Fry: “The key will be understanding the tyres”

Posted: 03.03.2013
Source: Ferrari

Barcelona, 3 March – The 12 days of testing at Jerez and Barcelona on offer to Scuderia Ferrari and the other ten teams have gone quickly. There were six days of running for Felipe Massa, five for Fernando Alonso and one for Pedro de la Rosa in just about every kind of weather, except perhaps the conditions expected in Melbourne on March 17.They completed a total of 1069 laps of the two Spanish tracks: 3682km from the last two sessions at the Catalunya circuit plus a further 1231km in Jerez making up a total of 4913km. These are the figures that count for the data analysis that the Scuderia’s engineers have been carrying out to understand the behaviour of the F138 – with particular attention paid to the tyres, which have been designed to provide a better show and, as a result, the “thrill” of unpredictability.

It was this very point that Pat Fry, Scuderia Ferrari’s Technical Director, emphasised in his evaluation of this intense month of testing: “All the teams, ourselves included, will still have a lot to learn about the tyres in Melbourne. The performance and the degradation of the tyres will be the determining factor in establishing how competitive everyone is. Albert Park is a partial street circuit – it is only used for racing a few times during the year – so it will be interesting to see how the tyres behave in higher temperatures.”

Asked about the comparative performance of the teams, Fry added: “During these days of testing we have just concentrated on our own work programme. There are some quick cars but frankly our attention has been very much on the work linked to the F138’s development, collecting data on the new parts that we have brought, especially in this final test. The positive thing is that our aerodynamic simulations – both from the wind tunnel and CFD – have given us the results we had been hoping to see on the track. You can never have a 100% correlation but this is an encouraging sign for the new parts that we aim to bring to the first races, starting in Melbourne.”


Pre-season testing concludes at Montmelò

Posted: 03.03.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya circuit, Montmelò – 4.655 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 5/18°C, track temperature 8/26°C. Sunny
Laps/Kms completed: 120/559
Best time: 1:20.494Fernando Alonso was at the wheel of the F138 as winter testing concluded today for Scuderia Ferrari and the other ten Formula 1 teams ahead of the start of the 2013 World Championship. Another day of sun allowed the team to complete an intensive programme of work without problems.In the morning, Fernando made progress with the development of the F138, working on different car set-ups and comparisons between the various types of tyre – including some experimental ones brought to the Circuit de Catalunya by Pirelli.In the afternoon the team continued with tyre comparisons before switching the focus to checking some aerodynamic solutions and ending the day with some pit-stop simulations.

The next on-track action is scheduled for Friday 15 March at Melbourne’s Albert Park, when the curtain opens on the first session of free practice for the Australian Grand Prix.

Time sheet:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Rosberg Mercedes 1m20.130s 131
2 Alonso Ferrari 1m20.494s +0.364 120
3 Button McLaren 1m21.444s +1.314 122
4 Hulkenberg Sauber 1m21.541s +1.411 118
5 Raikkonen Lotus 1m21.658s +1.528 50
6 di Resta Force India 1m21.664s +1.534 112
7 Maldonado Williams 1m22.415s +2.285 42
8 Vettel Red Bull 1m22.514s +2.384 100
9 Bottas Williams 1m22.524s +2.394 31
10 Pic Caterham 1m23.115s +2.985 116
11 Bianchi Marussia 1m23.167s +3.037 62
12 Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m23.628s +3.498 91
13 Chilton Marussia 1m24.103s +3.973 49


Review – 2013 Official Formula One Test in Barcelona

Posted: 03.03.2013
Source: Pirelli


Barcelona, March 3, 2013 – With just two weeks to go before the 2013 Formula One season gets underway in Melbourne, the final four-day test took place in Barcelona, with two days of wet weather followed by two days of dry running. This enabled the teams to sample the entire range of 2013 Pirelli tyres, including the Cinturato Green Intermediate and Cinturato Blue full wet. With Barcelona being an extremely familiar venue, particularly off the back of last week’s test at the Circuit de Catalunya, the teams were able to carry out some useful comparison work between all the compounds and assess the final upgrades to their new cars.

Testing Quote:

Paul Hembery (Pirelli motorsport director): “It was a useful four days of running in Barcelona, although the weather conditions were still too cool to be typically representative of what we will face over the rest of the year. Consequently degradation was still high as the tyres were not able to operate within their intended working range for most of the test. This, however, is a familiar situation for both us and the teams, as it was exactly the case in pre-season testing last year too, so this is not of any great concern. The wet weather over the first two days gave the teams a valuable opportunity to assess the intermediate and wet tyres, which have been evolved to offer better traction this year, and to evaluate crossover points. Generally speaking, everyone was happy with the wet weather tyres, which shows that our work in this area has paid off. As this was the final test session, it was useful for the teams to have the opportunity to run through every tyre in the range as they complete their preparations. Now we’re looking forward to getting to Australia, where our tyres will be able to function properly within their working range, and we hope to see an exciting race with between two and three pit stops per car.”

Testing Facts:

  • The teams are allocated 100 sets of tyres per year for testing purposes, with 35 sets available for the final test in Barcelona. The supersoft and medium tyres have been nominated for the opening grand prix of the season in Australia, so many teams focussed on these two compounds as part of their race preparation. Most of the work concentrated on the medium compound though, as Barcelona is not suited for the supersoft.
  • Temperatures were once again cool for the final test, with ambient temperatures peaking at 18 degrees centigrade on the last two days of the test. Ambient temperatures did not exceed 10 degrees centigrade during the rain-soaked first two days of testing.
  • The fastest time of the test, set by Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg on day four (1’20’’130) with a new set of soft tyres, was significantly faster than the benchmark in Barcelona last week, and about a second and a half faster than the best testing times in Barcelona last year.
  • Many of the teams with new parts concentrated on aerodynamic testing of the new components, while some teams also carried out race simulations – especially those running new drivers this year – as well as qualifying simulations with the supersoft tyre.

More Testing Facts:

  • Once again, the time difference between the slick compounds was in the region of half a second per lap, confirming the results seen at the previous Barcelona test, although the performance gap in Australia should be slightly bigger. The teams also assessed wet weather crossover points on a drying track and carried out pit stop practice.
  • While the weather was not always favourable, this was a test that challenged the versatility of the car-tyre package to the utmost. Not only did the cars run in an extremely wide variety of conditions, but Barcelona also assesses every aspect of a car technically, thanks to its demanding circuit layout that contains every type of corner. The tyres on the left side of the car are the most stressed, due to the quantity of high-energy right-hand turns such as turn three.
  • The total amount of kilometres carried out in pre-season testing: 36,970kms.
  • Most laps of Barcelona: Rosberg (Mercedes): 251 laps; Alonso (Ferrari): 222 laps; Hamilton (Mercedes): 230 laps

Testing numbers:

  • Total number of sets brought to Barcelona: 451 sets which equals 1804 tyres
    – of which supersoft tyres: 35 sets
    – of which soft tyres: 119 sets
    – of which medium tyres: 123 sets
    – of which hard tyres: 112 sets
    – of which intermediate tyres: 38 sets
    – of which wet tyres: 24 sets
  • Total amount of sets used: 363
    – of which supersoft tyres: 22 sets
    – of which soft tyres: 104 sets
    – of which medium tyres: 119 sets
    – of which hard tyres: 63 sets
    – of which intermediate tyres: 34 sets
    – of which wet tyres: 21 sets
  • Longest run: 19 laps on the hard compound
      30 laps of the medium compound
      19  laps on the soft compound
      14  laps on the supersoft compound
      47  laps on the intermediate compound
      48  laps on the wet compound
  • Lowest / highest ambient temperature over four days: 6 °C (Day 4) / 18 °C (Day 3+4)
  • Lowest / highest track temperature over four days: 8 °C (Day 1+2+3) / 26 °C (Day 4)

Testing Times:

Day 1

1. Webber 1’22’’693 Soft New
2. Hamilton 1’24’’348 Medium New
3. Vergne 1’25’’017 Medium New

Day 2

1. Grosjean 1’22’’716 Soft New
2. Button 1’23’’181 Medium New
3. Maldonado 1’23’’628 Soft New

Day 3

1. Hamilton 1’20’’558 Soft New
2. Massa 1’21’’266 Supersoft New
3. Sutil 1’21’’627 Soft New

Day 4

1.    Rosberg   1’20”130  Soft New
2. Alonso 1’20”494 Soft New
3. Button 1’21”444 Soft New


Last day of testing for Felipe Massa

Posted: 02.03.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelò – 4.655 km
Driver: Felipe Massa
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 9/16°C, track temperature 12/23 °C. Sunny.
Laps/Kms completed: 94/438
Best time: 1:21.266
Sunshine and good weather provided the backdrop to Scuderia Ferrari’s penultimate day of testing at the Catalunya Circuit. This was also the final appearance at testing for Felipe Massa, who will be back behind the wheel of the F138 at the Australian Grand Prix in about two weeks time.

In the morning, the team got through all its planned programme, centred mainly on evaluating some aerodynamic components over short distances, featuring constant speed runs. Felipe also began a Pirelli tyre comparison, which continued through into the afternoon.

After the lunch break, the job list included assessing various set-up changes on the car and some full speed pit stop simulations, including out laps and, for the first time, the team also tried the super soft compound. With less than half an hour remaining, a problem with the left front upright meant that Felipe had to stop the car on track, thus bringing a positive day to a slightly early end.

Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, the final day, with Fernando Alonso at the wheel.

Time sheet:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Hamilton Mercedes 1m20.558s 117
2 Massa Ferrari 1m21.266s +0.708 94
3 Sutil Force India 1m21.627s +1.069 109
4 Maldonado Williams 1m22.305s +1.747 34
5 Bottas Williams 1m22.468s +1.910 31
6 Gutierrez Sauber 1m22.553s +1.995 99
7 Webber Red Bull 1m22.658s +2.100 59
8 Perez McLaren 1m22.694s +2.136 101
9 Vergne Toro Rosso 1m23.223s +2.665 114
10 Grosjean Lotus 1m23.380s +2.822 46
11 Valsecchi Lotus 1m23.448s +2.890 16
12 Bianchi Marussia 1m24.028s +3.470 74
13 van der Garde Caterham 1m24.235s +3.677 126


Alonso: “We are on the right road”

Posted: 02.03.2013
Source: Ferrari

Barcelona, 2 March – Scuderia Ferrari is continuing its preparation for the season in Barcelona, where yesterday, Fernando Alonso got through another busy day of testing. The F138 seems to be moving forward with every lap, clearly responding to any modifications made and eating up the kilometres, with a further 102 laps of the Catalunya Circuit added yesterday, equivalent to 475 to be precise. The rain certainly didn’t help, but it was not enough to stop the men in red, as they worked through a programme focussed on important aero checks and some vital reliability testing, all aimed at getting a better understanding of the car prior to the now rapidly approaching first Grand Prix.When testing had finished for the day, Fernando said the work they had done made him optimistic. “We managed to complete all the work we’d planned to do, despite the bad weather: over the course of the morning we made the most of the fact the track conditions were changing all the time to evaluate the intermediate tyres, both new and used and in the wet and on a partially drying track. In the afternoon, we did a long run test to check the reliability of some components, fitting slicks for two stints and then going back to intermediates for the last one. By the end, we’d learned ten times more than in pretty much any other normal sort of day.”As to how much the F138 was progressing, Fernando seemed in a positive frame of mind, while applying the usual caution relating to the unknowns of testing, which don’t allow for an accurate comparison between the various cars. “The wet track meant we were unable to make a direct comparision to last week,” said the Spaniard. “I had to take unusual lines to avoid parts of the track that were very slippery and anyway, we were not chasing performance, we were looking for confirmation of the data we had acquired. From this point of view, I think the team is pleased, because the results we saw today matched our expectatations. Some new parts we introduced, on the bodywork for example, are clear to see, others less so, but they are all important and I feel optimistic and confident, because the car responds the way I had expected. If I think back to last year, my state of mind was very different: we knew we were two seconds off the pace, we were all pessimistic and worried, because we felt it would be difficult to get into Q3 in Australia and that turned out to be the case. This year however, we are working on closing a gap of between 7 and 8 tenths, which is where we were at the final round in Brazil last year and I think we are on the right road to being closer to the quickest, which will be our aim in Melbourne.

“I still don’t have a clear idea of the general order of competitiveness,” continued Fernando. “For me, this is just testing and you can’t tell how the others are doing. Sometimes you find yourself overtaking a car in a couple of corners and sometimes you see yourself passed and the car ahead going away from you quickly, because they are on a completely different programme. All of this makes it difficult to analyse testing, this year even more so than last. It’s normal and logical that one wants to make comparisons, but for me it’s like watching football training: you can’t believe that a reserve Real Madrid forward can be a contender against Barcelona just because he scores a goal in a kick-about.”


Second day of testing in Barcelona

Posted: 01.03.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya circuit, Montmelò – 4.655 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 8/11°C, track temperature 8/12 °C. Cloudy
Laps/Kms completed: 102/475
Best time: 1:27.878

With three days of testing remaining, Fernando Alonso took to the track for Scuderia Ferrari at the Catalunya Circuit. Because of bad weather, the track stayed damp and slippery all day, with the exception of a couple of hours in the early afternoon, when the lack of rain meant the teams were able to run on a dry track.

In the morning, Fernando worked through a packed programme, consisting of aerodynamic tests and assessing some mechanical components, running up to the lunch break on intermediate tyres.

After the break, the team completed its aerodynamic testing and then continued with a second race simulation, using both dry and rain tyres. In the end, Fernando had to come back to the garage and halt the simulation because of a red flag.

Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, when Felipe Massa will be back behind the wheel for the final time before the start of the 2013 Championship.

Time sheet:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Grosjean Lotus 1m22.716s 88
2 Button McLaren 1m23.181s +0.465 72
3 Maldonado Williams 1m23.628s +0.912 75
4 Vettel Red Bull 1m23.743s +1.027 65
5 Hulkenberg Sauber 1m23.744s +1.028 79
6 Sutil Force India 1m24.215s +1.499 62
7 Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1m25.483s +2.767 61
8 Chilton Marussia 1m25.598s +2.882 75
9 van der Garde Caterham 1m26.316s +3.600 48
10 Rosberg Mercedes 1m26.655s +3.939 120
11 Alonso Ferrari 1m27.878s +5.162 102


Massa: “A lot of teams will be competitive”

Posted: 28.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Barcelona, 28 February – Felipe Massa’s day at the wheel of the F138 started the way last Friday had ended, with bad weather again affecting work at the Catalunya Circuit. The track, on the outskirts of Barcelona, is hosting the third and final winter test, which runs from today until Sunday. All the same, it was a positive day for the Ferrari man, because the weather was definitely a bit better, especially in the afternoon, when a few rays of sunshine appeared as the rain stopped, allowing the driver and team to complete the planned programme of a race simulation.With only a few days of testing – just twelve in total – the last session is usually given over to going through the procedures the team personnel will carry out at every official track session over a race weekend, from Melbourne right through to Sao Paolo. Even if the weather didn’t help, Felipe Massa reckoned he was pleased with how the day had gone. “In the morning I did some long runs, testing both types of wet weather tyre with different set-ups to find the best balance on the car,” he said. “Then, in the afternoon I managed to complete a race simulation. The car worked well at all times, even in the very different track conditions and I’m happy because, despite the tyre degradation being high, it was interesting to understand their behaviour.

“It’s hard to know what is the real pecking order in the field,” continued the Brazilian. “It’s still too early to say where the others are and where we are, but what is easy to say is that a lot of teams will be competitive. My lap times seemed good and, in the afternoon, when I fitted the dry tyres while the track was still damp, I was one of the quickest. Then, just as the track began to dry in the final half hour of running time, I had done all my planned laps and by then my tyres were well worn, which meant I couldn’t improve. However, this was an important step: we have completed a race distance without any problems or glitches. As for the tyres, it’s true that they degrade quickly, but it’s also normal that this should be the case. We know the tyres have changed since last year and they have been designed specifically with that in mind: it’s an idea introduced this year to increase the number of pit stops, but honestly, apart from a few times when the compounds will be softer than expected, I think there will just be one more pit stop than last year.”

Lastly, Felipe commented on the developments expected here for the weekend. “Today, we had a few small modifications compared to last week, while on Saturday and Sunday we will test the Australian configuration. We know the car is improving: our aim is to arrive in Melbourne with a good base on which to build our season.”


112 laps for Felipe in Barcelona

Posted: 28.02.2013
Source: Ferrari

Circuit: Catalunya Circuit, Montmelo – 4.655 km
Driver: Felipe Massa
Car: Ferrari F138
Weather: air temperature 8/10°C, track temperature 8/12 °C. Rain in the morning, then brightening in the afternoon.
Laps/km completed: 112/521
Best time: 1:27.541Scuderia Ferrari today began work at the third test session of the year, once again at the Catalunya Circuit, with Felipe Massa at the wheel of the F138. In terms of the weather, the signs were not promising in the morning, but a gradual improvement throughout the day meant the team was able to continue with preparing for the start of the season.In the morning, in intermittent rain, Felipe ran wet weather tyres, alternating between aerodynamic tests and evaluating set-up changes on the car.In the afternoon, the team went through a race simulation procedure, doing long runs and some pit stops, starting on intermediate tyres and switching to dry weather ones as the track conditions improved.Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, with Fernando Alonso driving.Time sheet:

Pos. Driver Team Time Laps
1 Webber Red Bull 1m22.693s  90
2 Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.348s +1.655 113 
3 Vergne Toro Rosso 1m25.017s +2.324  59
4 Bottas Williams 1m26.458s +3.765  85
5 Perez McLaren 1m26.538s +3.845 100 
6 Gutierrez Sauber 1m26.574s +3.881  92
7 di Resta Force India 1m27.107s +4.414  57
8 Massa Ferrari 1m27.541s +4.848  112
9 Chilton Marussia 1m28.166s +5.473  78
10 Pic Caterham 1m28.644s +5.951 83 
11 Grosjean Lotus 1m34.928s +12.235  52


Preview – 2013 Official Formula One Test in Barcelona

Posted: 27.02.2013
Source: Pirelli


Milan, February 27, 2013 – The final four-day pre-season Formula One test takes place from Thursday to Sunday in Barcelona, which will bring the total number of testing days before the season starts in Australia next month up to 12. The Circuit de Catalunya was also the venue for the previous test last week, which will allow the teams to make use of prior data as they assess tyre performance and degradation combined with a variety of different set-ups and fuel loads on their new cars.

Testing Quote:

Paul Hembery (Pirelli Motorsport Director): “The last test at Barcelona was affected by bad weather, which meant that we experienced more degradation than usual due to the tyres not being able to operate within their intended working range. Hopefully this time we will find conditions that are slightly more representative, which will allow the teams to collect more relevant data. The fact that we’re going back to Barcelona gives them all an excellent known baseline from which to operate. These 2013 tyres are quite different to their predecessors, both in terms of compound and construction, which makes the work that will be carried out over the next few days even more essential. At this stage of testing it is always difficult for the teams and drivers to know what to expect from the first race as conditions are not always representative. Past experience from the last two years shows a big reduction in tyre degradation over the course of the season: roughly half the degradation seen in winter testing. This year, we think that degradation will be higher than it was in 2012, and we estimate a degradation rate of around 0.15 to 0.18 seconds per lap in race conditions for the hard compound in Barcelona.”

Testing Facts:

  • Each car will have a maximum of 35 sets of Pirelli’s new P Zero supersoft, soft, medium and hard compounds available in Barcelona, including the Cinturato intermediate and wet tyres if needed. In total, each team is allowed 100 sets of tyres per car for testing purposes over the course of a season. Pirelli will pick 20 of the sets that will be tested per car, while the teams are free to pick 15 more that they would like to try. Any sets of tyres not used at the previous test in Barcelona may be carried forward to this test.
  • Barcelona provides plenty of opportunity to test a wide range of parameters and see how they work with the tyres. Just under 60 per cent of the lap is spent at full throttle, with the cars at top speed for around 16 seconds on the straight. The set-up calls for a medium to high level of downforce, while brake and tyre wear tends to be high: not helped by a track surface that is moderately abrasive.
  • The data from race simulations during the previous test session at the 4.655-kilometre Montmelo circuit indicates that the objective of two to three pit stops per race, requested by the teams, the governing body and the promoter, is on target. Even though the data collection process was hampered by cold weather, all the initial indications point to this conclusion.

More Testing Facts and Figures:

Compound Amount provided per car * Fastest time in 2012(per compound)
Supersoft 1 1:22.155 (Day 3)
Soft 5 1:22.030 (Day 4)
Medium 5 1:22.721 (Day 4)
Hard 6 1:22.708 (Day 4)
Intermediate 2 1:43.343 (Day 3)
Wet 1 1:48.596 (Day 3)

* Above choice made by Pirelli in agreement with the teams. Each team may choose further 15 sets for this test.