Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011

Ferrari pile on the miles as McLaren focus on simulation

2011 F1 testingPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011
Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011

Ferrari have done twice as much testing with their new car as McLaren have.

McLaren launched their MP4-26 after three of the 15 days of testing had already been completed.

Ferrari have completed more laps with their F150th Italia than McLaren have with their MP4-26 on every day of testing so far, indicating a difference in philosophy between the two teams.

Speaking to journalists on Friday McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale said they had a “disciplined” approach to winter testing.

He said “a huge amount” of their testing was focussed on building accurate models for simulation and development throughout the season, when testing is banned:

“This is the one opportunity we have got to do the correlation between how good were our models and what assumptions did we make over the winter and what?s actually on the track.

“How are the cars performing, what are the aerodynamics doing, what is the map between the rig work and the track work? We can then go back and build that model and run with those. It makes us much more disciplined in how we use the winter tests.”

He added this is especially important as more car development is done in virtual environments. The Resource Restriction Agreement limits how much wind tunnel and Computational Fluid Dynamics testing the teams can do.

Neale said: “CFD is important to us but we?re wind-tunnel junkies, we are not at the stage to give that up.”

He described the balance between the two McLaren uses: “We believe we have the right model mix of wind-tunnel hours and CFD time. We are trying to optimise so for every hour of wind-tunnel time we gather as much accurate data as we can.

“I want to say 50:50 [wind tunnel to CFD testing] and it?s not 80:20. It?s nearer 50:50. We are serious about CFD but we?re not ready to give up the tunnel yet.”

Neale pointed out that the increasing number of airflow measuring sensors on the car at tests last year led some to conclude the team were in trouble:

“I think last year a number of less reputable journalists thought we were in trouble with our car because of the number of rakes.

“We were sending the car out on the circuit looking like an agricultural vehicle. They had paraphernalia all over them.”

McLaren have also been evaluating different exhaust systems on their car and it takes a long time to switch between them. That added to a shortage of parts for the new car in Jerez cost them further testing time.

At this stage in last year’s testing McLaren had covered 4,072km of testing. They have done 3,710km in the MP4-25 and MP4-26 since the start of February.

Daily testing mileages

Distance covered by each car (in km) on each day of testing so far.

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011carcolours.csv

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
F150th Italia 392.49 432.54 420.525 447.228 513.648 580.068 509.22 470.155 418.95 572.565 544.635
RB7 372.465 240.3 420.525 416.232 495.936 433.944 398.52 172.235 484.12 647.045 297.92
W02 100.125 276.345 440.55 296.676 495.936 504.792 199.26 418.95 609.805 428.26 512.05
C30 272.34 168.21 416.52 416.232 247.968 371.952 380.808 363.09 581.875 535.325 325.85
FW33 312.39 316.395 404.505 61.992 163.836 438.372 456.084 242.06 549.29 279.3 563.255
R31 112.14 416.52 456.57 252.396 283.392 380.808 301.104 218.785 474.81 432.915 442.225
STR6 80.1 440.55 292.365 323.244 318.816 407.376 398.52 265.335 451.535 339.815 414.295
VJM04 0 0 380.475 123.984 323.244 283.392 438.372 121.03 372.4 474.81 283.955
MP4-26 0 0 0 256.824 305.532 159.408 309.96 358.435 251.37 432.915 470.155
MVR-02 0 0 0 185.976 252.396 318.816 199.26 539.98 307.23 451.535 214.13
T128 0 64.08 152.19 239.112 177.12 270.108 190.404 251.37 391.02 223.44 65.17
F110 180.225 320.4 252.315 0 0 0 0 539.98 325.85 330.505 0
MP4-25 364.455 332.415 468.585 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
VJM03 396.495 444.555 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
VR-01 284.355 136.17 320.4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
F111 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Testing mileages

Model Total laps Total distance (km)
Ferrari F150th Italia 1,205 5,302.02
Red Bull RB7 996 4,379.24
Mercedes W02 965 4,282.75
Sauber C30 922 4,080.17
Williams FW33 862 3,787.48
Renault R31 858 3,771.67
Toro Rosso STR6 846 3,731.95
Force India VJM04 628 2,801.66
McLaren MP4-26 558 2,544.60
Virgin MVR-02 541 2,469.32
Lotus T128 452 2,024.01
HRT F110 445 1,949.28
McLaren MP4-25 291 1,165.46
Force India VJM03 210 841.05
Virgin VR-01 185 740.93
HRT F111 0 0

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Image ?? Pirelli