Barcelona: the day after

Posted: 23.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

The weather turned unusually cold with even some snow in Barcelona, as the second pre-season test session ended, but the heat of competition is clear within Scuderia Ferrari after the first eight days of testing on Spanish soil. The F138 has shown it has got off on the right foot and although there is clearly much work to do to fully understand its behaviour, both drivers were in a positive frame of mind after driving it over these past two weeks.
Between Jerez and Barcelona, the car has racked up almost 3000 kilometres and there is still four more days of testing coming up at the Catalunya Circuit, prior to the team’s departure for Melbourne, where the 2013 championship gets underway on 17 March. Those remaining days will be used to complete the analysis of the car while also working on getting the most out of it, in its current configuration. A good team spirit is a vital part of preparation, in the weeks leading up to the Australian Grand Prix, with the drivers and team members all focussing in a cohesive manner on what lies ahead, whatever the intemperate weather might have in store for the next few days in Spain, prior to the final test session.
Over the four days in Montmelo, Fernando and Felipe completed a total of 363 laps, a tiny bit more than their main competitors. After getting an initial feel for for the F138 and carrying out some aerodynamic testing over the first two days, for his final day in the car, the Spaniard was able to look at set-up work and do a tyre comparison. He ended his first on-track appearance of the year with the second fastest time of the week, set on the Soft compound. It rained for much of the Brazilian’s one day at the wheel and he completed a very useful wet weather test for the team, setting reasonable times, reporting that the car handled well in the cold and slippery conditions. However, lap times still mean nothing at this stage and again this past week, it was difficult to draw any accurate conclusions as to the pecking order down pit lane: this is down to the big differences in the programmes being run and the fuel loads carried on a track where every 10 kilos of fuel costs three tenths of a second per lap. Next week, the team will bring the first few development parts planned for the F138 to Barcelona and will spend the final days of testing, running various race weekend simulations and only then is there a slight chance that a truer picture of the performance levels of the teams will emerge.
Another really unknown factor at the start of the year will be the behaviour of the new tyres. The entire Pirelli range features softer compounds than last year and that will make a difference, not just in qualifying, where we can expect to see quicker times- indeed this was already born out by the fact that this week’s test times were quicker than those on the Saturday of last year’s Spanish Grand Prix at the same track – but also in the race. Tyre wear is once again a topic for discussion and one will have to wait and see what this will really mean in terms of how many more pit stops might be necessary. The tyre factor will therefore give the drivers and team personnel something to think about, as well as injecting some unpredictability and spectacle, which is bound to go down well with the fans.


Review – 2013 Official Formula One Test in Barcelona

Posted: 22.02.2013
Source: Pirelli


Barcelona, February 22, 2013 – The Formula One teams encountered wet weather for the first time this year on the final day of a four-day test at Barcelona: the second of three official pre-season tests. The other three days were dry, enabling the teams to run through the complete range of P Zero tyres – all of which are new for this year – on a circuit that they are all familiar with. However, some unusually cold conditions restricted the amount of meaningful data that could be accumulated. The final pre-season test of the year also takes place in Barcelona next week, from February 28 to March 3.

Testing Quote:

Paul Hembery (Pirelli motorsport director): “The teams experienced quite high degradation in Barcelona, and that was really down to the weather conditions. The conditions we had in Barcelona are far from typical of the rest of the season, with much cooler ambient and track temperatures than we would normally race in, and even some rain on the final day. This put the tyres outside of their usual working ranges, which led to problems such as graining. The conditions were particularly unsuited to the supersoft tyre, due to the circuit layout and the roughness of the surface in addition to the cold temperatures. Coupled with the fact that teams are still making big set-up adjustments to their new cars and trying out our complete range of our tyres to optimise the package, we saw levels of degradation that are not typical. Once we get to Melbourne the tyres should be much more within their intended working range, which will eliminate the unusual amount of degradation that some teams have experienced.”

Testing Facts:

  • The teams are allocated 100 sets of tyres per car per year for testing purposes. After an initial contact with the 2013 range for the first time in Jerez, they again concentrated on expanding their knowledge of the new tyre characteristics this year, and how they interact with the new cars: all of which were present for the first time in Barcelona.
  • Ambient and track temperatures were cool: generally between 10 to 15 degrees centigrade ambient, which was on the whole cooler than the previous Jerez test. This led to some graining, which occurs when a tyre slides if it is not up to temperature, with the friction against the track surface tearing off strips of rubber.
  • With most of the initial work on new cars already completed in Jerez, the teams were able to also focus on longer runs and race simulations with varying fuel loads. Between two and three pit stops are expected at the first grand prix in Australia: some of the teams that carried out race simulations stopped the equivalent of four times in Barcelona, demonstrating that the ideal target should be met in the more typical conditions of Melbourne.

More Testing Facts:

  • The time difference between the slick compounds was in the region of 0.5s per lap, but the unusual weather conditions in Barcelona meant that this was not entirely conclusive.
  • Most laps of Barcelona: V Bottas – 355 laps; F Alonso – 283 laps; M Chilton – 241 laps
  • The teams sampled the Cinturato Green intermediate and the Cinturato Blue full wet tyre for the first time on Friday. The wet-weather tyres have a new rear construction this year, which improves traction at the rear in particular and reduces snap oversteer.
  • The fastest overall time of the test set by Fernando Alonso on day three (1m21.875s) comfortably beat the fastest time during testing last year at Barcelona: 1m22.030s (set by Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus).
  • Barcelona is an extremely technical circuit that tests most aspects of a car’s overall performance. The most stressed tyres at the Circuit de Catalunya are those on the left.

Testing numbers:

  • Total number of sets brought to Barcelona: 385 sets which equals 1628 tyres
    – of which supersoft tyres: 24 sets
    – of which soft tyres: 87 sets
    – of which medium tyres: 132 sets
    – of which hard tyres: 97 sets
    – of which intermediate tyres: 40 sets
    – of which wet tyres: 27 sets
  • Total amount of sets used: 303
    – of which supersoft tyres: 5 sets
    – of which soft tyres: 53 sets
    – of which medium tyres: 127 sets
    – of which hard tyres: 84 sets
    – of which intermediate tyres: 24 sets
    – of which wet tyres: 10 sets
  • Longest run: 24 laps on the hard compound
    36 laps of the medium compound
    31 laps on the soft compound
    16 laps on the supersoft compound
    29 laps on the intermediate compound
    22 laps on the wet compound
  • Highest / lowest ambient temperature over four days: 20 °C (Day 2) / 7 °C (Day 4)
  • Highest / lowest track temperature over four days: 26 °C (Day 2) / 6 °C (Day 4)

Testing Times:

Day 1

1. Rosberg, Mercedes 1’22’’616s Medium New
2. Räikkönen, Lotus 1’22’’623s Medium New
3. Alonso, Ferrari 1’22’952s Medium New

Day 2

1. Perez, McLaren 1’21’’848 Soft New
2. Vettel, Red Bull 1’22’’197 Soft New
3. Räikkönen, Lotus 1’22’’697 Medium New

Day 3

1. Alonso, Ferrari 1’21’’875 Soft New
2. Hülkenberg, Sauber 1’22’160 Soft New
3. Grosjean, Lotus 1’22’188 Soft New

Day 4

1. Hamilton, Mercedes 1’23’’282 Medium New
2. Button, McLaren 1’23’633 Medium New
3. Vergne, Toro Rosso 1’24’’071 Soft New


Testing in Barcelona – Massa tries out the F138 in the wet

Posted: 22.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelo – 4.655 km
Driver: Felipe Massa
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 7/8°C, track temperature 8/9 °C. Rain in the morning, cloudy in the afternoonThis was the fourth and final day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari and the other ten Formula 1 teams at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona. The second test session ended with bad weather, which dominated Friday from first thing in the morning to late afternoon. The team’s work programme was adapted to the track conditions to allow Felipe Massa to get a taste of the behaviour of the F138 with wet tyres. In all the Brazilian completed 80 laps with a fastest time of 1:27.553.Felipe Massa: “Today was a difficult day for everyone and it’s a pity that the weather conditions ruined the last day of testing. I would have preferred to continue the work on tyres and set-up that Fernando started yesterday but the unpredictable weather made it very difficult to make accurate judgements about the car’s behaviour. When the rain gave us a moment’s break I completed a long run on the medium tyre compound – but the track was very cold and still slippery so it was hard to warm up the tyres and make a clear comparison between performance and degradation. In the afternoon, the wet track didn’t allow us to return to slick tyres so we concentrated on some set-up tests with the intermediate tyres. I tried different aerodynamic configurations and I am satisfied with the behaviour of the car. Certainly I would have preferred to test with better conditions but it was still useful to get a reference point in the wet.”Testing in preparation for the start of the 2013 Formula 1 World Championship will take place at the same circuit from February 28 to March 3.
Time sheet:
Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.282s 52
2 Button McLaren 1m23.633s +0.351 70
3 Vergne Toro Rosso 1m24.071s +0.789 80
4 Bianchi Force India 1m25.732s +2.450 96
5 Gutierrez Sauber 1m26.239s +2.957 61
6 van der Garde Caterham 1m27.429s +4.147 50
7 Massa Ferrari 1m27.563s +4.281 80
8 Webber Red Bull 1m27.616s +4.334 64
9 Chilton Marussia 1m29.902s +6.620 51
10 Grosjean Lotus 1m34.800s +11.518 41
11 Bottas Williams No time 23
12 Maldonado Williams No time 13


Testing in Barcelona – Alonso bows out on top

Posted: 21.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelo – 4.655 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 8/15°C, track temperature 9/18 °C. Cloudy.Montmelo, 21 February – Third day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona, and Fernando Alonso’s last day at the wheel of the F138. The Spaniard will be back on track here next week for the final pre-season test session.The team’s work programme was completed without any problems and it included set-up work aimed at adapting to the Soft tyres, which Fernando was trying for the first time this year and the Hards. Fernando covered a total of 97 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.21.875.Fernando Alonso: “Today we concentrated on a comparison of the compounds, starting with the Soft and moving on to the Hard in the afternoon. The track was colder than yesterday, especially in the morning, which made it harder to adapt the car and find the right grip level. We tried various aerodynamic configurations and for the first time, we made some set-up changes to get a good understanding of tyre behaviour and degradation. With every change we made, the car reacted as I expected and it was useful to try out the different settings, especially to understand which direction we need to go in next week, when there will be a greater emphasis on performance. Once again this year, the tyres will be one of the crucial aspects to manage: they are softer and quicker, but also less consistent and they degrade rapidly with every lap. We will have a lot of work to do to understand how best to balance the car, but that applies to all the teams.”Testing continues tomorrow at this circuit, when Felipe Massa will be on track.

Time sheet:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Alonso Ferrari 1m21.875s 97
2 Hulkenberg Sauber 1m22.160s +0.285 91
3 Grosjean Lotus 1m22.188s +0.313 119
4 Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.611s +0.736 108
5 Maldonado Williams 1m22.675s +0.800 79
6 Bottas Williams 1m22.826s +0.951 68
7 Button McLaren 1m22.840s +0.965 71
8 Sutil Force India 1m22.877s +1.002 78
9 Webber Red Bull 1m23.024s +1.149 108
10 Vergne Toro Rosso 1m23.366s +1.491 106
11 Chilton Marussia 1m25.690s +3.815 58
12 van der Garde Caterham 1m26.177s +4.302 83


Exhaustive testing in Barcelona

Posted: 21.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

For race fans, the main interest of winter testing tends to be how the cars are performing, but inside the paddock, the first concern is to ensure your new car runs reliably, before chasing fractions of a second. Therefore, taking a keen interest in proceedings here in Barcelona for the second test session of the year, is Scuderia Ferrari’s Head of Engines and Electronics, Luca Marmorini. The engine regulations may well have been frozen for several years now, effectively capping performance, but there are always new parameters that can affect the reliability of the V8s, even in their last year as Formula 1’s power provider. Scuderia Ferrari’s engine reliability has been second to none and Marmorini and his crew are keen to maintain that enviable record.At the moment, the main talking point concerns an extreme solution to the exhaust system, designed to point the exhaust gases at those parts of the car where they will create the most downforce to boost the overall aerodynamic performance of the car. It was an evaluation of this system that led to the F138 suffering an exhaust problem which interrupted Fernando Alonso’s time on track at the Catalunya circuit on Wednesday. “We tested the exhaust right to the very end of its life, as we need to know where are the limits and this failure can therefore be seen as part of our routine work at the track,” Maramorini told journalists at the end of the day’s work. “The rules governing the exhausts are exactly the same as last year, therefore we expect similar performance gains to come from the exhausts, but nothing more. While the rules are very strict regarding the configuration of the exhausts and the engine mapping, the emission of exhaust gases still has an effect on the aerodynamics of the car. At the moment, all engine engineers are a little bit unhappy that we have to compromise engine performance, but we can afford to lose some engine power if the car is quicker.” With this in mind, Marmorini confirmed that the Scuderia will continue to work on finding the best possible exhaust configuration for the F138 throughout the year.Marmorini was then asked to explain the importance of running engines for customer teams. “They provide a very important opportunity for us,” he said. “It gives us more engines from which to get information and, with testing banned during the season, it provides us with a much wider data base.”Next year’s engines are of course a big talking point with a major change in the rules and a return to turbocharging. It’s a huge task, as Marmorini explained. “We have a team working on 2014 engines and while we cannot say everything is already set in stone, it’s true to say that the development phase is already quite advanced. It’s just over a year that we’ve had an engine on the dyno. It’s definitely interesting from a technical point of view but there is still a lot of development work to be carried out, not just at Ferrari but for all the teams, who will have to use the same turbo, which is of a completely different type to the one we saw back in the Eighties. It’s a very tight deadline, but we have got an intensive development programme in place and we hope to have a power train that delivers good performance with reliability right from the start of the 2014 season. At the moment, no ruling has been put in place which would allow us to test the new type of engines outside the usual testing limitations. However, I would estimate that, by the second half of this season, every team will have an engine that, while not being the finished article will be the engine that will be used in 2014 and the top teams will have an engine that is 90% the same as the one that will be raced next year. And of course, with the rule change, this new engine will be expected to complete almost double the mileage of the current ones and getting it to run reliably will be a very big task.”


Testing at the Catalunya circuit

Posted: 20.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelo -4.655 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 7/20°C, track temperature 8/26 °C. Sunny.Montmelo 20 February – Second day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari and the ten other Formula 1 teams, running at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona.Fernando Alonso was again at the wheel of the F138: the Spaniard did fewer kilometres than on the first day, because of a problem with an exhaust pipe, that prevented him from getting through all the day’s planned programme. Nevertheless, he did 76 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.23.247, acquiring useful data relating to car development and a comparison of the Pirelli tyres.Testing continues tomorrow at this circuit, again with the Spaniard on track.
Time sheet:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Perez McLaren 1m21.848s 97
2 Vettel Red Bull 1m22.197s +0.349 84
3 Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.697s +0.849 43
4 Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.726s +0.878 121
5 Alonso Ferrari 1m23.247s +1.399 76
6 Bottas Williams 1m23.561s +1.713 98
7 Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.718s +1.870 70
8 Di Resta Force India 1m23.971s +2.123 62
9 Hulkenberg Sauber 1m24.205s +2.357 88
10 Chilton Marussia 1m25.115s +3.267 67
11 Pic Caterham 1m26.243s +4.395 102


Testing in Barcelona – Over 500 kilometres for Alonso on his debut

Posted: 19.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelo – 4.655 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 13/17°C, track temperature 13/28 °C. Cloudy in the morning, then sunny in the afternoon.

First day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari and the ten other Formula 1 teams, running at the Catalunya circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona, from now until Friday. Fernando Alonso made his seasonal track debut, driving the F138 for the first time.

The entire day was dedicated almost entirely to acquiring data for use in the development of the car and on gaining a greater understanding of the Pirelli tyres. Fernando completed a total of 110 laps, with a best time of 1.19.952.

Fernando Alonso: “I feel reasonably pleased with this first day and I can say I share Felipe’s opinion that the car is on another planet compared to the one we began with on the first day of testing last year. The programme for this first session in Barcelona is aimed mainly at improving reliability, with the target of completing more than a hundred laps every day. Then, at next week’s test we can concentrate on performance. Tomorrow, we will complete what we were unable to do today and we will focus on car set-up, to adapt it as well as possible to the tyres. I knew from looking at the Jerez data what sort of car I would find here today, as in fact we know more or less what we will see at the first race in Australia, in terms of what new parts we will have and how many tenths they will produce. This is down to all the work done over the winter in the wind tunnel and the numerous tests which confirm that the parts that are on their way will give the expected results.”

Testing continues tomorrow at this track, again with the Spaniard at the wheel.


Nico Rosberg quickest on day one by 7 thousandths of a second

Posted: 19.02.2013
Source: Circuit de Catalunya

Formula 1 is back at Circuit de Catalunya with the start of the first of the two preseason test series.

Nico Rosberg topped today’s time sheets clocking 1m26.616s at the wheel of his Mercedes. Second fastest was Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus), only 7 thousandths of a second adrift and third Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), 0.336s behind.

Reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel (fourth with 1m22.965s) started the day imposing authority during a morning session that only had to be interrupted once to recover Esteban Gutiérrez’ Sauber that had stopped at turn 7. In the afternoon, the German dropped down on the timing sheets as Rosberg, Raikkonen and Alonso, also managed to lap under 1m23s. Charles Pic’s Caterham had some problems and stopped between turn 2 and 3, causing the track activity to stop for a few minutes. Mercedes, Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull saved energies for the last quarter of an hour of the day to clock their fastest times.

The activity started early in the morning with the presentation of the new FW35 by Williams F1 Team and their drivers Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas. However, the real highlight for the fans that came to the racetrack today was watching Fernando Alonso for the first time at the wheel of the new Ferrari F138.

The Spaniard completed 110 laps, more than anybody else, and was happy to be back at work: “I had very good feelings after two months without getting on a Formula 1 car. I had fun and I enjoyed again. We had good weather conditions and we made use of all the hours available to complete the scheduled programme. I’m looking forward to continue working tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.”

Alonso also talked about his new car: “All cars are almost identical to those of last year during the first preseason tests. The real improvements will not be visible until we fit the evolutions for the first Grand Prix. There are no surprises so far.”

A total of 4,351 fans came out to the racetrack today. Circuit de Catalunya Members and Officials, as well as all those fans holding a three-day ticket for the FORMULA 1 GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA had the chance to make a lap around the track on the F1 Track Bus at the end of the session. Moreover, the pit lane was opened at noon for Circuit de Catalunya Members and Officials, who were able to have a closer look at the single-seaters of the eleven teams that will be taking part in the 2013 World Championship.

The show of the Formula One Test Days will continue tomorrow morning and until Friday 22nd, from 9 to 13h and from 14 to 17h. The second series of tests at Circuit de Catalunya will be held on 28 February, 1, 2 and 3 March.

Time sheet:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.616s 54
2 Raikkonen Lotus 1m22.623s +0.007 44
3 Alonso Ferrari 1m22.952s +0.336 110
4 Vettel Red Bull 1m22.965s +0.349 66
5 Maldonado Williams 1m23.733s +1.117 86
6 Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.884s +1.268 73
7 Perez McLaren 1m24.124s +1.508 77
8 Di Resta Force India 1m24.144s +1.528 82
9 Gutierrez Sauber 1m25.124s +2.508 68
10 Chilton Marussia 1m26.747s +4.131 65
11 Pic Caterham 1m27.534s +4.918 49


UPS new Sponsor of Scuderia Ferrari

Posted: 19.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari announces that it has reached a sponsorship agreement with UPS, a leading company in the field of logistics, with a presence in over 220 countries and territories around the world.The multi-year agreement will not simply be limited to the role of Sponsor to the Scuderia, but will also extend to the racing activities run by Corse Clienti, including participation in the World Endurance Championship and an involvement in the European series of the Ferrari Challenge Championship.Furthermore, UPS becomes Ferrari’s Official Logistics Partner through the gradual integration of its own transport services providing freight movement on a global level.


Scuderia Ferrari strengthens its position with UPS

Posted: 19.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Domenicali: “One of the best known brands in the world”Montmelo, 19 February – As from today, the Catalunya circuit is hosting the second pre-season test session on the Formula 1 calendar. Getting proceedings underway for Scuderia Ferrari was a pit lane photocall to launch a new sponsorship agreement, which begins today, with UPS, a leading company in the field of logistics. It’s a multi-year agreement and it covers more than a simple sponsorship of the Scuderia, as it also includes the gradual integration of its transport services, not just for the F1 team, but also for activities run by the Corse Clienti Department, such as its involvement in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the European series of the Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli. Helping with the unveiling of the new logo on the sides of the F138, along with the top management of UPS, was Fernando Alonso, who is driving the car for the first time this week. The arrival of several prestigious marques and the renewal of agreements with long term partners buck the present sponsorship trend in the current economic climate.“We are very pleased to have UPS on board as a new partner, one of the best known and most successful brands in the world,” said Scuderia Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali. “Excellence, innovation and precision are a fundamental part of our job and I’m sure that working with UPS, who share these values, will allow us to experiment with new ways of working and increase all aspects of our team’s efficiency.”