2009 F1 testing: March 16th

Can McLaren get their MP4-24 sorted?

Can McLaren get their MP4-24 sorted?

Today four F1 teams are scheduled to test in Jerez.

Williams, Renault and Brawn GP were all running at the track yesterday, and McLaren will resume work on their troublesome MP4-24.

Today’s testing line-up

Rubens Barrichello (AM)
Jenson Button (PM)
Fernando Alonso
Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton

Live timing

Try the following sites for live lap times (various languages):

Renault usually post details of their test on their blog.

If you find any more good sites for following testing lap times, please post details below. Further updates will be posted in the comments and any images or video from today’s testing will be added here.

2009 F1 testing

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88 comments on 2009 F1 testing: March 16th

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  1. todd said on 16th March 2009, 6:40

    i have no doubt whatsoever, as much as I’m not a mclaren fan that they will fix their issues very very soon.

    I’d not be suprised at all, if they we’re very fast with their new parts.

    Not bothering with yesterdays test would be an indication that they have some faith (or hope) that the new parts will improve things and it’s not worth wasting laps on parts that aren’t working.

    time will tell.

  2. Toby said on 16th March 2009, 7:05

    I thought that Rosberg was testing the Williams today and tomorrow, with Nakajima running the last two days. Doesn’t make sense for my mind to have the inexperienced Hulkenberg testing a full two out of five days….

  3. mp4-24 (RIP) said on 16th March 2009, 7:36

    what is wrong with mclaren & martin whitmarsh. skipping a day’s practice when they pretty well know that they have got a car that is suffering from arthritis. even my grandmother could run faster than that car. how could they have designed such a pig of a car whose rear wing is as flawed as a pig’s snout. Then martin whitmarsh firing warnings at rivals, defending his design team’s approach, leaving everything to the last moment. surely sign of things to come at mclaren under the leadership of whitmarsh. They have really embarrassed themselves.just imagine a force india beating them in their own game in its first season of technical collaboration with them. mclaren may boast of a great record ….fine. but that doesn’t mean that you can rest back on your laurels. complacency is what has cost mclaren a shot at the title this year & many years to come. i agree with some of the gentlemen in these posts, that mclaren at this very moment do not have competent design engineers . we must always remember that the cars that brought race wins & championships to mclaren were an evolution of the cars designed by sir adrian newey. namely mp418 to mp423. clearly the current rules have not been interpreted properly by the dumb mclaren engineers. considering the fact that the have got their own engineers in the OWG( overtaking working group) & their ceo martin whitmarsh as the head Sporting Regulation in FOTA, mclaren have failed miserably. i along with many mclaren fans feel very cheated, humiliated & let down after being promised soo much during winter. mclaren is going the lotus way. i am sure of it.

    • Phil said on 16th March 2009, 8:09

      Why waste a day of tests without the new parts? This way they get to stay a day later than everyone else and run on a clear track with no red flags from other drivers, makes perfect sense.

      You also have a short memory – McLaren won races (and WCC and WDC’s) well before Newey worked for them, way back when they had Honda lumps in the back of them for instance!

    • Tom said on 16th March 2009, 8:47

      i just say wait til melbourne

    • Pete Firestarter said on 16th March 2009, 9:48

      I totally agree with mp4-24(RIP)! I spotted this issue as soon as i saw Kovi struggling at the Barcelona test. The mclaren design engineers have been exposed! Sometimes you need something like this to get rid of some dead wood. Renault have missed the point a bit but they are doing all they can to sort that Car out and will be in front of MacLaren in Melbourne. Mclaren need to develop that car for Lewis only for them to have any meaningful season. No point wasting time with PDR and Kovi. Bennetton, Ferrari did it b4 for Michael Schummi, and Renault are doing it now for Fernando. I would have lewis for 75% of the test just to horn the Car to his driving.

    • Paul Sainsbury said on 16th March 2009, 10:55

      Steady, tiger!

    • todd said on 16th March 2009, 11:22

      they arent skipping a day, they have 4 days regardless, they are just waiting for a part, the will be there 1 day after everyone else has gone.

    • The amount of doom and gloom that has been generated from McLaren’s poor testing times is quite staggering. The team has admitted there’s a problem and is working to fix it. It won’t be the first team to encounter a major problem in pre-season tests and it won’t be the last.

      Whenever there’s a major regulation change, there’s always the possibility that one team will drop the ball. McLaren has (including today) four days of testing left to improve its car ahead of Melbourne. It also has some of the finest engineers in F1 and probably the best simulation technology at its disposal. If any team can sort out a problem of this sort, it has to be McLaren. It would be foolish to write them off for 2009, let alone beyond that.

      In the recent past, McLaren has had problems. The team made a very slow start to 2005 (caused by problems heating the tyres for qualifying) but got on top of the issue and challenged for the title. Its 2006 car was fairly dire but the team came back fighting with a very successful 2007 machine which could (and arguably should) have won both titles in the same year.

      We won’t know how bad things really are for McLaren until we get some way into the year. Melbourne will give some pointers but the track tends to throw up some odd results.

  4. wurz said on 16th March 2009, 7:47

    McLaren are actually staying a day later than everyone else. So they will get a full 4 days testing!!

  5. Jean said on 16th March 2009, 8:08

    Mclaren are behind , no doubt , let’s see how much progress they can make this week , while Brawn GP looks to have silenced the critics they were putting on a show with a light car , the pace is genuine. WOW.

  6. skuzz said on 16th March 2009, 9:03

    looks like brawn GP are showing true pace. if they start to fight for the WCC or the WDC who would get the No1 slot… looking at the testing rubens seems to be the faster driver!

    • Lets wait until Oz to declare either driver faster. Rubens was faster on day 2 in barca than Jenson on day 1, but then Jenson was faster still on day 3 and Rubens faster still on day 4. all that shows is that the track was still getting rubbered in and that the team were fine tuning their set ups.

      It wouldn’t suprise me at all if Jenson beats Rubens’ times once he’s in the car in Jerez as the track will be rubbering in…

      Until both drivers are out on track at the same time and in the same conditions, we won’t know who is faster…

      as an iside, does anyone else find it a little ironic that McLaren used to be powered by Honda engines and now ex-Honda are powered by Merc engines…!!

  7. ZioN said on 16th March 2009, 9:06

    Barrichello has do a 01:18.398…
    And I thought that Vettels 1:19.055 was pretty fast.
    Can anyone catch BGP if they really have almost a sec on the other teams when we get to melbourne? I mean with the in season testban car won’t be developed so fast.

  8. Pete Firestarter said on 16th March 2009, 9:51

    Rubens for WDC and Melbourne win. Good olds at the bookies!!

  9. carl said on 16th March 2009, 10:01

    I’m dont think McLaren will be able to make up 1.6sec in four days. not even sure they can do 0.8 sec. But I will still support them as I have been since 1995. Strange how many supporters the new Brawn team has compared to last years honda team… Wonder if they would have had all this support if there pre-season times where not at the top?

    • pSynrg said on 16th March 2009, 10:23

      People like the ‘independent’ tag, myself included. Harks back to the old days of privateers trying it on, often successfully. No billionaire team owner, just a bunch of racing enthusiasts (with free Mercedes engines?)

    • I doubt if Brawn receive free engines from Mercedes. Norbert Haug was adament that year-long payments were in place before the deal was signed.

  10. pSynrg said on 16th March 2009, 10:25

    The 1.19.629 from Lewis, still 1.2 off the pace of Barrichello but a 1st improvement?

  11. Jian said on 16th March 2009, 10:57

    I agree on Brawn GP, they are now British and independent rather than Japanese manufacturers. Both Button and Rubens has been in deep dips of resp career after some success and any turnaround would be the kind of rags-to-riches stuff that Hollywood is made of. What is there not to like? It is yet a bit premature to claim the season to be “The Curious Case of Jenson Button” but I do know who to root for if the Mcs aren’t up for it.

  12. curedcat said on 16th March 2009, 10:57

    i say lets all wait itll melbourne ,mclaren about to shame thier critics

  13. todd said on 16th March 2009, 11:30

    yeah mclarens new parts are looking much faster for them, only 1.2 off the pace, and being new parts there’s still room for movement, its not as if they are old parts they are trying to squeese life out of, getting more of a feel for them and learning how to setup the car better with those parts – and doing a better lighter lap could bring 1 second to the table – either way, they are very close to alonso’s 2nd place time and ahead of the rest of the runners – which is better than they have been doing.

    they’ll be competitive in melb.

    anyone seen these parts before?
    http://directo.thef1.es/tests/gallery/images/006.jpg

    • chris said on 16th March 2009, 11:34

      wow with that huge wind tunnel they have that look very areodinamic!

    • I think those are Sensors not parts.Check out the deformable cantilevers at the bottom of the Alu frame. I think they are to build up an array of air speed data at that point?

  14. skova265 said on 16th March 2009, 11:36

    I think it’s used just for testing, it has something to do with picking up data for the telemetry. Probablly air flow on the back of the car

  15. skova265 said on 16th March 2009, 11:37

    just found that picture on f1.com, and it say’s that it’s a monitoring device

  16. mp4-24(RIP) said on 16th March 2009, 12:15

    @phil certainly i knew the fact that mclaren won championships well before newey. I also remember in those days it was gordon murray & not some crap engineer who designed it. phil u should also remember that the mp4-24 is certainly not an evolution of the mp4/4 or for that fact the useless bulky mp4-10(into which nigel mansell couldn’t fit his ass) designed by neil oatly & others. So there is no comparison between the 2 eras. Get ready for the funeral of the mp4-24 on 29 march in melbourne.

    • bad_whippet said on 16th March 2009, 12:21

      lol, you’re an Alonso fan aren’t you?!

      Even if McLaren are only fighting in the mid-field pack (which is where they’ll be at worst), it’s hardly RIP for them is it?

    • Pete Firestarter said on 16th March 2009, 14:47

      I remember the publicity on that MP4/10! “Designed with the help of a super computer” and was herald to thrash all opposition. It failed badly and Nigel Mansell (bless) refused to drive it. Well he parked it and self retired himself out of a grand prix!. I think there is hope for the MP4/24, but condition are different this year! No testing and less wind tunnel time means lots of simulations, but thats where the problem comes in. If the calibrations are wrong on the simulator, then you get rubbish out.I hope the problems are related just to one section of the car – ie rear, then there is hope. Some us are angry with McLaren because from last year, F1 champion needs a decent car to defend title with, NOT a 2008-Honda!!

  17. Aquatic Mammal said on 16th March 2009, 12:39

    PF1 shows the Hamster did a 1:19.6 this morning in 28 laps. No info as to fuel load but a much more encouraging time, I am sure you will agree.

    I think all the doom and gloom on here is misplaced. Macca haven’t lost their way. They’re not suddenly rubbish because Newey left or because Alonso isn’t there with his extra 0.6. F1 is a tough game and teams sometimes fall behind a little bit, especially when they have to fight like mad to win a WDC the season before. Macca are a pro outfit with massive manufacturing and design resources. They won’t let this little set back upset their programme.

    Expect them to be near, if not very much on, the pace in Melbourne.

    AQ

    • Pete Firestarter said on 16th March 2009, 14:54

      If McLaren reduce 00:00’01”115 margin to half by Melbourne, then they will be fighting for both Championships. I understand they could test some more new parts at Melbourne?

    • I’d heard that lighter drivers will have an advantage, but McLaren must be getting desperate to hire Richard Hammond…

  18. djdaveyp said on 16th March 2009, 13:19

    Looking alot better today! Go Lewis!

  19. mp4-24(RIP) said on 16th March 2009, 13:20

    For everyone’s information i am a die hard follower of mclaren since the days of senna & berger. I just can’t stand the fact that its struggling so badly. I’ve always had a feeling ,since the spygate episode that the team have always been hindered in its progress . Particularly the design dept & to make matters worst dennis has stepped down. Whitmarsh is unfortunately from what i heard , a honest man. So u have a honest man & a honest team, pitted against the most corrupt men(berniemax) & organisation FIA. So how can one expect them to make giant leap forwards ( v r talking abt a 2.5 to 3sec gap) in the coming few months? They may have the best simulators,wind tunnel,best design softwares,best test track,best telemetry softwares,best engine supplier,best chefs .but do they have some decent engineers? Unless paddy lowe & his design team r possessed by the spirit of colin chapman or someone ,there is nothing they can do. P.S. i’ve heard chapman is buried somewhere near woking!!

    • John H said on 16th March 2009, 13:27

      pipe down please

    • So are McLaren struggling because they’ve suddenly employed a batch of incompetent engineers or because Bernie and Max are somehow fixing things? I think you may just have to face up to the fact that McLaren has collectively cocked up somewhere – it happens, and I’m sure they’ll be working hard to fix it.

      I doubt very much that Colin Chapman would be much interested in 2009-era F1. Chapman came up with some amazing innovations in F1 but properly refining those ideas was not always his strong point – Lotus dominated in 1978 with ground effect then became also rans the following year as other teams made better use of the concept. Modern F1 is about continuous improvement and constant refinement, not great leaps forward. The current regulations are too restrictive for the likes of Colin Chapman to thrive.

      Indeed, for at least the last 10-15 years designing F1 cars has not been about the star designer who draws the whole car. But rather about a skilled technical director bringing together the work of a large team of designers and engineers into a coherent whole.

    • “But rather about a skilled technical director bringing together the work of a large team of designers and engineers into a coherent whole.”

      Ross Brawn anyone..?? No wonder Brawn GP are going so well…

    • Well said mp4-24(RIP). I am a McLaren fan and I also suspect that the knives are out for the team from the Ecclstone camp, who i think is quickly becoming more of a liability than an asset to the sport.
      On the plus side they have Lewis and a hungry Heikki behind the wheel, so not all that bad :)

  20. Broer Sammy said on 16th March 2009, 13:44

    Melbourne podium,P1 BUTTON, P2 BARRICHELLO, P3 GLOCK.
    BRAVO!!!!

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