Second pre-season test: final day

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Lotus F1 ended the final day of pre-season testing early after a systems issue compromised Pastor Maldonado’s braking into turn four resulting in him making contact with the barriers. Maldonado had previously completed 36 laps, mainly aero and comparison work. With the E23 hybrid requiring a reasonable amount of rectification work for the damage sustained to the front wing and front suspension, the team opted to end the day’s running early. Maldonado’s best time from the morning assessment was 1min 28.272secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cloudy, early spots of rain, then sunny. Ambient 10°C – 22°C Track 12°C – 31°C

Programme: Aero assessments including back to back aero component evaluations
Laps Completed: 36
Classification: P8, 1:28.272
Interruptions: Barrier

Pastor Maldonado: “It was a shame to end the day early, but that was the only issue we’ve had like this during testing so we can look to the positive that we have a lot of information to take the car in the right direction. My braking was compromised coming into turn four, meaning I went off the track and hit the barriers. I was able to brake and slow, just not as much as the maximum otherwise possible. The car was not too badly damaged and I am fine, but it’s a shame we had this issue as we would have been looking at running the softer tyres in the afternoon and putting in some fast laps. I’m looking forward to getting back in the car in Melbourne as I think we have good potential this season.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “Certainly ending the final pre-season test in the barriers was not part of our game plan, but overall we’ve had a productive two weeks here in Barcelona following on from our initial outing in Jerez. Pastor was unfortunate to have a braking-related issue which meant he wasn’t able to slow sufficiently into turn four and the car was damaged. There was nothing Pastor or any driver could have done to avoid this accident which was systems related and we’re investigating thoroughly to ensure it doesn’t happen again. We now have a quick turn-around to get the car back to Enstone, then shipped out to Australia at the end of the week. It was a pity we weren’t able to run any low fuel laps later in the day. We are looking forward to Melbourne where we will get a full picture of the relative pace of the E23.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Valtteri Bottas
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B Hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Performance and Aero work
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 10 – 21ºC / 12 – 32ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “Today’s programme was similar to yesterday, as we try to get the drivers in the best position before heading to Australia. Due to this the focus was more on performance with a mixture of long and short runs rather than just reliability work. Both drivers have worked extremely hard throughout the test and the entire team have worked very well together. We are really looking forward to Melbourne.”

Valtteri Bottas: “It was a really good day and a great way to finish the test. One of the main points we have learnt is that the FW37 is very reliable. The car we are taking to Melbourne is very competitive and should make for an interesting start to the season. We have made the most out of our time testing and I need to say a really big thanks to the team, not only trackside but also everyone back at the factory as they have produced a really quick and reliable car.”

 

Winter testing came to an end with another productive day for Sahara Force India. Sergio Perez completed his first miles in the VJM08, clocking 130 laps at the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona.

Sergio Perez #11
Chassis: VJM08-01
Laps: 130 laps
Mileage: 605km
Fastest lap: 1:25.113
Classification: P6 of 9

Sergio Perez: “My first day in the car has been a good one, with a very high number of laps and a good atmosphere in the team. It’s no secret that we have some catch-up to do but I am optimistic: the team has a clear direction to work towards and we have been able to collect a large amount of data in such a short time which will help all those working back at base. Every run we do, here or at the races, teaches us a lot and moves us closer to where we want to be. Now we must focus on Melbourne: I am really excited about going racing again, the first race of the season is always a special one and one to which you really look forward since the end of the previous season.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “Our pre-season testing comes to an end with a solid 130 laps. Today was Sergio’s first day in the VJM08 and, as he got accustomed to the new car, we continued our work of understanding its behaviour, trying various set-ups in both performance and long runs. All we have done in these tests in Barcelona will help us prepare for Melbourne, and even though we may arrive with less mileage than others, we have gathered lots of valuable data. We are making rapid progress with the car and we have a lot of material to analyse back at the factory ahead of the first flyaways. This last week’s work highlights the spirit of this team: credit must go to everyone involved with the design, manufacturing and assembly of the car. It has been a massive effort from everyone in the team and to get so many laps is testament to the great work done by all.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

Formula E takes to the streets of Geneva

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Swiss fans got the chance to see a Formula E car in action for the first time when a fully-electric single-seater sailed through the streets of Geneva as local IndyCar driver Simona de Silvestro took the wheel of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E.

Setting off from the newly opened TAG Heuer Geneva boutique the SRT_01E continued along the Quai du Général Guisan, past the Geneva branch of Julius Baer, then continued crossing the Pont du Mont Blanc Bridge before finishing on the Quai du Mont-Blanc.

The last motor race to be held in Switzerland was at the circuit of Bremgarten, near Bern, in 1954. Now, after a historic decision by the National Council to adopt a motion by MP Fathi Derder, Switzerland can welcome professional motorsport back into the country. It was Mr Derder who actually gave the start of the street demo, waving the Swiss flag ahead of the car.

The new law – to be confirmed by the Council of States – is restricted to only electric vehicle racing. This opens up the possibility for Formula E to race on the city streets of Switzerland in the future.

This month will also see attention turn to Geneva as the capital of the motorsport world with the launch of the Geneva International Motor Show from the 5-15 March. The Formula E car will be on display with the e.dams-Renault car also on show on the Renault stand.

Pre-season test: Day 3

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Romain Grosjean drove for his final day of pre-season testing today, completing 116 laps in the Lotus E23 hybrid at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. He ran a comprehensive programme including a race simulation, clocking a best lap time of 1min 24.200secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Chilly, warm, chilly. Ambient 5°C – 18°C Track 9°C – 30°C
Programme: Set-up assessments, race simulation, aero evaluations
Laps Completed: 116
Classification: P5, 1:24.200
Interruptions: None

Romain Grosjean: “That was a long day and the track conditions varied quite a lot. This morning went pretty well, we had a lot of work to do with some aero and set-up tasks as we’re trying to test as many things as possible before Melbourne. In the afternoon we ran a race simulation and other performance evaluations. There’s potential for improvement in some areas but we have plenty of data to get the car more to where we want it to be for Melbourne. I can’t wait to for the season to start.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Today we completed another extensive programme with the E23 running reliably throughout. Track conditions were quite difficult for establishing a baseline as the track temperature varied a lot through the day, but nevertheless we ran for over 100 laps and have a lot more information relating to the various aero and set-up configurations. We have quite a long night ahead of us as tomorrow is the final day of testing where we hope to make further progress with Pastor at the wheel.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Chassis and aero work
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 5 – 17 ºC / 9 – 30 ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “It was Felipe’s last day in the car before Melbourne and we have had a busy day. We focused on chassis and aero work as well as longer runs on scrubbed tyres to see the degradation and tyre performance. We did a grid simulation at lunchtime to ensure the procedural processes are all in place for when we arrive in Melbourne. We have just one day of the test left now, and it will be another busy one for the team.”

Felipe Massa: “We had another good day with over 100 laps completed. We reached the end of the programme in good time and the car has remained very reliable over all three tests. Our long runs look positive and the car remains consistent throughout the stints. We are not the only quick car on the track though and the fight behind Mercedes will be interesting. I now have to get ready for the first race of the season in Melbourne, which I am really looking forward to.”

 

Sahara Force India completed another busy day of testing in Barcelona as Nico Hülkenberg clocked 158 laps at the wheel of the new VJM08.

Nico Hülkenberg #27
Chassis: VJM08-01
Laps: 158 laps
Mileage: 735km
Fastest lap: 1:24.939
Classification: P7 of 9

Nico Hülkenberg: “It was a very positive day in terms of reliability and getting a lot of mileage under our belts. It was our first full day of testing so our main focus remained on getting to know the car, the way we set it up and its characteristics. I think we made some good progress in this regard and we managed to get a decent understanding of how the VJM08 feels under different conditions. That’s definitely a positive, although it remains very hard to judge where everyone is in terms of performance. Next time I will step in the car will be in Melbourne: I am very excited to fly to Australia as that’s when you get the racing feeling again. I am really looking forward to getting going and being back in a competition; that is something I relish. Hopefully the work we did in the last few weeks will pay off and we will be in a position for fight for a good result.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer “It was another solid day of testing with the VJM08, which is proving to be a very reliable car so far: the plan we had set for ourselves today was very ambitious but we managed to achieve all its main points. We have taken another big step in our process of understanding the performance of the car and we were able to work through both performance runs and longer stints. Track temperatures were not ideal as they were very much on the cool side, but we still learnt a lot and gathered a significant amount of data to analyse tonight. It was Nico’s last day in the car before heading off to Melbourne: the work he completed today will help us ensure we make the most of our final day in the car tomorrow as Sergio steps in the cockpit for the first time.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

Pre-season test: Day 2

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

The new Sahara Force India VJM08 made its bow at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Nico Hülkenberg completing a total of 77 laps.

Nico Hülkenberg #27
Chassis: VJM08-01
Laps: 77 laps
Mileage: 358km
Fastest lap: 1:28.412
Classification: P9 of 9

Nico Hülkenberg: “It was a very good day, at least in terms of the running we managed to do. We were able to run reliably straight out of the box and that is very encouraging. The boys and girls at the factory and here at the track have been pushing really hard in the last couple of weeks and to do 77 laps in little more than one afternoon is a remarkable job by the team. Obviously we still have a big task ahead of us and we are playing catch-up in certain aspects, but I am quite satisfied so far. The car feels pretty good, although making a direct comparison with our 2014 car is not easy as the conditions in winter testing are always very particular. One of our team’s strengths is to learn about the car quickly, so we will need to get as much data as possible to get in a good position for Melbourne.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “It has been a real big effort from all the staff back at the factory to get the car ready and out here for this test. Managing to run our installation laps before the lunch break was very useful and helped us achieve a solid first day with the VJM08. These are the very early stages of the VJM08’s running and it is encouraging to get 77 laps on the board: we could have got even more mileage had it not been for the red flags at the end of the day. Today was all about achieving a first understanding of the new car and to run this long allowed us to collect a sizeable amount of very valuable data.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Valtteri Bottas
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Aero work and race procedure
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 8 – 17ºC / 11 – 26ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “We started the day doing some aero work comparing data and driver feel. We then moved on to a few performance based runs. Later in the day we worked on race procedure including some longer runs and grid simulations. We have had some new components that have performed as expected which has been productive. We have a busy final two days of the test as we optimise the time left until the first race.”

Valtteri Bottas: “It was nice to focus on performance today and work to get the lap times lower. We are working hard and still have two days left of the test so there is more still to do. The day was busy and we know there is still more to come, I feel positive and the balance was good. We still need to make sure we look at the longer runs and not just the one lap qualifying pace.”

 

Lotus

Pastor Maldonado completed a tally of 140 laps – more than 650km or the distance of two Grand Prix – as he resumed test duties in the E23 hybrid at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today. Pastor ran an extensive programme including a race simulation, clocking a best lap time of 1min 26.705secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Blue skies with picturesque clouds. Ambient 9°C – 17°C Track 13°C – 24°C
Programme: Front suspension geometry evaluation, race simulation, aero assessments
Laps Completed: 140
Classification: P6, 1:26.705
Interruptions: None

Pastor Maldonado: “We ran the car for a long time today which has been a good endorsement of my winter training programme as I still feel fresh after 140 laps. We did a lot of different assessments so I had plenty to think about and it was good to do the race simulation as we’ll soon be heading to Melbourne. There’s a lot of information to digest from today and I can’t wait to get back in the car on Sunday.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “We’ve completed a high tally of laps today and the E23 has run reliably throughout. This is great for us as we’ve been able to try a number of different set-up and aero configurations to enable us to get as much data as possible to make further progress in our understanding of our new car. Pastor did a great job despite driving the equivalent distance of more than two Grand Prix and we’re looking forward to Romain jumping back into the car tomorrow.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain

2nd pre-season test: Day 1

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Romain Grosjean resumed test duties in the Lotus E23 hybrid for the first day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Grosjean completed 75 laps over the course of a programme of set-up evaluations and performance simulations, in particular evaluating a new front suspension geometry. His best lap was a 1min 26.177secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cool, cloudy, occasional rain, changeable. Ambient 8°C – 17°C Track 10°C – 24°C
Programme: Front suspension geometry evaluation, set-up assessments
Laps Completed: 75
Classification: P5, 1:26.177
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment removal.

Romain Grosjean: “We tried a lot of different set-ups today so there was a lot of returning to the garage for different things to be changed, which is all part of testing. The car’s been reliable again and we’ve gone through quite a bit of work even if the lap count isn’t as high as some other days – it’s all part of the learning process at a test.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We had a productive morning evaluating a new front suspension geometry, then we spent more time trying different set-ups in the afternoon. The E23 was once more reliable and we’ve collected plenty of data and good feedback from Romain. The track was damp for a while, so we avoided too much time on the circuit in those conditions as it’s not productive to be on circuit at those times for test purposes.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Aero and Chassis work
Weather: Overcast and dry
Air and track temps: 8 – 17ºC / 19 – 24ºC
Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “The programme was slightly upset by the rain in the morning, but that just meant we had more work to do in the afternoon. We managed to complete the planned schedule though and we have made some positive changes to the chassis, as well as some aero adjustments. We are now looking at what we will take to Australia to make sure we are prepared for the first race. It has been a good day, with no reliability issues.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a good day for us and the car behaved well. When we tried to use the new soft tyre we managed to get some quicker laps in. The FW37 never showed a sign of an issue and this has been the case since we arrived at the first test in Jerez. We are doing a lot of work and seem to be moving forward.”

Carmen Jordá named as Lotus development driver

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

No, I don’t who she is either, or how far she’ll go. But, it doesn’t matter. Good to see women trying to make out in F1.

What I do know is that Jordá is the daughter of former racer José Miguel Jordá and has participated in the European Open Formula 3 Championship – where she achieved three podiums – the American Indy Lights Championship and most recently the GP3 Series.

 

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About time…

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Look out for Sir Stirling Moss’s new book which is being published at the end of April to mark the 60th anniversary of Moss’s famous win in the 1955 Mille Miglia road race (STIRLING MOSS: My Racing Life – with Simon Taylor and a foreword by Lewis Hamilton: UK price – £50; ISBN: 978-1-910505-06-9)

This is a very personal book where Moss guides the reader through his motor racing life with a fascinating, insightful and often amusing commentary to an unrivalled collection of over 300 photographs, many of which will be unfamiliar to even his most ardent fans.

When I wrote my book I found it difficult to feature many of the great images I wanted to because they’d all been bought up by the agencies and the cost of including them would have been too great, so the fact that Moss includes so many of his own is a treat in itself.

The man takes us from his childhood to the height of his fame as ‘Mr Motor Racing’ and then to the sudden end of his career with that crash at Goodwood in 1962. Along the way we dwell on his finest moments as well as the setbacks, and delight in the sheer variety of machinery – around 100 different cars – in which he competed during his rollercoaster racing life.

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