2011 F1 testing
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.
|Model||Total laps||Total distance (km)|
|Ferrari F150th Italia||1,205||5,302.02|
|Red Bull RB7||996||4,379.24|
|Toro Rosso STR6||846||3,731.95|
|Force India VJM04||628||2,801.66|
|Force India VJM03||210||841.05|
2011 F1 testing
- Young Drivers Test Day 3 in pictures
- Vergne completes third day on top in Abu Dhabi
- Young Drivers Test Day 2 in pictures
- Vergne stays quickest on second day of test
- Italian F3 pair complete Ferrari test
- Jean-Eric Vergne leads first day of young drivers test
- 2011 F1 testing diary part four: Barcelona
- McLaren cover least test distance with new car
- Rosberg: Mercedes are “on the up”
- Second Barcelona test day 5 in pictures
Image © Pirelli