The first tests of the Formula One season 2015 has passed, on the spanish circuit of Jerez de la Frontera.
Now, these tests do give some indication of how far the development is standing, though no serious conclusions can definitly be pulled from them.
For example, last year Caterham proved to be the best of the Renault teams in reliability, with the Red Bull not managing more then a dozen laps, and we all know how the season went.
This year, it seems, going by the tests, that the Ferrari engine is the way to go, with Ferrari topping three out of four test days on the timesheets, and Sauber taking the remaining one, but let`s just take it the Mercedes teams have been withhelding pace a little...
The big abscentee; Force India. Apparanlty, even their Melbourne race is currently in peril, and as far as car presentation goes, they only revealed the new nose and livery so far, no actual machine.
In a more hopefull news that came out yesterday, manor (aka, Marussia) seems to be on the road for Melbourne after all, having managed to liquidate a lot of their debts. Rumours at the moment have it they would be in talks to become a McLaren B-team (bit like Toro Rosso / Red Bull dynamic) and would then be putting Magnussen and Van Dooren in the cars. Which for 2015 would still be the 2014 machine with Ferrari engine, so it would really be a mileage season for both youngsters.
Caterham on the other hand, whom looked most promising to save itself, apparently sees the curtain fall now for sure...
But one thing the tests DO reveal, is a lot of new car designs. And they all seem to have taken a nosey road from Ferrari`s design last year. There are two very different nose point designs going on this year, some team (Williams, Lotus,...) have the nose end on the front wing, while others (like McLaren) go for a longer one that ends well past the wing. That will mean, considering the importance of the noses in the aeropackage, half the field is going to have it botched up in the coming season...
Sure, the Red Bull comes with a special camo effect for now before their race livery is revealed, in order to mislead eyesight on any technical newbies Team Newey has come up with.
For me the most gorgeous one so far is... the Toro Rosso. There is something about it`s lines and it`s colours that just `do it` for me this season.
Sauber comes out with a total new livery, `inspired` by their main sponsor Banco do Brasil.
The Mercedes, Williams and Ferrari cars are evolutions of last year, not much difference in them compared to last year,bar the necessary nose modifications.
McLaren apparently will be changing livery over the coming weeks, Honda not to fond on their Mercedes look, but for now with the engine still not doing that well, they have other things to be busy with then a lick of paint and a lack of sponsors.
But THE absolute winner for me personally, IF it stays that way... is Vettel`s new helmet design! It`s gorgeous in it`s simplistic elegance if you ask me.
To close off, here are `the numbers` of the first 4 days of testing. The weekend of the 19th it will resume, and then we are getting close to the start of the brand new season!
This week’s unofficial aggregate test times from Jerez:
1. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 20.841s, 200 laps
2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1m 20.984s, 149 laps
3. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1m 21.545s, 197 laps
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 21.982s, 308 laps
5. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1m 22.019s, 185 laps
6. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 22.172s, 208 laps
7. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 22.276s, 144 laps
8. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 22.319s, 134 laps
9. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1m 22.553s, 170 laps
10. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 22.713s, 137 laps
11. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1m 23.187s, 183 laps
12. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 23.338s, 84 laps
13. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1m 23.802s, 53 laps
14. Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1m 23.975s, 82 laps
15. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 27.660s, 41 laps
16. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1m 35.553s, 38 laps
Total distance run - by team (power unit, where different):
1. Mercedes, 516 laps - 2,284km
2. Sauber (Ferrari), 382 laps - 1,691km
3. Toro Rosso (Renault), 353 laps - 1,563km
4. Ferrari, 349 laps - 1,545km
5. Williams (Mercedes), 278 laps - 1,230km
6. Lotus (Mercedes), 190 laps - 841km
7. Red Bull (Renault), 166 laps - 735km
8. McLaren (Honda), 79 laps - 349km
Total distance run - by power unit:
1. Mercedes, 984 laps - 4,357km (3 teams)
2. Ferrari, 731 laps - 3,236km (2 teams)
3. Renault, 519 laps - 2,298km (2 teams)
4. Honda, 79 laps - 349km (1 team)
Longest stints - by tyre compound:
Soft compound - 19 laps (Pastor Maldonado, Day 3)
Medium compound - 29 laps (Nico Rosberg, Day 1)
Winter Hard compound - 34 laps (Nico Rosberg, Day 1)
Hard compound - 42 laps (Nico Rosberg, Day 1)
Intermediate compound - 25 laps (Nico Rosberg, Day 3)
Wet compound - 4 laps (Felipe Nasr, Day 2)
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