Pre-season test: Day 3

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Romain Grosjean drove for his final day of pre-season testing today, completing 116 laps in the Lotus E23 hybrid at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. He ran a comprehensive programme including a race simulation, clocking a best lap time of 1min 24.200secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Chilly, warm, chilly. Ambient 5°C – 18°C Track 9°C – 30°C
Programme: Set-up assessments, race simulation, aero evaluations
Laps Completed: 116
Classification: P5, 1:24.200
Interruptions: None

Romain Grosjean: “That was a long day and the track conditions varied quite a lot. This morning went pretty well, we had a lot of work to do with some aero and set-up tasks as we’re trying to test as many things as possible before Melbourne. In the afternoon we ran a race simulation and other performance evaluations. There’s potential for improvement in some areas but we have plenty of data to get the car more to where we want it to be for Melbourne. I can’t wait to for the season to start.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Today we completed another extensive programme with the E23 running reliably throughout. Track conditions were quite difficult for establishing a baseline as the track temperature varied a lot through the day, but nevertheless we ran for over 100 laps and have a lot more information relating to the various aero and set-up configurations. We have quite a long night ahead of us as tomorrow is the final day of testing where we hope to make further progress with Pastor at the wheel.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Chassis and aero work
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 5 – 17 ºC / 9 – 30 ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “It was Felipe’s last day in the car before Melbourne and we have had a busy day. We focused on chassis and aero work as well as longer runs on scrubbed tyres to see the degradation and tyre performance. We did a grid simulation at lunchtime to ensure the procedural processes are all in place for when we arrive in Melbourne. We have just one day of the test left now, and it will be another busy one for the team.”

Felipe Massa: “We had another good day with over 100 laps completed. We reached the end of the programme in good time and the car has remained very reliable over all three tests. Our long runs look positive and the car remains consistent throughout the stints. We are not the only quick car on the track though and the fight behind Mercedes will be interesting. I now have to get ready for the first race of the season in Melbourne, which I am really looking forward to.”

 

Sahara Force India completed another busy day of testing in Barcelona as Nico Hülkenberg clocked 158 laps at the wheel of the new VJM08.

Nico Hülkenberg #27
Chassis: VJM08-01
Laps: 158 laps
Mileage: 735km
Fastest lap: 1:24.939
Classification: P7 of 9

Nico Hülkenberg: “It was a very positive day in terms of reliability and getting a lot of mileage under our belts. It was our first full day of testing so our main focus remained on getting to know the car, the way we set it up and its characteristics. I think we made some good progress in this regard and we managed to get a decent understanding of how the VJM08 feels under different conditions. That’s definitely a positive, although it remains very hard to judge where everyone is in terms of performance. Next time I will step in the car will be in Melbourne: I am very excited to fly to Australia as that’s when you get the racing feeling again. I am really looking forward to getting going and being back in a competition; that is something I relish. Hopefully the work we did in the last few weeks will pay off and we will be in a position for fight for a good result.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer “It was another solid day of testing with the VJM08, which is proving to be a very reliable car so far: the plan we had set for ourselves today was very ambitious but we managed to achieve all its main points. We have taken another big step in our process of understanding the performance of the car and we were able to work through both performance runs and longer stints. Track temperatures were not ideal as they were very much on the cool side, but we still learnt a lot and gathered a significant amount of data to analyse tonight. It was Nico’s last day in the car before heading off to Melbourne: the work he completed today will help us ensure we make the most of our final day in the car tomorrow as Sergio steps in the cockpit for the first time.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

Pre-season test: Day 2

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

The new Sahara Force India VJM08 made its bow at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, with Nico Hülkenberg completing a total of 77 laps.

Nico Hülkenberg #27
Chassis: VJM08-01
Laps: 77 laps
Mileage: 358km
Fastest lap: 1:28.412
Classification: P9 of 9

Nico Hülkenberg: “It was a very good day, at least in terms of the running we managed to do. We were able to run reliably straight out of the box and that is very encouraging. The boys and girls at the factory and here at the track have been pushing really hard in the last couple of weeks and to do 77 laps in little more than one afternoon is a remarkable job by the team. Obviously we still have a big task ahead of us and we are playing catch-up in certain aspects, but I am quite satisfied so far. The car feels pretty good, although making a direct comparison with our 2014 car is not easy as the conditions in winter testing are always very particular. One of our team’s strengths is to learn about the car quickly, so we will need to get as much data as possible to get in a good position for Melbourne.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “It has been a real big effort from all the staff back at the factory to get the car ready and out here for this test. Managing to run our installation laps before the lunch break was very useful and helped us achieve a solid first day with the VJM08. These are the very early stages of the VJM08’s running and it is encouraging to get 77 laps on the board: we could have got even more mileage had it not been for the red flags at the end of the day. Today was all about achieving a first understanding of the new car and to run this long allowed us to collect a sizeable amount of very valuable data.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Valtteri Bottas
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Aero work and race procedure
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 8 – 17ºC / 11 – 26ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “We started the day doing some aero work comparing data and driver feel. We then moved on to a few performance based runs. Later in the day we worked on race procedure including some longer runs and grid simulations. We have had some new components that have performed as expected which has been productive. We have a busy final two days of the test as we optimise the time left until the first race.”

Valtteri Bottas: “It was nice to focus on performance today and work to get the lap times lower. We are working hard and still have two days left of the test so there is more still to do. The day was busy and we know there is still more to come, I feel positive and the balance was good. We still need to make sure we look at the longer runs and not just the one lap qualifying pace.”

 

Lotus

Pastor Maldonado completed a tally of 140 laps – more than 650km or the distance of two Grand Prix – as he resumed test duties in the E23 hybrid at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya today. Pastor ran an extensive programme including a race simulation, clocking a best lap time of 1min 26.705secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Blue skies with picturesque clouds. Ambient 9°C – 17°C Track 13°C – 24°C
Programme: Front suspension geometry evaluation, race simulation, aero assessments
Laps Completed: 140
Classification: P6, 1:26.705
Interruptions: None

Pastor Maldonado: “We ran the car for a long time today which has been a good endorsement of my winter training programme as I still feel fresh after 140 laps. We did a lot of different assessments so I had plenty to think about and it was good to do the race simulation as we’ll soon be heading to Melbourne. There’s a lot of information to digest from today and I can’t wait to get back in the car on Sunday.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “We’ve completed a high tally of laps today and the E23 has run reliably throughout. This is great for us as we’ve been able to try a number of different set-up and aero configurations to enable us to get as much data as possible to make further progress in our understanding of our new car. Pastor did a great job despite driving the equivalent distance of more than two Grand Prix and we’re looking forward to Romain jumping back into the car tomorrow.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain

2nd pre-season test: Day 1

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Romain Grosjean resumed test duties in the Lotus E23 hybrid for the first day of the second pre-season test at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Grosjean completed 75 laps over the course of a programme of set-up evaluations and performance simulations, in particular evaluating a new front suspension geometry. His best lap was a 1min 26.177secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cool, cloudy, occasional rain, changeable. Ambient 8°C – 17°C Track 10°C – 24°C
Programme: Front suspension geometry evaluation, set-up assessments
Laps Completed: 75
Classification: P5, 1:26.177
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment removal.

Romain Grosjean: “We tried a lot of different set-ups today so there was a lot of returning to the garage for different things to be changed, which is all part of testing. The car’s been reliable again and we’ve gone through quite a bit of work even if the lap count isn’t as high as some other days – it’s all part of the learning process at a test.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “We had a productive morning evaluating a new front suspension geometry, then we spent more time trying different set-ups in the afternoon. The E23 was once more reliable and we’ve collected plenty of data and good feedback from Romain. The track was damp for a while, so we avoided too much time on the circuit in those conditions as it’s not productive to be on circuit at those times for test purposes.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Three - Day 1 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Williams

Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW37-01/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Aero and Chassis work
Weather: Overcast and dry
Air and track temps: 8 – 17ºC / 19 – 24ºC
Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “The programme was slightly upset by the rain in the morning, but that just meant we had more work to do in the afternoon. We managed to complete the planned schedule though and we have made some positive changes to the chassis, as well as some aero adjustments. We are now looking at what we will take to Australia to make sure we are prepared for the first race. It has been a good day, with no reliability issues.”

Felipe Massa: “It was a good day for us and the car behaved well. When we tried to use the new soft tyre we managed to get some quicker laps in. The FW37 never showed a sign of an issue and this has been the case since we arrived at the first test in Jerez. We are doing a lot of work and seem to be moving forward.”

Barcelona tests: Day 4

Nico Hulkenberg (and below)

Nico Hulkenberg (and below)

 

Sahara Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg clocked his first miles of 2015 in the final day of testing in Barcelona, completing 36 laps on a windy and chilly day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Nico Hulkenberg #27
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 36 laps
Mileage: 168 km
Fastest lap: 1:26.591
Classification: P8 of 9

Nico Hulkenberg: “It was a very nice sensation to be back in a Formula One car and getting the feeling of being in the cockpit again. It was exciting and I really enjoyed my time driving the car and working with the engineers after the winter break. Unfortunately our day was shortened by an issue with the power unit, something we will look into once the car is back at the factory. This, together with the very windy and cold conditions, made our work harder but every lap is valuable in pre-season. I am really looking forward to the final test next week and to try the new car. I am especially looking forward to Melbourne and starting racing again.”

Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer: “It was not the most straightforward of days, with a few technical issues costing us track time. A windy morning made it difficult to evaluate some of the items we were testing, but it still made for a useful first experience with the new Pirelli tyres for Nico, and we will be able to extract some data from those laps. Although we finish this test with a fairly frustrating day for Nico, over these four days we gathered a lot of useful information and we will put that into good practice for the start of the season.”

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Romain Grosjean returned to the wheel of the Lotus F1 E23 hybrid to top the times for the fourth day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. Romain completed 111 laps over the course of a programme of set-up evaluations and performance simulations. The day was characterised by clear skies and sunshine, however conditions were windy. Romain’s best lap time of 1min 24.067secs was the fastest of the test.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Sun, crisp and windy. Ambient 10°C – 19°C Track 11°C – 29°C
Programme: Tyre and aero assessments, performance simulations
Laps Completed: 111
Classification: P1, 1:24.067
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment fitting and removal.

Lotus F1 will resume test action at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya for the next four-day test commencing Thursday 26 February with Romain driving on the first and third day and Pastor in action on days two and four.

France's Romain Grosjean (and below)

France’s Romain Grosjean (and below)

 
Romain Grosjean: “It was great to get behind the wheel of the E23 once more. Conditions were pretty tricky with quite a bit of wind, especially early on, but the car ran well, meaning we could complete the tests we wanted to – even if I had to modify my lines in the morning because the wind was pushing the car! We made some good improvements with the balance and set-up over the course of the day and it felt a lot better after we made changes for the afternoon. We completed a very promising mileage and it’s always good to see your name at the top of the timing monitors, even if it is far too early to know what everyone else is doing.”

Nick Chester, Technical Director: “We’ve enjoyed a solid first test in Barcelona with good reliability and encouraging performance. The biggest positive we have seen so far is the reliability of the E23 which is enabling us to push along with our assessments and evaluations over the course of 361 laps or 1680km. It was good to have Romain in the car so we could add his feedback to that we’ve already received here from Pastor and Jolyon. Today was particularly windy, making it harder to work on car balance assessments, but we conducted a productive race simulation in the afternoon as well as other performance evaluations. During this test, we’ve completed plenty of laps so we have plenty to be working on over the next three days before we’re back in action here.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 4 -  Barcelona, SpainMotor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 4 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Williams

Driver: Valtteri Bottas

Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Set-up and Race sim
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 11 – 19 ºC / 12 – 28ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “We had a very busy plan today. The morning was tough due to the wind conditions which affected our chassis testing. In the afternoon we had a race-sim planned, but this was interrupted by three red flags, then once again in the final run of the day there was another red flag. All of these stoppages stilted our progression slightly and meant we couldn’t quite complete our plan. Throughout the whole test though we have gathered a lot of data and are prepared for the final test next week.

Valtteri Bottas: “We completed quite a few laps today which was positive even though our programme was disrupted a few times. The FW37 remains reliable but we have quite a way to go before we are at the level we want to be, although we are on schedule. Both tests have been relatively issue free and so we have begun preparations for Australia and look forward to the final test next week.”

 

 

Barcelona tests: Day 3

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

Pastor Maldonado returned to the wheel of the Lotus F1 E23 for the third day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, setting the day’s fastest lap whilst he accomplished an extensive programme. Pastor’s quickest lap was a 1min 24.348secs, completed during the course of his 104 laps, comprising of various aero, tyre and performance simulations.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cold and cloudy with sporadic rain. Ambient 8°C – 14°C Track 10°C – 20°C
Programme: Tyre and aero assessments, performance simulations
Laps Completed: 104
Classification: P1, 1:24.348
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment fitting and removal

Pastor Maldonado: “We achieved a lot today and it was great to complete so many laps and end the day as the fastest car. Certainly, I feel much more confident in the E23 and we’re learning a lot about it with all the laps we’re completing. I’m able to push when needed and everything about the whole package feels a lot more together than last year, especially if you remember where we were in terms of performance and reliability during the pre-season in 2014. We still have a lot of work to do, but we’re making very good progress so we’re all very positive about the work being done.”

Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “It was a productive day for us today. We chose to stay in the garage when it was damp outside yet we still managed to complete over a hundred laps. We’ve worked through a long checklist including aero and tyre assessments in the morning, then various performance assessments in the afternoons. Our aero work has been particularly productive and we’re showing good correlation with our wind tunnel and simulations.”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain

 

 

Pascal Wehrlein was back in the driving seat as Sahara Force India completed another successful day of testing in Barcelona, the young German completing 81 laps in a session affected by unpredictable weather. Race driver Nico Hulkenberg will make his 2015 debut in the final day of testing tomorrow.

Pascal Wehrlein #34
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 81 laps
Mileage: 377 km
Fastest lap: 1:27.333
Classification: P8 of 10

Pascal Wehrlein: “It was great to be back in the car after a surprising Thursday and this turned out to be another great day. When you get into a completely different car to what you are used to, everything is new, from how the car feels to the buttons and dials on the steering wheel. Having had the experience on Thursday really helped me with this, I learnt a lot in these two days and that made a difference for me. The team did really help me settle in my role: everyone welcomed me from the start and made it really easy to work. The atmosphere is great. Today’s work was very focussed on set-up and we even managed to include a longer run: it was a good day’s work and I am looking forward for more opportunities in the future.”

Pascal Wehrlein (and below)

Pascal Wehrlein (and below)

 
Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 3 -  Barcelona, Spain
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer “It’s never ideal to have rain showers disrupting the day, but in the end everyone is under the same sky and facing the same challenges. Today it was a matter of adapting to the conditions and making the most of the time we had and I feel we achieved that. Pascal settled within the team really well in his first full day, getting to know the engineers and the mechanics; he did a very mature and solid job without putting a single foot wrong. He handled the changing conditions well and did not let the very low track temperatures affect him. We managed to include both set-up and long run evaluations in our programme and, despite the poor weather, it was still a productive day. Our final day of testing tomorrow will be similar to what we did yesterday, allowing Nico Hulkenberg to do his first running on the 2015 tyres and to get his first mileage of the season.”

 

Williams

Driver: Felipe Massa/Valtteri Bottas
Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Pitstop practice
Weather: Cold with a few showers
Air and track temps: 4 – 14ºC / 10 – 18 ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “We were expecting rain today so we changed the plan slightly. The day was dedicated to pitstop practice and we ran through various scenarios, issues and problems we may encounter in a race situation. I am happy with the way the team has managed themselves and worked with the issues thrown at them. We have a busy programme planned for Valtteri tomorrow so hopefully the conditions are good.”

Felipe Massa: “I did a few laps at the start of the day, but it was hard to gain anything from my perspective. The programme for the day was to practice the pitstop procedure which come a Grand Prix are always important. It is positive to have the team ready and it’s always good for the driver to practice so the team know what to expect. The whole procedure has to be quick and we can only do that by practicing.”

Valtteri Bottas: “The programme for the whole day was pitstop practice. It was difficult to get a feel for the car on the rest of the lap as I was on old tyres and my only proper run was when the track was very cold at the end of the day. It was good for the team to practice the pitstop procedure, but also for me to practice too. Australia is just a few weeks away and we need to be ready for all elements of the race. Every stop is important and it’s good to be well prepared.”

Barcelona tests: Day 2

Jolyon Palmer in the E23

Jolyon Palmer in the E23 (and below)

 

Jolyon Palmer had his first taste of the Lotus F1 E23 hybrid in his role as third and reserve driver. Over the course of 77 laps at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Jolyon ran through a programme of tyre and aero assessments, setting a best lap of 1min 26.280secs.

Track: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, Spain, 4.7km
Chassis: E23-02
Weather: Cold and sunny. Ambient 4°C – 17°C Track 7°C – 27°C
Programme: Tyre and aero assessments
Laps Completed: 77
Classification: P8, 1:26.280
Interruptions: Aero evaluation equipment fitting and removal. Fluid replenishment.

Jolyon Palmer: “Today went well. We racked up a lot of laps and I got a good feel for the car. It was very slippery first thing with the cold track, it was certainly very difficult with the hard tyres combined with the low temperatures! Through the day there was a good mix of conditions and set-ups to work with. There was a lot to take on board with the different settings for the car and the different programmes we were running, so it’s been a pretty steep learning curve. It’s been a very positive start for me and I hope my work has benefited the team. I loved being in the car and I can’t wait to get back out on track!”

 

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Alan Permane, Trackside Operations Director: “Today was about data accumulation and Jolyon did a great job in his first time in the car, especially with particularly cold conditions to start the session here this morning. We’ve completed a number of aero runs with a variety of different data collection tools on the car as well as conducted a number of different tyre assessments to build a picture of what to expect from Pirelli’s latest tyres working on the E23. The car has run well again and overall we’re making good progress this week.”

 

Williams

Driver: Felipe Massa
Chassis/Engine: FW37-02/PU106B hybrid
Location: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655km
Objectives: Systems, set-up and tyre work
Weather: Warm and Dry
Air and track temps: 4 – 15ºC / 9 – 27ºC

Rod Nelson, Chief Test and Support Engineer: “It has been another productive day. Barcelona is a good representative circuit so the data we get here is very useful. We had a lot of work to do with Felipe which we covered. Our focus is moving from reliability and long runs to more performance based tests and I am pleased with how the car has run so far in Barcelona.”

Felipe Massa: “The car has a lot of potential and today we realised some of that but we still have a lot of work to do. We completed the programme for the day without any unexpected issues. The work on tyres this afternoon gave us a lot of good data which we now have to look at. Getting more laps in the FW37 is important for the continued development of the car.”

 

Sahara Force India made the most of the second day of testing in Barcelona, as Sergio Perez completed a total of 121 laps – the second highest tally in the field.

Sergio Perez #11
Chassis: VJM07-02
Laps: 121 laps
Mileage: 563 km
Fastest lap: 1:24.702
Classification: P4 of 10

Sergio Perez: “I am really happy with the way the day went and by the amount of laps we managed to complete. We worked on understanding the new tyres and I think we took a good step forward in that respect; of course, we are waiting for our ‘new baby’ to come and we’re really looking forward to put all the learning we did in the last two days into practice with the new car. On a personal level, these days have also been valuable to get to know my new race and performance engineers: we made good progress and I am looking forward to even more when working on the simulator this coming week.”

Motor Racing - Formula One Testing - Test Two - Day 2 -  Barcelona, Spain
Tom McCullough, Chief Race Engineer “It was a very productive day with a solid 121 laps and no technical issues. Our main objectives of the day were for Sergio to get to know his new engineering team better, in addition to lots of set-up and procedural work. We continued the evaluation of the 2015 Pirelli tyres we started yesterday, working through performance running in the morning and long runs in the afternoon. The data we gathered today will be really useful not just for the first few races, but also for the final test next week. We are looking forward to continuing our testing programme over the final two days.”

A rather thoughtful looking Perez

A rather thoughtful looking Perez

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