F1 Fanatic Live: F1 testing 2017

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1,644 comments on “F1 Fanatic Live: F1 testing 2017”

  1. The anticipation is building as we are about to see the dramatic new 2017 cars running in anger. As always in testing the lap times don’t mean a great deal but there is one important factor to them this year: are the cars going to hit that target for an improvement of five seconds per lap (based on 2015 lap times at this track)?

  2. Haas have chosen a rather grim grey colour for their car last year. It seems a fairly straightforward interpretation of the new regulations, though quite a bit of work has obviously gone on in the nose and bargeboard area, it’s nothing like as refined as some of the other cars.

    Engines firing up in the pits, less than half an hour to go.

  3. Excellent the wait is over :). I seem to remember last year Toto talking about merc was going employ a sound engineer whos focus was to improve the acoustics.. did anything ever come of that?

  4. When nothing much is happening, tell us more how the life is there during testing. What areas are you allowed to acces around the track or in the pits etc. As it’s F1 I imagine there are even now 10 different access passes :) ?

  5. Observations: the RB13 is so ridiculously tightly packaged the floor is showing way too much, almost unsightly. The Mercedes has a voluptuous, slightly bulbous packaging of the sidepods which is absolutely gorgeous.

  6. I remember Sky was broadcasting Live Testing on their F1 channel a few years ago (it was final Testing days IIRC, and also they broadcasted in the evening), sadly no footage is available now unless you have Sky package, then I think something Live is available in Sky Sports News HQ.
    Anyway, looking not bad after the first hour, fastest time overall last year was around 1:22 mark with SuperSofts IIRC, we’re at 1:23.5 with Mediums now, and on the first day.

    1. It’s just tradition of the last few years. Go do an installation lap, discover a new issue, spend all day fixing it and start again the next testing day. The same cycle gets repeated every day of pre season testing, and then they skip racing for entire season and use it as a test ground for the next year.

  7. Ferrari off to a decent start, 18 laps on the board, more than anyone. (I can tell you this having successfully cajoled the press office staff to turn up the brightness on the timing screens so that we might actually read them. Ah, the glamorous F1 life).

    1. Isn’t it just a plain helmet? Usually drivers run plain helmets in testing as they are trialling new concepts or different manufacturers, or they haven’t decided on the design of their new helmet yet

  8. 1. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’23.560, 18 laps
    2. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’24.654 (+1.094), 19 laps
    3. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’26.171 (+2.611), 10 laps
    4. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’26.525 (+2.965), 10 laps
    5. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’28.712 (+5.152), 4 laps
    6. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’28.928 (+5.368), 10 laps
    7. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17 5 laps
    8. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12 5 laps
    9. Marcus EricssonSauber C36 4 laps
    10. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32 1 lap Last updated at: 10:41 CET

  9. Bottas does a 1’23.370 which puts him 1.3 inside the 2015 pole position time. That is the reference point for the ‘five seconds faster’ target.

    But Force India has made the biggest gain so far, they’re 1.9s quicker than they were at this track in the 2015 race weekend.

  10. “It’s not good news for McLaren-Honda to be sat in the garage chasing some kind of oil system problem. The engines coming to this test should all be test-bench run and where the engine connects up to the system of the car should be bulletproof. Using the excuse that this is testing and things will go wrong is rubbish because you only have eight days and you need to hit the ground running. Losing a big part of a day is time you will never recover, and by the time the McLaren runs again, most of its rivals will have built up a lot of mileage. We’ve seen a lot of finger problems for McLaren and Honda during the past few years, and maybe this is the same again. Not a good start to testing.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    1. It just puts in to perspective how Alonso changed his target from fighting for wins to a mere ‘respectable performances’. So far, Mclaren is still far away from respectable.

      As an Alonso fan, I think it’s great. It’s give him more time to walk around the paddock and start contract negotiations with other teams.

  11. 1. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’23.370, 35 laps
    2. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’23.560 (+0.190), 28 laps
    3. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’25.956 (+2.586), 17 laps
    4. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’26.171 (+2.801), 11 laps
    5. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’26.500 (+3.130), 17 laps
    6. Marcus EricssonSauber C36: 1’28.235 (+4.865), 16 laps
    7. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’28.712 (+5.342), 4 laps
    8. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17 7 laps
    9. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12 5 laps
    10. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32 1 lap Last updated at: 11:8 CET

  12. A very positive morning thus far for the Ferrari team. Everyone has been writing them off this season, but I think they could be the surprise this season. Plus with far more downforce and bigger tyres, I suspect this will favour Vettel’s style of driving, unlike the last three years.

    1. I think Ferrari are looking good too, and could be the one battling the Mercs come Melbourne. About new regs suiting Vettel’s style… well… I don’t think the previous didn’t suit him. It just sounded as an excuse when he was underperforming

    1. I love the look of the cars this year. It’s great to see them going back to ‘proper’ width. I probably won’t get chance to watch them at one of the quick corners today, but will make a point of doing it tomorrow or Wednesday.

  13. 1. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’23.370, 39 laps
    2. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’23.560 (+0.190), 28 laps
    3. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’25.956 (+2.586), 17 laps
    4. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’26.171 (+2.801), 11 laps
    5. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’26.319 (+2.949), 19 laps
    6. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12: 1’27.762 (+4.392), 7 laps
    7. Marcus EricssonSauber C36: 1’28.235 (+4.865), 16 laps
    8. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’28.712 (+5.342), 4 laps
    9. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 7 laps
    10. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32: 1 lap Last updated at: 11:20 CET

    1. Yeah i was hoping for better, If it continues i can’t even see Alonso making the first race. I’m sure it won’t though (but that’s what i thought before this morning too!)

  14. Bottas is already close to the 60 laps mark. It is just remarkable how they start putting miles on that car straight away, it does transpire a sence of confidence that just doesn’t show in other teams. Vettel managed 38 so far, not bad

  15. “A snapshot of how the 2017 Pirelli tyre compounds hold up? Perez did two ‘push’ laps straight away that were very close in time, with the second lap set to be an improvement until it fell away slightly in the final sector. He then backed off for a lap, pushed again on his 4th of this run, and improved to a 1m23.835s. Track temperature is 28.3 degrees, so cooler than we’ll see at a lot of places, but hopefully that’s a sign that the tyres will hold up better this season.”

  16. Rapid time from Vettel puts him top. Bottas closing on a race distance but not lapping right now:

    1. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’22.791, 40 laps
    2. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’23.169 (+0.378), 59 laps
    3. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’23.835 (+1.044), 27 laps
    4. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’25.956 (+3.165), 17 laps
    5. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’26.319 (+3.528), 22 laps
    6. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12: 1’26.726 (+3.935), 14 laps
    7. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’27.229 (+4.438), 9 laps
    8. Marcus EricssonSauber C36: 1’27.710 (+4.919), 23 laps
    9. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’28.712 (+5.921), 4 laps
    10. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32 1 lap Last updated at: 12:13 CET

  17. Might sound a bit simplistic, but why does McLaren not just change the engine and send the other one back to be pulled apart by Honda? Surely they brought more than 1 with their recent history.

  18. 1. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’22.791 50 laps
    2. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’23.169 (+0.378), 69 laps
    3. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’23.709 (+0.918), 35 laps
    4. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’25.552 (+2.761), 31 laps
    5. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’26.319 (+3.528), 22 laps
    6. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’26.404 (+3.613), 14 laps
    7. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12: 1’26.726 (+3.935), 14 laps
    8. Marcus EricssonSauber C36: 1’27.710 (+4.919), 23 laps
    9. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’28.712 (+5.921), 4 laps
    10. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32 1 lap Last updated at: 12:43 CET

        1. Wait until there’s someone you know you like, you don’t just choose. For example, I like Hulkenberg because I went to Brandshatch in 2007 to watch A1GP, and got a 05/06 season review, during which he won 9 races in a row at one point, so when he came to F1 I instantly liked him.

  19. The chequered flag is out for the lunch break, here are the times so far:

    1. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’22.791 62 laps
    2. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’23.169 (+0.378), 79 laps
    3. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’23.709 (+0.918), 39 laps
    4. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’25.552 (+2.761), 39 laps
    5. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12: 1’25.562 (+2.771), 17 laps
    6. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’26.319 (+3.528), 22 laps
    7. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’26.404 (+3.613), 15 laps
    8. Marcus EricssonSauber C36: 1’26.865 (+4.074), 32 laps
    9. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’28.712 (+5.921), 4 laps
    10. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32 1 lap Last updated at: 13:02 CET

    1. I don’t think he’ll cut the contract short, I think he’ll see out the season. But he’s made it plain he is prepared to walk at the end of 2017 if he’s not happy. And that appears to go for the direction of the sport as much as the performance of the McLaren. After all a Mercedes deal could be on the table for 2018.

    2. Same feeling as Keith. He’s better off doing a season like the previous one to get a seat at Mercedes next year than just stopping to race and, maybe, watching Bottas doing a good job without being able to respond on the track.

      1. And Alsonso said, he wants to be racing at 80 too. So if the new F1 is interesting, why not stay in for couple of years more. Last years haven’t shown that young guys are faster or better, they just take more risks.

  20. Hamilton has joined the fray and is working his way up the times:

    1. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’22.791 62 laps
    2. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’23.169 (+0.378), 79 laps
    3. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’23.269 (+0.478), 44 laps
    4. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’23.709 (+0.918), 39 laps
    5. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’24.756 (+1.965), 7 laps
    6. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12: 1’25.206 (+2.415), 29 laps
    7. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’25.646 (+2.855), 24 laps
    8. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’26.319 (+3.528), 32 laps
    9. Marcus EricssonSauber C36: 1’26.865 (+4.074), 42 laps
    10. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’27.881 (+5.090), 8 laps
    11. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32 1 lap Last updated at: 14:45 CET

  21. Just Massa lapping at the moment, now within half a second of the day’s best time.

    There’s a drilling sound coming from the other end of the press room which makes me wonder if someone else had my idea about spying on Mercedes and Red Bull…

  22. I don’t understand why McLaren put themselves in these positions they use to pride themselves on 100% reliability in testing during the Hakkinen days what’s so wrong with this team its getting a little ridiculous now im thinking honda will pull the plug next season they cant catch the mercs and they know it in my view they will leave McLaren high and dry just like in the brawn days without warning. i just cant see them getting on par with the mercs and even Renault and that’s very sad too see from a supporter.

    1. they say they are on par power wise with the merc 2016 spec ice unit but they can’t even get a year old spec engine running mercs 2016 ice unit was an updated version of the original so the information is widely available to build a resilient reliable unit but its honda and they still can’t do that .

      1. The information is not widely available. The teams know the layout and general technical aspects of the design of mercs engine but they don’y know about the specific detail and design of every single part.

        From what it looks like the issue McLaren have got is not a major design issue it is simply an oil leak which could be caused by any number of simple issues. The problem for them is that most of the fixes include taking the car to pieces so it erodes testing time.

        1. playing catchup isn’t good in f1 though. as for the engine. engineers aren’t silly there are ways and means of getting hold of information (which we don’t know about after all McLaren have done it before ‘Ferrari gate’ doesn’t mean to say they wouldn’t do it again.

          1. As I said, it is unlikely they will be able to get details to copy the engine without risking a severe punishment. The engineers will have gotten as much information as possible but just one small detail could be all that is needed to mess that information up.

            And all the teams are playing catch-up to Mercedes due to the stupid regulations. We have no idea what state that Honda Engine is in. It could for all we know be much better than the Merc engine or it could be worse than last years Honda engine… we simply have not seen it do anything to be able to tell.

  23. @Scribe: probably not a game changer..but the fact that Newey and Co managed to put something in a section of the car that’s really banned by FIA for any development work, is itself interesting.. though it may not be of much value other than cleaning up the disturbed airflow around badgeboards, eventually

  24. It’s frustrating to see such a talented driver, that is Alonso, sitting at the mercy of the crappy Honda engine when we all know he has the skills to beat both the Mercedes cars in say, the current Ferrari.

    Also, he has had bad luck with switching teams. Everytime he switches, the team he leaves become stronger and the team he joins becomes crap. Hopefully it won’t be the case next time.

      1. Aw come on, he almost beat Vettel to the title in what, 2013? That was when Red Bull was the Mercedes of the time, but he still came close. I don’t know about your opinions, but according to me, Fernando is VERY talented.

        Plus, I didn’t say anything about him being good, did I? Just skillful. :)

        1. 1) The RB was never Mercedes in its time. Webber proving this.

          2) Yes Alonso drove good in 2013, but no better than lets say Vettel in 2015. Without checking the exact facts of 2013, I am sure Alonso benefitted some bad luck Vettel had which cost him valuable points.
          And lastly, Hamilton in the same car as a rookie was more than a match. What makes you think he could beat him in a Ferrari?

        2. Skillful is a synonym for good. It was 2012 that Alonso nearly beat Vettel, and the Red Bull certainly wasn’t the mercedes of that year, for much of the season Mclaren were faster and Ferrari had the best car in the wet, bearing in mind there were a lot of wet sessions that year. He drove well, and is a great driver, and but he woudn’t be able to beat a merc were he still driving for ferrari, he’d have enough on his plate trying to beat the red bulls (based on 2016 car performance).

          Also there are only so many times that a driver can be unlucky when they change teams, before some sort of correlation must be considered. For the last decade, every time he has joined a new team they have made little major progress. Perhaps one of his weaknesses is that he isn’t good at helping to develop the car.

    1. Frustrating sure, but no point jumping all over Honda. It’s just one oil leak that may have revealed something that will educate them to never have that happen again this season…for all we know. And as to ‘every time he switches’ I don’t think his last move, away from Ferrari, left them stronger.

    2. And of course Mr Alonso was the undisputed number one driver. That fact is conveniently glossed over by those wearing tinfoil hats because of course, if he had a strong driver next to him he would have taken points off Alonso. Just like 07 and 15.

  25. Once again Mclaren Honda has registered a huge fail.

    Just plain disappointing that a once highly professional outfit is looking so inept.

    RBR’s “sensor” issue seems to be more than that as well given their extreme lack of laps.

  26. After blame Dennis and Capisto for the poor results and the problems with the car, it seems that this 2017 model could maintain the MP4 name, because its the same old thing since the arrival of the “Alonso-Honda Era”

  27. Apologies for the lack of updates, have been hearing from Boullier plus the Red Bull top staff. Here’s the current times:

    1. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’21.765 38 laps
    2. Sebastian VettelFerrari SF70H: 1’22.370 (+0.605), 76 laps
    3. Felipe MassaWilliams FW40: 1’22.370 (+0.605), 86 laps
    4. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’23.169 (+1.404), 79 laps
    5. Sergio PerezForce India VJM10: 1’23.709 (+1.944), 39 laps
    6. Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso STR12: 1’24.494 (+2.729), 51 laps
    7. Daniel RicciardoRed Bull RB13: 1’24.935 (+3.170), 20 laps
    8. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’25.260 (+3.495), 31 laps
    9. Fernando AlonsoMcLaren MCL32: 1’25.586 (+3.821), 8 laps
    10. Nico HulkenbergRenault RS17: 1’25.966 (+4.201), 32 laps
    11. Marcus EricssonSauber C36: 1’26.841 (+5.076), 64 laps Last updated at: 16:41 CET

  28. Keith – can we get an indicator of which tyres each driver is setting their best times on? This would be very helpful in seeing how representative each time is!

    1. The nokia 3310 was originally launched in the year 2000, which coincidentally matches the first year of Ferrari dominance.

      Fast forward to 2017 and a new nokia 3310 reached the market, with a new modern design. Coincidence? I don’t think so

      1. Ahhhh….. but… BUT…..

        Ten years ago… 2007…. the first iPhone AND the first Adrian Newey Red Bull car…
        In that net 11 year timespan we have had 7 new iphones and 4 dominant Red Bulls…..

        4+7 = 11

        :0

      1. Don’t think FOM offer live testing coverage to broadcasters. Truthfully, it’s not very exciting. You know all the silly whingeing about how “boring” practice sessions can be? That times a hundred. They’re not meant to entertain.

        1. Part of me loves the idea of being there @keithcollantine, being very envious of you – but I think I’m probably best off being grateful to just pay F1fanatic membership and having you provide ace coverage, leaving me to see the pics, and take a look once every while during the week!

  29. I don’t get why so many are suprised by McLaren-Honda on this test. If they have modified the engine as much as they did, it’s quite normal to have big fixes to do at the beginning (like very team had to). Hopefully it is for the best afterwards…

      1. “According to our colleagues in the German media, McLaren ‘McLaren problems caused by a new oil tank’ which is ‘smaller and lighter’ – and it, would appear, more problematic too!” – Sky

  30. Is this the most productive day for Ferrari in the last 3 years (in terms of number of laps). I remember in the last 2 Seb years, they haven’t been able to do as many laps as other teams.

    1. He was a reserve driver last year and he is a race driver this season. So he should be eligible.

      Would be funny if Stroll gets it though… looking at Mclaren’s challenger this year, it’s entirely possible that Stroll will finish the year with a higher points total than Stoffel

    1. I was at the test yesterday and must say engine noise sounded quite impressive, albeit in the lower gears. For some reason the cars are really quite quiet down the main straight when at top speed. Bottas almost snuck up on me at turn one on a number of occasions! All in all, however, I would say it is an improvement.

    1. Hahahaha

      This is just getting hilarious now. So I guess Mclaren hasn’t completed investigating the issue yet.. or is another problem? Maybe the shape and size of the ICE is now the problem.

  31. Looking at the zero size cars like Red Bull and Ferrari, I almost worry about the driving in close quarters. The floor is so big and so low, that it could be deceptive when going wheel to weel, and the drivers hit each other’s floors. Thoughts?

      1. I saw that it’s inset from the edge of the wheels the same amount, but the body is further away, and at 250 kph, and with the floor practically invisible, I can imagine the body being a framing target, which could be problematic?

      1. I like the fact the cars have got difference pieces on which distinguish between them. I don’t want them to all look the same, then it would be NASCAR. I worry that’s where F1’s heading with all this talk of banning this and that because some people don’t like the aesthetics.

  32. As a spectacle, I’ve a feeling Mercedes will ride off into the sunset again this year. Except this year, Rosberg won’t be there to make it half competitive. While bottas is a decent driver I fear he is a yes man. ‘Do as your told or no contract extension for next year’
    Hamilton will walk to the championship unfortunately imo.
    I sincerely hope not

  33. I’ve seen an interesting quote from Autosport regarding Honda.

    It’s worry to see Honda say that there are concerns about its oil tank based on what happened yesterday. To discover an oil tank shape is potentially incorrect suggests something is seriously wrong as normally it only shows up as a pickup problem in fast corners. To discover it on an installation lap at lower speeds suggests it’s a fundamental problem. The oil tank is vital to the engine and something most teams have a very good understanding of and very good test rigs to simulate all the forces and flows. So for McLaren and Honda to come to the first test session with a potential problem is a concern. It seems they are still missing out on the basics.

    If that is true then it’s unacceptable from Honda to do that huge of a mistake on their 3rd year.

    1. From the BBC:
      “Honda’s “oil system” problem that kept Fernando Alonso’s McLaren in the garage for much of yesterday was indeed caused by the shape of the oil tank which did not allow the oil to be properly scavenged.

      The tank was modified prior to the first day of the test, but the problem persisted.

      Further modifications were made to the tank last night.”

  34. 1. Max VerstappenRed Bull RB13: 1’24.794 8 laps
    2. Lance StrollWilliams FW40: 1’26.040 (+1.246), 12 laps
    3. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’26.834 (+2.040), 8 laps
    4. Daniil KvyatToro Rosso STR12: 1’28.616 (+3.822), 10 laps
    5. Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF70H 7 laps
    6. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17 5 laps
    7. Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren MCL32 5 laps
    8. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber C36 2 laps Last updated at: 9:58 CET

        1. I don’t think Mercedes will ever consider Alonso. Bottas is boringly slow, but if he will deliver good enough results to help the team earn the WCC, then I don’t see any reason to replace Bottas. Especially if Bottas will always be second to Hamilton.

          1. Not unless Red Bull is just slightly behind with 2 very competitive drivers. Honestly, Alonso’s fate lies in the hands of Bottas underperforming/Hamilton exploding/Red Bull catching up.

            Mercedes would be foolish to turn down Alonso if they really need a driver who can deliver them results better than Rosberg did.

  35. All quiet on the track now, Raikkonen still fastest on 1’23.718.

    Incidentally the timing screens don’t include tyre information so the only way to get that is monitor every car while it’s on track. And the same tyre markings used in the races aren’t always used in testing.

  36. Times after two hours:

    1. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’21.766 32 laps
    2. Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF70H: 1’23.359 (+1.593), 18 laps
    3. Max VerstappenRed Bull RB13: 1’24.366 (+2.600), 19 laps
    4. Lance StrollWilliams FW40: 1’26.040 (+4.274), 12 laps
    5. Daniil KvyatToro Rosso STR12: 1’26.161 (+4.395), 16 laps
    6. Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren MCL32: 1’26.204 (+4.438), 22 laps
    7. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 5 laps
    8. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber C36: 2 laps
    9. Esteban OconForce India VJM10: 1 lap Last updated at: 10:58 CET

  37. Some Progress from Mclaren Honda finally. Hopefully those Oil Problems were just a coincidence. Waiting now to see what the Car can do on full power.

        1. Nah, I can read Portuguese fluently, I just don’t do it regularly.
          I followed your link and couldn’t resist taking a quick look at the comments. When I reached the second one (“Que erro de amador….”), I remembered that there are annoying people in any given linguistic community.

  38. So, in theory I like the T-Wings, but I don’t doubt they’ll ban them next year as they’re essentially slightly more aesthetically pleasing X-Wings born out of pure regulatory oversight.

    What I’d love to see come back is blown diffusers, now we’re back in the turbo era, surely, cars creating down-force independent of oncoming airflow is exactly what F1 wants?

      1. Do you think it might be a good place to establish a trade off then? For instance, ask Ross Brawn’s team of crack aerodynamics interns what they think causes the most amount of dirty air coming off the cars, including uncovered wheels, devise a regulatory solution and if it takes off a number of points of down-force release an equivalent amount of undercar or exhaust blown areas.

        I mean, we know what causes dirty air, it’s wings! We know there’s a way of creating downforce without them, we know that wings hurt close racing. Much as I like the idea of this years faster cars, are you not concerned by the possibility that 3/4’s of next years races will be processional?

  39. Here are the times after the first three hours:

    1. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’21.766 47 laps
    2. Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF70H: 1’22.831 (+1.065), 29 laps
    3. Max VerstappenRed Bull RB13: 1’24.366 (+2.600), 20 laps
    4. Esteban OconForce India VJM10: 1’24.488 (+2.722), 12 laps
    5. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’24.935 (+3.169), 19 laps
    6. Lance StrollWilliams FW40: 1’26.040 (+4.274), 12 laps
    7. Daniil KvyatToro Rosso STR12: 1’26.161 (+4.395), 27 laps
    8. Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren MCL32: 1’26.201 (+4.435), 29 laps
    9. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber C36 2 laps Last updated at: 11:59 CET

          1. still it doesn’t answer why it is embarrassing for the sport. if they don’t get their act together they will be a new Sauber. I believe merc will pull out of F1 after they get enough of people whining. Then it will be domination of Ferrari & RB/Renault. Mclaren doesn’t have the right people to get to the top, that’s the fact.

  40. Given McLaren’s oil tank issue yesterday, and having a quick look at Alonso’s top speed at the end of the straight is it safe to say that the Honda is still running in safe mode?

    1. Impossible to read that from the top speed. In fact, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that this top speed is meaningless. If they had really tuned down the engine so much that they lose 25 kph on the straight, it’d be really difficult to achieve a lap time that’s 3 seconds slower than the leaders’. So there’s a mismatch between lap time and top speed, which indicates that the car was actually faster on the straight than the speed trap shows. Probably due to lifting & coasting before the speed trap.

        1. Well, no, quite the opposite. If the top speed really were that low, the time loss would almost automatically be greater than yesterday’s 3 seconds. The fact that Alonso was ‘only’ 3 seconds slower than Hamilton can only mean one thing: The speed registered by the speed trap cannot be the car’s top speed. It is impossible to tell how fast it really was, and much less if the engine was tuned down more than usual during testing. The only valid conclusion is that the car must’ve been faster than the speed trap shows. Everything else is speculative and/or circular reasoning.

  41. Not a great deal of running right now. Conditions not quite as good as yesterday. Cloud cover has kept a lid on track temperatures – they peaked at 25C half an hour ago but have fallen since. And the wind has increased too. Kvyat has just pitted leaving, inevitably, just the Mercedes of Hamilton still on the track.

  42. For stat nerds like myself, the fastest testing time at Circuit de Cat on the current layout is 1:18:926 (unofficially) in 2009 by the Brawn – fastest pole time was M.Webber in 2010 1:19:995

  43. Here are the lunchtime times:

    1. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’20.983 66 laps
    2. Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF70H: 1’22.831 (+1.848), 47 laps
    3. Esteban OconForce India VJM10: 1’23.045 (+2.062), 27 laps
    4. Max VerstappenRed Bull RB13: 1’23.212 (+2.229), 36 laps
    5. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’23.523 (+2.540), 31 laps
    6. Daniil KvyatToro Rosso STR12: 1’25.012 (+4.029), 44 laps
    7. Lance StrollWilliams FW40: 1’26.040 (+5.057), 12 laps
    8. Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren MCL32: 1’26.201 (+5.218), 29 laps
    9. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber C36: 1’33.741 (+12.758), 5 laps
    10. Jolyon PalmerRenault RS17: 1 lap Last updated at: 13:15 CET

    1. What’s the tyre life they’re aiming for? Can it be expressed in laps per compound on a reference track like Barcelona?
      What’s their working window? How hot do they need to be, what’s the difference between the upper and lower limit?
      Do they still need to impose tyre pressure windows?

    2. Since the tyres are more durable, and since there is still a mandatory tyre to be used in the races, which differences will there be between compounds, what benefits will a team have in going for a harder compound for long periods of time, if that is not the fastest one? The goal of my question is to understand what factor will stop teams making the mandatory tyre change, do a couple of laps or whatever, and get back straight away to the prime tyre.

      Don’t know if I made myself clear, re-reading it did sound like it, hope you understand what I’m trying to say Keith

  44. Keith, please ask Paul if the wider tyres of this year will have a minimum inflation pressure as high as last year’s tyres or are the teams allowed to explore tyre pressures freely.
    Thanks

      1. To be honest i think this is kinda expected. If Honda has truly revamped their entire design with the scrapped tokens it means they will be back at 2014 levels of reliability with an entire new package. The power might be there and they might eventually get te reliability but to expect them to be competive the first two days of testing is ridiculous.

        1. Agree. My prediction was that they would match Mercedes’ power output of 2014 as well… and be a good 100 hp down on the nearest rival for most of the season. What I didn’t expect was this disastrous reliability… I thought maybe if they’re copying the Merc layout, they’ve understood the problems Merc encountered and thus will avoid them.

  45. Another strong start for McLaren. It must be the new color and the naming convention. I’m glad Zak Brown successfully pinpointed the main areas for improvement.

  46. Keith, I’d like your take on how the cars look out on track. I watched quite a lot of fan footage last evening and the cars looked great on track. It looked like some of them, notably Sainz, were twitching and sliding all over the shop. I just finished reading a piece in Autosport which suggests that all the cars look like they are on rails and don’t look any more impressive. What are they like from what you’ve seen.

  47. I just can’t with McLaren. With apologies to Bottas I really want Alonso to get his seat next year. Seeing one of the most talented drivers of the last 20 years stuck back there is just such a waste. Hamilton vs Alonso is this amazing rivalry we’ve actually seen on track in like 2 seasons in the last 10 years!

    Ugh. Rant over.

    1. why should I create a headache for myself. I will take Sainz anyday instead of Alonso, with /10 costs. But I understand your frustration, but it’s what you want, not what merc want.

    2. and what a complete waste of a super talent like Vandoorne,
      i believe he is as talented as Verstappen and he might kill his career in this dog of a car.

      i hope McLaren improves soon

    1. They haven’t tweeted a time that they are expecting to fix the car in, so my guess is it’s a wrap. Mechanics and Engineers are sitting around twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the idiots in Sakura to finally figure out what their problems have been over the past 2 days.

  48. Has anyone spotted that double T bar on the Williams, one comes from the top edge of the shark fin like Ferrari and the second seems to attach somewhere above the exhaust exit? looks to be flexing massively in the picture.

  49. Raikkonen goes top:

    1. Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF70H: 1’20.930 61 laps
    2. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’20.983 (+0.053), 66 laps
    3. Esteban OconForce India VJM10: 1’23.045 (+2.115), 32 laps
    4. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’23.200 (+2.270), 70 laps
    5. Max VerstappenRed Bull RB13: 1’23.212 (+2.282), 31 laps
    6. Daniil KvyatToro Rosso STR12: 1’25.012 (+4.082), 44 laps
    7. Jolyon PalmerRenault RS17: 1’25.192 (+4.262), 20 laps
    8. Lance StrollWilliams FW40: 1’26.040 (+5.110), 31 laps
    9. Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren MCL32: 1’26.201 (+5.271), 12 laps
    10. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’26.201 (+5.271), 29 laps
    11. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber C36: 1’26.976 (+6.046), 19 laps Last updated at: 15:19 CET

    1. Mercedes is doing a race simulation on day two.. That’s far more impressive than the times itself. But fingers crossed that Ferrari is closer to Mercedes this year. Hamilton vs Vettel would be amazing.

    1. Considering that Toto has said that most of the parts on the car will not feature in Melbourne, I imagine they are probably not pushing that hard. First days of the test is usually systems checks, tuning the engine, comparing with dyno/wind tunnel results.

    2. Well there’s no way we’ve seen anything like a qualifying lap, which is where the bulk of Mercedes’ advantage lies. A key question will be whether Ferrari or Renault can approach the kind of performance they have there. Keep in mind last year Ferrari were quickest after testing. That alone suggests a margin of error in the order of a full second. But remember also Renault brought a big engine upgrade after just a few races and that was when Red Bull became contenders for victory. So I wouldn’t write off any of the top three at this point.

      1. @Keith I cannot agree more, but also last year Mercedes was using Mediums the whole time, so comparison is more difficult. This year Ferrari actually beats Mercedes’ time on slower tyres, which can mean everything or nothing, but still something to keep hope alive for this season.

      2. Ferrari fans might find some comfort in the fact that Kimi was fastest in a set of soft tyres, while the mercs did their best laps in sets of ultra soft

        Still, not drawing any conclusions at the moment

  50. Here are the times with just over an hour and a half left today:

    1. Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF70H: 1’20.930 78 laps
    2. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’20.983 (+0.053), 66 laps
    3. Max VerstappenRed Bull RB13: 1’22.200 (+1.270), 56 laps
    4. Esteban OconForce India VJM10: 1’22.509 (+1.579), 43 laps
    5. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’22.986 (+2.056), 75 laps
    6. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’23.200 (+2.270), 92 laps
    7. Jolyon PalmerRenault RS17: 1’24.139 (+3.209), 26 laps
    8. Daniil KvyatToro Rosso STR12: 1’25.012 (+4.082), 45 laps
    9. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber C36: 1’25.983 (+5.053), 33 laps
    10. Lance StrollWilliams FW40: 1’26.040 (+5.110), 12 laps
    11. Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren MCL32: 1’26.201 (+5.271), 29 laps Last updated at: 16:23 CET

  51. it seems Mercedes are ahead by abit. Thankfully Ferrari have upped their game.

    Red bull dont appear to have the pace of Ferrari and seems Renault’s engine will be there downfall.

    Williams are looking third best team currently. As a Force India fan, im abit concern with our pace, looks like we are 5/6 fastest team.

    oh well, too early to tell

    1. I don’t think speeds and lap times are a fair indication of speed just yet. A lot of teams might still be doing evaluations and similar programs. Ask a McLaren fan who might say that they’d be pleased just to see the car run.

  52. Autosport assessment of Bottas’ race simulation: I spent a lot of Bottas’s race run watching from trackside, and it looked…messy. He had quite a bit of understeer early on when the car was heavy, and it was moving around on him in the corners.

    Very surprised to hear this TBH

      1. Interesting. Rather similar to Stroll’s mistake, but apparently not a show stopper. Lucky escape!
        I hope this means these cars aren’t just physically more demanding to drive, but also trickier.

  53. Kvyat moves up to sixth, here’s the times with an hour left to go:

    1. Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF70H: 1’20.930 92 laps
    2. Lewis HamiltonMercedes W08: 1’20.983 (+0.053), 66 laps
    3. Max VerstappenRed Bull RB13: 1’22.200 (+1.270), 67 laps
    4. Esteban OconForce India VJM10: 1’22.509 (+1.579), 57 laps
    5. Valtteri BottasMercedes W08: 1’22.986 (+2.056), 80 laps
    6. Daniil KvyatToro Rosso STR12: 1’23.081 (+2.151), 57 laps
    7. Kevin MagnussenHaas VF-17: 1’23.200 (+2.270), 92 laps
    8. Jolyon PalmerRenault RS17: 1’24.139 (+3.209), 43 laps
    9. Antonio Giovinazzi – Sauber C36: 1’24.617 (+3.687), 41 laps
    10. Lance StrollWilliams FW40: 1’26.040 (+5.110), 12 laps
    11. Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren MCL32: 1’26.201 (+5.271), 30 laps Last updated at: 16:59 CET

  54. Paul Hembery was very generous with his time, got over a quarter of an hour on the recorder. The full Q&A, covering many of the talking points you raised, will be published here later. In the meantime a brief portion will go up shortly.

    1. Keith I’d be interested to know where you think F1 Fanatic comes in the pecking order of other F1 (or general) media. If Paul Hembery is giving you that much time it suggests you’re quite high up. But how do the other journos treat you? Are you part of their gang or a “johnny-come-lately”?

  55. Damn I wasn’t there to propose question for the Pirelli meeting, do anyone knows what happens at the tire end of life ? Cliff or quicker decline ? Difficult to figure out from lap times right now, not sure anyone has pushed the tire to that point.

    1. Yeah I think you answered your own question. Sounds like the teams aren’t even running what will be their race trim of aero packaging, so, much to be determined but everything under control for now.

    1. I’ve heard rumours that if they don’t they will change their slogan to “Honda, the power we can only dream about”

      It still doesn’t worry me to be honest, it’s testing, and as long as they are ready for Melbourne, everything is good. We need more teams at the front

    2. There’s news that they are already on their last PU for this weekend, although a new engine has been shipped from Sakura already. Today.. if the engine breaks down, they will have to call it a day