F1 2015 Jerez Testing

2015 Jerez Testing analysis – Mercedes only produced most consistent performance

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Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen was fastest on the final day of the first pre-season test series in Jerez on Wednesday but McLaren’s hopes for a problem free day were dashed.

The Finn set the fastest time of the week with a lap of 1min 20.841 followed by Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and world champion Lewis Hamilton with all three completing over 100 laps on the day.

There was no such luck for Jenson Button as a difficult week for the new McLaren-Honda partnership continued.

Button failed to get beyond the pit lane in two attempts early on before a fuel pump issue cut short his afternoon having completed just 35 laps.

That took the Woking-based team’s tally to just 79 laps for the week.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier warned on Tuesday that any more setbacks in testing would delay their chances of being competitive once the season gets underway in Australia in six weeks’ time.

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“Unfortunately, we’ve had a few issues this week – all of which have been pretty small – but cumulatively they meant we were stuck in the garage for quite some time,” said McLaren’s engineering director Matt Morris.

“Still, our prime objective coming away from this test was to ascertain that the main car architecture worked, and we’ve done that.”

Red Bull have also had problems in the southern Spanish city, but they recovered from a power unit problem in the morning as Daniil Kyvat managed 62 laps, albeit only ahead of Button on time.

Double world champions Mercedes enjoyed another marathon day on the mileage front as Hamilton’s 117 laps took them past the 500 mark for the week.

“It’s been pretty amazing this week to see how reliable the car has been and how much mileage we’ve covered,” said Hamilton.

“We all loved the experience of last year and everyone wants to do it again. This is where you prove the car, looking for as many laps as you can, not searching for fast times.

“It’s been really positive from that perspective and every day here the car has got better as we learn more about it.”

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It is also been a promising few days for the perennial minnows Sauber and Toro Rosso.

Ericsson and rookie Brazilian teammate Felipe Nasr were in the top two across all four days.

Meanwhile, the youngest ever driver in Formula One, Max Verstappen, got some more experience under his belt in the Toro Rosso as he was fourth fastest in a 97-lap effort.

There was also plenty of news off the track as Force India announced that their new VJM08 car is unlikely to be ready in time for the next test in Barcelona, so they will run their 2014 car in the Catalan capital later this month.

Meanwhile, there were reports that the financially stricken Marussia team could come out of administration in the coming weeks with the hope of still making it to the first Grand Prix of the season in Melbourne on March 15.

After four days of testing a total of 2294 laps were covered. Last year, 1470 laps were covered in total during the same period, with 11 teams on track instead of eight this year. The fastest time in 2014 was 1m23.276s (Kevin Magnussen, McLaren), underlining a huge increase in performance and reliability compared to a year ago.

Full combined results from four days of Jerez Testing

PosDriverTeamChassisTimeDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Total Laps
1Kimi RaikkonenFerrariSF15-T1:20.84194105199
2Sebastian Vettel FerrariSF15-T1:20.9846088148
3Felipe NasrSauberC341:21.54589108197
4Nico Rosberg MercedesW061:21.982157151308
5 Marcus EricssonSauberC341:22.01973112185
6Lewis HamiltonMercedesW061:22.172 91116207
7Felipe MassaWilliamsFW371:22.2767173144
8Valtteri BottasWilliamsFW371:22.3197361134
9Max VerstappenToro RossoSTR101:22.5537397170
10Pastor MaldonadoLotusE231:22.7134196137
11Carlos Sainz Jr.Toro RossoSTR101:23.18746136182
12Daniel RicciardoRed BullRB111:23.338354883
13Romain GrosjeanLotusE231:23.802 5353
14Daniil Kvyat Red BullRB111:23.975186381
15Jenson ButtonMcLarenMP4-301:27.660 63541
16Fernando AlonsoMcLarenMP4-301:35.55363238

Full combined Laps by Teams

PosTeamDriversTotal Lap
1Mercedes Rosberg 308, Hamilton 207515
2SauberNasr 197, Ericsson 185382
3Toro RossoSainz Jr. 182, Verstappen 170 352
4FerrariRaikkonen 198, Vettel 148346
5WilliamsMassa 144, Bottas 134278
6LotusMaldonado 137, Grosjean 53190
7Red BullRicciardo 83, Kvyat 81164
8McLarenButton 41, Alonso 3879

Full combined Laps by Engine

PosEngineTeamsTotal No: of laps
1MercedesMercedes 515, Williams 278, Lotus 190983
2FerrariSauber 382, Ferrari 346728
3RenaultToro Rosso 352, Red Bull 164516
4HondaMcLaren 7979

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Low temperatures and a very abrasive track at Jerez: positive initial verdict from drivers on 2015 tyres

Increased laps and performance compared to start of 2014 shows phenomenal hybrid technology development

“The four days at Jerez were quite a straightforward test, with all the teams present getting in a lot more running than they did at this time last year: which just goes to show the phenomenal rate at which this hybrid technology has developed.“ Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said.

“We experienced varied weather conditions on a very abrasive track at Jerez and encountered no issues, with generally positive comments from the drivers. From a tyre perspective, the two tests in Barcelona later this month will be more representative, as long as the weather remains favourable.

“The provision of our ‘winter hard’ prototype compound – a specially created testing compound, with a fast warm-up – was clearly appreciated, as the drivers used it extensively. It’s clear that the new cars have already evolved a lot since 2014, and we anticipate further improvements before we reach Melbourne in March.”

Tyre sets brought to Jerez

284 of which 5 supersoft; 37 soft; 120 medium; 57 hard; 40 intermediate; 25 full wet

Tyre sets used

155 of which: 0 supersoft; 21 soft; 83 medium; 29 hard; 16 intermediate; 6 full wet

Pirelli’s special ‘winter hard’ prototype tyres (16 sets) were also brought to Jerez. Two sets of these are available per team for the total of the three pre-season test sessions. The ‘winter hard’ is a prototype tyre strictly for testing purposes only, which will not form part of the P Zero range in 2015. It is a hard tyre with a low working range compound, which allows it to quickly reach top performance even in cool conditions: well suited for European weather conditions in February.

Longest run per tyre:

PosCompoundDriverTeamNo: of Laps
1SupersoftNo Laps
2SoftPastor Maldonado Lotus19 (Day 3)
3MediumNico Rosberg Mercedes29 (Day 1)
4Winter Hard Nico Rosberg Mercedes34 (Day 1)
5HardNico Rosberg Mercedes42 (Day 1)
6Intermediate Nico Rosberg Mercedes25 (Day 3)
7Full WetFelipe NasrSauber4 laps (Day 2)

The best times and their tyre choice of every day:

DriverTeamLapTimeTyre
Day 1Sebastian VettelFerrari601:22.620Medium
Day 2Sebastian VettelFerrari891:20.984Medium
Day 3Felipe NasrSauber1091:21.545Soft
Day 4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1061:20.841Soft

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