With the Jerez Testing now over, we bring you the highlights of the final day along with an analysis of each team and their cars after four days at Jerez.
The last day of the first pre-season test of 2015 ended with Kimi Raikkonen of Ferrari at the top with a 1:20.841 and completing a good 105 laps.
The first test went well for Ferrari as a team as it enjoyed the top spot at the leaderboard for the better part of the test. Both Sebastian and Kimi lapped the Jerez circuit within one-tenth of each other and that’s not even the best part. The car looked more stable in the corners and the aerodynamics proved to be better than its older brother. The engine looked improved and more refined and even the reigning champions Mercedes admitted to looking at Ferrari as potential rivals for 2015. Things are looking up for the Italian stallions.
Sauber F1’s new signing Marcus Ericsson was second fastest in today’s session which confirmed the improvements in the new improved Ferrari Power Unit. However, Marcus stopped late in the session as the car ran out of fuel causing a red flag. They managed a strong 111 laps today.
Things are better for the team with the bluest car on the track than they were last year but it’s still early days with many experts suggesting that the car might be running low on fuel to attract sponsors. The conservative looking Sauber C34 is sure to improve in the coming tests. Both Nasr and Ericsson were happy with a relatively trouble free pre-season test.
Lewis Hamilton ended third on the timesheets today, completing over 100 laps for the first time in the W06, however not trouble free. He spun at the chicane which stopped running for the others but it proved to be a minor setback as he was back out within 40 minutes of his spin.
Mercedes confirmed the pre-season fears that the F1 world is set for a 2014 repeat or an even better expression of dominance with the W06 doing 150+ laps on its debut day. The engine has gained more power, the aero has improved and the drivers are as confident as ever. They’re probably hiding their true pace and are focusing on race pace and finding the limits of the car, reliability wise. Their car was no woe free either as they suffered minor breakdowns, but the mechanics, engineers, drivers and the management are all smiles.
Scuderia Torro Rosso
F1’s youngest driver ever Max Verstappen finished the day in 4th.
The beautiful looking STR11 had a quiet test with drivers optimistic as ever as they introduced a conservative cooling package with an aim to give their drivers as much track time as possible. More to see from them in the coming tests as they plan to introduce a more aggressive package.
Felipe Massa finished 5th today but the times don’t matter in testing as everyone is running their own programs.
Williams looked “okay-ish”, nothing spectacular as such but the chassis itself looks strong with new tid-bits here and there. It’s got an unusually short nose which would aid the airflow. Both Fellipe and Valtteri Bottas are all smiles, so everything looks calm and collected and proceeding to plan for Williams as they aim to better 2014 their one of the best seasons in a long time.
Romain Grosjean finished 6th with a big smile on his face as his new Lotus powered by the Mercedes Power Unit now, certainly feels a big improvement from last year.They ended the day early due to a Power Unit problem though, managing just 53 laps
Lotus arrived a day late at the test with Pastor Maldonado doing the driving on the first two days, before handing the wheel to Romain for the last day. The car is a big improvement and a total beauty and if it looks quick, it might as well be. The team are really optimistic but it’s just the first test, so they are keeping their feet on the ground but things sure are looking brighter than last winter.
Red Bull Racing
Daniil Kvyat finished the day in lucky number 7. Red Bull’s run was largely restricted by an early issue in the morning which was found out to be an ERS fault with the Renault power unit. They could only complete 8 laps in the morning but later increased their tally to 63.
Red Bull looked quick but broke down quicker as well. The team had a lot of minor setbacks. Daniil’s running was limited today as well owing to an ERS problem. The eye candy of a car looks amazing but the pace is surely there as Daniel Ricciardo claimed. Well whatever the case, Red Bull have some amount of catch up to do if they are to win races this year because a lot of teams have upped their game.
Jenson Button finished dead last today but that’s not what McLaren would care about. The car lapped within 7 seconds of the leaders with 35 laps under its belt for two consecutive days. The team ended the day early today courtesy a faulty fuel pump.
McLaren sure had a slow start to the test but it never had a major breakdown which is big achievement for a new engine manufacturer if you compare the rest of the teams a year back. They overhauled Red Bull’s total testing mileage from last year in a single test. That’s something. The “size-zero” rear of the car is sure to be a big advantage as the Honda engine is not showing signs of overheating at all. So a big thumbs up. Expecting big things from the world champion duo driver lineup of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso.
Well, the first testing is over. Teams have some idea how their 2015 cars are and their quality of work over the winters. Most of the teams do have a lot of work to do before the second test at Barcelona on 19-22 February.
Whatever the case will be at Barcelona, much like Jerez, we at EssentiallySports will have it covered for you.
Edited By Gurkirat Singh Gill