Tag Archives: Test

Mercedes and Ferrari test Pirell’s 2017 tyres

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Yesterday at the Paul Ricard circuit, Pirelli’s 2017 tyre testing got underway with Ferrari and Mercedes helping to develop its prototype tyres at two different circuits.

Mercedes will be testing the new wider tyres at the Paul Ricard circuit in the south of France over a three-day test, while Ferrari is testing for two days at the Circuit de Catalunya outside Barcelona. The tests are designed to help Pirelli develop its constructions and compounds for 2017 and are conducted “blind” so as not to give an advantage to the teams participating. Data from the test will be analysed by Pirelli and circulated to all 11 teams in the interest of fairness.

With Manor driver Pascal Wehrlein was at the wheel of the modified Mercedes W06 at Paul Ricard while Ferrari’s regular race driver Kimi Raikkonen took to the wheel of the SF15-T mule car at the Circuit de Catalunya. They are the third and fourth tests of Pirelli’s ten-test schedule for 2016 and are both focused on developing the slick tyres rather than the wets.

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The wider tyres will be twinned with a significant step in downforce levels next year in the hope of reducing lap times by as much as five seconds. Pirelli is in regular communication with the teams about the development of the 2017 cars in an attempt to understand the forces its tyres are going to be subject to and develop accordingly.

Pirelli is hoping to minimise the performance degradation of the 2017 tyres, which has been a major factor in races since 2011. The hope is to develop a tyre that allows drivers to push throughout a grand prix distance while still having multiple pit stops during a race. Pirelli is also optimistic the wider contact patch will allow it to reduce the high tyre pressure prescriptions it has needed to introduce in the last two years as downforce levels have increased.

Ferrucci gets Haas F1 test

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It was announced yesterday that eighteen-year-old American driver Santino Ferrucci will test for the Haas team at the two days of testing at Silverstone in the week after the British Grand Prix.

Ferrucci was named Haas’ development driver in March, which he does alongside GP3 duties for the DAMS team. The driver will pilot the VF-16 on July 12 and 13 at the Silverstone circuit. In a statement to the media, Ferrucci is delighted with the opportunity and understands the importance of it too. Ferrucci stated the following:-

‘Becoming a Formula One driver is my ultimate goal and I can’t thank Haas F1 Team enough for this opportunity. Nothing beats seat time, and the experience of driving a Formula One car and working with Haas F1 Team will be invaluable.’

F1’s rules state two of the four days of in-season testing must be done by a young driver, classed as someone who has competed in two races or less. As Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean competed in a day apiece in Barcelona both are ineligible for another test, while reserve driver Alexander Rossi competed in five races at the end of 2015.

In his own statement to the media, Haas team principal Guenther Steiner said the following about Ferruci testing for the team:-

‘We brought Santino on with Haas F1 Team because he’s done a very good job of proving himself in each of the racing series he’s competed in. We see Santino as a young, American driver with a lot of potential who has earned this opportunity.’

Ferrucci graduated to open wheel racing in 2013, competing in Formula 2000, finishing in the top four in all six of his races. He competed in British Formula 3 the following year, becoming the youngest race winner in the history of the series in the process. Last year he raced in the Formula 3 European Championship and finished third in the Toyota Racing Series New Zealand.

Ferrari to test latest version of the Halo concept in Austria

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It was announced this afternoon that the Ferrari team will run the latest version of the Halo cockpit protection device during Friday practice for the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.

Since first running an early prototype in pre-season testing, the FIA has been developing the concept to increase its strength and reduce weight. The most recent evolution features a titanium structure and will add roughly 10kg to the car’s weight but protect the driver from large flying objects.

The latest prototype built by Ferrari is expected to be fitted to Sebastian Vettel’s car for a brief one-lap run at the start of first practice.

Driver extrication tests with the modified Halo will also be held this weekend in Austria, but the FIA’s Laurent Mekies told the media in a statement last week that he did not envisage any major issues. Mekies said the following:-

‘We have obviously done extrication with the initial version of the Halo and it didn’t prove to be a problem, even with the current time [limit in the regulations]. We are saying that whatever problems you might find now, we should be able to resolve them between now and the season start, so it should not be a show-stopper right now.

‘Because the geometry has been evolving, when we get to the final geometry, hopefully in the next few weeks, we will start intensifying the work. But yes, we have done quite a lot of extrication tests already.’

Following the tests in Austria this week, the FIA will present the latest concept to the teams ahead of a final decision on its implementation by mid-August.

Pirelli set for an 12 hour test following the Abu Dhabi GP

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It was announced yesterday that Formula 1 is set to run a 12-hour one-day test following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after the plan was backed by teams at a meeting of the sporting directors.

The Italian manufacturer has long been keen to finalise the details of the test which will be taking place on Tuesday 1st December to gather data on its new fifth super-super soft compound.

It is understood that Pirelli has presented its run plans to the teams, who met in Mexico on Thursday nd as is the case with tyre-specific tests; it will pick up the cost of the circuit hire and the tyres.

The test is open to all teams with Pirelli requesting they run at least one race driver each as they will have the most experience of the current tyres which will enhance the feedback on the new compound.

Pirelli is asking fans to vote on social media for their choice of colour for the new compound between purple and silver and it is understood the former is currently the frontrunner.

It also understood that the two-day wet-weather test, which has received the backing of the teams, has been pencilled in for 25-26 January 2016.

Gasly to recieve test debut with Toro Rosso

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It has been announced this afternoon that Red Bull junior driver Pierre Gasly will be testing for the Toro Rosso team this season after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Gasly joined the Red Bull driver programme last season and finished runner up to Carlos Sainz Jr in the Formula Renault 3.5 series.

He was in the running to become a driver with Toro Rosso this season but Sainz Jr. was selected for the seat instead. This season, Gasly is competing in GP2 with the DAMS team with Alex Lynn has his team mate.

His debut will be at Barcelona in the test on the 12-13th May but it has not been announced if Gasly will be running on the two days as of yet.

2014 Abu Dhabi test line ups

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The final F1 test of 2014 takes place in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and Wednesday, with the teams fielding a mix of race drivers and talented youngsters.

Newly-crowned World Champion Lewis Hamilton will miss the test with Nico Rosberg on driving duties for Mercedes on Tuesday before reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein takes over on the final day.

Ferrari will give Raffaele Marciello a chance to impress when he shares driving duties with Kimi Raikkonen. The Italian finished eighth in his rookie season in GP2 with his sole victory coming at Spa-Francorchamps.

He will be joined by GP2 Champion Jolyon Palmer who will get a day at the wheel of the Force India, whilst runner-up in the Series Stoffel Vandoorne will shakedown the new Honda engine on both days.

The Abu Dhabi Test line ups are as follows:-

Red Bull: Tuesday: Carlos Sainz; Wednesday: Daniel Ricciardo.

Mercedes: Tuesday: Nico Rosberg; Wednesday: Pascal Wehrlein.

Ferrari: Tuesday: Kimi Raikkonen; Wednesday: Raffaele Marciello.

Lotus: Esteban Ocon and TBC.

McLaren: Tuesday and Wednesday: Stoffel Vandoorne.

Force India: Tuesday: Jolyon Palmer; Wednesday: Spike Goddard.

Sauber: Tuesday and Wednesday: Marcus Ericsson.

Toro Rosso: Tuesday and Wednesday: Max Verstappen.

Williams: Tuesday: Valtteri Bottas; Wednesday: Felipe Nasr.

Caterham: Tuesday and Wednesday: Will Stevens.

Palmer and Goddard to test for Force India in Abu Dhabi next week

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It has been announced this morning that Jolyon Palmer has earned himself a Formula 1 test with Force India following his GP2 success while Spike Goddard will also get a chance in Abu Dhabi next week.

23-year-old Palmer became the first Briton since Lewis Hamilton in 2006 to win GP2 Series, winning the title on the back of four victories and with a race to spare. He will be in the cockpit of the VJM07 on the Tuesday while Goddard will take over on the final day at the Yas Marina Circuit.

In an interview with the media today, Palmer is grateful for the chance that Force India have provided with and hopes that this leads to bigger things in his career. Palmer stated the following:-

‘I have worked very hard for a chance like this and I want to help the team get the most from this test session. This is a team that has always promoted talent and I hope this opportunity can lead to bigger things in the future.’

It is clear that Palmer is happy to receive the opportunity to test with Force India next week after the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix especially after his performances so far in his career and being crowned GP2 Champion this season. As Palmer points out, Force India have always tested up and coming drivers and the test could provide him with the opportunity not only to gain experience in a F1 car but also to get a Formula One seat.

Meanwhile, Australian driver Goddard competed in the FIA European F3 Championship the past two seasons, having won the rookie class of the British Formula Three Championship in 2012. In his interview with the media today, Goddard is like Palmer extremely grateful for the chance to test in Formula One with Force India next week. Goddard stated the following:-

‘Every young racing driver dreams to be at the wheel of a Formula One car and I am very excited to be one of the very few who gets to fulfil this dream.

‘The test is an important stage in the preparations for 2015 and I hope my contribution will be useful for the team to get a head start for next season.’

As Goddard states in his interview today, every racing driver dreams of racing an Formula One car and is clearly looking forward to next week and showing what he can do in the car in Abu Dhabi. There is no denying that this will help the team acquire data for their 2015 as we go into the winter and I am sure that the data and feedback Goddard will provide will help the team.

When asked his thoughts on allowing Palmer and Goddard to test for the team in Abu Dhabi next week, Force India’s Team Principal Vijay Mallya is happy to give both drivers a chance to show what they can do on the track and wishes them every success. Mallya said the following:-

‘I’m pleased that we can conclude our season by giving two promising youngsters their first taste of Formula One. As a team we have a strong track record of identifying up-and-coming prospects and giving them valuable mileage and experience in our cars.

‘I have been following Jolyon’s progress this season in GP2 and he is clearly a big talent that deserves a chance in Formula One. Spike has also worked hard to get this chance and it’s the perfect opportunity to showcase his skills. I wish Jolyon and Spike all the best for a successful couple of days in Abu Dhabi.’

From what Mallya has stated today, it is clear that he has followed the careers of Palmer and Goddard quite closely and is confident enough to allow both drivers the opportunity to gain experience in a Formula One car. Force India do have a track record of allowing young drivers the opportunity to gain mileage in a Formula One car and their track record is impressive without a shadow of a doubt.

But for me Mallya sums my opinion quite nicely. Both drivers have worked hard during their careers and this season and have shown that they are capable but also worthy of a test run for the Force India team next week. It is clear that Mallya and the Force India team believe they have the talent to impress and also allow them to achieve their objective of getting some data to get a headstart on the 2015 season and also for the car too.

I do just like Mallya wish Palmer and Goddard the best of luck with their test runs next week in Abu Dhabi and look forward to seeing what they can do in a Formula One car.