Barcelona F1 testing: Bottas tops final day, Verstappen teases pace
Valtteri Bottas completed the final session of Formula 1 pre-season testing at the top of the timesheets, ending the day with a 1m16.196s to beat Daniel Ricciardo’s morning benchmark.
Having fitted the C5 tyres midway through the afternoon’s incident-free running, Bottas leapfrogged Ricciardo with a time just 0.05 seconds faster than the Renault driver’s best effort of the day to vault to the top of the times.
Moments later, Bottas then found another tenth, improving his first sector time over his previous best to cement his position.
Bottas held the overall fastest lap over the six days of testing too, setting a 1m15.732s on the final day of the first week – also on the softest compound of tyre available.
Max Verstappen also squeaked ahead of Ricciardo, going out on a set of brand new C4 tyres with half an hour to spare to set a time just 0.073s down on Bottas’s chart-topping time.
Although Verstappen looked set to have one more chance to displace Bottas from the top, he ultimately backed out of his final run on a new set of C4 tyres, leaving Bottas with the bragging rights.
Ricciardo’s time from the morning was good enough to preserve third overall, while Charles Leclerc collected the fourth-best time having set a mammoth 181 laps throughout the day – just shy of three race distances at the Barcelona circuit.
Lewis Hamilton remained behind Leclerc having handed the Mercedes over to Bottas for the afternoon, while Esteban Ocon stitched together a lap just 0.02s down on Hamilton to finish the day sixth overall.
Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz Jr (pictured above) dedicated the afternoon to long runs, finishing the session in seventh and eighth having each surpassed 150 laps, both ending the day just clear of George Russell.
Russell had spent the day conducting aero work for Williams, and trialled new bodywork to help his team prepare for the Australian Grand Prix weekend.
Kimi Raikkonen remained in the Alfa Romeo for the afternoon, but his day ended with an hour to spare – leaving the Finnish driver locked in 12th.
Kevin Magnussen spent most of the afternoon stranded in the garage with apparent clutch issues, but returned for the final half-hour of running – setting his best time of a 1m17.495s on a set of C4 tyres to claim the 13th-best time.
That left Alex Albon at the bottom of the leaderboard, following his morning session off-road excursion at Turn 12.
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m16.269s||0.073s||45|
|7||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m16.634s||0.438s||154|
|8||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m16.820s||0.624s||163|
|12||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.415s||1.219s||115|
|14||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||1m17.803s||1.607s||59|
Barcelona F1 testing: Late stoppages for Red Bull teams, Kubica on top
Robert Kubica ended the opening day of Formula 1’s second week of pre-season testing at Barcelona on top, as second-placed Max Verstappen’s late spin brought out a red flag.
Kubica’s 1m16.942s lap, set during the morning session on a set of the C5 tyres, was out of reach for the drivers participating in the afternoon – in which only Haas’s Romain Grosjean carried over from the morning.
Having suffered from a spin early on in the session at the last chicane, Kubica bolted on the softest tyre compound to post his quickest time of the day, which withstood the afternoon’s siege as the focus shifted to race simulations.
Taking over from team-mate Alex Albon for the afternoon, Verstappen was the fastest driver in the final four hours of running, vaulting up to second on the overall timesheets with a 1m17.347s lap on C3 tyres.
Verstappen then locked up at Turn 10 with five minutes left on the clock, and was unable to get going once again – remaining stranded in the runoff area to trigger the final red flag of the day.
The afternoon’s running had been largely incident-free before that, with most drivers conducting a flurry of long runs on the harder compounds to simulate race mileage.
AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat also came to a halt at the end of the session, albeit in unrelated circumstances to Verstappen as he stopped next to Turn 4.
Racing Point’s Sergio Perez got within a tenth of Verstappen on the same C3 compound with 20 minutes remaining, while Kvyat similarly produced a late fast lap prior to his stoppage, which was good enough for fourth overall.
Pierre Gasly filed in behind team-mate Kvyat despite only managing 25 laps in the morning session, having been stranded in the garage with a loose pipe aboard his AT01 car.
He was just one hundredth of a second ahead of Albon, who also had very little running in the morning due to suspension problems.
Lewis Hamilton recorded 89 laps in the morning – with the best among those a 1m17.562s – to slot into seventh ahead of Lance Stroll, who continued Racing Point’s impressive testing pace and led a portion of the pre-lunch running.
Valtteri Bottas took Mercedes’ total lap count to 179 for the day, ending up ninth, while Sebastian Vettel suffered an early spin at Turn 8 but completed the overall top 10.
Vettel’s excursion prompted the first red flag of the day after the Ferrari driver kicked up a hefty amount of gravel onto the circuit, while the second came courtesy of Nicholas Latifi – who had to pull over at the exit of Turn 9.
Latifi later divulged that his Williams had suffered from an oil systems problem, which curtailed his running for the day before George Russell took over for the afternoon.
Grosjean racked up the most laps of the day with 107, although Mercedes completed the most miles overall.
|1||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m16.942s||–||53|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m17.347s||0.405s||84|
|3||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m17.428s||0.486s||84|
|6||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||1m17.550s||0.608s||29|
|8||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m17.787s||0.845s||43|
|12||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m18.221s||1.279s||46|
|18||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m19.515s||2.573s||51|
Barcelona F1 testing: Raikkonen tops day two, causes first red flag
Kimi Raikkonen ended the second day of Formula 1 pre-season testing fastest for Alfa Romeo before causing a red flag, as Mercedes debuted its new dual-axis steering system.
After Sergio Perez led the way in the morning session, Raikkonen was able to displace the Racing Point driver at the top of the timesheet in the final hour of running.
Raikkonen set a time of 1m17.091s on the softest available tyre – C5 – with 45 minutes remaining, giving him top spot by two tenths of a second.
It capped off a productive day for Raikkonen, who racked up 134 laps in his first extended run in the new Alfa Romeo C39 car, having only previously driven it during the Fiorano shakedown last week.
Raikkonen later sparked the first red flag of 2020 pre-season running when his Alfa Romeo car came to a halt between Turn 8 and Turn 9 with 17 minutes left on the clock, effectively bringing the day to an early end – though running did resume with six minutes left of the clock.
Early pacesetter Perez failed to beat his morning benchmark after focusing on long runs in the afternoon, but still finished the day second overall ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo completed fewer laps than any other driver after only featuring in the morning session, managing just 41 before handing over to team-mate Esteban Ocon, who finished 12th fastest, for the afternoon.
Alex Albon finished fourth for Red Bull in his maiden outing in the new Red Bull RB16, while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly ended up fifth.
After missing the opening day of testing through illness, Sebastian Vettel featured for Ferrari on Thursday afternoon, recording 73 laps en route to sixth place overall.
Charles Leclerc was less than two tenths behind Vettel in eighth, the pair split by Williams’s George Russell, who continued the team’s strong start to testing with 116 laps in the book.
Lewis Hamilton set Mercedes’s fastest time of the day in ninth place, but his running was more notable for the first usage of the team’s dual-axis steering (DAS) system.
Hamilton was spotted making adjustments to the toe angle of the front wheels by pulling the steering wheel towards his body during the morning session, sparking intrigue through the paddock.
Team-mate Valtteri Bottas took over in the Mercedes W11 for the afternoon, and was also seen using the DAS system.
Bottas added 77 laps to Hamilton’s tally of 106 from the morning, though Mercedes’ day was brought to an early end by an electrical issue.
Bottas propped up the timesheets in 13th place after focusing on long runs, with his day coming to an end with one hour left on the clock due to an electrical issue.
Lando Norris took 10th for McLaren ahead of Haas driver Romain Grosjean as both recorded more than two race distances through Thursday’s running.
Grosjean had the biggest off on Thursday when he lost his Haas VF-20 at Turn 4 and went off backwards towards the tyre wall.
The right endplate on his rear wing was damaged after a small impact, but he was able to recover the car to the pits.
Friday marks the final day of running at the opening pre-season test, which starts at 9am local time at Barcelona.
Day two times
|1||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.091s||–||134|
|2||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m17.347s||0.256s||145|
|4||Alexander Albon||Red Bull/Honda||1m17.912s||0.821s||134|
Barcelona F1 testing: Hamilton fastest, Mercedes dominates day one
Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 on the opening day of 2020 Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona, topping the timesheets ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
After watching team-mate Bottas set the pace in the new Mercedes W11 car through the morning session, reigning world champion Hamilton took over for the afternoon, completing 94 laps.
Hamilton managed to beat Bottas’s time within the first 90 minutes of the four-hour session, and improved further to end the day with a best lap of 1m16.976s, set on the C2 compound tyre.
The lap left Hamilton three tenths of a second clear of Bottas in the final standings.
The Finn racked up 79 laps in the morning session, with his fastest effort coming on the C3 tyre.
Sergio Perez finished an impressive third for Racing Point as the team broke cover with its new RP20 car, notable for its similarities to Mercedes’s 2019-spec design.
Perez lapped within four-tenths of a second of Hamilton on the C3 tyre, completing 58 laps before handing over to team-mate Lance Stroll for the afternoon.
Stroll ended the day 10th fastest with 52 laps.
Max Verstappen finished fourth for Red Bull, half a second off Hamilton’s benchmark time, but suffered two spins in the afternoon in the final sector.
They proved to be the most notable on-track incidents during a quiet day of uninterrupted running, as all teams managed to complete over 100 laps thanks to a lack of red flags or stoppages.
Ferrari finished the opening day down in 11th with Charles Leclerc, who deputised for the unwell Sebastian Vettel.
Leclerc completed more than two race distances despite being kept in the garage for over an hour at the start of the afternoon session, finishing the day 1.3s shy of Hamilton.
Daniil Kvyat took fifth place for AlphaTauri ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr (pictured above), with both setting their fastest time on the C2 compound.
Renault split running between Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, who finished seventh and eighth respectively.
Ricciardo was able to beat Ocon’s time by 0.131s in the afternoon. George Russell ended a solid first day of testing for Williams in ninth place, having completed 73 laps through the morning.
In a far cry from 2019, when the team missed the first two and a half days of the first test due to delays with the build of its car, Russell finished 1.1 seconds behind Hamilton, and reported the new FW43 was already "much better" to drive.
Nicholas Latifi took over from Russell in the afternoon, finishing two tenths of a second off his team-mate in 12th.
Robert Kubica ended the day 13th during his maiden outing as Alfa Romeo’s reserve driver, completing 59 laps in the morning.
Team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi propped up the timesheets in 15th place, the pair split by Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.
Testing resumes at 9am local time on Thursday at Barcelona.
Full Wednesday times
|3||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m17.375s||0.399s||58|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m17.516s||0.540s||168|
|6||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren/Renault||1m17.842s||0.866s||161|
|10||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m18.282s||1.306s||52|
|13||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m18.386s||1.410s||59|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m20.096s||3.120s||79|
Abu Dhabi F1 test: Mercedes’ Bottas fastest, Ocon makes Renault bow
Esteban Ocon made his debut appearance as a Renault Formula 1 race driver on the opening day of the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tyre test, which was topped by Valtteri Bottas.
Ocon replaces Nico Hulkenberg alongside Daniel Ricciardo in Renault’s driver line-up for next season and got behind the wheel of the team’s 2019 car for the first time on Tuesday.
He clocked 77 laps and set the eighth-fastest time, lapping 2.8 seconds off the pace.
That was set by Mercedes’ Bottas, who was the busiest driver early on before ending the day with a 138-lap tally – only Max Verstappen (153) and Romain Grosjean (146) completed more.
Each team has 10 sets of tyres to use on each day of the two-day test, with a mix of 2019 compounds and the controversial ’20 rubber.
Teams have five different 2019 compounds and six ’20 compounds to choose from.
Bottas’s benchmark time, a 1m37.124s set on the 2019 C4 compound, was eight tenths of a second faster than the next-best, set by Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari.
Vettel lost an hour of running in the morning with an exhaust issue, but eventually racked up just two fewer laps than Bottas on his way to a 1m37.911s on the 2020 version of the softest C5 compound.
Toro Rosso driver Daniil Kvyat set the third-fastest time, a second behind Bottas, ahead of Sergio Perez’s Racing Point and Grosjean’s Haas – with all three using the 2020 C5.
Perez and Vettel were also involved in a clash at Turns 11 and 12 at the end of the second straight.
Kvyat shared his Toro Rosso with Sean Gelael, with the Formula 2 driver taking part in the first half of the day.
Gelael ended the day 11th fastest, 4.5s off the pace, and quicker only than surprise Williams tester Roy Nissany.
Sometime F2 racer Nissany’s 2020 C3-shod fastest time was 7.6s slower than Bottas, 4.4s slower than George Russell after taking over from the regular Williams race driver in the afternoon, and 3.1s slower than the next car (Gelael’s Toro Rosso).
Alfa Romeo brought Kimi Raikkonen’s day to a premature end because of a "technical issue".
|3||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m38.183s||1.059s||72|
|4||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m38.434s||1.310s||120|
|7||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m39.926s||2.802s||153|
|10||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m40.903s||3.779s||93|
|11||Sean Gelael||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m41.640s||4.516s||67|
Barcelona F1 testing: Mercedes ends final day fastest with Mazepin
Nikita Mazepin topped the second and final day of the final in-season Formula 1 test of 2019 at Barcelona.
Mazepin, having his first runout in the 2019 Mercedes after a private test programme in the ’17 car, set a best time of 1m15.775s on the final afternoon using the C5 Pirellis.
The Formula 2 driver completed a series of performance runs in the afternoon, eventually breaking the 1m16s barrier on his final quick lap with 25 minutes remaining.
His time was only 0.264 seconds off fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas’s fastest time of the test overall, set on Tuesday.
Toro Rosso driver Alex Albon prevailed in a battle for second place using C5 rubber with Ferrari’s Antonio Fuoco in the final half-hour.
Albon initially jumped up to second with around 30 minutes remaining before Fuoco displaced him 13 minutes later.
Albon then immediately reclaimed the position with a lap 0.205s quicker to make sure of second, before causing a red flag that ended the day with nine minutes remaining when he stopped in the vicinity of Turn 10.
Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest in the Pirelli test Ferrari, using unmarked development tyres.
Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen was fifth fastest, just 0.044s slower than Leclerc.
Renault test driver Jack Aitken was sixth, 1.846s off the pace using C5 rubber on a series of performance laps in the closing stages of running.
Haas driver Kevin Magnussen’s fastest time from the morning’s running, using the C3 Pirellis, put him seventh fastest after he failed to improve in the afternoon.
Racing Point simulator driver Nick Yelloly moved up to eighth in the afternoon, and lapped 0.361s faster than the Williams of Nicholas Latifi.
Dan Ticktum completed the top 10 for Red Bull with his time on C3s, 1.077s quicker than McLaren morning driver Oliver Turvey, who handed the car over to F2 race winner Sergio Sette Camara in the afternoon.
Sette Camara managed only 19 laps, setting the 13th-fastest time of the day 5.790s off the pace, before stopping on track with a technical problem and causing the only red flag of the afternoon other than Albon’s stoppage.
That put him behind the second Pirelli test car, the Racing Point of Lance Stroll.
|2||Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m17.079s||1.304s||110|
|5||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.393s||1.618s||110|
|8||Nick Yelloly||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m18.212s||2.437s||83|
|10||Dan Ticktum||Red Bull/Honda||1m19.458s||3.683s||79|
|12||Lance Stroll||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m20.745s||4.970s||119|
|13||Sergio Sette Camara||McLaren/Renault||1m21.565s||5.790s||19|
Vettel resists late Hamilton surge to top 2019 F1 testing
Sebastian Vettel ended Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona with the fastest lap time, set before Ferrari and Red Bull lost out on valuable track time in the afternoon session.
Vettel completed 110 laps before stopping around 90 minutes into the afternoon session at the exit of Turn 2, similar to the position in which Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo pulled off at the end of the morning’s running.
Ferrari confirmed later in the afternoon that an "electrical issue" had caused Vettel to stop and the fix would take too long for him to return to the track.
It continued a run of Ferrari problems after Vettel’s crash on Wednesday meant team-mate Charles Leclerc could do just one lap that afternoon, and Leclerc had lost time earlier in the week to a cooling system check.
But Vettel’s lack of track time was not enough for him to lose the top spot in the final day of testing, as Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton fell narrowly short of wrestling the fastest lap from his 2017/18 title rival.
Hamilton progressively climbed up the timesheets after taking over from Valtteri Bottas for the afternoon.
He initially made small improvements on Pirelli’s unmarked compound before switching to the faster C4 and C5 tyres.
Hamilton’s first flyer on the C4 was good enough for sixth before finding further time to jump to third with a 1m16.628s effort.
A switch to the C5 tyre allowed the Mercedes man to go second, before he then lapped in 1m16.224s just before the final hour in a time that was just 0.003s short of Vettel’s benchmark.
Hamilton was able to complete 61 laps, over double Max Verstappen’s total of 29.
Verstappen missed just half an hour of running in the morning following Pierre Gasly’s huge crash on Thursday before Red Bull identified an gearbox issue that meant the Dutchman did not run in the afternoon.
Red Bull’s lack of running was compounded by Mercedes completing 132 laps across its both drivers, with Valtteri Bottas taking third with a best effort of 1m16.561s on the C5 tyre.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was fourth after completing the majority of his early running on the harder compounds and a switch to red-walled tyres meant he could set a best of 1m16.843s on the C5 late on.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was fifth for Toro Rosso which, like sixth-placed McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr, focused on longer runs in the afternoon.
Romain Grosjean was able to complete 73 laps in an improved showing after an exhaust issue cost Haas time on Thursday, lapping a best time of 1m17.114s on the C5 tyre in the morning.
That put him ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Alfa Romeo’s Raikkonen, who completed the most laps of anyone with 132 laps after his morning stoppage.
Haas’s Kevin Magnussen was another driver to prioritise longer runs in the afternoon but caused a red flag inside the final 15 minutes of the session when he stopped at the exit of Turn 4.
Sergio Perez was 11th, behind Magnussen, but enjoyed his highest amount of mileage in a single day with 104 laps completed.
Williams’s Robert Kubica was last on the timesheets and was over a second behind Perez’s best time on the same C5 tyre.
Friday test times
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m16.898s||0.677s||131|
|9||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.239s||1.018s||132|
|11||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m17.709s||1.488s||29|
|12||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m17.791s||1.570s||104|
F1 testing: McLaren stays on top with Carlos Sainz Jr
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz Jr retained the fastest time in Formula 1’s second week of pre-season testing at Barcelona, while Ferrari only managed one further lap after its morning crash.
Sainz set his benchmark time of 1m17.144s within the first two hours of the morning before going on to complete more laps than any other driver with 130.
His leading time never looked close to being threatened until the final 20 minutes of the day.
Racing Point – which again lagged behind in the mileage stakes – bolted a set of C4 tyres on Sergio Perez’s car, which he used to go second with 1m17.842s lap that trailed Sainz’s best by 0.698 seconds.
Perez’s late effort was enough to depose Sebastian Vettel from the second place he had held onto despite his crash meaning Ferrari covered just 41 laps.
The crash had occurred at Turn 3 during the morning due to a mechanical problem.
Ferrari initially confirmed the SF90 would not be seen for "several hours" and Vettel said the damage made finding the cause of the crash all the more difficult.
The Italian team then spent the majority of the afternoon conducting what it called "thorough checks" before Charles Leclerc got out to undertake just a single installation lap.
Leclerc had also lost track time on Tuesday when cooling system checks had to be made, before he then handed the car over to Vettel for that afternoon.
While Perez had the best lap on the red-walled tyres, Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen moved fourth inside the last hour with a 1m18.209s effort on the C4 compound on his way to a total of 113 laps.
But Raikkonen then stopped at Turn 6 as the session ended.
Raikkonen’s best time also knocked Red Bull’s Max Verstappen down into fourth after the Dutchman had spent the majority of the day on the C3 tyre, with some running undertaken on the harder C2s.
Verstappen fell a further place when Romain Grosjean completed a C5 run in the final 20 minutes that heralded a 1m18.330s effort good enough for fifth.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was seventh behind Verstappen after setting his best time on the C3 tyre, and he demoted the two Mercedes drivers into eighth and ninth.
The Mercedes pairing combined to set 177 laps after Valtteri Bottas’s curtailed Tuesday afternoon running cost Mercedes the chance to validate two different aero designs.
Bottas recovered in the morning to set a total of 75 laps and a best time of 1m18.941s, before Hamilton clocked 102 laps and marginally beat his team-mate’s lap.
Renault built on its morning spent focusing on race simulations with Daniel Ricciardo.
Nico Hulkenberg took over in the afternoon and also completed longer runs, but gradually improved his time with the mid-range C3 tyre to take a best lap of 1m19.056s.
Hulkenberg’s performance runs meant he ended up almost three seconds clear of 12th-placed team-mate Ricciardo, with the pair split by Williams’s Robert Kubica.
Kubica had continued to help Williams understand the softer C4 and C5 tyre, using the former to set his quickest time.
Wednesday testing times
|2||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m17.842s||0.698s||88|
|4||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m18.209s||1.065s||113|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.395s||1.251s||128|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.682s||1.538s||101|
Raikkonen starting to figure out Alfa Romeo’s 2019 F1 car set-up
Kimi Raikkonen says Alfa Romeo tried "a lot of things" on its Formula 1 car on Wednesday as he experimented with its set-up properly for the first time.
Raikkonen finished the second day of the second test fourth-fastest, as Alfa continued its solid start to pre-season testing at Barcelona.
The 2007 world champion, who has joined the rebranded Sauber entry from Ferrari, admitted it was "a bit unknown" how testing would go with his new team.
"When we got the car, it’s been working well and been really nicely balanced," said Raikkonen when asked by Autosport if Alfa’s progress had exceeded his expectations.
"Last week we didn’t really do a lot of set-up work but we tried a lot of things today, just to see what happens when we change parts.
"So far, it’s OK. I don’t know where we are. It’s guessing from our side, we only know what we do."
Raikkonen said Alfa would have an "endless" number of things to work on if it was not restricted to only two more days of running.
The team has been tipped to challenge at the front of the midfield battle, which is expected to be even tighter than last year.
It faces competition from the works Renault team, Haas, Racing Point, Toro Rosso and McLaren in the fight behind Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari.
When asked what he wanted to learn on his final day in the car on Friday, Raikkonen said: "There’s always a lot of things and we always run out of time every year, but that’s the same as everybody.
"We’ll try to put things where we think it’s best now, do our programme, and see what we get in Australia.
"Every circuit is different, especially Australia, it’s a street circuit.
"So we need to have an idea if the set-up is not where we want, what are we going to do.
"That was really what today was for, to try to figure [that] out."
Barcelona F1 test report: Daniil Kvyat fastest for Toro Rosso
Toro Rosso-Honda’s Daniil Kvyat delivered a phenomenal late lap to set the fastest time of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona, while the Williams lapped for the first time.
Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen had led the morning session, and it looked like his early time would hold for the day until just over 10 minutes to go.
But Kvyat bolted the softest Pirelli tyres – the C5 – to his Toro Rosso, and set a 1m17.704s, 0.058 seconds quicker than Raikkonen.
Kvyat had tried to beat the benchmark a few minutes earlier and jumped into second, before going one better.
Fellow late charger Daniel Ricciardo secured third for Renault, running the C4 tyre to his benefit.
The Australian had focused on long runs on the C2 tyre as he took over the car from morning runner Nico Hulkenberg, but still pumped in a rapid lap to secure third place.
While the late runners battled, the Williams remained in the pits having completed 23 laps in the hands of George Russell.
The car didn’t arrive at the circuit until 4am, and wasn’t ready for the morning session.
Russell set a best time of 1m25.625s, and that lap came with a huge slide at the entry to the final chicane, which threw the car into the run-off area.
Sebastian Vettel didn’t improve on his morning time as he focused on longer runs throughout the session and by the end he was sat in the pits as others went for the top times. The Ferrari completed 134 laps.
Max Verstappen helped his Red Bull team to rebound from its difficult day when Pierre Gasly crashed the Honda-powered car on Tuesday afternoon.
The team completed 109 laps, with Verstappen setting his best time on the C3 tyre in the morning – the same tyre Vettel used to finish one spot ahead.
Hulkenberg held sixth with his morning time, ahead of Romain Grosjean’s Haas – which stopped three times during the day.
Pietro Fittipaldi was the first Haas man to stop on track, before Grosjean halted at the start and end of the afternoon session, the latter bringing out the red flag and costing teams four minutes of running.
Fittipaldi took eighth behind Grosjean, after his second consecutive session in the car, while McLaren elected not to fit the C4 tyres to its car for a late lap as it had done the previous two days.
The team appeared later than most in the morning, completing 90 laps, and Carlos Sainz Jr ended the day ninth.
Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10 for Racing Point, on another day where it lacked the number of completed laps of most of its rivals.
The two Mercedes, headed by morning driver Valtteri Bottas, set 11th and 12th fastest times but, in typical fashion, conducted long runs. The champion team is still to use the softer C4 tyre in anger, having run on the C1, C2 and C3 so far.
Bottas and Lewis Hamilton did combine for the highest number of laps for any car, on 182 laps finished.
Russell rounded out the order for Williams.
Wednesday test times
|1||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m17.704s||–||137|
|2||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.762s||0.058s||138|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.787s||1.083s||109|
|10||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m20.202s||2.498s||67|
F1 testing: Raikkonen sets fastest lap so far, tops third morning
Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time of 2019 Formula 1 pre-season testing so far to lead the way at lunchtime on day three at Barcelona for Alfa Romeo.
The ex-Ferrari racer became the first driver this week to post a time below 1m18s with a short run on the red-marked C5 tyres roughly half an hour before lunch.
Up to that point, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari had comfortably led the way, and while Vettel was on track and improving at the same time as Raikkonen, his lap on the harder C3 tyre compound was no match for what his former team-mate ultimately managed.
The difference in tyre performance was stark when both drivers completed a second attacking lap, with Raikkonen losing 1.4 seconds on the softer of the compounds, while Vettel was only 0.1s slower than his previous best next time around.
Raikkonen’s move to the top shuffled Nico Hulkenberg down to third, after he’d gone second behind Vettel an hour earlier.
Renault is running without the use of its DRS today, due to the failure suffered by Daniel Ricciardo on Tuesday morning that resulted in the top flap of his rear wing coming off at high speed on the main straight and pitching him into a spin at Turn 1.
While Raikkonen and Vettel were setting the fastest times, Max Verstappen was also going quickly, moving up to fourth with a lap on the yellow-marked C3 tyres.
He fell down a place to fifth shortly before lunch, when Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat moved ahead of the Red Bull with a lap on C3s.
The top six was completed by Haas driver Pietro Fittipaldi, who caused the only red flag of the morning when his car stopped on the approach to Turn 9.
Carlos Sainz Jr was seventh for McLaren, completing only 27 laps as the team made up for a late start. It missed the first two hours of running because it was "preparing the car after some changes overnight".
Once it was on track, McLaren’s day was not without dramas, as an aerodynamic piece fell off the car on one of Sainz’s runs, and then just before lunch he spun at Turn 13, ending up in the gravel but managing to drive out of it without assistance.
There was action in the Williams garage as well following the arrival of the team’s 2019 car overnight, with George Russell completing a seat fitting in anticipation of getting out on track after lunch in the FW42.
Of the cars that ran, Valtteri Bottas was slowest in the Mercedes, but the team completed the most laps of anyone with 88.
Wednesday morning times
|1||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo/Ferrari||1m17.762ss||1m17.762s||64|
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.897ss||1.135s||48|
|5||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Honda||1m18.899ss||1.137s||33|
|8||Sergio Perez||Racing Point/Mercedes||1m20.102ss||2.340s||43|
F1 testing: Morning time keeps Ferrari’s Vettel on top on first day
Sebastian Vettel’s morning time ensured Ferrari ended a strong opening day of Barcelona Formula 1 testing on top, as he beat McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr to the fastest time.
Vettel set a 1m18.161s in the morning session on the C3 tyres – the middle compound in Pirelli’s testing range – to end up 1.783 seconds quicker than his nearest rival, Racing Point driver Sergio Perez.
While he did not improve on that time in the afternoon, Vettel did extend his lap count to 169 by the end of the day, which also left him comfortably ahead in that tally.
Vettel’s advantage over the field was reduced in the afternoon.
Haas’s Romain Grosjean was the first driver to get within one second of the benchmark time, with a lap on the C3 tyre in the last half hour of the session helping him snatch second from Sainz.
But Sainz took the position back with an impressive 1m18.558s lap to end the day 0.397s slower than Vettel.
Sainz had earlier brought out the first red flag of the afternoon when he stopped at the exit of the pitlane at the beginning of the afternoon running. He blamed a loss of power for the issue, but the car appeared to run smoothly thereafter.
Grosjean had to settle for third, but Haas had a much better afternoon than the morning. Grosjean’s car had ground to a halt entering the final chicane with fuel pressure issues earlier in the day.
After a slow start to the first test, the beginning of the Red Bull-Honda relationship received a boost in the afternoon as Max Verstappen took his tally up to 128 laps and set the fourth-fastest time.
Kimi Raikkonen kept Alfa Romeo in the top five, having set the fourth fastest time earlier on in the day. He ran C2 and C3 tyres and had been as high as second, but was shuffled back later in the afternoon.
Alfa Romeo was still one of six teams to complete more than 100 laps, despite Raikkonen’s visit to the gravel bringing out the first red flag of the morning session.
His car then stopped with just over a minute left in the afternoon, bringing out the red flag.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Perez set the sixth- and seventh-fastest times respectively, but both teams would likely have wanted more running.
Kvyat needed to bolt the C4 tyre on to set his best time, while Perez only added 10 laps to the 20 he completed in the morning, with his team finishing bottom of the laps-completed order.
After taking over the Mercedes in the afternoon, reigning champion Lewis Hamilton could not wrest Valtteri Bottas’s eighth place in the order by the end of the day, but he did complete more laps than his team-mate – ending the day with a tally of 81.
Behind the pair of Mercedes drivers, Renault had a disappointing day in terms of times as its drivers rounded out the order.
New arrival Daniel Ricciardo took over from Nico Hulkenberg for the afternoon, but missed out on beating Hulkenberg by 0.003s. He also completed 21 less laps than the German driver.
|2.||Carlos Sainz Jr||McLaren-Renault||1m18.558s||119|
|4.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||1m19.426s||128|
|6.||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Honda||1m19.464s||77|
|7.||Sergio Perez||Racing Point-Mercedes||1m19.944s||30|
Raikkonen: Alfa Romeo F1 team has made ‘big step’ from 2018 Sauber
Kimi Raikkonen reckons his Alfa Romeo Formula 1 team has made a "big step" from the Sauber he drove last year, after a "very positive" start to pre-season testing.
Raikkonen has joined Alfa, which has taken over the title of Sauber’s F1 entry, after five years with Ferrari.
He drove Sauber’s 2018 car in the post-season Abu Dhabi test last year and said serious progress has been made after driving the C38 on the first day of ’19 testing on Monday at Barcelona.
"It is very positive," said Raikkonen, who finished fifth-fastest and completed 114 laps.
"Straight out [we are] not doing an awful lot with the car. [We just] try to do things here or there.
"It is very happy actually. The guys did a very good job over the winter and we have a package that we can work [with]. And we can get better.
"Everything feels normal and when I [compare it to what I] tried at the end of last year, the Sauber, it is a big step for sure."
Alfa’s return to official F1 running started inauspiciously when Raikkonen spun into the gravel early on and ended in similar fashion when he stopped on track right at the end of the day (pictured above) with an unknown issue.
Raikkonen joked that the early off was because "we never seem to learn from the winter".
"It is always difficult to start in the cold conditions," he said.
"But apart from that, everything ran smoothly. The car feels very, very positive.
"It is early days but so far it is good."
Alfa team principal Frederic Vasseur said Raikkonen’s early spin had not forced the team away from its original run plan.
Raikkonen was back on track just 37 minutes after flying into the gravel.
"This kind of day you don’t have to be focused on performance, the most important thing is to stick to the plan," Vasseur said.
"We had a clear plan before and we stuck to this through the day.
"The performance, I don’t want to say it’s not relevant, but nobody knows the quantity of fuel, the set-up of the engine, and so on.
"We have to be focused and to stay focused on what we’re doing, on our job, not to compare.
"We have 21 races for this."
Mercedes’ Russell ends Hungary F1 test on top with unofficial record
Mercedes Formula 1 junior George Russell ended the post-Hungarian Grand Prix test with the fastest time and a new unofficial circuit lap record.
Russell’s first day at the Hungaroring was compromised by a gearbox problem but he hit back with a 103-lap Wednesday and beat Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen to top spot.
Raikkonen led the way in the morning before he and Russell traded fastest times at the beginning of the afternoon.
Russell, the 2014 McLaren Autosport BRDC Award winner, first hit the summit with a 1m16.050s, which Raikkonen quickly toppled with a 1m15.805s.
But the Mercedes driver was able to improve again on hypersofts to a 1m15.575s to edge Antonio Giovinazzi’s Tuesday benchmark by less than a tenth.
Russell’s effort was almost 0.6 seconds faster than Sebastian Vettel’s lap record, set last Saturday during FP3 for this year’s grand prix.
Raikkonen appeared at the very end on hypersofts but fell 0.074s short of Russell with his last-gasp effort.
Jake Dennis made it a brace of Award winners in the top three.
The 2012 MABA victor, driving for Red Bull, clocked a 1m17.012s to end the day 1.4s off the pace.
Giovinazzi completed his two days of testing in fourth place, having swapped Ferrari’s SF71H for Sauber’s C37 on Wednesday.
The Italian posted a 1m17.558s on hypersoft tyres, more than half a second quicker than regular Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson managed the day before.
Nikita Mazepin took the undesirable honour of causing red flags either side of lunch, but shot up to fifth with a flying lap on hypersofts right at the end of the day.
After stopping midway through the first session, the GP3 race winner finally emerged an hour and a half into the afternoon’s running.
He got down to a 1m18.732s on hypersofts but then stopped on track again, this time on the exit of Turn 13 and in sight of the pitlane with a small amount of smoke coming from the rear of his car.
He emerged in the last 20 minutes to vault up the order, with his final improvement coming inside the final five minutes and leaving him on a 1m17.748s.
Robert Kubica did not improve on the time that put him second-fastest in the morning, and thus fell to sixth in the final standings. The Pole’s morning effort of 1m8.451s on ultrasofts was faster than the best Williams time in FP3 last Saturday.
Lando Norris was seventh-fastest based on a 1m18.472s set in the final 15 minutes on softs, having avoided serious performance runs.
The McLaren reserve was followed by Renault driver Artem Markelov, who enjoyed multiple hypersoft runs in the afternoon and worked his way up to sixth place, ending up 2.9s off the pace after two late improvements.
Toro Rosso trio Sean Gelael, Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley ended up at the foot of the times.
Gasly and Hartly were conducting Pirelli tyre testing and were four seconds slower, with Gelael focusing on the team’s own programme and 3.4s off the pace.
Kimi conclude i test: quasi 1000 Km in due giorni per la SF71H
Mogyorod – Seconda e ultima giornata di test “in-season” all’Hungaroring. Al volante della SF71H è salito Kimi Raikkonen, mentre Antonio Giovinazzi, che aveva girato ieri, ha avuto a disposizione un altro giorno di test con l’Alfa Sauber. Le temperature si sono mantenute alte, oltre i 35 gradi, e l’asfalto ha toccato i 54 nel corso della giornata.
Ad attendere Kimi un intenso programma di prove, focalizzato su diverse soluzioni di assetto e prove di pneumatici che hanno riguardato cinque mescole: Medium, Soft, Supersoft, Ultrasoft e un set di pneumatici Pirelli sperimentali e per questo non marcati in colore.
A fine giornata, e nonostante diverse interruzioni causate dalle bandiere rosse, Kimi aveva percorso 131 giri, il migliore dei quali con il tempo di 1’15”649 ottenuto con gomme Hypersoft usate (si tratta del set utilizzato ieri da Giovinazzi).
“In fondo non è molto diverso da un venerdì di Gran Premio”, ha commentato il pilota, “quando si fanno esperimenti su soluzioni diverse. Anche per questo, essendo un test, i tempi sul giro non hanno un gran valore”.
Nei due giorni di test, la SF71H ha percorso un totale di 227 giri, pari a 994 Km. Adesso i motori in pista tacciono e alla fine di questa settimana si arresterà quasi totalmente anche l’attività dei team, per riprendere nei giorni precedenti il GP Belgio, l’ultimo weekend di agosto.
Testing ends at Catalunya: 157 laps for Raikkonen
Montmelò, 9 March – The second and final winter test at the Catalunya Circuit has now ended. Today, Kimi Raikkonen was behind the wheel of the SF71H, having recovered, after being indisposed over the past few days. He rattled off 157 laps, the best of them in 1’17”221, set using the Hypersoft tyres. Scuderia Ferrari’s programme included set-up work and a race simulation, running different types of tyre and fuel loads. This was the hottest day of the entire two weeks of testing, with temperatures over 20° and the track around the 37 mark.
“Overall, I feel we have a good package,” was Kimi’s assessment. “For sure the weather at the start of testing wasn’t ideal, but we have finished with a couple of pretty good days. The car gives me a good feeling and, even if there are still a lot of things to improve, its reasonably easy to drive and it reacts to the various set-up changes. However, no one can say where we really are, compared to our rivals. We’ll have a better idea in a couple of weeks in Melbourne and then, in general, after the first few races of the season. I like racing and I can’t wait to start.”
Over the two test sessions, the Scuderia Ferrari drivers covered a total of 929 laps (286 for Kimi and 643 for Sebastian) equivalent to 4324 kilometres.
F1 testing: Raikkonen keeps Ferrari on top on final day at Barcelona
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen ended the final day of Barcelona Formula 1 testing with the fastest time, as McLaren and Renault both made up for lost ground on Friday afternoon.
Raikkonen’s morning effort of 1m17.221s was not threatened in the final afternoon of pre-season running, although a spate of late runs in the final hour did shake up the order behind the Finn.
Daniel Ricciardo was the first to make a big move with 45 minutes of the session to go, jumping up to second in the Red Bull on supersofts, before he was usurped by both Carlos Sainz Jr and Fernando Alonso.
Sainz did not get his day going properly until around two hours were left, after Renault had to replace his RS18’s gearbox, but went second fastest with 30 minutes to run on hypersofts.
But the Spaniard was beaten to the runner-up spot before the end of the day by compatriot Alonso, who was making up for lost time after a turbo issue caused the McLaren to stop on track in the morning and lose over five hours while its Renault power unit was changed.
Using hypersofts, Alonso posted a 1m17.981s to go second and then improved to a 1m17.784s to end the day 0.563 seconds slower than Raikkonen.
Alonso did briefly jump to the top of the times in the final 10 minutes, but had his lap deleted for cutting the final chicane.
He ended the day with a total of 93 laps to his name.
Romain Grosjean was the day’s most productive runner for Haas with a tally of 181 laps, the best of which was good enough for fifth-fastest behind Ricciardo using ultrasofts.
Valtteri Bottas took over testing duties from Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon, going sixth fastest on mediums and giving the champion outfit a combined session-topping total of 201 laps.
After his morning spin, Charles Leclerc used hypersofts to move up to ninth in the Sauber behind Brendon Hartley (Toro Rosso) and Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Sergey Sirotkin (Williams) completed the top 10 after handing over to Lance Stroll for the final few hours, with the Canadian again setting the slowest of the day behind Hamilton using softs.
Friday testing times
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.327s||1.106s||92|
|7||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m18.949s||1.728s||156|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m18.967s||1.746s||163|
F1 testing: Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo top, McLaren loses time
Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest ever time around the Barcelona circuit on the second day of the final Formula 1 pre-season test, as McLaren missed most of the running.
With the exception of the drivers who only appeared in the afternoon, most focused on performances run in the morning before switching to race simulations later in the day.
That meant Ricciardo’s 1m18.047s, set just after 1pm, remained unbeaten as the rest of Wednesday was dominated by long runs.
Ricciardo’s effort usurped Felipe Massa’s time from 2008 as the fastest lap of this configuration of the Spanish Grand Prix circuit.
The Red Bull driver used the new hypersoft tyre for the first time to overhaul Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, which had topped most of the morning across medium, supersoft and ultrasoft tyre runs.
Hamilton ended up 0.353s adrift on a 1m18.400s on Pirelli’s ultrasoft compound, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas taking over for the afternoon and lapping a further 0.160s slower on hypersofts.
Ferrari rejigged its plan and only ran Kimi Raikkonen in the afternoon because the Finn was unwell, so Sebastian Vettel had an unexpected extra morning in the SF71H.
He posted the fourth-best time, 1.494s off the pace on soft tyres, and concentrated mainly on long runs.
Raikkonen only made it as high up the leaderboard as eighth when he emerged, and added just 49 laps to Vettel’s tally of 66 in the process.
Behind Vettel came Brendon Hartley, who improved late on a mixed day in which he had a spin and a stoppage at the pitlane exit but still completed 118 laps.
Toro Rosso driver Hartley posted a 1m19.823s on hypersofts to vault up the order in the closing stages, and give Honda another boost as its old partner McLaren suffered miserable day.
Fernando Alonso was quickest for part of the morning during a very productive opening two hours.
Alonso racked up 47 laps and set a 1m19.856s on hypersoft tyres, but then slowed to a halt on the run to Turn 7 after his Renault-powered MCL33 suffered an oil leak.
An engine change consigned Alonso to the garage for six hours and a half hours, though he emerged in the final 15 minutes to take his final tally to 57 laps.
Alonso ended up a couple of tenths quicker than the works Renault of Carlos Sainz Jr, who completed 88 laps over the first four hours before handing the RS18 to Nico Hulkenberg.
His team-mate was 0.8s slower as he focused on longer runs to rack up an even more impressive tally of 102 laps, making Renault the day’s most productive team.
Those two were split by Romain Grosjean’s Haas, Raikkonen and Lance Stroll, a trio covered by barely a tenth of a second.
Williams, Force India and Sauber did not make an impact on the leaderboard, although Sauber’s Charles Leclerc did bring the meaningful running to an early end when beached his car into the gravel at Turn 12.
The test did resume briefly once it was cleared, but only to complete more FIA-mandated practice starts.
Wednesday test times
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.047s||–||165|
|5||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m19.823s||1.776s||119|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.805s||2.758s||130|
Seb and Kimi share the driving on the second day of testing
Montmelò –It was a bit of an unusual Wednesday at the Catalunya Circuit, as both drivers had a turn behind the wheel of the SF71H. Scuderia Ferrari completed 115 laps, equivalent to a distance of 535 kilometres. Sebastian Vettel did 66 laps in the morning, the German’s best being a 1’19”541. Kimi Raikkonen was only able to drive in the afternoon, feeling unwell and staying in his hotel room until lunchtime. The Finn managed 49 laps, with a fastest time of 1’20”242, as he continued with the programme that had been affected by last week’s bad weather. Both men set their best times on the Soft tyres. Tomorrow, testing continues with Sebastian Vettel driving, so that Raikkonen can make a complete recovery. Kimi will return on Friday, thus bringing the second and final winter test to a close, prior to heading off to Melbourne.
Testing wiped out by bad weather. Ferrari and Kimi take a break
Montmelò –Meteorologically speaking, spring starts tomorrow, but it seems that doesn’t apply to the Catalunya Circuit. The third day of testing was wiped out…following snowfall this morning. And even when it turned to rain in the afternoon, temperatures never reached the sort of numbers required to run a Formula 1 car. Air temperature just crept over two degrees with the track a fraction more.
Come the afternoon, Kimi Raikkonenn and Scuderia Ferrari took the only reasonable decision, namely to write off the day, which under the current regulations cannot be recovered later. Tomorrow, Sebastian Vettel will drive as planned, to round off the first test session. So the SF71H spent the whole day in the garage. There was no point in venturing out, because with such low temperatures, even the Wet tyres would not work properly and furthermore, running would not generate any worthwhile date on how the car was performing.
“Today, it felt more like being in Finland than Spain,” quipped Kimi. “And everyone knows there’s no Formula 1 in my country.” He will be back at the wheel next week, with the T2 session getting underway on Tuesday 6th March, running for four day. This time, the Scuderia Ferrari programme has Sebastian driving on the 6th and 8th, with Kimi getting his turn on Wednesday 7th and Friday 9th, that being the final day of winter testing.
A cold debut for the SF71H with Kimi at the wheel
Montmelò – While Italy is freezing, the Barcelona area is not doing much better, even if the trees are already in blossom here. After a sunny Sunday, which meant that Scuderia Ferrari was able to comfortably complete its Filming Day, the “real” debut for the SF17H took place in plunging temperatures, with rain arriving towards the end of the session. However, by the end of the day, Kimi Raikkonen had completed 80 laps of the Catalunya Circuit, the fastest of them in 1’20”506 on Soft tyres. He worked through the first part of a programme that, over the course of this week, is given over mainly to acquiring data.
“The real problem, the only one today, was the weather,” summarised Kimi. “My first impressions with the new car were OK, but it’s still too early to make any judgement, especially given today’s conditions. These tyres aren’t designed to work at 8 degrees and it was difficult for everyone. As for the rest, our work had nothing to do with lap times and we just ran and changed a few things, trying to understand the car, which doesn’t seem to have any faults. Now we must try and do more kilometres.”
The first long run with the Halo protection fitted over the cockpit went off without any problems. “Compared to the tests we did in previous years, this time the Halo had been conceived as an integral part of the car design, which had not been possible before. I didn’t notice anything different to driving the car without the protection.”
Testing continues tomorrow, with Sebastian Vettel, while it will once again be Kimi’s turn on Wednesday, with Seb then rounding off the first winter test.
F1 testing 2018: Red Bull’s Ricciardo ends Barcelona day one on top
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo ended the first day of 2018 Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona with the fastest time.
Cool temperatures and a late rain shower made for a relatively uneventful afternoon of running, with the top four remaining unchanged from the morning.
It meant Ricciardo ended the day fastest by 0.178 seconds ahead of Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who both used medium tyres, with Kimi Raikkonen third for Ferrari on softs.
Nico Hulkenberg completed a top four split by less than four tenths in the Renault, also using mediums in the morning before handing over to Carlos Sainz Jr for the afternoon.
Ricciardo put Red Bull on top of the lap count as well as the timesheets, becoming the only driver to breach triple figures with 105 laps complete.
Renault’s RS18 got closest to breaching the 100-lap mark, with Hulkenberg and Sainz managing 99 between them.
Sainz was fastest of those whose running was restricted to the afternoon in fifth place, ahead of reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, who clocked 25 laps after taking over driving duties from Mercedes team-mate Bottas.
After losing three hours of running in the morning, Fernando Alonso set the fifth fastest time – a 1m21.339s – on a set of super-softs, but later had that effort disallowed for cutting the Turn 14 chicane near the end of the lap.
His second best lap of 1m22.354s instead placed him seventh.
The Spaniard managed 41 laps in the afternoon, bringing his tally to the day up to 51.
Brendon Hartley and Lance Stroll were eighth and ninth fastest on the strength of their times from the morning, while Haas man Romain Grosjean made a modest improvement in the afternoon.
He was 10th fastest, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.
Nikita Mazepin did not run at all in the afternoon after a spin in the morning in Force India’s VJM11 and ended up 12th fastest.
The team reported that a "sensor issue" hindered its morning running, causing brake cooling problems, and by the time it had the situation resolved conditions had deteriorated too much.
Propping up the timesheets was Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin, who took over from team-mate Stroll in the afternoon but did not set a representative time.
Day one times
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m20.179s||–||105|
|8||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1m22.371s||2.192s||93|
|12||Nikita Mazepin||Force India/Mercedes||1m25.628s||5.449s||22|
Ferrari’s Raikkonen fastest on first day of Abu Dhabi F1 tyre test
Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on day one of the post-Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Pirelli Formula 1 tyre test, as Robert Kubica completed his first run in a 2017 Williams.
The Ferrari driver clocked a 1m37.768s on the new-for-2018 hyper-soft tyre to finish 0.298 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who hands over to Max Verstappen on Wednesday.
Raikkonen, who recorded 99 laps, is splitting driving duties with Sebastian Vettel at the test, with the German to take over for the final day on Wednesday.
All of the current race drivers will get at least some running on the 2018 tyres as they are keen to get some mileage on Pirelli’s new range, which will be softer next season.
World champion Lewis Hamilton ended the day third quickest, 0.782s off the pace, after clocking up 136 laps.
Romain Grosjean was fourth for Haas ahead of Fernando Alonso, who crashed during the morning session, damaging the front wing of his McLaren and bringing out a red flag.
The Spaniard got back out again and ended the day with 111 laps on the board.
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg was sixth, with a tally of 80 laps, ahead of Force India development driver Nikita Mazepin.
Kubica amassed 100 laps in an incident-free session, with a best lap of 1m41.296s to end up ninth quickest.
He finished 1.2s adrift of Lance Stroll, who took over running for the final couple of hours, but the two were believed to be running different programmes.
The Pole will be back in the car for the final couple of hours on Wednesday, with the focus expected to be on performance runs.
Williams is using the test to evaluate whether or not to sign Kubica for next season, alongside Stroll.
Kubica is understood to be favourite for the seat.
Sean Gelael was 10th fastest in the Toro Rosso, ahead of Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson, with Oliver Turvey 11th for McLaren.
McLaren was permitted to run two cars to make up for the loss of running when the recent Pirelli test at Interlagos was cancelled because of security concerns.
All of the day’s fastest times were set on the hyper-soft tyre except for Kubica’s lap, which was completed on the soft tyre.
Kimi Raikkonen: Mercedes’ Abu Dhabi GP dominance ‘a one-off’
The Mercedes Formula 1 team’s dominant pace advantage in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was a "one-off", according to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton secured a comfortable one-two for Mercedes at Yas Marina, with Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finishing 19.330 seconds off the pace in third.
Raikkonen was a further 26s adrift and said his race to fourth was "boring" and like "endurance racing" because the Yas Marina track requires significant fuel-saving.
When asked if he was concerned about the deficit to Mercedes, Raikkonen said: "I don’t think so. It’s just a one-off race.
"Obviously we’ve seen in some other races that one team is stronger than others.
"At the last race of the year obviously we want to do as well as we can but they were strong."
Ferrari looked a match for Mercedes in the 2017 title fight until a turbulent September in which both its cars were eliminated in the Singapore GP start crash and then a run of reliability woes began.
But Ferrari still came from a win-less 2016 to take five GP victories this season.
Raikkonen is optimistic about Ferrari’s chances of challenging next year and going the distance, having just had its best season since 2008.
"Next year, new cars for everybody, new things and I don’t think we should worry too much," he said.
"We always try to improve in all areas and obviously be the fastest and we’re not going to be happy until we are one-two all the time. But it’s not going to be easy.
"For sure [Mercedes] were strong [in Abu Dhabi] but I’m not really worried for next year.
"We had a pretty strong car everywhere [this year]. Obviously some places were stronger than others. Some the other way around.
"We’ll do our job and we have to improve here and there and minimise the issues and apart from that we should be up there."
F1 testing: Raikkonen puts Ferrari on top on final day at Barcelona
Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari ended Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona fastest, despite causing a red flag during the final afternoon.
Following the pattern of the first three days of the second test, the morning’s best times were not beaten in the afternoon session, as the majority of F1 teams turned their focus towards longer runs.
That meant Raikkonen’s morning effort of 1m18.634s, set on super-soft tyres, stood as the best time of the day, as well as overall after eight days of winter testing.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Ferrari however, as Raikkonen caused the first red flag of the afternoon – and the fifth of the day – when he stopped pointing the wrong way on the disused section of track by the chicane complex at the end of the lap.
The SF70H had suffered a problem earlier in the lap, with Raikkonen using the old circuit layout as he cruised back to the pits, only to lock the rears and spin to a halt.
The Finn returned to the track for the final 15 minutes, and completed 111 laps in total.
Max Verstappen stayed second for Red Bull, 0.804 seconds behind Raikkonen on the same tyre, followed by Carlos Sainz Jr, who put Toro Rosso third with a late-morning run on ultra-softs.
The Spaniard was responsible for the sixth and final red flag of the day when the STR12 eased to a stop along the start/finish straight at the start of the last hour.
Valtteri Bottas stayed fourth, a mere 0.005s ahead of Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who took over the W08 for the afternoon and posted a best of 1m19.850s using ultra-softs.
Morning times were enough to put Nico Hulkenberg and Force India’s Sergio Perez sixth and seventh, while Hulkenberg’s Renault team-mate Jolyon Palmer slotted into eighth on ultra-softs with a time set in the afternoon
Lance Stroll was ninth for Williams on his final test day before his grand prix debut in Melbourne, topping the lap count with a total of 132 laps.
Romain Grosjean completed the top 10 for Haas, enjoying a smoother afternoon after causing two red flags in the morning, just ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.
After a morning disrupted by a pair of electrical problems that also caused red flags, Alonso improved on his best time from the morning with a 1m21.389s on ultra-softs, although he was baulked by Stroll on that particular lap.
The two-time champion ended up with a total of 43 laps to his name, with McLaren again completing fewest laps of any outfit.
Sauber team-mates Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein completed the times, the latter taking over the C36 for the afternoon and ending up just under five seconds off the pace on softs.
1 TESTING RESULTS:
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.438s||0.804s||71|
|3||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m19.837s||1.203s||132|
|7||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.116s||1.482s||128|
F1 testing pacesetter Raikkonen believes Ferrari had more speed
Kimi Raikkonen claims he could have gone faster on the final day of Formula 1 testing, despite finishing with the quickest time of the pre-season.
The Ferrari driver became the first and only F1 driver to lap the Barcelona circuit beneath 1m19s in the two weeks of testing, when he posted a 1m18.634s on Friday’s final morning.
He set that time on super-soft tyres, and could not improve on ultra-softs but did crack the 1m19s barrier again.
A day after Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton said Ferrari was "bluffing", Raikkonen admitted there was more speed to extract from his car.
"If we want, we can go faster but that’s not the purpose of the test," said Raikkonen.
"Obviously you try to go as fast as you can whatever we decided to do.
"There’s a lot of things that we can improve and do better, but that’s a part of testing.
"We can be quite pleased with how it felt this morning. It’s one of the better days that we’ve had these two weeks.
"But it’s early days. So far it’s OK but let’s see when the season starts."
Ferrari finished the pre-season having topped four of the eight days, with Mercedes setting the pace on three and Williams one.
Raikkonen’s best lap was 0.676 seconds faster than the fastest from Mercedes, logged by Valtteri Bottas on Wednesday, also on super-softs.
The 37-year-old said the 2017 pre-season had gone much better than last year’s in many ways, although he insisted there was no way to know how competitive Ferrari is.
"I think it was all more or less pretty positive," he said.
"The car has been running well and the feeling since the first day has been pretty good.
"The team has done a good job over the winter preparing the car and making it reliable.
"Compared to a year ago we feel it’s much, much better in many ways, but where we are going to be in the first race I don’t know.
"It’s the same story every winter and we’ll see in three weeks."
Kimi: “Un grazie a tutta la squadra”
10 Mar 2017
“Il feeling c’è, ma è presto per le previsioni”. Un pensiero per Surtees: “Aveva le corse nel sangue”
Montmelò, 10 marzo – “Il feeling con la macchina c’è, ed è la cosa più importante. Siamo stati quasi sempre affidabili in questi test e anche questo è un segno del grande lavoro fatto dalla squadra durante l’inverno. Partiamo da una base più forte rispetto all’anno scorso: ma quanto la macchina sia veloce rispetto alle altre, è veramente troppo presto per dirlo. Forse nemmeno Melbourne darà un quadro preciso al 100 per cento della situazione, perché la prima gara è sempre un po’ particolare. Forse bisognerà aspettare la Cina. In ogni caso ringrazio i ragazzi della squadra, perché sono sempre riusciti a intervenire per risolvere i piccoli problemi che proprio i test servono a risolvere”.
Così Kimi Raikkonen, alla fine della sua seconda giornata che chiude i test invernali sul circuito di Montmelò. 111 giri per lui e la SF70H oggi, in un programma che comprendeva anche una simulazione di gara. La prova è stata interrotta verso le 16 da un problema elettrico, quando mancavano una quindicina di giri al “traguardo”. Riportata ai box, la Ferrari è uscita di nuovo a poco meno di 20 minuti dalla fine delle prove.
Appresa la notizia della morte di John Surtees, campione del mondo F1 1964 con le monoposto del Cavallino, Kimi ha voluto ricordarlo così: “L’ho incontrato un paio di volte, era un tipo ‘easygoing’, con cui era facile andare d’accordo E si capiva che aveva nel sangue la passione per le corse. Sono cose tristi, il mio pensiero va alla sua famiglia”
Nei quattro giorni di prove di questa settimana, la SF70H ha percorso con Kimi e Seb un totale di 488 giri, pari a 2271,64 Km.
F1 testing: Bottas fastest on Wednesday as Raikkonen crashes
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas ended the second day of the final Formula 1 pre-season test at Barcelona on top, as Kimi Raikkonen crashed the new Ferrari.
Bottas set the fastest time of the winter so far on Wednesday morning, a 1m19.310s on super-soft tyres, and this proved enough to keep the Finn on top at the end of the day.
Lewis Hamilton took over driving duties in the Mercedes W08 after the lunch break, and recorded a best time of 1m20.782s on softs, 1.392 seconds off the pace.
That put the three-time champion only sixth on the leaderboard, although he completed 79 laps, including a 20-lap stint on ultra-softs, giving Mercedes a total of 149 for the day.
Felipe Massa remained second for Williams by virtue of his morning time, ahead of Raikkonen, who caused the second red flag of the test when he spun and hit the barriers at Turn 3 just under two hours into the afternoon.
The impact damaged the front and the left side of the Ferrari SF70H, and prevented Raikkonen from running again for the rest of the day. He only managed 53 laps.
There was another red flag when Max Verstappen came to a stop at Turn 12 towards the end of a race simulation with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Despite his stoppage, the Dutchman ended up with 102 laps to his credit, more than any other driver, with his morning time proving enough to keep him fourth in the order.
Williams rookie Lance Stroll took over from Massa during the lunchbreak and set the best time in a smooth afternoon, after an incident-strewn first week.
The young Canadian logged 59 laps, recording a best effort of 1m20.579s on super-soft tyres to beat Hamilton by just over a tenth.
Nico Hulkenberg (Renault), Sergio Perez (Force India) and Carlos Sainz Jr (Toro Rosso) stayed seventh, eighth and ninth with their morning times, while Romain Grosjean (Haas) completed the top 10 with a best time just 0.015s shy of Sainz.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso failed to improve on his morning time, and ended the day in 12th, between Sauber duo Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, with 46 laps completed.
Ericsson caused a third and final stoppage just moments after Verstappen’s car had been recovered, as he came to a halt at Turn 7.
Jolyon Palmer, taking over from Renault team-mate Hulkenberg in the afternoon, completed the leaderboard in 14th, some 5.4s off the pace.
WEDNESDAY TEST TIMES:
WEDNESDAY TEST TIMES:
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m20.432s||1.122s||102|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m21.297s||1.987s||100|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m21.872s||2.562s||92|
F1 testing 2017: Ferrari’s Raikkonen leads final day of first test
Ferrari topped the final day of the first Formula 1 pre-season test of 2017, with Kimi Raikkonen outpacing Max Verstappen’s Red Bull.
On a day disrupted by the Barcelona track being artificially watered overnight and again at lunchtime, the window for useful running was reduced.
Very few teams made use of the wet track after lunch, with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas one of the few drivers to complete many laps before it was dry enough for slicks.
Verstappen spent a rare spell at the top of the times when he beat Raikkonen’s morning benchmark in the middle of the afternoon, but the Ferrari driver then twice went faster on soft tyres to end the day.
In the end, Raikkonen’s 1m20.872s was 0.897 seconds clear of the Red Bull.
Mercedes was only eighth on the first day of pre-season that didn’t seem to go smoothly for the world champion team.
Lewis Hamilton didn’t get any running in the morning as Mercedes said it was working to fix an electrical fault, so by the time the car was ready shortly before lunch – when the track had dried – Bottas was sent out ahead of schedule to get a handful of laps under his belt.
While the Finn ended the day with 68 laps, Mercedes also called time on its running early, after engineers "found something in the data they didn’t like" in the final hour.
Jolyon Palmer improved late on in the Renault – which he took over from Nico Hulkenberg for the afternoon – to jump up to third on softs.
Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi – two of the busier drivers in the wet morning running for Haas and Sauber respectively – leapt up to fourth and fifth late on.
Giovinazzi briefly ran fourth following a series of ultra-soft runs, but he was bumped down a place when Grosjean took super-softs in the final 15 minutes of a day where he completed 118 laps.
Sergio Perez had got himself up to third with a super-soft run mid-afternoon, getting several laps at a decent pace out of the 2017-spec tyres that are designed to be more durable than their predecessors, but other teams’ improvements pushed him back to sixth by the chequered flag.
Seventh place was filled by the McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne, which used ultra-softs again to go fractionally faster than team-mate Fernando Alonso managed on the same tyre on Wednesday.
At the bottom of the order, Toro Rosso had a day to forget, only completing one lap first thing in the morning with Daniil Kvyat.
The team then opted to change its Renault engine, with the target of giving both Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr some running in the afternoon, but the STR12 never made it out of the garage.
Williams was unable to run at all on the final day, owing to damage sustained on Wednesday when rookie Lance Stroll crashed the FW40.
The second pre-season test at Barcelona starts on Tuesday, March 7.
DAY 4 TESTING RESULTS:
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m21.769s||0.897s||85|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.534s||1.662s||82|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||–||–||1|
Kimi conclude il primo round di prove
Buon lavoro del team, vedremo che succede”
Montmelo – La prima sessione di test invernali si è conclusa. In quattro giorni i piloti della Scuderia Ferrari hanno percorso in tutto, con la SF70H, 468 giri del Circuit de Catalunya, pari a 2178,4 Km. 267 per Seb Vettel, 201 per Kimi Raikkonen, che oggi ha avuto modo di provare anche le gomme da bagnato sul circuito allagato con le autobotti.
“Anno nuovo, macchina nuova e regole nuove” è il sunto di Kimi. “E proprio queste regole sono determinanti per il feeling che si ha alla guida, perché si va molto più forte di prima: una combinazione di pneumatici e vettura. Quello che posso dire è che il team ha lavorato molto bene durante l’inverno. Se poi questo possa bastare, per il momento non lo sappiamo. Non ho guardato quello che facevano le altre squadre e i tempi sul giro, in questa fase, non contano niente. La mia sensazione è che abbiamo imparato qualche lezione dallo scorso anno e che, finora, non ci sia da lamentarsi per come sono andate queste prove. Ma prima di Melbourne c’è un’altra settimana di test e abbiamo ancora tanto lavoro davanti a noi. Più o meno tutti gli anni si sa dove si vuole arrivare, ma a volte va tutto liscio e in altri anni meno”.
Ferrari F1 team has learned from past few years – Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari has learned from recent Formula 1 campaigns, as it looks to keep a lid on expectations following a strong start to 2017 testing.
Ferrari struggled in the first year of F1’s turbo-hybrid engines but made serious inroads in 2015 to win three races with Sebastian Vettel.
That prompted Ferrari to declare it was targeting the championship last year, but it finished the campaign winless and not only failed to challenge Mercedes but was also overhauled by Red Bull.
It stayed quiet in launching its 2017 challenger, which performed well in the first pre-season test, and even though Raikkonen topped two of the four days, he feels it is wrong to look too far ahead.
"We are pretty optimistic every year, but then how it turns out at the end of the year is hard to say," he said.
"I think we learned our lessons from the past years.
"The team has done a good job over the winter and if it’s good enough we will see during the year.
"So far it’s been a good feeling, so we can’t complain too much.
"Compared to last year it feels a lot better, but it’s because of the rules.
"We have been doing our own stuff and we are happy with how things are going."
Raikkonen’s team-mate Vettel was second-fastest on each of his two days in the new car, as the Ferrari pair split Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton in the combined order.
The Finn won the 2007 world championship with Ferrari but is yet to win a race since rejoining the team from Lotus at the start of ’14.
Asked if the SF70H was the best Ferrari he has driven, Raikkonen stressed that the new-for-2017 regulations with beefed up aerodynamics and wider tyres made it impossible to make direct comparisons.
"Rules changes are a big part on how the cars feel and how fast they are, but you cannot compare between the years because the car has to feel better with the rule changes," he said.
"But is that going to be good enough to fight for the championship, we will see during the year.
"We are happy so far about how testing has been going."
Kimi Raikkonen leads Barcelona Formula 1 testing for Ferrari
Kimi Raikkonen led the second day of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Barcelona, putting Ferrari just 0.023 seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Using soft compound tyres, Raikkonen set a best time of 1m20.960s just over an hour into Tuesday afternoon’s running – narrowly bettering Hamilton’s session-topping morning effort of 1m20.983s, which was set using super-softs.
Hamilton’s effort was still good enough to finish the day second overall, with Valtteri Bottas taking over driving duties for Mercedes for the afternoon.
The Finnish driver’s prime focus was on completing a race simulation, his best lap of 1m22.986s only ending up seventh on the leaderboard.
Despite a lurid sideways moment at Turn 9, Bottas managed to rack up 102 laps in the W08, running with the double T-wing trialled this morning by Hamilton for much of the afternoon.
That left Mercedes with a combined total of 168 laps for the day.
Max Verstappen gave Red Bull the third best time of the day, a 1m22.600s, on soft tyres, four thousandths ahead of the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, running on super-softs.
On his second full day of running, Magnussen completed a total of 119 laps, with Raikkonen the only other man to break into three figures with 108 laps on the board.
Esteban Ocon was fifth for Force India on super-softs, ahead of Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso on softs, Bottas and the Renault of Jolyon Palmer, which completed 53 laps after managing just an installation lap in the morning.
Antonio Giovinazzi, who was ninth fastest, also managed to log 67 laps in the Sauber after an engine problem robbed him of much of the morning session.
Besides Lance Stroll, who sat out the afternoon after his spin during the morning session caused damage Williams needed extra parts to repair, the slowest man of the day was McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne.
The Belgian made his first on-track appearance of the afternoon with just over two hours to go, after McLaren spent the best part of five hours replacing the MCL32’s power unit, but only managed a further 11 laps on top of the 29 he did in the morning.
Vandoorne’s best time was a 1m25.600s, set on soft tyres, which left him 4.640s off the pace.
DAY 2 RESULTS:
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/Renault||1m22.200s||1.240s||89|
|5||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1m22.509s||1.549s||86|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m22.956s||1.996s||68|
Ferrari SF70H: presentata la nuova monoposto del Cavallino
La Ferrari ha presentato la nuova Ferrari SF70H, la monoposto con cui disputerà il mondiale 2017 di Formula 1. La vettura è stata svelata in diretta web da un garage della pista di Fiorano dai piloti Sebastian Vettel e Kimi Raikkonen.
Nome in codice 668 la vettura celebra i 70 anni della Ferrari. Il design risente ovviamente delle modifiche al regolamento con l’adozione dell’ala anteriore a freccia, l’ala posteriore di dimensioni maggiori e gli pneumatici Pirelli maggiorati. La vettura vista oggi, a passo “corto”, potrebbe di fatto già essere abbandonata per le prime gare europee: i tecnici Ferrari starebbero infatti lavorando già ad una versione B, profondamente rivista nell’aerodinamica.
Il muso non sembra cambiato molto rispetto al 2016 mentre è stata adottata la pinna sul cofano motore.
I tecnici, coscienti di un livello aerodinamico non ancora all’altezza della Mercedes, hanno spremuto al massimo la power unit V6 turbo ibrida, ottenendo un incremento di potenza senza sacrificare l’affidabilità.
La “Ferrari della Ferrari” copre i 100 Km del filming day a Fiorano
Maranello – Il numero richiama i settant’anni di storia di quello che, nel mondo dell’automobile, è qualcosa di più di un marchio. Le lettere della sigla indicano semplicemente la Scuderia Ferrari e la propulsione ibrida (Hybrid). Il tricolore italiano è ben visibile sulla “vela” del cofano motore, con un look che richiama gli anni ‘70. La Ferrari SF70H destinata al mondiale Formula 1 ha mosso i primi passi oggi, sullo storico circuito di Fiorano, mettendo assieme nello stesso giorno presentazione, collaudo funzionale e “filming day” per le esigenze commerciali. I 56mila pezzi che la compongono sono il frutto del lavoro e dell’impegno collettivo di oltre mille donne e uomini della Gestione Sportiva, attraverso una gestazione durata dodici mesi. Una vettura anche visibilmente diversa dalle monoposto degli ultimi anni, perché diversi sono i contenuti regolamentari, che nel 2017 pongono l’accento soprattutto sull’incremento delle prestazioni.
La saracinesca del box di Fiorano – allestito per l’occasione con un look tutto diverso – si è alzata alle 9,45, sotto gli occhi del Presidente e AD del Cavallino Sergio Marchionne, del team principal Maurizio Arrivabene, del direttore tecnico Mattia Binotto, dei piloti Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel e Antonio Giovinazzi, e di tutti i dipendenti che seguivano la presentazione dalla vicina sede di Maranello. Dopo la preparazione di routine, la monoposto è uscita dal box alle 11,20 ora italiana, equipaggiata con pneumatici “Demo” destinati ai filming day, vale a dire con le stesse misure “maggiorate” delle gomme di quest’anno, ma mescole diverse. Una visione rara, quella di una monoposto dell’anno in corso sulla pista di casa della Ferrari: i regolamenti attuali non permettono più di svolgere prove nel corso della stagione, se non quelle collettive. Fanno eccezione, appunto, i 100 Km consentiti per la giornata promozionale, che Raikkonen prima e Vettel poi hanno sfruttato nel corso della giornata, dividendosi in parti uguali la distanza massima fissata dalle regole, nonostante la pioggia che ha ritardato alle 15,40 la prima uscita di Sebastian.
A fine giornata, a tutti i dipendenti è stata data l’opportunità di vedere la SF70H da vicino, prima che la monoposto venisse imballata per essere spedita al Circuit de Catalunya, dove da lunedì 27 inizierà la prima di due sessioni di test invernali, della durata di quattro giorni ciascuna. Vettel ha in programma di guidare lunedì e mercoledì, Raikkonen si alternerà a lui martedì e giovedì. Le prove riprenderanno poi martedì 7 marzo.
Ferrari, Maurizio Arrivabene: “La SF70H è frutto del lavoro di tutto il team”
In un’intervista rilasciata ai canali ufficiali Ferrari, Maurizio Arrivabene ha raccontato le prime emozioni, le sensazioni provate durante la presentazione della nuova SF70H, la vettura con cui il team di Maranello cercherà quest’anno di conquistare quel titolo che ormai non vince da 10 lunghi anni. Per Arrivabene il lancio ufficiale della nuova Rossa è stato “Una grande emozione, la stessa che si ha ogni qual volta si scopre una nuova Ferrari sia che si tratti di una vettura stradale sia di una Formula 1″. Il team principal, inoltre, ha specificato come il risultato finale della vettura sia frutto di un grande lavoro e della professionalità di tutto il team.
Ferrari riprende il lavoro sulle gomme 2017 con Raikkonen
Dopo essere scesa in pista per la prima volta nel mese di agosto, continua il lavoro della Ferrari nei test per provare le gomme 2017. La Pirelli, infatti, per arrivare preparata al nuovo cambio di regolamento, ha ricevuto l’approvazione della FIA per mettere in pista i propri pneumatici già durante questa stagione in collaborazione con i team di Formula 1.
La Rossa aveva già provato gli pneumatici della prossima stagione quando era scesa in pista a Fiorano i primi di agosto, ma in quella occasione il lavoro era concentrato soprattutto sulle gomme da bagnato.
Dopo un mese di pausa, il team di Maranello e la Pirelli sono tornati nuovamente in pista nella giornata di oggi, questa volta sul circuito spagnolo di Barcellona, provando, a differenza dell’ultima volta, esclusivamente gomme slick. Al volante della SF15-T modificata, che non presentava differenze aerodinamiche rispetto al test di agosto, vi era Kimi Raikkonen: per il finlandese questa è stata la prima volta con le gomme 2017, in quanto a Fiorano a prendere il suo posto era stato Esteban Gutierrez.
Per il campione del mondo 2007 è stata sicuramente una giornata produttiva: 111 giri in totale, 46 nella mattinata e 65 nel pomeriggio. Il programma prevedeva, dopo le consuete correzioni di assetto, un test su gomme da asciutto di mescola Medium.
Domani Raikkonen lascerà spazio al proprio compagno di squadra, Sebastian Vettel, per la seconda ed ultima giornata di test di questa sessione.
F1 Silverstone test: Raikkonen fastest for Ferrari on second day
Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen concluded the year’s final in-season Formula 1 test with the quickest time of the second day at Silverstone.
Raikkonen posted his best lap of his 103 with 50 minutes remaining, clocking a 1m30.665s on the soft tyre, 0.216 seconds faster than his qualifying time for last weekend’s British Grand Prix.
The Finn’s time was also six tenths up on the best from day one set by Fernando Alonso in his McLaren.
For the second successive day Mercedes development driver Esteban Ocon had to settle for second, finishing 0.547s down on Raikkonen.
And for the second successive day, Ocon also racked up the most laps, following up his 123 on day one with 139 on day two.
Pierre Gasly enjoyed a better day in the Red Bull after difficulties on Tuesday when cabling had to be replaced inside the car, restricting him to just seven laps in the morning before rain arrived.
The new GP2 race winner managed 103 laps, with his best a 1:31.429s on soft tyres to finish third on the timesheets.
Force India’s 17-year-old development driver Nikita Mazepin finished 0.896s behind Raikkonen having set his time on super-soft tyres, and 0.203s ahead of McLaren reserve Stoffel Vandoorne, whose best lap from his 114 was run on Pirelli’s soft compound.
Valtteri Bottas was fifth quickest in his Williams, 1.758s behind Raikkonen, completing a late run with the double-decker rear-wing first seen during May’s in-season test at Barcelona.
Bottas was followed by Haas development driver Santino Ferrucci, with Renault’s Jolyon Palmer – primarily running the rule over a new suspension – eighth, 2.643s adrift of Raikkonen.
Palmer stopped on track just after the chequered flag was brought out.
On his F1 debut, Red Bull junior Sergio Sette Camara fared well with Toro Rosso, completing 82 laps and ending up 3.375s off the ultimate pace.
On his third outing for Manor, Jordan King was 10th and 4.395s in arrears, with only Pascal Wehrlein slower in the 2014 Mercedes.
Wehrlein was helping Pirelli assess compounds and structure concepts for its 2017 tyres, completing 128 laps, and with times not a concern as he finished 5.517s down.
DAY TWO TIMES:
|3||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.429s||0.764s||103|
|4||Nikita Mazepin||Force India/Mercedes||1m31.561s||0.896s||69|
|9||Sergio Sette Camara||Toro Rosso/Ferrari||1m34.040s||3.375s||82|
Ferrari’s troubles not Silverstone-specific admits Kimi Raikkonen
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen claims the problems experienced by the team over the course of the British Grand Prix weekend were not specific to Silverstone.
It was suggested after the grand prix, and by team-mate Sebastian Vettel in particular, that while the race was "weak" for the Scuderia, that performance slump was a one-off.
After being handed a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, Vettel could only manage ninth from 11th on the grid.
Raikkonen started and finished fifth, meaning Ferrari equalled its worst points haul of 2016 by scoring just 12.
During testing on Wednesday at Silverstone, Raikkonen said: "We’re doing normal testing work, all kinds of different things to try and find good things.
"It’s not just specifically we had some aero problem here, and this circuit needs a lot of aero, we’re lacking overall.
"For the next race in Hungary our car should definitely suit that circuit better. Is it good enough to challenge for a win? We’ll see."
Although Raikkonen is third in the drivers’ championship, eight points ahead of Vettel, the Finn has yet to stand on top of the podium since his return to Ferrari in 2014.
Raikkonen is convinced Ferrari can resolve its issues and win again this year, regardless of whether it happens on pure merit or via problems for rivals.
"We always expect more as a team, we want to win, and until we win all the time it’s not ideal," added Raikkonen.
"As Ferrari we expect to win, but this is what we have got, so we’ll keep working and improving.
"We will see what will happen in the second part of the year, and yes we believe we can still win. It doesn’t matter if every car is there or not.
"Who knows what will happen in the races, but we know we’ve work to be done, and for sure there will be circuits where it will be better."
As to whether Ferrari has a chance of either title given the considerable gaps in both championships to Mercedes, Raikkonen added: "We will keep working and improving, and not give up until it’s not possible any more.
"We know where Mercedes is, ahead of everybody right now, but it doesn’t mean we should give up or we’re not working on things. We will try to catch them up."
F1 testing round-up: Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari lead on raw pace
Kimi Raikkonen spearheaded a Ferrari one-two at the end of 2016 pre-season Formula 1 testing, but it was Mercedes that emerged literally miles ahead of its rivals on lap count.
After Vettel led the way at the end of the first test, Raikkonen responded to top the overall timesheet come the conclusion to the second at Barcelona’s Catalunya track.
Like Vettel in test one, Raikkonen’s leading time this week was set on the new-for-2016 ultra-soft compound, which he used to lap in 1m22.765s on day three.
More eye-catching, however, was Vettel using super-softs for his best lap on the final day. The four-time champion finished just 0.087 seconds behind Raikkonen in the week’s overall times, and was comfortably faster than anyone else had been on that compound.
Pirelli estimates there is a 0.5s-0.6s performance gap between the types of rubber, highlighting the impressive nature of Vettel’s run.
But Ferrari will no doubt be anxiously curious as to the true pace of its main rival Mercedes, which at barely any stage showed its hand – barring a blast on a set of soft tyres from Nico Rosberg on day one.
Rosberg’s lap of 1m23.022s was ultimately just 0.257s adrift of Raikkonen, and 0.170s behind Vettel, with Pirelli suggesting a time difference of 0.5s between the super-soft and soft tyres.
But when it comes to reliability, Mercedes was head and shoulders clear of not only Ferrari, but every other team.
To add to the 675 laps from test one, Mercedes amassed a further 619 in test two, amounting to 1790 miles this week, and 3742 over the eight days – the equivalent of 19.6 Spanish Grands Prix.
Toro Rosso was Mercedes’ closest rival on that front, clocking up 602 laps, for 3034 miles over the eight days, while Ferrari’s grand total proved to be 2470 miles, a considerable 1302 miles less than Mercedes.
Rosberg emerged as the lap leader from the second test with 324, and overall with 656, pipping Hamilton by just 18.
Toro Rosso, running with a 2015 Ferrari power unit this season, has every reason to be proud of its performance the past four days as Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr completed 303 and 299 laps respectively.
At the other end of the scale, Esteban Gutierrez managed just 49 as Haas endured a torrid week due to reliability issues, in stark contrast to its solid running in the first test.
McLaren and power unit supplier Honda showed they have moved on from last year’s disastrous test sessions that were the forerunner to one of the worst seasons in the Woking team’s history.
Over eight days at Barcelona in 2015, McLaren managed a paltry 301 laps, but fast forward 12 months and the Anglo-Japanese alliance achieved 710, with 453 in test two alone.
In terms of driver contrasts, there were none greater than at Renault as Kevin Magnussen enjoyed a trouble-free four days to accumulate 509 laps, whereas Jolyon Palmer was plagued by gremlins and totalled only 267.
COMBINED TEST TWO STATS:
Combined best times of week two: Pos Driver Car Time Gap Tyres 1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m22.765s US 2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m22.852s +0.087s SS 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.022s +0.257s S 4. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.134s +0.369s US 5. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m23.193s +0.428s S 6. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.229s +0.464s US 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m23.251s +0.486s US 8. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.382s +0.617s US 9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.622s +0.857s S 10. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m23.721s +0.956s SS 11. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m23.933s +1.168s SS 12. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG 1m24.427s +1.662s S 13. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m24.714s +1.949s US 14. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1m24.735s +1.970s S 15. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.760s +1.995s S 16. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m24.859s +2.094s SS 17. Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1m24.913s +2.148s US 18. Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.031s +2.266s S 19. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-TAG 1m25.049s +2.284s S 20. Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m25.255s +2.490s S 21. Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1m25.422s +2.657s SS 22. Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1m25.899s +3.134s US Total week two mileage per driver: 1. Nico Rosberg 937 2. Max Verstappen 876 3. Carlos Sainz Jr 865 4. Lewis Hamilton 853 5. Sebastian Vettel 847 6. Daniel Ricciardo 746 7. Nico Hulkenberg 746 8. Felipe Massa 717 9. Kevin Magnussen 709 10. Jenson Button 700 11. Valtteri Bottas 668 12. Felipe Nasr 633 13. Fernando Alonso 610 14. Kimi Raikkonen 602 15. Daniil Kvyat 550 16. Sergio Perez 544 17. Jolyon Palmer 544 18. Marcus Ericsson 541 19. Romain Grosjean 417 20. Pascal Wehrlein 367 21. Rio Haryanto 298 22. Esteban Gutierrez 142 Total week two mileage by team: 1. Mercedes 1790 2. Toro Rosso 1741 3. Ferrari 1449 4. Williams 1385 5. McLaren 1310 6. Red Bull 1296 7. Force India 1290 8. Renault 1252 9. Sauber 1174 10. Manor 665 11. Haas 558 Total week two mileage by engine: 1. Mercedes 5131 2. Ferrari 2016 3182 3. Renault/TAG 2548 4. Ferrari 2015 1741 5. Honda 1310
COMBINED OVERALL WINTER TESTING STATS
Combined fastest times of winter testing: Pos Driver Car Time Gap Tyres 1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m22.765s US 2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m22.810s +0.045s US 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.022s +0.257s S 4. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m23.110s +0.345s SS 5. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.134s +0.369s US 6. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m23.193s +0.428s S 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m23.229s +0.464s SS 8. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m23.382s +0.617s US 9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG 1m23.525s +0.760s US 10. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.622s +0.857s S 11. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m23.650s +0.885s SS 12. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m23.933s +1.168s SS 13. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-TAG 1m24.293s +1.528s US 14. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1m24.714s +1.949s US 15. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1m24.735s +1.970s S 16. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.760s +1.995s S 17. Alfonso Celis Jr Force India-Mercedes 1m24.840s +2.075s SS 18. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m24.859s +2.094s SS 19. Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1m24.913s +2.148s US 20. Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1m25.031s +2.266s S 21. Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1m25.255s +2.490s S 22. Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1m25.422s +2.657s SS 23. Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1m25.899s +3.134s US Total winter testing mileage by driver: 1. Nico Rosberg 1897 2. Lewis Hamilton 1845 3. Max Verstappen 1545 4. Carlos Sainz Jr 1490 5. Kevin Magnussen 1472 6. Sebastian Vettel 1412 7. Daniel Ricciardo 1322 8. Felipe Nasr 1316 9. Valtteri Bottas 1287 10. Felipe Massa 1189 11. Marcus Ericsson 1108 12. Jenson Button 1090 13. Kimi Raikkonen 1059 14. Daniil Kvyat 1041 15. Nico Hulkenberg 1033 16. Fernando Alonso 963 17. Sergio Perez 836 18. Jolyon Palmer 772 19. Romain Grosjean 743 20. Pascal Wehrlein 729 21. Rio Haryanto 671 22. Esteban Gutierrez 628 23. Alfonso Celis Jr 385 Total winter testing mileage by team: 1. Mercedes 3743 2. Toro Rosso 3034 3. Williams 2476 4. Ferrari 2470 5. Sauber total 2424* 6. Red Bull 2363 7. Force India 2253 8. Renault 2245 9. McLaren 2054 10. Manor 1400 11. Haas 1371 12. Sauber 2016 1174* * Sauber only ran its 2016 car in week two Total winter testing mileage by engine: 1. Mercedes 9872 2. Ferrari 2016 5016 3. Renault/TAG 4608 4. Ferrari 2015 4284 5. Honda 2054