Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Bottas quickest and busiest despite stoppage

2017 F1 seasonPosted on Author Keith Collantine

Valtteri Bottas headed both the times sheets and the lap counts as the second day of in-season testing concluded at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Gary Paffett, Williams, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017
Bahrain test day two in pictures
His W08 covered 143 laps – two-and-a-half race distances at the Bahrain International Circuit – despite stopping on-track at one point during the session.

Sebastian Vettel was the busiest driver of the entire test. Having spent until 9pm the previous night testing for Pirelli he was back in the Ferrari today as part of the team’s regular testing programme.

Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly and Renault’s Sergey Sirotkin were among the test driver getting their first taste of 2017-specification Formula One machinery. Former McLaren tester Gary Paffett made his return to testing duties for the first time in four years, with Williams.

McLaren enjoyed a more productive day with Stoffel Vandoorne logging 81 laps at the wheel of his MCL32.

The cars will next be in action at Sochi on Friday next week when practice begins for the Russian Grand Prix. The next in-season test will be held at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 15-16th.

Pos. Car number Driver Team Model Best time Gap Laps
1 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W08 1’31.280 143
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF70H 1’31.574 0.294 64
3 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso STR12 1’31.884 0.604 68
4 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren MCL32 1’32.108 0.828 81
5 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas VF-17 1’32.120 0.840 88
6 31 Esteban Ocon Force India VJM10 1’32.142 0.862 60
7 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso STR12 1’32.213 0.933 61
8 41 Gary Paffett Williams FW40 1’32.253 0.973 126
9 46 Sergey Sirotkin Renault RS17 1’32.287 1.007 90
10 15 Pierre Gasly Red Bull RB13 1’32.568 1.288 65
11 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber C36 1’34.462 3.182 91
12 11 Sergio Perez Force India VJM10 1’35.015 3.735 70

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  • 44 comments on “Bottas quickest and busiest despite stoppage”

    1. RedBull barely managed to do 100 laps in two days. Bottas does 140 in one day. How are RBR going to catch up?!

      1. @jeffreyj
        They’ll just use the force.

        1. +Baron +1

        2. That’s not how the force works

          1. Not with that attitude it doesn’t.

      2. 100 laps? I would have thought the British Army was capable of better.

        1. “… British Army was capable of better”? I have no idea why I posted that. My apologies to anyone offended. I was trying to praise McLaren for having done more laps on Day 2 than Red Bull did, but I don’t think there’d be a lot of difference after 4 or 5 laps.

    2. McLaren covered 81 laps. That is taking a while to sink in.

      1. And I didn’t find them in the list first as I was checking the bottom three!

      2. Actually, only Red Bull did fewer laps than them today. They’re still 2nd to last in the number of laps completed. But I think its definitely an improvement that they didn’t have to go through 3 engine changes in a day

        1. Ferrari did fewer also, definitely on the up for McLaren-Honda

    3. It would be really interesting to know how detuned the Honda has to be to last that long. I still think that the Honda pu can match Ferrari and Mercedes for power but currently has 100% chance of self destruction at that level. They are having to balance power and reliability percentages, maybe currently using 90% power for 50% possibility of remaining in one piece over a race distance.

      1. Thats interesting, i never thought of it like that. I take it tuning the engine up down is down pre race/session? Drivers can adjust fuel mix into engine is that all in session?

        1. It makes sense, need reliability sorted first before aiming to improve performance.

          1. Not necessarily. I think it’s easier to make a fast engine reliable, than a reliable engine fast. They’ll end up with their 2016 levels of performance eventually… where the engine didn’t breakdown as much as expected, but was ridiculously slow.

            I would think they should keep chasing performance even if the car lasts only 1 lap at that performance level. Then look at how that 1 lap can be made 100 laps and eventually 300 laps.

        2. Drivers can adjust all the enginesettings if its needed but why would they adjust it into a mode which destroys the engine?

          1. Do Honda have any that don’t?

      2. Thiago Brasil Silvério
        19th April 2017, 18:15

        It makes sense, considering the confidence on pure perfomance Hasegawa expressed just before the pre season tests.

        With the amount of reliability problems they faced, many related to vibrations, so tuning down may make sense.

        1. Had it occurred to anyone that maybe the McLaren chassis is not tuned to the engine’s needs?

          Perhaps it’s a finicky engine that works well on the lab bench but then when run in the car there’s something about the combo that stress it to failure.

      3. @the-last-pope
        If that was the case they’d be faster in qualifying.

        1. according to Fernando, they must have tuned it down to F3 level!!!!!

    4. Sebastian loves driving that car lol.

      1. mark jackson
        19th April 2017, 19:10

        Sebastian Vettel was the busiest driver of the entire test. Having spent until 9pm the previous night testing for Pirelli

        It’s no wonder that Seb and Ferrari can make the Pirelli tires last and others can’t.

        1. +1 Vettel’s work ethic, plus the opportunity for an early tyre test, will help Ferrari a lot. Hopefully Hamilton won’t find an excuse to miss the opportunity when it is Mercedes turn to do the tyre test.

    5. knoxploration
      19th April 2017, 17:34

      Well either Bottas was busiest or Seb was, it can’t be both Keith! ;)

      1. I think he meant that Seb has covered more laps than any other driver across the 2 days of the test. Bottas was busiest today

    6. Why was Paffett in the Williams? Not a huge fan of di Resta, but isn’t he their main sim guy? Would he not be of more use to confirm correlation between the sim and track? I guess Paffett is a better test driver, and now can have a run in their sim.

      Just thought it was odd.

      1. Hans (@hanswesterbeek)
        19th April 2017, 19:41

        Forgive me the lack of detail, but I though it had something to do with Paffett oddly counting as a ‘young’ drive because he participated in less than three GP’s, so his mileage counts differently than what Di Resta’s mileage would mean.

        1. @hanswesterbeek, you’re along the right lines.

          It was agreed that, in order to give younger drivers an opportunity to participate in tests and potentially attract attention, a minimum number of days have to be set to one side for drivers who have not participated in more than two races (so, in one sense, it was perhaps better for Giovinazzi that he didn’t race in Bahrain since he’d have had to sacrifice his test sessions, most probably to Leclerc).

          In the case of di Resta, he does not count as a “young driver” because he has already raced in F1 for multiple seasons. However, there is a loophole in the regulations which means that Paffett, having never participated in an F1 race, is technically eligible – it’s one of those rules where the intention was to primarily benefit younger drivers like Gasly, Sirotkin or Giovinazzi, and indeed they are the drivers who are getting the most mileage out of these tests, but it so happens that Paffett does technically meet those rules as well.

          To be honest, the one thing that surprises me most is that, given most people were moaning about Gelael being given an opportunity to test, is that he actually seems to have done a reasonably good job when he was driving the other day.

    7. Bottas is the new Heikki Kovalainen.

      1. I disagree. Bottas’ race pace is not currently at Hamilton’s level – but he is a much more determined character than Kovalainen. His qualifying lap in Bahrain was excellent, and gave notice to Hamilton that he can’t make any mistakes. He did a good start, Hamilton didn’t (and you can’t blame the dirty side of the track – look at Verstappen’s start).

        1. Honestly, Kovalainen got drafted in to Mclaren too early. It was only his second season in F1 and a big reason why he had that kind of performance gap to Lewis. If Kovalainen got a good 4 to 5 seasons of experience under his belt before moving to Mclaren… he would be performing at about Bottas’ level right now. So, I would have to kind of agree with @pmccarthy_is_a_legend that Bottas is the new Kovalainen.

          1. Wasn’t it also Hamilton’s second season in F1?

    8. From the practice sessions, qualifying laps, the races themselves and now testing, it looks like the Mercs have a clear edge in top speed. But the Ferrari appears to conserve its tyres rather better over a race distance and at least with Vettel behind the wheel can give the Mercs a run for their money. But Ferrari will have to keep right on their toes through the season if they want to beat Merc to the WDC and provide the optimum car for every race.

      I feel that the WCC title, which Ferrari probably value even more than the WDC, is beyond them this season, their present lead notwithstanding. Bottas’ performance and results will improve as he gets more familiar with the team and car while Raikkonen will start to lose motivation as he trails behind Vettel. But there is the distinct possibility that Vettel might beat Hamilton to the WDC if the car keeps matching-up.

      1. @loup-garou
        Thank you. Can you look into your crystal ball and tell me what the lottery numbers are for next week.
        Cheers

        1. Lol on that. To me I agree, so far it seems like the WDC is SV’s to lose. He’s looking to be first or second row on the grids, and either row will be fine if he continues to have the better race pace through better treatment of the tires or better downforce or whatever it is that is showing SV to be better on Sunday’s. Just based on what we’ve seen for now of course, since the teams will learn and evolve. I can see it being a rare case where SV wins the WDC but Merc wins the Constructors. All to play for yet of course.

          1. @robbie Sort of the opposite of 2008 in terms of liveries, the WDC, and the WCC then?

    9. Hmm.. Easy to see, best teams do most laps aswell. It just shows overall performance, also operation prowess.

      McLaren did do 80+ laps… hehe almost more than in 3 races…

    10. Is anyone concerned about RBR?

      They don’t seem to be pressing hard to do as many laps as possible yet keep saying they need to understand the car better.

      Is it a case of run a few laps, gather data, make some setup changes, run some more, rinse and repeat to get a useful store of data, or have they essentially written off this chassis/PU combination until the major upgrades get delivered later in the season?

      Not seeing the sort of motivation we’re used to from them.

      1. I think their motivation levels were crushed once pre season testing began. I think they realised that other than a slight performance deficit arising from the Renault PU, they were also lacking a lot of tricks on the aero and chassis side as displayed in the Mercedes and Ferrari. I’m pretty sure they’re working flat out to close the gap, but I think most people within the team have already realised that they won’t be fighting for the championship this year.

      2. It’s definitely strange. Also strange that they’re being so quiet. I think Renault’s relative increase in pace is a problem for them as they can’t just blame it all on the engine like they did 2 years ago.

    11. I find this criticism of Bottas really bizarre. I’d say he’s not doing badly really. Two podiums out of three races, out-qualifying his teammate on his third try; his race was ruined by Mercedes having technical issues which left him starting the race with completely the wrong tyre pressures, but he was still able to maintain his position and lead the race. I’d say overall he’s doing a pretty solid job and will only get better from here.

      In fact, if there’s a number two driver who deserves criticism here, it’s Raikkonen. He’s been abysmal so far – Vettel has won two races in an identical car and Raikkonen is yet to even score a podium. At no point has he even hinted at being able to match Vettel either in the race or in qualifying. And this is someone who has been a Ferrari stalwart since 2014, unlike new boy Bottas who is surely still acclimatising. He’s fourth in the championship, behind Bottas who is being widely criticised for being too slow to deserve a place in a top team.

      I really do think it’s time for him to retire, or time for Ferrari to give him the boot.

      1. digitalrurouni
        20th April 2017, 12:29

        Agreed pretty much on all points.

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