Testing in Jerez

On paper the first test of the year in Jerez was dominated by Ferrari with Kimi Raikkonen fastest with a best of 1m20.841s and Sebastian Vettel a tenth behind him with a 1m20.984s. The Finn did 200 laps and the German 149 and they were both a long way clear of the rest. The team completed a decent 960 miles of running over the four days and so, naturally, there is much excitement amongst Ferrari fans that the team has caught up and overtaken Mercedes.. This is rather unlikely and one must assume that Ferrari is playing to the crowd a little perhaps not running the cars in full race trim. This is obviously possible as Sauber took the third fastest time with F1 new boy Felipe Nasr doing 197 laps over two days and setting a best of 1m21.545s, his team-mate Marcus Ericsson was fifth quickest overall with a 1m22.019s, after completing a total of 185 laps. This meant that Sauber completed a total of 1,050 miles of running. Lurking in fourth fastest, however, was Nico Rosberg in the new Mercedes and with Lewis Hamilton sixth overall, the team is looking relaxed. Rosberg recorded a 1m21.982s best after a whopping 307 laps in two days, while Hamilton completed 208 with a best of 1m22.172s. This gave Mercedes GP Petronas a total of 1,408 miles of running, far more than the others. This suggests that the team is not really bothered with going for times. This would fall in with the order behind the Mercedes as the two Williams-Mercedes were next up with Felipe Massa doing 144 laps and Valtteri Bottas 134. The two were closely matched, and not far from the pace of the Mercedes cars, with Massa setting a 1m22.276s and Valtteri a 1m22.319s.
Ninth fastest overall was Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso. He did 170 laps with a best of 1m22.553s, while his team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr was 11th fastest with a 1m23.187s after 183 laps. Together the Toro Rosso drivers did 970 miles of running.
Between the two was Pastor Maldonado in the new Lotus-Mercedes. The Venezuelan did two days of running and Romain Grosjean did just one. Pastor completed 137 laps, with a best of 1m22.713s, while Grosjean did just 53 with a best of 1m23.802s. The two men together completed 522 miles of running.
Red Bull Racing had a low-key test with Dan Ricciardo 12th quickest and Daniil Kvyat 14th. The Australian recorded a best of 1m23.338s, while the Russian managed a 1m23.975s. Together the two men completed only 456 miles, a lot less than other teams.
Down at the back McLaren had a torrid time with Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso doing just 79 laps between them with the new Honda-powered cars. The best time was Button’s 1m27.660s, but it was clear that lap times were not that important for the team. The total mileage was just 217 miles.

35 thoughts on “Testing in Jerez

    1. I have said that I have other priorities at the moment, so I’m not able to follow F1 for a few days. I’ll catch up when I can.

  1. I don’t think people believes that Ferrari has catched Mercedes, I think they believe that they have improved a lot the car

  2. Thanks for the level headed report Joe.

    Has there been any information regarding how many PU tokens have been used by Mercedes, Ferrari or Renault?

  3. Joe, in fairness, Ferrari fans are not jumping to conclusions wild and fanciful … just because of the test time sheets!
    They know testing is testing, and clearly Mercedes were more interested in reliability runs than headlines. They remain the team on top.

    But there is cause for cautious optimism amongst us Tifosi: the car appears to be a more respectable piece of machinery.

  4. Joe – how do teams decide who gets to test the cars first? Having no idea about these things (my testing days at Clay Pigeon kart track weren’t quite so organised; even managed to leave my engines at home once…) I would assume that testing on the 2nd day would be more beneficial as the car is likely to be more reliable and sorted. Is that the case or do drivers strive to be the first to test the car and thus assume so sort of authority over their team mates? I seem to remember Senna getting quite upset that Prost got to test the MP4-4 first.

  5. Why is it inconceivable that Ferrari have improved their car and engine? Ferrari have employed MHPP guys and sacked loads of others, surely their times are good because they are good, even on low fuel they are staggeringly fast!

  6. Dear Joe
    It took a bit of searching to ascertain why people were expressing their sympathies, given that I live in Australia.

    Thoughts & prayers are with you and yr family.
    MarkR

  7. I felt my previous comment should stand on it’s own. It’s the right thing to do in my book. Here I will continue on F1 testing. Having followed F1 actively since 1975, what I’ve found over the years is that 85% of what is seen in per-season testing cannot be relied on when the green flag drops at the season opener.

  8. Condolences to you and your family for your loss. Hopefully many great memories to be reflected upon and enjoyed anew. Best wishes.

  9. My AA route planner puts the distance from Jerez to Brackley at 1490 miles. The Merc is clearly capable of this. Maybe there’s a chance to pop on a set of hard tyres and drive them back over the next few days, though avoiding the Peripherique and Buckingham road on Friday night, obviously.

  10. Clearly another dominant year from Merc is the only outcome that can be viewed from first testing. Not only that, but this time, real dominance without those nasty RedBulls spoiling the symmetry of a complete Merc whitewash of the total results.
    Only question remaining is, will Hamilton wipe the floor with Rosberg, or will Rosberg close the race gap to Hammy and make a season fight of it? Nico is a nice bloke, but not his Old Man. If it were a fight between a 30yr old Hammy & a 30yr old Keke, in the same cars, then you’d have to say that Keke would be a bigger threat than Nico is to Lewis.
    So, if you can find any possible decent Odds, ( which I doubt one can ), then put your shirt on Lewis for a 3rd WCD…..and there’s no need to watch the races, as we all know what the outcome will be!

  11. Condolences Joe. I lost my father a few years ago, rejoice in the memories and draw strength from loved ones. And all of us !! Take as long as you need.
    All the best
    John

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