Live from Jerez

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

F1 testing resumes on Wednesday as ten teams head to Jerez for the second session of the year.

This is the first F1 test I’m going to this year and I intend to post live updates from the event here and on Twitter.

This will be the first time I’ve visited an F1 event like this in an official media capacity. I’ll have a lot of “learning the ropes” to do so I don’t want to promise I’ll be able to do lots of things which later turn out to be impossible.

But at the same time I want to make sure I get as much useful information from the test as possible to share with the rest of you.

Testing has had a lot more coverage this year than usual, thanks to the combination of Michael Schumacher’s return, the all-British line-up at McLaren and Fernando Alonso’s switch to Ferrari.

There are some who feel the amount of attention being given to testing is excessive and not helpful. Certainly some people seem to be fixating on early lap times in a manner which we know from past experience is not a reliable way of judging performance.

So, to help me decide how to prioritise my time at the track, I’d like to know what you’re interested in seeing from the tests. Lap times? Lots of pictures? Interviews with drivers and team members?

Leave a comment below and look out for the live testing coverage starting on Wednesday.

And yes, I have packed a raincoat…

69 comments on “Live from Jerez”

  1. jose arellano
    8th February 2010, 22:06

    videos of the car pushiiiing and taken real closeee to smell the petrol!

  2. my vote goes to the inside work day routine, sounds boring I know, but christ all the other websites will be doing lap time comparisons like it matters.

    But a talk with Toro Rosso would be nice, I love those guys.

    1. Yay a Toro Rosso fan :) I agree a few interviews with people would be really good, and a few pictures would be a winner. Be good if you could get some videos too but are you even allowed?

      1. hopefully this year we get at least one giant killing feat!

    2. I support that, I would like to know how is the routine of a F1 team on a test day

  3. I’d like to request lap times and pictures please! I have to say I find a lot of the interviews that go out very unenlightening – no one really wants to give anything away. No one wants to say anything that might be pulled up as evidence against them later in the season. What ever you do get up to at Jerez though, have fun!

    1. Along with lap times, would it be possible to get sector times and how many laps after they pitted. I am just curoius what the best time would be if you put together all the fastes sectors and also whether they are setting their fastest lap with lowish fuel. For example Hamilton set his fastest laps early doors then continued to do many laps after.

      1. driver comments are usually about as genuinely informative as an ex prime minster at a public enquiry..
        “..yeah um we’re um pleased with progress so far. The uh car feels very positive and er we’re looking forward to the exciting series.. “

  4. Driver comments are always good to read so see their thoughts on the car and developements. Close up pics of the new cars are nice. Enjoy your day, it looks like quitting your job to do this full time was the right choice. Rain or no rain it wll be a great experience. Good Luck.

  5. Interviews with the drivers Keith. I don’t know about the rest of you guys but I find it cool to see what the drivers are like as “people” rather than just “racing drivers”.

    Vettel and Webber seem like a cool guys that you could go for a pint with.

    Anything else you can get would be cool?

  6. Hey Keith,

    Good luck at the test, it should be a fantastic experience!

    It would be really interesting to to talk with the Bridgestone crew and see how they are preparing in light of the new regulations.

    Also, I wonder if the Cosworth folks will be attending the test? If so it might be worth chatting with them to see how they feel about engine development.

    Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  7. All the insider information from all the teams… OK, then how about LOTS of pictures. But mostly, just enjoy it!

  8. I think chats to team members might glean more info than laptimes. Although they’ll probably be more of an indicator this time round than last week.

    Perhaps see what other teams think of VR’s all-CFD approach?

  9. Keith, just make sure, if you have some spare time, to visit the city of Sevilla, wich is close by to Jerez and is the most beautiful city in Spain. Absolutely beautiful (I live there so maybe Im a little biased ). If you need recommendations of places to visit, etc let me know – you must have my e-mail registered with my name.
    Lets hope that the weather is OK – right now it is slightly drizling but not cold

    1. I’d love to Bartholomew but I won’t have time unless part of the test gets rained off!

  10. 1. Interviews with drivers, but not about their comments on the car and track, everybody has it and it will be repeated 1000 times everywhere. Ask them about how they prepare to races, what exercises they perform, what do they eat, what is the feeling of driving over 300km/h, do they visit F1 websites. Something a little more creative than other sites have.

    2. I’d love to see some videos, but I know it is probably not allowed to upload them so…

    3. Interviews with mechanics/race engineers. What they find difficult about their job, in what time they think are able to put new engine/gearbox/sth in, what data can they find in telemetry and how to use it properly in a race…

    4. Don’t bother yourself with lap times. We’ve got access to some live-timing via other sites, no need to waste your time for it.

    5. Some pictures would be nice, there can’t be to many of them. Maybe try not to focus on cars entirely, get some pictures of team at work, if you will be able to.

    1. I’m with Xighor….everything he said :)

      1. ++ Very True.
        Get some human interviews with the drivers and backroom staff, if you can. No doubt everyone’s still under the PR monitor but it’s worth a try. I doubt any technical questions will get any sort of useful response but you can always try.

        EG: Some of the comments from Adrian Newey and Sam Michael were quite good at the autosport show, re: diffusers, cars vs. tracks etc. Ask some of the players what they think of “classic” vs “new” F1, and do they think F1 would be better or worse off with no homologation, eg: You can spend 100 million including drivers, PR but fewer rules (applied to ALL the teams). Would all the work go towards a single factor? Would we get a few seasons of varied ideas before things settled down into a “winning” compromise? This is certainly how it happened in the past. In the days when turbo, ground effect and active suspension were being cooked up, teams were kept in check by how much money they could pull in in sponsorship. Now, they’re having to be held back from spending what they’ve got at the top. That’s not a bad plan.

    2. Perfect! Everything Xighor said. Ask the crew how their off-season preparations went, what times they have got pit stops down to, whats the opinions and differences off the cosworth engine. All of it questions that never seemed to be asked but are very interesting and cool to hear about!

      1. What Xighor and Dan said. Deffo don’t bother with lap times as we can get them elsewhere. If you can’t get proper personal interviews with drivers then a personal interview (or chat) with one of the crew is much better for a true insight.
        Above all tho, hope you have fun!

  11. Hi Keith,

    I would like to know the lap times and the no of laps that the driver did in that stint and which lap he did the laptime on…..I know its a bit too much to ask for …..but that would be great to understand what each team is doing……I wouldn’t mind Interviews with drivers and team members……I don’t care a lot about pictures but that will be great too.

  12. I’d say ‘video’, but we all know how that’ll end up. Could maybe do a video diary or something, if you have a minute or two!

    It would be great if you could get info on lap times over long stints, then we can get an average, which gives a bigger and better picture.

    1. Yeah a video diary would be interesting. The way I see it, the most important thing is to do provide stuff which you can’t get elsewhere- like podcasts, testing Q+A’s, video footage, behind the scenes info… that sort of stuff. Anyway enjoy the testing KC… I wish I was there myself

      1. Yeah video diary would be an interesting thing to have… I agree.

  13. If we can judge you on how well you covered the Mclaren launch, then I’m quite confident you’ll do a superb job covering the test sessions.

    As always a sweet recap of the days times is cool. Like you said, I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on the quickest ones because those are most likely done on low fuel.
    But one thing I’d be curious to see is lap times from drivers/cars on long runs. A better picture could probably be drawn there.
    I’d be cautious to jump on the reason that the Sauber’s were quick is due to the fact that they don’t have very much, if any sponsorship. Brawn came out last year with a white car and posted monster laps, which turned out to be legit.

    Pictures of drivers just hanging around, enjoying everyday life (but who wouldn’t love to be an F1 driver!?) would be sweet.

    I’d be curious to see if you can snatch drivers for interviews on their off time, I mean not interviewing them with the horde of journalist following them around.

    Honestly, Im just jealous your there to hear the cars, never mind have a media pass. So anything more than a simple paragraph summarizing the day is going to be awesome.

    Good luck and have fun!

  14. Wow, Mr Collantine; that’s quite a milestone! First F1 test…
    I hope the F1 hack career path is all you hope it to be.
    Have fun!

  15. We’ve had saturation coverage of McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes, Red Bull will also get heaps. Obviously don’t ignore them, but how about some talk to some of the Williams guys, Virgin guys and Toro Rosso guys as well. See what they have to say about the Cossie, see what Virgin are thinking now they’re ‘in’ the game, see how the TR guys handled designing and building their first car in a few years. Talk to Renault about packaging. Is their car really the same size as last years? How did they manage that when everyone else has put a foot of extra wheelbase in. How much is the Hulk contributing to the car, or is Rubens having most of the development impact?
    Theres more than 4 teams on the grid, the lower down teams are just as interesting, they just have different stories to tell.

    1. we’re hearing Petrov might not have the dosh after all, what’s Renaults feelings and where might they look if he can’t get the money? If the 1st of March is the deadline, are they concerned about having to get a new driver in at late notice, getting them settled in and acclimatised to the car etc
      Would they chase a pay driver again, or would they just try to get whatever they could in time for the first race? Is their 3rd driver an option or a last resort?

    2. how closely are other teams watching Virgin and their CFD approach?
      What are established teams thoughts on the new teams? Especially Campos and USF1, and StefanGP, do they believe the scuttlebutt about the teams struggling to get it together, and what are they thinking about Stefan sending equipment to a race they don’t have an entry for? Do they think Zoran’s got a screw loose?

      And just as some kind of fun thing:
      Who do the drivers think will be the WC this year? And don’t take “too early to say” as an answer, get them to put a guess on the table in 2 words. Offer some kind of trophy or 50p trinket for those who guess right.

  16. HounslowBusGarage
    8th February 2010, 23:41

    No pressure Keith, but just bear in mind that 300,000 viewers of your site are reading every word . . .
    Enjoy, and keep us in the flow, when you can.

  17. Whatever you do, don’t ask about the current year – cars, teams, drivers or anything technical about this year. I’ve never heard anyone say anything EVER! Just skip that line of questioning altogether and let other, dumber, journalists get stonewalled when they ask about fuel loads and such.

    Ask about last year or ask drivers about their experience in the farm leagues, get better pictures! Most pictures are too far off to see any of the details of the car. Test video’s posted online seem to be pretty unremarkable but if you could get quality video of the cars entering and exiting some key turns that would be fantastic!

    Just have fun I’d say though because if it were easy to get what we all want to see and hear then it would be done; just plan on doing the same as everyone else and focus on the fact that you get to be there whilst others have to go sell paper down at the slough.


  18. nice you’re going!

    i’d like loads of pictures and interviews, rather than analysis of the test itself…

    the tests are rather pointless (it’s all about amount of fuel, etc…), so are the times… but good pictures (the diffusers maybe? or the drivers’ helmets?) and interviews are much more interesting IMO!

    goodluck Keith!

  19. Interviews please, Keith!
    Comments from the drivers and prominent team members are great, but the less obvious stories of the unsung heroes can be even better!
    And a daily round-up of anything I need to know means I don’t need to go anywhere else.
    Thanks for all the hard work and this great site.

  20. MikeinBeijing
    9th February 2010, 1:47

    What do you mean by “1st time in official capacity”?…Wow, there seems to be a trend that online media are finally allowed into the paddock huh?

    Would you kindly remind that reserve driver of Renault to (re)start using his twitter, if he’s ever there at Jerez?

    If you get a chance, can you ask this driver from China how much support he’s getting from his motherland, if any?

    Have some fun. Please do enjoy lunch in team motorhomes. Let me know if Virgin’s any good.

    1. What do you mean by 1st time in official capacity?

      I’ve been to a couple of tests at Silverstone before, but never been media accredited before.

      1. Well done to you sir, hope your brave decision to go full time on F1F rewards you well. I’m sure many of the established F1 journos already acknowledge that your site is the best F1 site and will respect you accordingly. Enjoy! :)

  21. An interview with the Man (Lewis Hamilton) would be nice.

    Have fun. Try and persuade some engineers to give you the fuel loads of the cars so that you can assess their true speed.

  22. All the best for the trip.
    I want some lap times with interview with the drivers & team personals.& whatever you write there we will be following you here in F1F.

  23. good luck keith! i’m sure you’ll be fine getting info. please get interviews with bosses and team principles. drivers tend to have scripted responses! specific questions of course!

  24. Hi Keith,

    How about some interviews from the non-prominent figures from F1. What the tyre changers go through on a race day – what sort (and how much) practise do they do to make sure they do a good job (especially this year with a ban on refuelling and the tyre changer will be a much ‘larger’ member of the team).
    I think we are all sick of people drawing comparisons from the test times – they mean not much in the real scheme of things.
    I think it would also be good to chat with the development chiefs – what sort of updates they might be planning – when they think teams will introduce the updates over the course of the year etc.

  25. A mix of track commentary, some pictures, and any interesting news/ interviews with drivers, team members or journos you happen to bump into

  26. Interviews with the drivers as i am off to Jerez tonight, to see the tests myself, 5 hours driving from here i live in Portugal.

  27. CovertGiblets
    9th February 2010, 8:55

    First of all, and this is important, just make sure you have a good time.

    Lap times are interesting, but only if you know how much fuel is on board.

    If you can get an educated guess on that you’ll be doing a superb job. Keep an eye on ride heights, or more specifically the mechanics changing ride heights before a run. If they are raising it considerably they may be on higher fuel levels. Couple that with the number of laps completed and you may just have a better idea of speed.

    Now that’s a big ask I know… the gauntlet is down :)

  28. Please, no interviews. They all say the same over and over again. We’re confident, you can’t tell anything form the laptimes (but they really do you bet). I’m really pleased with the car, we know what to do, it’s a lot work but we will get there.

    So it would be nice if you could focus on the details of the tests. How many runs, how many laps.
    If a car does 50 laps we know at least something on the fuel level at the start and the end of the stint. Compare that to the lap times. Make the lap times work for us.

  29. Good luck Keith… have fun!!:-) Try and give us information and insight which other F1 websites do not.

  30. Keith.and alsoat the end of each day of the testcreate an article giving your opinion of different teams performancesif you know what i mean.likehow they faredin your view

  31. while your there try to start a campaign with some of the other journalists to have the shark fin banned on aesthetic grounds .
    Other than that enjoy !

  32. As all the teams are trying different things out the times are not that important, for me what I look for from testing are pictures of all the new cars and what new pieces they are trying out, especially as at launch some teams dont put all the latest updates on their car, some interviews would be nice also.

    Another factor why testing could be getting more coverage this year apart from the driver line ups and the fact it is the first F1 action for a few months could be because there will be so few testing days overall and all the teams are testing together. I also think overall that this season seems to have a greater sense of anticipation than any other season I can remember.

  33. Comparison of the diffusers! Please!

  34. I want to see those new aerodynamic parts that Ferrari said they will be testing.

  35. I personally would be very thankful to you Keith if you could manage some info/pictures or even better, vids, of a few teams during a typical testing day. Lap times are not really info, tons of websites will put ’em on… So, I’d say a little at the works info would be really cool…!
    Thanks :)

    1. You aren’t allowed to film at the track unless you’re a broadcaster so no videos I’m afraid – sorry!

      1. Keith,

        If you could give us some information on the tyres and the number of laps in a stint for some drivers, that would be great. I guess you cant give us the times on each of those laps in the stint, but any additional info will also be appreciated.

  36. And fuel loads along with lap times… that’d help!

  37. I agree with Peter about the pointless “We are very pleased with the car ‘for sure'” type of interview. What I would rally like to see is a Formula One car with it’s clothes off (engine, gearbox etc) but I bet you’re not allowed to take pictures of them in that state.

  38. Interviews with drivers and videos for me, Thanks Keith.

  39. Its reveal day for the next WDC and WCC today….

    Oh Red Bull racing for the uneducated ones…..

  40. Pictures would be great but also insight into what goes on behind the scenes, if possible!
    I imagine drivers are rather busy but it would be good to find out how they prepare for testing, compared to racing… maybe you could ask their man-fridays/trainers/physios etc.
    Good luck.

  41. This will be tough but as far as technical side its always good to know what approximate fuel teams are running, the amount of laps the do per stint and the average times. I feel testing is a good indicator. I only know of Prost being a complete disaster races because of running light.
    Also, pics, pics, and more pics.

    Also, anything the teams suspect. That is, not what the teams say in public to the press but whatever mumblings you hear or perceive. What is told to the press is usually the PC blah blah.


  42. Good luck Keith.

    Here’s a to-do list for you from my side ;-).

    In no order of priority:

    1. *Stint Lengths of drivers*, whether driver was consistently lowering his times or was being erratic. (This info is generally hard to get from elsewhere)

    2. The fastest lap of every stint, and in which lap of the stint was it set in. And also, at what time of the day was it set in. I find it weird that no one seems to think this is important! This info was nowhere to see during the Valencia test.

    3. Photos of the cars on action (bouncing over kerbs ;-) )

    4. *A long interview with Michael Schumacher*. It will be cool to have such a piece on F1Fanatic. And not just a regular interview. Try to have a long one, where he discusses racing, personal life, testing, Mercedez, Ferrari, his fans, everything.

    Asking for too much, I guess :D. Do have fun at Jerez.

    1. how about if you could just get some pics from the bits of an f1 car we dont usually see…cockpit, steering wheels, footwell/pedals, seats, head restraints.

      I would enjoy that more than
      “1. *Stint Lengths of drivers*, whether driver was consistently lowering his times or was being erratic. (This info is generally hard to get from elsewhere)

      2. The fastest lap of every stint, and in which lap of the stint was it set in. And also, at what time of the day was it set in. I find it weird that no one seems to think this is important! This info was nowhere to see during the Valencia test.”

      As if the teams are going to go, by the way Keith we only put in 3laps of go juice into that last run….
      if there was a roll eyes icon the above post would get it..!

  43. As other have said, lap-tims can be found elsewhere so don’t bother too much with them, unless you get any additional information which makes it wrth while (i.e if you know a fast time was set on a 3 lap stint or whatever).

    I’d be interested in how the experience differs being an accredited media person, how the teams / other journo’ treat you – are they glad to see a new face d eager to help, or mistrusting of an “outsider” trying to enter their ranks.

  44. I’m deffinatley going to whish for pictures. A good clear one of the McLaren and Sauber diffusers. And for that matter the Williams and the Mercedes. Hell even the Ferrari and the Force India if you feel like it.

    If it rains maybe a few pictures of the rain trails created by the car. At the beggining of last year, especially in china the cars produced huge swirling vortexes behind them, I’d like to see if the diffusers have impacted on that because I didn’t exactly look out for it in Brazil.

  45. spreadsheet of all teams including laptime, number of laps per stint (untill refuelling, not until drive through the pit lane) and tyres they were using. Icing on the cake would be pics of the rear tyres at the end of each stint, track condition would be helpful too as rain might appear.

    Tall order I know. But that would be all the info we fans need to go into a week of isolation crunching numbers to our hearts content. Forget about pics ( well maybe one of the RB6 diffuser) and interviews, a hundred websites will have these by 2 pm.

    PS: indulge in local seafood, fresh fish and local wine

  46. forgot to add live coverage is not sexy, as it means laptimes mostly, the nitty gritty is how they achieved those times, tyres, track condition, stint duration… Casual fans want the former, hardcore fans the latter.

    Have fun.

  47. So, to help me decide how to prioritise my time at the track, Id like to know what youre interested in seeing from the tests. Lap times? Lots of pictures? Interviews with drivers and team members?

    Rubens Barrichello said that we will se a clear picture of who is really competitive in this test session at Jerez, so LAP TIMES is VERY important for us right now!

    1. PIctures and interviews, Lap times are not truly reflective as we do not know what fuel loads they are carying and I doubt any team will give an honest reply at this time

  48. Keith if you can come up with any videos of testing. That will be really good.

  49. Whilst its good toget an idea of how the season is going to look,its not really a true picture as we dont have any idea of fuel loads etc. And lets face it they are all playing it close to thier chest so as not to give any competative advantage.
    This year we have the extra’s to factor in thinner front tyres, no refuelling.
    I think a few interviews and some spectacular pics of the new cars and livery would be more appreciated.

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