Barcelona 2009 testing, 17 November, debriefs and times PDF Print E-mail
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.
For the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Luca Badoer and Marc Gené sat behind the wheels of the red single-seaters. The two test-drivers have different programs but also different set ups of their F2008s. Luca started a very important reliability test as far as engine and gearbox are concerned, driving a slightly modified car in terms of aero package to simulate the downforce of the 2009 season, furthermore there were weights added to the car, to simulate the situation when the KERS is employed, which was only partially on the car today. Marc is using an unmodified F2008 and will test different set ups. Both Ferraristi are using slicks, which will be used in the upcoming season.
Considering the different configurations of the cars on the track, today's lap times are no indicator at all and the tests after the end of the season are usually completely about experimenting with new solutions and not about performance.
At the end of the day the twoToro Rosso drivers were the fastest on the track: the Japanese Takuma Sato with a lap time of 1.20.763 ahead of the Swiss Sebastien Bümi (1.21.071). The two drivers with from the Prancing Horse drove the eighth fastest (1.23.515 - Badoer) and 13th fastest lap times (1.24.521 - Gené).

Robert Kubica
Chassis / engine: BMW Sauber F1.08B-03 / BMW 86/9
Test kilometres today: 261 km (56 laps)
Fastest lap: 1:22.341 min

Christian Klien
Chassis / engine: BMW Sauber F1.08B-06 / BMW 86/9 with KERS
Test kilometres today: 243 km (52 laps)
Fastest lap: 1:22.883 min

Today the BMW Sauber F1 Team carried out testing with two F1.08B interim cars featuring a modified 2008 chassis with some of the bodywork complying to the 2009 regulations. In addition, Christian Klien’s car was fitted with BMW’s own KERS device. During the first of three test days in Barcelona the team’s main goal was to collect data in preparation for the 2009 season. Both drivers tried different mechanical and aerodynamic solutions as well as sampling first impressions of the 2009 slick tyres. “We are gaining more and more experience with the KERS system,” commented Klien, “but we still have a lot of work to do to fine-tune the system.”

What comes next:
The BMW Sauber F1 Team will continue testing in Barcelona for two more days. Tomorrow Robert Kubica will again be at the wheel of the BMW Sauber F1.08B, along with Nick Heidfeld. On Wednesday Nick Heidfeld and Christian Klien will be on duty.

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.

"The view from the cockpit is just so much nicer with slick tyres on the car! As a driver, I prefer the driving style with slicks so I am happy that the change has finally come, even if it is too late for me to race with them. My focus for today was on gathering information with the tyres whilst running various 2009 downforce levels. We have come away with good answers and a clear direction so I am pleased with the work that we achieved. It was nice to see the two young guys in action with Honda today. Both understood the car very quickly but how they develop from here with a full day in the car will be important."

"My first day in the Honda car has been a good experience. The focus of my half day programme today has been to get the best possible feeling for the car ahead of my full day tomorrow. One of us had to be the first out on track today and that was me, but this morning the track was really very 'green' and took a while to improve. I ran with slick tyres for the first time and in a car that is both new to me and which had a combination of 2008 and 2009 aero elements, so it was a totally new experience for me but a very enjoyable one. Today I have been using old tyres, running with low downforce and working through a variety of set-ups. Tomorrow will be a better test of what I am capable of."

"The first day of my first Formula One test has been just as big a moment as I expected it to be. I have also had a lot of fun and really enjoyed myself. This morning I focused on doing as much as I could to prepare for my turn. I listened to the team radio and watched and learned how the team works. I was feeling quite calm but on my first lap out of the garage I realised the significance of the moment. This is a very special opportunity and one which has been a dream my whole life. The team were great and left it to me to find my level, but by the end of my second run I was feeling very much at home in the car. There were lots of new sensations as the gearshifts, engine power and aerodynamics compared to a GP2 car were all very different. I need a few adjustments to be fully comfortable in the car for Wednesday but generally I am feeling good. Obviously my full day is when everything will count but I am very pleased with what I achieved today and the more laps I do, the quicker I'll be hopefully. A great, great day for me and I am incredibly grateful to the Honda team for making it possible."

First day of testing at the Barcelona circuit

Maranello, 17th November

Circuit: Circuit de Catalunya - 4.655 km
Drivers: Luca Badoer and Marc Gené
Car: F2008
Weather: air temperature 6/18 °C, track temperature 8/21 °C. Sunny.

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.

Date  Monday November 17 2008 
Drivers  Pedro de la Rosa and Gary Paffett 
Location  Barcelona 
Track length  4.655km 
Weather  Dry all day. Cold in the morning but bright and sunny later. 
Laps completed  65 (Pedro), 78 (Gary) 
Kilometres covered  666km (Pedro 303; Gary 363) 
Best laptime  Pedro - 1m21.417 at 16:13pm 
Programme  Both drivers undertook pre-2009 preparation work using cars fitted with slicks and modified to simulate ’09 levels of downforce. Pedro focused on the MP4-23K - the KERS car. 
Driver for day two  Gary Paffett 
Duration of test  Three days (November 17-19 2008) 

Unofficial times*:

Pos  Driver  Constructor  Time  Laps 
1  Takuma Sato  Scuderia Toro Rosso  1m20.763  121 
2  Sebastien Buemi  Scuderia Toro Rosso  1m21.071  117 
3  Alex Wurz  Honda  1m21.198  77 
4  Pedro de la Rosa  Vodafone McLaren Mercedes  1m21.417  65 
5  Gary Paffett  Vodafone McLaren Mercedes  1m21.956  78 
6  Luca Badoer  Ferrari  1m22.038  94 
7  Robert Kubica  BMW Sauber  1m22.341  56 
8  Sebastien Loeb  Red Bull Racing  1m22.503  82 
9  Nelson Piquet  Renault  1m22.560  80 
10  Christian Klien  BMW Sauber  1m22.883  53 
11  Nico Hulkenberg  Williams  1m23.467  116 
12  Vitantonio Liuzzi  Force India  1m23.794  86 
13  Adrian Sutil  Force India  1m23.832  88 
14  Marc Gene  Ferrari  1m24.177  32 
15  Bruno Senna  Honda  1m24.343  39 
16  Guido van der Garde  Renault  1m24.908  32 
17  Lucas di Grassi  Renault  1m25.512  48 


2011 Driver table

  1. 0 Sebastian Vettel 
  2. 0 Fernando Alonso
  3. 0 Mark Webber
  4. 0 Lewis Hamilton


2011 Constructors table

  1. 0 RBR-Renault
  2. 0 McLaren-Mercedes
  3. 0 Ferrari
  4. 0 Mercedes GP


Need to know

  1. Formula 1 lexicon
  2. Without Traction Control
  3. Logistics of Formula
  4. Rain - adapt to win