Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari during pre-season testing.
Having developed the system in conjunction with Mercedes, the FIA confirmed last week it is working to "make this a reality" for the 2017 season.
Further testing has been undertaken on an airfield in the south of England, firing projectiles at the framework at high speed.
"We have tried to accelerate this project in the last 12 months with an aim to have something that we can practically apply on F1 cars for 2017," FIA safety director Laurent Mekies said in the governing body’s official Auto publication.
"This latest test was set up with that in mind – trying to come out from there with something that we could actually say, ‘that’s going to be a significant step forward’."
Following that work, Raikkonen turned his installation lap of Circuit de Catalunya on Thursday morning with the device fitted to his Ferrari SF16-H.
Ferrari told Autosport that the device will not be used again today.
The halo trialled was a temporary fix, rather than having a hinge that would allow for easier extraction, complicating how Raikkonen climbed aboard the car when it was attached.
Ferrari’s Raikkonen says visibility with F1 halo ‘was OK’
Kimi Raikkonen says the visibility of Formula 1’s proposed halo head protection system "was OK" according to Ferrari, after becoming the first driver to try it during pre-season testing.
Raikkonen turned his installation lap on Thursday morning with the device fitted to his Ferrari SF16-H.
The team was keen to get a driver’s opinion on how the device impacts on their vision.
"[The] first impression on the visibility test is positive," Raikkonen said, through the FIA.
"The structure does not hamper [visibility]."
Ferrari says the design is an early prototype that it produced itself, based on its own interpretation and is "pretty close" to what it expects the final shape to be.
As it was only a temporary fix, designed and produced mainly to gauge a driver’s opinion regarding visibility, it did not have a hinge that would allow for easier extraction.
As a result, it complicated how Raikkonen climbed inside the cockpit when it was attached.
The Scuderia has yet to decide whether Sebastian Vettel will run it on the car when the German completes the final day of testing for the team on Friday.
Over a period of time the FIA has conducted considerable research and tests into the product, with the halo emerging as the best of three reviewed designs.
The primary test focused on a wheel being projected at the halo device with significant force.
Assessing the results, Andy Mellor, the FIA’s lead researcher for the Global Institute for Road Safety on this project, said: "It’s very impressive that although the structure is positioned close to the driver’s helmet to provide protection from all angles, it is still able to prevent the wheel from contacting the helmet.
"In the very short distance available a huge amount of energy is absorbed and the wheel is successfully redirected."
The FIA prototype was made out of steel, while Ferrari’s is made of carbon fibre.
The FIA anticipates if the halo is accepted and adopted from 2017 it will be made of a lightweight material that will add around five kilograms to the weight of the car.
The key concern, however, is – and remains – visibility.
Speaking in the FIA’s monthly magazine Auto, Mellor added: "We need to avoid creating any blindspots as that would introduce an unacceptable additional risk during racing.
"We are looking to achieve a structure that provides a full panorama of forward and sideways binocular vision, allowing only very small areas of monocular vision restricted by the structure."
Kimi Raikkonen surprised by visibility in F1 cockpit halo trial
Kimi Raikkonen says there was "surprisingly little difference" in visibility after trying Ferrari’s version of the halo head protection system during pre-season Formula 1 testing.
The Finn completed a single lap with the device fitted to his Ferrari SF16-H first thing on Thursday morning at Barcelona.
Ferrari had created the prototype, which it says is "pretty close" to what it expects the final shape to be, to get a driver’s opinion on how it impacts visibility.
"It’s slightly different view," said Raikkonen. "We’re a bit limited in the front but I don’t think it’s the final version.
"There was surprisingly little difference.
"Yes, it was a bit limited in the front, but [the design] can change."
The design tested was produced by Ferrari itself and made of carbonfibre.
It was the team’s own interpretation of the idea but only a temporary design and did not have a hinge that will feature on the final version for easier extraction.
The hinge’s absence complicated how Raikkonen climbed into the cockpit when it was attached.
The FIA anticipates that if the design is accepted and adopted for 2017, it will be made of a lightweight material that will add around five kilograms to the weight of the car.
Ferrari is contemplating running the design again on Friday when Sebastian Vettel is in the car so it can gauge the German’s opinion too.