F1 testing review: Valencia (Pictures)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button drove McLaren number one for the first time
Jenson Button drove McLaren number one for the first time

Ferrari look to have made a clean break from their disappointing 2009 campaign after lapping quickest on all three days of the first F1 test.

The early signs are BMW Sauber are closest to them on performance, with McLaren not far behind as well.

We’ve been used to seeing the first days of testing thwarted by repeated red flags as cars grid to a halt in clouds of smoke. But there was little of that this week and drivers were regularly able to log over 100 laps’ running per day.

And the teams will have breathed a sigh of relief that the weather was kind to them, especially those who were at last year’s rain-lashed test at Portimao in Portugal.

Apart from minor niggles, the kind of things that usually crop up at the time of year, all seven cars ran well. Only Toro Rosso lost any serious time with car trouble, suffering a gearbox glitch on Monday. Mercedes cut their final day short when Schumacher experienced a hydraulic problem on his car.

As teams ran to different plans the variation in their lap times was noticeable – sometimes the same car would suddenly be four seconds per lap slower, presumably when it was full of fuel.

There seemed to be more heavy-fuel runs happening on Wednesday, which partly explains why no-one apart from Fernando Alonso was able to beat Felipe Massa’s besst time from Tuesday.

At this stage we can only draw general conclusions about which cars are fastest, and it’s worth remembering the teams only had the soft and super soft tyres to use at the test.

Williams were especially keen to stress that their low place on the time sheets was a reflection of fuel load and not performance.

The first F1 action of 2010 also provided a few blooper reel moments. Williams rookie Nico H???lkenberg and BMW Sauber driver Pedro de la Rosa managed to crash into each other and had to pit for repairs. And Nico Rosberg became the first person to accidentally park outside his former team’s pit.

The test drew a surprising amount of attention from fans and the media. Ferrari reported a 4km long queue of cars trying to get into the circuit to see Alonso make his debut for the team today, and perhaps also to catch a glimpse of F1’s two other Spanish drivers, Jaime Alguersuari and Pedro de la Rosa.

Inevitably it was the returning Michael Schumacher who stole the show, particularly in the dying moment of Monday when the timing screen briefly reported he gone fastest by four seconds – it later turned out he’d cut part of the track.

The seven teams who participated in the first test have already logged over 1,000km each (apart from Toro Rosso) and between now and the next test will be able to take advantage of the new data they’ve compiled and run it in their simulators to work out how best to develop their cars.

The next test begins one week from now at Jerez, where the teams are expected to be joind by Red Bull, Force India and Virgin Racing. You can find all the dates for testing and the remaining 2010 F1 car launches on the F1 Fanatic Google Calendar.

Who do you think looks strongest after the first F1 test of the year? Have your say in the comments.

Best times

Driver Car Best time Difference
Fernando Alonso Ferrari F10 71.47 0
Felipe Massa Ferrari F10 71.722 0.252
Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari C29 72.056 0.586
Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari C29 72.094 0.624
Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25 72.256 0.786
Robert Kubica Renault R30 72.426 0.956
Michael Schumacher Mercedes W01 72.438 0.968
Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR5 72.576 1.106
Nico Rosberg Mercedes W01 72.899 1.429
Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25 72.951 1.481
Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth FW32 73.377 1.907
Vitaly Petrov Renault R30 73.582 2.112
Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth FW32 73.669 2.199
Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR5 73.823 2.353
Gary Paffett McLaren-Mercedes MP4-25 73.846 2.376

Total laps and distance covered


Driver Total laps Total distance (km)
Felipe Massa 226 905.13
Robert Kubica 188 752.94
Rubens Barrichello 177 708.885
Nico Rosberg 158 632.79
Pedro de la Rosa 154 616.77
Fernando Alonso 127 508.635
Nico H???lkenberg 126 504.63
Sebastien Buemi 125 500.625
Michael Schumacher 122 488.61
Lewis Hamilton 108 432.54
Jaime Alguersuari 97 388.485
Kamui Kobayashi 96 384.48
Gary Paffett 86 344.43
Jenson Button 82 328.41
Vitaly Petrov 75 300.375


Model Total laps Total distance (km)
F10 353 1413.765
FW32 303 1213.515
W01 280 1121.4
MP4-25 276 1105.38
R30 263 1053.315
C29 250 1001.25
STR5 222 889.11


Engine Total laps Total distance (km)
Ferrari 825 3304.125
Mercedes 556 2226.78
Cosworth 303 1213.515
Renault 263 1053.315

Valencia test in pictures

2010 F1 testing

Images (C) Bridgestone, Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo, Mercedes GP, Renault/LAT, Williams/LAT

155 comments on “F1 testing review: Valencia (Pictures)”

  1. Fantastic images form testing and glad to see everything went quite well with testing. Ferrari are up there, glad to see Sauber really high as well.

    Looking forward for more!

  2. Why does Robert Kubica appear twice in the list? :s

    1. Sorry, problem with the list, fixed it now.

      1. great calender i recommend for igoogle really fantastic greetings from Portugal

  3. Great review Keith :)
    The Ferrari is encouraging and certainly should be a better car from last year. I’m really cautious about the car however and it’s only the first test. It’s encopuraging but nothing to shout about yet. We’ll only really know what the cars are like come Bahrain.

  4. Ferrari looks strong, but it’s been only one test on a twisty circuit. I’ll wait till after the Barcelona test to make a prediction. Besides, we haven’t seen Red Bull yet. :)

    1. yep, Barcelona will be the best test to see who’s really on top.

  5. Was just thinking, is it possible for you to put the images in a zip on each post like this, so that we can download them all at once? No problems if its not possible, just trying to find ways of speeding up.

    1. less advertising revenue, welcome to the interner

    2. There would be legal problems with that approach plus I think a lot of people would find that a poor way of using the site.

      1. I did mean a download as well as the way you do it now, if anyone misunderstood.

        But doesn’t matter anyway, just enquiring.

        1. Just get the “Download helper” add-on to Firefox and you can do exactly that. It allows you to even take yo@tube videos and formula1 dot com images as well. copyright schmoppy right- just don’t sell them.

  6. I am really happy no team experienced glitches or a total failure :-) .

    Obviously the team to watch next Week will be RBR and A. Newey. Always exciting to see what he comes up with.

    From this Week’s test, I believe Alonso was sincere when he said they might be on lighter fuel load and that Massa set-up the F10 him. He is gaining some respect from me again…… but let me wait first to see what happens during the season. I hope he continues to impress me though.

  7. Does anyone know the purpose of the large vertical black pole sticking out of the onboard camera above the Ferrari cockpit?

    1. Data sensor and (enhanced) telemetry

  8. Don’t know where to post this with no forums but there is a Spanish article I think it is saying USF1 to sign another driver, Valles once some contract details are finalised. Correct me if I’m wrong http://www.marca.com/2010/02/03/motor/formula1/1265186365.html
    I have no idea how credible this is. Anyone shed some light?
    I’ve not used google translate as for whatever reason it isn’t working for me so I could be very wrong.

    1. That is exactly what it is saying Steph, but their source is Marca, can we trust Marca?

      1. Nathan Bradley
        3rd February 2010, 18:55

        Hi guys, I spend quite a bit of time in Spain, and to my knowledge, Marca is a gossipy sports paper, but it is fairly reliable. (For example, last year it correctly anticipated the signings of Lassana Diarra and Klass Jan Huntelaar for Real Madrid.)

        Hope this helps.

          1. Nathan Bradley
            4th February 2010, 20:06

            No probs Steph,

            On a side note, I’m planning to go to the test at Jerez next week and I’m disabled so I have a few questions. Have emailed the circuit but no response.

            1. I’m disabled so what’s the access and services etc like?
            2. Is there any cover from the weather on the grandstands?
            3. Does anyone know when Fernando Alonso will be driving?I’m planning to go either 12th or 18th of Feb because I believe Lewis Hamilton will be driving (correct me if I’m wrong!) Also, I heard there were huge queues at Valencia for Alonso yesterday so I need to know if it’ll be the same day (as Lewis) so I can go early!

            Sorry for being boring, but being in a wheelchair, these are unfortunately necessary questions!

            Any help much appreciated!



        1. Did it not also suggest that Real were going to sign Leo Messi?

          Laws of averages methinks…. :-)

          1. Nathan Bradley
            4th February 2010, 20:40

            It may have done but we also have to remember that it is very partizan towards Real Madrid. Besides even they won’t spend the 250 million to buy his contract out…or will they?

            Hope not, I’m a barca fan! :)

    2. it is what they say at marca, but the rest of the spanish media aere not saying anything.
      Marca is the number one paper here, so they are very well conected, I think it will happen.

  9. Wondering how much the Sauber was developed in the first part of last year, around the BMW engine…

    Because at first glance the ‘Brawn-way’ seems like a good way to develop your car: at the last moment fit in another engine / gearbox and off you are.

    1. I belive the measurements of every engine are almost 99.9% identical i don’t think that this would be a significant problem ( the phisical space), another thing would be injection, cooling, air feed, vibrations, exhaust …

      1. BMW pulled out suitibly early an once Sauber took over he was always going to put a Ferrari in the car.

        I reckon they will have had more than enough time under development to fully calibrate the Ferrari engine.

  10. Something interesting from http://www.formule1nieuws.nl/modules/news/article.php?storyid=31725 (translated from Dutch)
    But Mercedes’ team principal Ross Brawn admitted that his team is struggling with some glitches and Ferrari still have the best cards in hand.
    Brawn said: “Yesterday we drove with a full tank so it looked not too bad. But we do have problems with the balance of the car. We know what the problem is and have it repaired for Jerez next week. Of course The other teams also make progress. We are not as fast as Ferrari and Lewis made a good impression yesterday. Today we have the outlet replaced every 150-200 km. This is a problem we have here on site trying to repair. Another problem are the bands we ever learn about. We have already some changes in mind that we want to have ready for Jerez. ”

    Did any of you hear something about the exhausts having to be replaced? I saw a remark about their possibly illegal exhaust in the comments yesterday, but nothing since then.

    1. by “bands” he’s talking about tyres.

      1. I think he is talking about the red-bull style nose but I am not sore just guessing.

        1. If you ask me Brawn has the most original nose in the paddock. They’ve gone out of their way to combine their last years nose with the redbull.

          Hopefully the curious mix which they’ve ended up with works out for them.

  11. Poor Robert Kubica. The BMW-Sauber waisted the 2009 season, and it seems they did built a very fast car for 2010… a faster one than Renault built.

    1. ..and poor Nick!

      1. poor nick, if I was Peter Sauber i’d have signed Heidfeld.

  12. What a great entre for the 2010 season. Knew there was going to be a lot of interest, what with the return of Schumacher, the new teams and Alonso moving to Ferrari, but can anyone really believe there were 36,400 fans at Valencia for todays test! Incredible.

    Many F1 sites have been seriously brake tested over these last 3 days. We don’t yet know the cause of the Virgin virtual launch failing to take place, but once it became apparent it wasn’t going to happen, Autosport’s website collapsed under the weight of traffic.

    And Twitter? How awesome was Twitter these last 3 days. Brilliant. Twitter really grew up this week.

    The cars? Who can say. Certainly Ferrari don’t appear to have too many problems right now, contrary to the whispers coming from the Italian press last week. Good to have them back. Surprised about Sauber’s relative performance, but then there is quite a lot of empty advertising space on the car, so perhaps fuel loads have been overly flattering. McLaren and Mercedes seem to be fairly evenly matched, but again, not even the teams know yet. Oh, and love the Renault paint job.

    Notable for their lack of assistance in all this? FOM and the FiA, naturally. Would it really have been so difficult for them to provide a free fixed stream looking down pit straight? Or even just turn on the Live Timing for us? Gee, thanks for nothing guys!

    Aside from that, it’s been a blast. Brilliant comments and fun over the last 3, and thank you for your efforts as always Keith.

    If the Formula 1 feast continues to be this good, 2010 will give us our best ever season.

    1. “And Twitter? How awesome was Twitter these last 3 days. Brilliant. Twitter really grew up this week.”

      I joined twitter 8 months ago, and only really started using it yesterday :D

      1. Twitter was brilliant for testing. Loads of fans very kind giving info and links.

    2. Notable for their lack of assistance in all this? FOM and the FiA, naturally. Would it really have been so difficult for them to provide a free fixed stream looking down pit straight? Or even just turn on the Live Timing for us? Gee, thanks for nothing guys!

      Aside from that, its been a blast. Brilliant comments and fun over the last 3, and thank you for your efforts as always Keith.

      If the Formula 1 feast continues to be this good, 2010 will give us our best ever season.

      You just truly hit a nerve man, very good comment, i hope someone is listening

      1. Had to chime in, excellent and eloquent comment there Salty, very much sums up the feeling coming out of silly/off season for the fanatics. I would also like to add my thanks to Keith for all his hard work and providing us fans with such an outstanding service, really, F1F goes from strength to strength!

    3. Comment of the day surely!

  13. You’d be silly not to put a cheeky tenner on Alonso taking the championship this year….

    1. send me the slip and i’ll put another to your name mate

  14. Bigbadderboom
    3rd February 2010, 18:44

    I think Ferrari have hit the ground running but we do know they were very early to give up on development last year, despite their PR machine working overtime it was obvious they had written off their season by half way. Massa has really stuck some miles on the F10 which will really help Alonso out in advances their set-ups. A little suprised by McLarens pace but difficult to understand what priorities any team has set especially with the extra parameters thrown up by all the added weight, the same brakes and all the problems that can arise from that. I think Kubica looks in good shape, but its early days, lets see what the red bulls have.

    1. the priority in testing, as in racing, is being reliable and FAST.

  15. its just the first test so i think that next test will give a more clear picture abou the pace. Sauber is the biggest suprise i think, and schumacher is trying to get back in form, he will be much better next time. But i have a question about the sauber, on the pictures you can see them use no slicks but tires with grooves, the times driven on those laps don’t count right? The Williams seems off pace and the toro rosso as well. coungratulations to kobuyashi with his quick time

    1. I think they are wets, just used for installation or checking of pressures/ride heights or something. I’m guessing they set their fast times on slicks…. if not then that would be something!

    2. The tyres were intermediates which were used while Sauber was bedding the car in and checking all the systems worked properly.

  16. I agree with those a little thrown by the unimpressive performance from Ferrari.

    5 two days and 3rd on the second is hardly lighting the world on fire. but it’s way to early to be worriying about that just yet. I suspect we’ll look better by Jerez.

    Ferrari on the other hand have always been the fastest by at least half a second so we know if nothing else that nothing is wrong with the car.

    Mercedes as well, haven’t been as beligerant as i though Merc might be.

    Here’s hoping to a silver year in the end. Hope its this fun in Jerez.



      1. Do you have Ferrari on the brain Scribe? Maybe you are converting to our side…you just can’t fight it ;) Or maybe it’s just because you may be wishing Ferrari weren’t on the top lol

        1. Defo Freudian slip LOL. You don’t arrange your socks by colour and use a keyboard hoover every morning do you Scribe?

          Nah, seriously, am a smidge disappointed with McLaren performance relative to Ferrari so far (as if honest, want Lewis to win it this year), but we simply don’t know the detail of the teams testing schedule. McLaren are looking reasonable so far, but have the ability to improve the car at a better pace than most (as per last year. And we are still over a month from Bahrain. Chin up sir!

          1. Salts Why do you want Lewis to win this year?
            I’d rather have Massa and you know I’m not a big Ferrari fan but if (bugger can’t recall his name) hadn’t slowed down and let Lewis pass (instead of Lewis overtaking) then Massa would’ve been champ for longer than a few seconds. Plus the way Massa handled the disappointment and what he’s just came back from it would be a brilliant story for F1 and a win for human endeavor …. So as you can gather i’d like to see Massa win the thing … its got nothing to do with seeing Alonso cry like a girl… honest! lol

          2. well salty now that you mention it…

            nah my rooms a tip lol,
            I’m in here for as little time as possible, them reasons being F1, illness or Alevelz

      2. and to think I’m following you on twitter… LOL

    2. theveiwingfoot, if your draging up that Glock rubbish AGAIN, it’s kinda dissapointing. It’s been agreed beyond a shadow of a doubt that glock simply lost all pace due to his slicks on water.

      And yes Massa had bad luck and took it very well but stop trying to detract from Lewis’s title. It got boring.

    3. accoe=rding to james allen mclaren have been doin 20-25 laps run at a time whereas ferrari have been doin 12-15 lap runs.

      here’s the article

  17. As a mclaren fan i have been following the testing these passing days and have been completely shocked by ferrari’s pace. i know testing at this point means nothing but honestly if this is how the year is going to unfold then for mclaren it will be 2009 all over again lewis behind the two strongest manaufacturers of the year, getting the best possible performance out of a uncompetitive car and his team mate laungishing at the middle of the tables. i just hope this is not the way the season turns out. because i dont think i could watch that again.
    Lewis For the WDC and Mclaren for the WCC.
    and will everyone please stop going on about the RBR RB6. for all we know it could be completely uncompetitive. as have been all their cars bar the RB5.

    1. Bigbadderboom
      3rd February 2010, 19:21

      I work in Milton Keynes (not at red bull!! but near) and believe me the team are not all that optimistic at all, in fact when I joked with one of the team “are we going to see a stronger car this year” the reply was “nope it’s still got a Renault engine!” I hope Adrian Newey builds another master car, but I think they may still get those Renault problems.

    2. more misery upon you? it WILL be competitive as i think the mcLaren will be mid-season

  18. I think Ferrari will show even stronger pace in the next test. I distinctly remember reading that the front and rear wing of the F10 at launch were the 2009 versions as
    the team didn’t want to bring out the new ones. After looking at all the test images I could find of the F10, I have yet to see a big difference between these wings and those revealed at launch day. Are they pulling a 2009 Mclaren and testing the new car with last years wing configurations to do a comparison? tee hee! I hope so!!!

  19. I won’t worry about McLaren just yet, Lewis’s time was only 0.786 off Alonso’s best pace but set the day before when Massa was driving and he was only 1/2 a second slower then. This time last year the McLaren was 2.5 secs off the best times set by Brawn GP!!
    I’ll reserve judgement until the next test, not long to wait.

  20. I remember last year at certain Jenson Button saying how he jumped in the Brawn and was immediately a second quicker than anything else at the first test… then he won the championship.

    Personally, I’m going to read into these tests as much as possible… Ferrari will definitely be on the front rows of the grid at Bahrain, and as an earlier poster has already mentioned, get your tenners on Alonso for the WDC.

    1. put 50 quid on pole mate

  21. Wow that Sauber is quick.

    And a big well done to Jaime Alguersuari being just 0.3 off Schumacher. Nice work!

    1. 1 Alonso 11.470

      2 De la Rosa 12.094

      3 Schumacher 12.438;

      4 Alguersuari 12.576

      5 Button 12.951

      6 Petrov 13.097

      7 Hulkenberg 13.669

      Less than 0.3 off the Schumi’s pace dude
      more like 0.093

  22. I think F1 are missing a trick, why not have the testing in a country where there isn’t a GP? Not too far like Oz or Japan, but howz about France, Poland, Turkey (and ditch the GP), or even Scotland? Spread the game, folks!

    On a separate note, I notice most car’s nose’s are getting longer and higher (and quite ugly, in my opinion) and they seem to be starting to obscure the drivers view, no good in pit stops and at race starts.

    My solution? A Concorde style nose, possibly Kers powered. Down for slow and up for fast, then queue the comedy moment when the Ferrari one bursts and stays at an obscure angle for the remainder of the race.

    1. Well, based on the pictures, Ferrari are obviously planning on installing a periscope…

      1. Mouse_Nightshirt
        3rd February 2010, 20:09

        Oooh, the Atlantis Grand Prix – sounds fun!

    2. f1 don’t have a lot of grip when driven over snow. Scottland, poland.
      In francewith good weather only paul ricard.
      The rest too expensive for the teams to travel to.

    3. There is no race circuit in Poland even for F1 testing – not to mention for races :P We are building football stadiums now, give us 100 years more & we will start to build proper race tracks (for testing) :D

    4. As long as it aint following a DC10 it should be alright :-p

    5. How about America or Canada… I would appreciate not having to fly half way across the world to watch my sport!

      1. noted, and correct me if i’m wrong.

        Doesn’t Canada have a Grand Prix now? Something to do with Gilles.

        1. It was in reference to testing, not racing. And the Montreal race comes and goes.

  23. I am not surprised at the Ferrari pace. One of their problems last year was how they heated up their tyre and how it wore during a race. Nobody seems to be looking at the bigger picture. A few questions you should all be asking yourselves.
    1. Track temperature, probably 20 degrees cooler than during the season?
    2. Affect of track temperature relative to tyre performance?
    3. Bridgestone only brought super soft and soft tyre?
    4. With the new regulations tyre wear is very important?
    5. No wheel rim heaters this year?
    Therefore, is the Ferrari generating lots of heat into it tyres and what effect will that have when the car weighs 800KG’s

    1. CovertGiblets
      4th February 2010, 8:35

      Well said Del Boy… I’ve been waiting for someone to notice the temperatures were very low. This probably explains the tyre selections by some of the teams, they were simply unable to get heat into their tyres.

      But we shall see. All very interesting and exciting, but we’ll not really know the teams real pace until the first race.

      1. That said most seem to agree that the Ferrari has genuine pace.

        I’m still of the opinion that the Ferrari will clean up on the high speed corners, and the McLaren will take the victories on the street circuits and point an spray medium speed circuits.

  24. I’m cautious in drawing any conclusions from this first test but… the Sauber seems to be a pleasant surprise. Of course we don’t know the details and perhaps they were running often on low fuel. Whatever, I hope this helps them attract some much needed sponsors!
    And Kobayashi seems to be alright so far too, hmm should I put a bet on him for the WDC…

    Also, I hope Jenson’s seat problems are sorted and he manages to match Lewis in the next test.

    1. by all means please place a bet on him, i’d be happy to take your money

  25. Ferrari and Sauber are using the same engine , maybe the engine is making them superior to everyone else.

    1. Jarred Walmsley
      4th February 2010, 1:15

      Then why is Torro Rosso of the pace?

      1. because they have last year’s chassis?

        1. STR are using their 2010 chassis.

          Having a Ferrari engine is not only the reason why Ferrari and Sauber were both quick. Modern F1 engines are so evenly matched that the difference they make to lap times is fairly small.

          1. Toyota had what was widley agreed to be the worse engine last year, an was about two tenths the slowest.

          2. woops clicked to soon.

            Yes Toytota had the least horse power,

            about 13 less than mercedes which resulted in one lap qualifiying pace, plus extra fuel which the Toyota’s needed about 3tenths per lap slower than the Mercedes.

  26. theRoswellite
    3rd February 2010, 20:05

    (Assuming a general equality of fuel loads…)

    The Sauber has to be the trick pony of the initial testing…
    being around half a second off the Ferrari times, not to mention the teams they are in front of.

    Certainly hope it holds; and the question we may be facing, though to a lesser degree than last year, is there to be another team rising phoenix like from the ashes of a departed giant? Will BMW follow Hondas example of leaving just as success comes around?

    I love the preseason!

  27. Am I the only person left on planet earth? Comments like full tanks, old wings, sauber have done well etc. Can’t anyone(outwith Steph) give credit where it’s due?
    If Mclaren had been top of this test for 3 days this site would have had 500 posts on how good the car was but because Ferrari have spoiled the party it must be down to no fuel/underweight/supersoft tyres……
    They have been fast, the first test but they are fast. I can’t believe that every other team ran with 200kg of fuel for 3 days. Massa and Alonso did 30 lap runs, did they have superman in the tank? Finally all this waiting for Red Bull? Have I been watching the wrong sport for 40 years? Time to give what early credit is due. There is a long way to go till the first race but let’s at least be honest here.

    1. No, completely agree. Ferrari looking good so far – especially with the reliability that all that milage entails. But we still don’t know the various teams testing schedules.

      Thing that has thrown me a bit of a cruve-ball is the Italian press rumours of B-spec car dev due to disappointing stats from tunnel tests.

      No, Ferrari are the class of the field so far, no argument there. Over a month to Bahrain though – domani…

    2. Rampante I always adore your passion, frankness and wonderful insight. I always look for your posts.
      Ferrari is looking good I to stay cautious with these things as F1 is barmy frankly.
      I seriously believe Ferrari will challenge (and obviously being a fan I believe they will win) the title. It’s also hard to know where the other teams are at so Ferrari will be good but I don’t know about them.
      Whatever is going on though Ferrari have done splendidly to be right on the pace now. They basically had to start again with design, have one driver who had a serious head injury and have another driver who is new to the team. So yes I agree with you this is a very good step in the right direction but as they all say nothing is ‘for sure’ and it is just testing.

      1. You’re certainly right there rampante, going on initial impressions, Ferrari must be commended for having turned their fortunes around. Let’s hope that they (and Sauber) carry this form to Bahrain. Also Alonso for jumping in the car and getting the job done.

        Salty, rumours aside, wasn’t the b-spec more to do with the massive diffuser Ferrari are developing following new ideas from Toyota’s aerodynamicist?

      2. i’ll second you on that steph, and your passion for Ferrari and massa is just as obvious :)

    3. Let’s wait untill redbull show us some timesheets, then a bit more till barcelona, then let they fireworks fly and the pasta flow rampante

    4. They have been fast, the first test but they are fast. I cant believe that every other team ran with 200kg of fuel for 3 days. Massa and Alonso did 30 lap runs, did they have superman in the tank?

      Maybe you should argue with James Allen about fuel loads:

      The Ferrari has tended to focus this week on shorter runs of 10-20 laps on the whole. Alonso and Massa both did plenty of laps in the 1m 11s range, unlike their rivals, but there was no sign of anyone going for outright lap times on low fuel.

      Most people seem to have been working on reliability this week. In the refueling era tests like this would be conducted on a two stop fuel load, say 50-60 kilos. Now with no refueling it makes sense to test at a mid level load, based on a one stop plan, so 80-100 kilos and that is what has been happening.

      I really cant understand this point:

      If Mclaren had been top of this test for 3 days this site would have had 500 posts on how good the car was

      Isnt because this is a.. english site?!!!!

      Maybe there are some fireworks at Italian blogs right now and you are commenting here, in a english blog…

      1. Unfortunately many Canadians, Americans, Aussies, and other ‘English’ speakers who are fans of F1 need to be able to keep up with the news as well. Maybe (no offence) English speaking Ferrari fans are just a little more polite? LOL!!!!!
        just kidding – we’re just as bad!!

        1. Too right Vince… I don’t believe there even is an American forum for Formula 1.

          I am on here because you Brits are fanatical- and I love that about your country! Where else would I get my news, gossip and highly, highly subjective and unsubstantiated opinions?

          Besides, if you’ve ever been to the US, or met one of us, you would understand why one would want to escape into a foreign forum. Everyone in this country is bored of everything- EVERYTHING… I think Nascar is working on another series in which the drivers are allowed to carry tactical missiles which they will be allowed to shoot out their windows at each other while racing in a circle… something like Death Race I imagine. I read it in Marca.

    5. You may well be right Rampante, but you do realise you’re just as pro Ferrari as others are anti Ferrari, don’t you?!

      As I’ve mentioned before I’m not a Ferrari fan, but I do have a lot of respect for them, and it looks pretty clear that they are the fastest team at the mo. But I imagine that a fair bit of the gap will have come because they are concentrating on quick laps… surely they couldn’t be a second a more quicker than their rivals.

      Besides, by by the start of the season things will undoubtedly be completely different. Who knows which team will be quickest 6 weeks from now?

      1. I agree fully Ned but when I saw a car doing well no matter how much I did’nt want it to I have to hold my hands up. I watched for 21 years waiting for ferrari to produce a winning car and know how I felt when year after year I knew it was not good enough. I am not saying that this year Ferrari will win it/it’s far too early to do so but every teams leaving today know what they have to do and some have more to do than others.

      2. Testing is a blind game. I think the only conclusions we can draw is:

        1. Ferrari are not slow.
        2. Mclaren are yet to prove if they are blindingly quick.

        :) – Lets hope the next test gives us more conclusions.

        1. CounterStrike
          4th February 2010, 4:31

          Well, Ferrari are always known for doing “Glory Runs”. Lets not forget that they are testing at Valencia,Espana.

          There is absolutely no way that the scuderia have a one sec advantage over the field.

          I remember so many seasons from the past where the quickest cars in testing have failed to live up to expectations during the races. Prost 2001 is a good example & so was last years BMW.

          And this Ricaro Tormo circuit isn’t the ideal benchmark for judging the true pace of cars. Moreover McLaren & Mercedes have been quoted saying they are concentrating on reliability & clocking the mileage rather than doing ultra low fuel glory runs like Ferrari.

          I can guarantee that things will be very different at the end of quali at Bahrain.

          1. Yes, especially that Ferrari done most mileage and surely wasn’t concentrating on reliability and all the laps they done were just “Glory Runs”. Just admit that Ferrari is quick at the moment. And why is not anybody commenting Renault, having running heavy car with good pace and Petrov having quite good F1 car debut. We still have six weeks and lot of car upgrades before us, so it all can change until first GP.

          2. Conclusions of an ardent McLaren Fan.

            1) Ferrari is currently the class of the field. However in this day an age, on what doesn’t look like the most agressive design ever I don’t think they’re a second faster then anyone else. Maybe a few tenths. Still Class of Current Field.

            2) McLaren haven’t built a dog, therefore we can improve it, and know one can develop a car like we can, so I have hopes but it’s no MP4 22.

            3) Ross is either sandbagging or Mercedes arn’t happy. I’m sure they’ll fix most of their issues but Schui doesn’t think that car is heading for victories in the first few races. An remember this is the factory that produced this
            and this
            So it’s been known to produce crap cars before.

            4)While this track isn’t the most representative, an Ferrari did ocasionally put less fuel in the tank, they’ve been consistantly fastest all the time. Hence arguing with the dominance of the weekend, or the fact that they’ve got a very fast car, ain’t gonna get you anywhere.

  28. i just had to laugh at this paragraph

    Inevitably it was the returning Michael Schumacher who stole the show, particularly in the dying moment of Monday when the timing screen briefly reported he gone fastest by four seconds it later turned out hed cut part of the track.

    Bring it on

    1. Yep – return of the Michael the press all know and love. Funniest bit is he probably just blew a lap and took a shorty down the road he’d slid down. Not quite the same as parking at Rascasse to buy a latte.

      Glad he’s back ain’t ya!

  29. There was one comment in “corriere dello sport” here in Italy and it seems to have run and run. The problem with the closed season is that anything becomes news. It all started after Ferrari had stated that developments on the new car were already underway and this has been taken as there must have been something wrong. Most notable journalists have not passed comment on this. Ferrari cannot pass wind here without comment, everyone wants to know what they are doing.I lived in the UK for several years and never saw the commitment from the press that exists here.

    1. Latin vs Anglosaxon my friend. Good thing la rossa is bringing some passion and pepperoni into this sport once again. Make yourself confortable and enjoy

    2. It all started after Ferrari had stated that developments on the new car were already underway and this has been taken as there must have been something wrong.

      This was all the “Ferrari developing a B-spec F10” nonsense?

      1. I think they might still be developing a B-Spec F10 but not because they’re worried about the current car.

        James Allen says its because a Toyota aero refuge has brought them an idea for a diffuser with a hole the size of an A3 peice of paper.

  30. I think the only real thing to draw from the test times is that those at the top have the least worry of being uncompetitive and a good claim to be challenging for points at the first race. With respect, anything else is in my opinion premature to say the least.

  31. Oh, and the cars are looking so beautiful at the moment.

    1. they are indeed. it took me a while to get use to them in 2009, but looking at these pics they are very nice

  32. shorter wheelbase cars always look better on a twisty track…

    michael excels at high speed corners (suzuka sector 1)…

    dont count merc out of it yet :)

  33. Shame Sauber don’t have a really proven quick driver, be nice to see if they could do a Brawn. That’d make BMW wince. Could it be that the powerful but very thirsty BMW engine was holding them back last year? Another potential embarrassment if Ferrari power take them to the front.

    1. “Thatd make BMW wince.

      They are still called ‘BMW Sauber”, if Sauber do well BMW are going to get some of the glory in the minds of many who aren’t heavily into in F1.

      1. You don’t have to be too heavily into F1 to realize they are being powered by Ferrari! I’m sure it will be discussed everytime they do anything well- which, despite this testing, I think will not be often.

    2. I thought Kobayashi was impressive in testing to say the least.

      Looking to the future what do we think about Japan bagging it’s first ever world champion.

  34. Becken, I am here because I like this site and I think you will find I am not the only non British member here on a regular basis. If you think that Ferrari were the only team to do a “light” run in 3 days of testing you are not in full control of your faculties. Do you think Schumacher went out to appear slow after all the hype. Do you think Mclaren wanted to be slower than sauber even in a test? De la Rosa has been out of F1 longer than Schumacher and he put in lap after lap and a lot of quality times. This was only the first test but what team before the event said thay they did’nt care if they were the slowest after 3 days? There is no good PR in being slow in F1.

    1. Rampante, first Sauber where deffinately testing somewhat light. You can tell this from the length of their runs. It’s also been said that they have certain pace.

      Also grow up, “I’m the only non brit on the site?” Whats with the persecution complex? Not only are you one of many non british based users your also not the only Ferrari fan. You seem to be listening to the pureley partisan though, everyone with a bit of F1 knowledge agree’s that it looks like Ferrari are a bit ahead of the game, getting annoyed by people giving weak reasons against ferrari just makes it look like your here for a fight.

      Ferrari are fastest at the moment, but by how much, an how many over factors are in play nobody knows.

      1. woops READ THIS FIRST RAMPANTE. I read you post slightly wrong.

        Exclude the persecution complex bit. very immature of me when i read your post again.

        still my point stands ferrari arnt seconds ahead.

  35. Im not at all bothered at the pace of the mclarens pace. Looking at Massa’s first day in the F10, and Hamilton’s first day in the MP4-25. Massa was only quicker by 0.2 of a second. We dont know what setups or tyres were bieng used when those times were set.

    Im not comparing 2nd day times becuase massa had alomst twice the distaance in his car.
    So first day in the car is more fair.

    1. Paffet was in the McClaren the first day too. He did some set-up work as well. By the same logic Hamilton was blown away by Alonso in terms of pace, it was his first day in the car as well. First time ever in a ferrari. Besides Massa was out for half a year where Lewis wasn’t. I think McClaren needs to work hard and they’ll get there, they won’t make the same mistake they made last year.

      1. set-ups. you dont know if ferrari are went out with massa and deliberatly did quali style laps to get a quick time. they could have done this to show massa was back on pace after absence… i have noticed that ferrari are quite obsesed with headlines and being in the media

        1. dont get to carried away with the saubers pace, they could just be going for fast laps to attract sponsors. ferrari could be doing a similar thing, but instead of trying to attract sponsors, they could be trying to attract media attention to the Massa being back and Alonso in there car (in spain)

  36. Of course we can only see how strong the teams are on March 14th. This is also just the start of the development of the car, kind of a first impression. The Ferrari looks strong and with Alonso behind the wheel it can only get stronger and stronger from now on. He’s a master of set-up and he didn’t even do that much today (drove with Massa’s set-up in the morning since he’s just adjusting to it). Covered a lot of mileage. They seem to be strong at this moment.

    Sauber seems good too, nice surprise! McClaren and Mercedes look equally strong and with Hamilton and Schumacher over there the car will improve too. Sauber we’ll have to wait and see. Kobayashi is inexperienced and De La Rosa did a lot of testing with McClaren but still. Kindof curious how that’s going to work out this season. Toro Rosso looked all right too.

    Renault and Williams seem to be in trouble! The cars seem slow. With the Williams it might have something to do with the Cosworth engine, just have to wait and see.

    Like I said, it’s just a first impression and there will be a lot of changes in the next 6 weeks since there’s a lot of work to do. Also we haven’t seen all teams in action yet. Very curious how RBR is doing. Aside from that, I think it’s safe to say that Ferrari has a headstrart and Williams and Renault really need to push as hard as they possibly can to catch up the next month!

  37. DamionShadows
    3rd February 2010, 22:49

    Hah! I lol’d at the part about Rosberg pitting at the Williams garage. I can’t wait until the the first race of the season!

  38. Nice job Keith,so far it’s looking that Ferrari are doing good,but we don’t know what other people are doing.We will find out in Jerez that how are cars are doing.

    Nice to see some F1 fans getting in testing,as all the test days are in Spain cheers for the crowd.

    About Nico,he must be missing his old team.

  39. Good Interview this is,


    strange, I’ve started liking this guy! Partly because, he is in red now… opinions do change!

    1. Spells? Always the same socks or anything like that?
      No, Im playing with numbers. Well, like the number of the helmet as the hotels room number, divided by the cars on the starting grid. Its important that the result is 14.

      And I thought I was Mad lol

  40. Keith, you haven’t mentioned the fight between Button and Alonso as one of the highlights of the testing, Why?

    1. Could the Ferrari be checking the wake of the Mclaren with its Huge pitot?

  41. Keith, one of the pictures of a renault being wheeled back into the garage is Kubica, but you have labeled it as Petrov. No biggie, im just a bit of a perfectionist (except my spelling)

  42. keith do you reckon you could add the USF1 shakedown to the google calendar?

    1. Have they announced a date yet?

  43. If you look at Rubens car in the above pictures you can see a huge pitot, but Ferrari have a huge pitot built in to a aero device that must effect the air flow as it hits the rear wing, have Ferrari pulled a fast one?. But you must admit its a juicy pre-season testing, roll on the 14th of March when Bul***it walks an lap times talk.

  44. Hi Keith & regular posters

    I have been a fan of the site for ages but only started commenting recently

    just wondering why one of my comments says

    says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    i checked it over & over and saw no offensive or radical remarks

    I see a lot of comments about site glitches is this one?

    p.s the F1 fanatic forum and comments are by far the best on the web, intelligent as well as very humorous

  45. Who was the driver in mercedes with black helmet? anyone?

    1. Schumacher testing a new helmet, IIRC. That was on Day 3, I think.

      1. I do like the way Motorcyclists call it a Stack Hat.

  46. Thanks Journeyer. does this mean he’ll be swithching from red to black? black suits the mercedes car more.

    1. It was only black because it hadn’t been painted. If it had been, no doubt it would have been red.

    1. CounterStrike
      4th February 2010, 8:27

      Very strange indeed! The below comment is still awaiting moderation, hopefully this comment isn’t.

      “Well, Ferrari are always known for doing Glory Runs. Lets not forget that they are testing at Valencia,Espana.

      There is absolutely no way that the scuderia have a one sec advantage over the field.

      I remember so many seasons from the past where the quickest cars in testing have failed to live up to expectations during the races. Prost 2001 is a good example & so was last years BMW.

      And this Ricaro Tormo circuit isnt the ideal benchmark for judging the true pace of cars. Moreover McLaren & Mercedes have been quoted saying they are concentrating on reliability & clocking the mileage rather than doing ultra low fuel glory runs like Ferrari.

      I can guarantee that things will be very different at the end of quali at Bahrain.”

  47. “I can guarantee that things will be very different at the end of quali at Bahrain.

    I agree with you there CounterStrike. I think you do make some astute observations mate I just wish you weren’t so blatantly anti-Ferrari!!!!!

  48. Don’t forget, there was little point in doing long runs during the recently concluded test. Reason: The circuit is too tight and twisty compared to regular F1 tracks. It is perhaps on a comparable level to Monaco or Singapore.

    And most importantly, the tyres provided were softs and supersofts. Now, on most tracks (apart from street tracks), these 2 tyres become the option tyres (i.e. less time to be spent on).

    What matters more is the performance of the cars on the long runs on harder tyres, because that is going to be the norm.

    As of 4th February 2010, Ferrari are definitely the fastest team. But by the next week, surely, some teams will catch up. But don’t dismiss Ferrari pace by claiming low fuel runs, they definitely have genuine pace. What remains to be seen is which other team has genuine pace!

    1. Dont forget, there was little point in doing long runs during the recently concluded test. Reason: The circuit is too tight and twisty compared to regular F1 tracks. It is perhaps on a comparable level to Monaco or Singapore.

      That’s an excellent point and the next track they’re going to, Jerez, is much the same.

      The crunch test, as ever, will be Catalunya. A car that goes well round there should be a solid all-rounded for the championships.

      1. Ferrari are not “definitely the fastest team” as of any date… They are only definitely the fastest team at Valencia regardless of fuel loads and tires.

        I keep reading that they are fast, but when you drive for reliability you are also driving with a lighter and lighter car. It could be that Mclaren and Mercedes aren’t showing their hands just yet. Meaning they could have been being very cautious about running light.

        What would be nice would be sector times posted during testing. If I had a team I would tell my drivers to go quick through only one sector at a time so that we didn’t come up on the radar as being outright fast… in this way I could keep the other teams warm and cozy.

  49. Just noticed you can see a splash of flow vis on the back of the McLaren here: http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2010/02/03/f1-testing-review-valencia-pictures/2010-formula-one-testing-17/

    1. I see they’ve covered the rear wing support with gold leaf too to protect it from the exhaust and oil vents at the back.

      Very swish.

    2. With regard to the green vis flow paint, apart from having to clean up the mess it creates are there any downsides to using it? Some people have taken McLaren using it as a sign it is 2009 all over again and that the MP4-25 is another dog, but couldnt McLaren just be using it to confirm their predictions early on.

  50. DevonSalad on Twitter helpfully pointed out I had Massa down as doing 125 laps on Tuesday instead of 124. I’ve fixed the tables above accordingly.

  51. I’m looking forward to seeing the other teams at the next test.

    My concern is that aparantly McLaren has the aero paint on the car again, so I suspect they have some way to go before they get it right…

    1. I don’t think the aero paint says they are slow… its suspect, but I believe that Mclaren will be top 3 this year and very competitive. I’m more concerned about the Mercedes/Brawn team. It would be great if Michael could compete this year.

  52. So when is USF1 going to have two drivers and a test date? And whats all this about a Spanish driver for the second driver? I thought they were to have American drivers? Scott Speed was going to make an F1 comeback!

  53. Mark Hitchcock
    5th February 2010, 19:34

    Just noticed that there is a short highlights/interviews video on the bbc site: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/motorsport/formula_one/8500422.stm

    Apologies if it’s already been mentioned.

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