|Barcelona 2009 testing, 17 November, debriefs and times|
Monday, 17 November 2008 20:28
This morning the three day practice session for the nine Formula 1 teams started at the Catalunya circuit, near Barcelona. Today 17 drivers went on the track, while there were also some new entries and a couple of guests.
Amongst unusual names in Formula 1 were also the one of Rally ace Sebastian Loeb, behind the wheel of a Red Bull, and Bruno Senna, Ayrton's nephew, with a Honda.
What comes next:
The ING Renault F1 Team begins its winter testing programme Nelson Piquet, R28-04, 80 laps, 372 km, fastest lap 1:22.560
Giedo van der Garde, R28-05, 32 laps, 149 km, fastest lap 1:24.908
The ING Renault F1 Team kicked off its winter testing programme today at the Circuit de Catalunya near Barcelona. Recently confirmed 2009 driver, Nelson Piquet, was on driving duty and was joined by Giedo van der Garde as the 23-year-old received his prize for winning the World Series by Renault.
The team spent the day running two R28s, working on 2009-type set-ups and evaluating the slick Bridgestone tyres. Nelson clocked up 80 laps during a productive day, while Giedo completed a further 32 laps during his afternoon run as he acclimatised to the R28 which he was sampling for the first time. The young Dutchman adapted well to the ING Renault F1 team and its way of working, which should allow him to build on today’s technical programme when he gets another run in the car tomorrow morning.
Nelson will continue working with the team tomorrow and Wednesday, while Giedo will complete his test tomorrow morning.
Nelson Piquet: “It was a constructive day, although obviously we are right at the very start of winter testing and the cars will be very different next year. Still it’s nice to get a feel for how things are going to be with the sort of set-ups we will be running next year and with slick tyres. The car felt quite different today with these new settings, but the track conditions were good which helped us.”
Giedo van der Garde: “It was a great day. The last time I was in a Formula 1 car was over a year ago, so I had to get used to the speed of the car again. We improved every time we went out, working on getting a better set-up and hopefully we can continue like this tomorrow morning. It’s been nice to work with the team - they are a good bunch of people and I’m really enjoying the experience.”
Christian Silk, Chief Test Engineer: “It’s nice to be back testing again after a break and obviously with new rules coming into force next year, it’s going to be an interesting winter test period. We had a good first day of the programme with no major problems and we learnt what we needed to as we worked on 2009-type set-ups with slick tyres. Giedo had had a good first day with us: he has limited experience of Formula 1 and so it was a learning process, but it was a positive session and he worked well with the engineers. We’ll debrief with him tonight and give him another run out tomorrow morning.”
The Brazilian Grand Prix might still be fresh in everyone's memory, but like all the other teams, Scuderia Toro Rosso's focus is already on the 2009 season. With that in mind, there was a twofold purpose to this first day of a three day session: assessing the slick tyres to be used next year and also assessing potential drivers!
Dealing with the human element first, both Sebastien and Takuma completed a high number of laps, making no mistakes, which is commendable, given that both of them only have limited experience of driving the STR3. The fact they finished the day fastest and second fastest? It means even less than usual. Testing times are always hard to evaluate, but today, there was probably a bigger discrepancy between the car configurations used by the teams and, for our part, the only concession to the new 2009 aerodynamic rules, was to run with less downforce.
As for the tyres, Bridgestone brought its two hardest 2009 slicks and both our drivers spent the entire day on the softer of the two. The results were encouraging, as they performed consistently, allowing us to try various mechanical set up changes to see how they affected performance.
Sebastien continues testing all day tomorrow, while Takuma will run in the morning, before handing over to Sebastien Bourdais.
The Honda Racing F1 Team returned to the test track today just two weeks after the 2008 season finale in Brazil as the Formula One teams travelled to the familiar testing venue of the Circuit de Catalunya in Barcelona to commence preparations for the 2009 season.
The three-day test will see the Honda team run two programmes. Alex Wurz and Jenson Button will focus on the development of the 2009 car whilst the team also evaluates young Brazilians Lucas Di Grassi and Bruno Senna.
Alex kicked off the main test programme evaluating various aerodynamic components for next season and running the Bridgestone Potenza slick tyres. Jenson will take over the car tomorrow to complete the final two days of the test.
Lucas was the first of the young drivers to complete his half-day familiarisation programme this morning. He went out for an initial run on grooved tyres to acclimatise to the car before the team fitted used slicks for the remainder of the session. After lunch, Bruno took to the track for his first ever drive in a Formula One car. He followed the same programme as Lucas, starting on grooved tyres before moving to used slick tyres midway through the session.
Lucas will complete a full day of running tomorrow with Bruno taking over the car on Wednesday.
LUCAS DI GRASSI
Maranello, 17th November
Circuit: Circuit de Catalunya - 4.655 km
Barely two weeks after the end of the 2008 Formula 1 World Championship, testing for next season is already underway, with three days of running at the Catalunya Circuit, near Barcelona.
For Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, its two official test drivers, Luca Badoer and Marc Gene were on track today, both men at the wheel of an F2008 modified to give similar levels of aerodynamic downforce to that predicted to accommodate next year's technical regulations. Both drivers worked on different programmes: Luca began a lengthy engine and gearbox reliability programme, that took up the entire day, while also trying a few new components; Marc, who only had limited mileage available, concentrated on set-up work. Both were on slick tyres.
The day in figures is as follows: 108 laps for Badoer, the quickest in a time of 1.23.264, 33 for Gene, who set a best time of 1.24.177.
Testing continues here tomorrow, again with the two test drivers on track.
Pos Driver Constructor Time Laps