Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013

Teams haven’t sussed out tyres yet – Ferrari

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Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013In the round-up: Ferrari technical director Pat Fry says there are still many unknowns about the new 2013-specification tyres:


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Fry: “The key will be understanding the tyres” (Ferrari)

“All the teams, ourselves included, will still have a lot to learn about the tyres in Melbourne. The performance and the degradation of the tyres will be the determining factor in establishing how competitive everyone is.”

Raikkonen insists reliability not a worry (Autosport)

“The few times that problems have cost us many hours, it’s always been the same thing. And we don’t expect it to happen when it’s warmer.”

Newin and Tilke to build racing circuit in Buri Ram (The Nation)

Buriram United president Newin Chidchob: “Why don’t we build a track for F1? Personally, I don’t see it feasible because there’re approximately 40 venues around the world that can host F1 race but there’re only 18 races for a season. So, there’s a possibility that our track would not be included in the F1 calendar.”

Schumacher withdraws from karting event (GP Update)

“The seven-time Formula 1 world champion, who was part of a five-strong Tony Kart entry, took the decision to sit out after Thursday and Friday’s practice sessions.”

Barrichello struggles in stock car debut in Brazil (CBS Sports)

“Former Formula One driver Rubens Barrichello struggled in his first race after joining a stock car series in Brazil, finishing 25th after blowing a tire at Interlagos circuit Sunday.”


Comment of the day

Thoughts on Red Bull’s testing pace from @AdrianMorse:

Red Bull are obviously hiding (or at least not demonstrating) their ultimate pace ?ǣ there?s no way they are more than two seconds off the pace. At the same time, I think the Mercedes and Ferrari must have been pretty light when they set those times. I don?t believe they?re almost two seconds faster than last year?s pole with 30kg of fuel in the tank.

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On this day in F1

Ronnie Peterson gave the Lotus 78 its last victory in the South African Grand Prix 35 years ago today.

He took victory from Patrick Depailler’s Tyrrell on the last lap of the race:

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  • 42 comments on “Teams haven’t sussed out tyres yet – Ferrari”

    1. Tyres not sussed? Melbourne could not come faster.

    2. What the hell is wrong with Red Bull. They have this sense that they are somehow privileged.

      Asking photographers not to make photographs from a perfectly legal positions (not breaking into someone’s garage and similar) is like asking Red Bull not to exploit loopholes in regulations, and we all know where they stand in regards to that.

      1. @brace – I can see why they wouldn’t want prying eyes from seeing their developments (as really, who would) but they are taking it too far. Keith has experienced their forcefulness first hand and I do agree they could be less stuck-up about it. I do see why they wouldn’t want photographers posting pictures of the diffuser everywhere though!

    3. Re the YouTube clip of the 1978 SA GP… That was an odd 1st corner on the last lap. Why was Peterson gesticulating when Depailler took him on the inside? Subsequently it looked like Depailler handed it back to him soon after? Maybe I’m missing something obvious

      1. Confusing but I think that’s a different Lotus – a backmarker in the number 25 who’s trying to let Depailler by. Looks like Depailler then made a mistake on the exit. Customer cars!

      2. @fd Yeah as @bullfrog says that’s not Peterson in the black car that Peterson passes at the start of the video, it’s a backmarker.

        In fact it’s Hector Rebaque in his privately-entered Lotus 78, on his way to his first ever Grand Prix finish in tenth.

    4. I don’t believe they’re almost two seconds faster than last year’s pole with 30kg of fuel in the tank.

      While I agree that it’s highly unlikely for ferrari and mercedes to be 2 seconds than red bull, I am intrigued as to where this 30kg figure comes from @adrianmorse

      1. Lol,

        I was at Barcelona , rbr did slow down after a combination of corners.

        Rbr did look right on the pace, together with lotus, McLaren and Mercedes.

        The rear stability from the red bull is crazy, though I questioned myself if McLaren and lotus weren’t there also, but they are.

        Maybe a bit behind the redbull, but vettel doesn’t always perform under pressure, and I don’t expect Webber on it also.

        So it’s rbr vs McLaren, lotus, Mercedes, Ferrari I think, rbr looked the most stable/performing car out there, but don’t underestimate alonso, Raikkonen, maybe Perez or button, and lets not forget Hamilton and Rosberg!

        very much looking forward to Melbourne, it’s gonna be a tight front runners field.

        Also don’t count out Williams or sauber for a podium finish, they are looking strong.

        If any of the top teams fail to accomplish there podiums , make sure you watch sauber/Williams steal them away! I’m sure sauber looks for a better finish with hulkenberg, hope for a win for sauber, the midst deserving team out there , only limited by the funds they don’t have but tedbull and others seem to have very much!

        1. No one ever seems to mention FI. I hope they’re in the mix,

          1. Few people seem to consider Ferrari to be one of the frontrunners either,everyone thinks they’ll end up behind Lotus,RB,McL and Merc…how anybody thinks McL will be among the contenders initially is something i cant figure out,as they’ve openly admitted to having problems,their pace has been quite underwhelming as well….

            1. @wsrgo – I’m expecting Ferrari to be ahead of McLaren and probably ahead of Mercedes on race pace. I’m unsure about the Lotus, but luc‘s observations seem to correlate with testing analysis: that Red Bull is very planted.

            2. Ferrari themselves have stated that they are not yet running the Australia spec F138 which will potentially give them a boost come FP1 in Melbourne (providing the wind-tunnel correlates with the track!). It’ll be interesting to see who really is the fastest!

        2. Thanks for the comment, nothing better than learning from observations of the cars on track!

      2. It’s all assumptions based on previous years of testing, and assumes that teams run the same programmes they did in previous years. It makes you wonder however if teams ran same programmes each year then by now there would be no need for guess work as all we would need to do is refer to previous programmes to get a representative picture of the pecking order. So I wouldn’t put too much stock in that figure!

      3. @timi, 30kg is indeed sort of a random number. I think someone else mentioned it earlier in the thread, by way of saying that no-one ever takes the fuel out during winter testing, but I think some teams do take most of it out for some runs.

        1. if they are running with fuel then they are a million years ahead of where they were last years Pole time. And being that the rules have hardly changed thats very impressive.

          Tho the track may have more rubber down than a race weekend. but even so its impressive lap times.

          1. Alonso said : that they are 200 times better this year then the last…

    5. I know MacLaren will always be there or there-abouts, but is anyone else getting the feeling that they are not sandbagging. I have an uneasy feeling that it could be another 2009, where by the time they got the car working the title was long gone!

    6. LOL, either kimi was borned with unbelievable great EQ or he simply doesnt care.

      Come on Kimi, show some frustration, you deserve it after getting least mileage throughout the winter testing.,……

    7. Certainly Ferrari haven’t got the tyres sussed… keeping them on the car would be a good start.

    8. I know that the most likely scenario with RB is that they are at the sharp end, pretty much equal with one or two other teams, but I have a feeling that they’ll either end up well clear of the rest of the field or fail miserably and be around a second off the pace.

    9. I don’t believe they’re almost two seconds faster than last year’s pole with 30kg of fuel in the tank.

      Don’t forget that the 2013 tyres are probably worth at last 1+ second a lap over the 2012 rubber

      1. I thought the new Pirellis were around half a second faster, but there’s also the factor that teams only use DRS twice a lap: on the main straight and on the back straight. There were some rumours during yesterday’s test that Rosberg was cheating by using DRS everywhere, but I haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere.

      2. If the tyres are faster, the track’s significantly more rubbered in, then that can explain a reasonably large amount of the difference surely.

    10. That was a brilliant overtake

    11. “Well we might look fast but really we are not ready to challenge for the championship” said ————– ( insert name of driver or team principal as required)”
      Option 2;
      ” We might not look fast but we know we have the speed and will be challenging for wins” said ———— (Insert name of driver or team principal as required).

      A press kit to ease the burden of writing down every thing they say,as they all fall into either options 1 or 2.

      1. spot on @hohum! Just as they don’t like to reveal their pace by confirming they have done a real low fuel run, the teams are even more reluctant to say what they really think!

    12. I found this interesting in the comments from Raikkönen about reliability:

      “The few times that problems have cost us many hours, it’s always been the same thing. And we don’t expect it to happen when it’s warmer.

      So the Renault gearbox suffers a bit when its too cold (maybe that is why they had a problem early morning)?
      – oil not fluid enough (because its made to work at high temp to need less cooling?)
      – condensation ruining joints?

      Anyone has any better ideas why it might be?

    13. It seems that motorsport (both on 2 wheels and on 4) is still on the rise in Asia – seems these people are having a solid lookout at it.

    14. A nice little piece based on an interview with Valsecchi about last saturday (from Italian Tuttosport):

      “I used Kimi’s seat, overalls, shoes … everything except the underwear,” he said in Barcelona, after Romain Grosjean dashed from Paris to replace him.

      Valsecchi said he was happy with the brief opportunity to drive, but Italy’s Tuttosport sensed his disappointment at failing to secure a proper race seat.

      “There have been calls,” he is quoted as saying, “but they were all asking for sponsors, and all I offer is a Fiat Punto,” Valsecchi joked.

      “Lotus was the only one to call me and really propose something to me,” he revealed. “If one day I become the best in the world, I will remember it.” (GMM)

    15. And here’s a nice interview with Bruno Junqueira, who missed his chance to drive for Williams not too much unlike how Bianchi missed out on the FI drive (Button got it).
      Looking back he says:

      Junqueira finished second in the Champ Car series for three years in a row and took pole at Indianapolis in 2002. “A journalist asked me, after Jenson got the championship, what I thought,” he added. “But it’s funny, in the first five years in the US, I won a lot of races and finished second in the championship three times. And he didn’t win anything. So I said ‘for sure he made more money, but I had more fun’.

      1. @bascb – I’m not sure how long he would have lasted, seeing as JPM was always in the shadows.

        1. I wouldn’t say JPM was “always in the shadows” @wsrgo, but its hard to see how Junqueira would have had a career that was more fulfilling for him in F1 than what he had now.

        2. Ah, nvm @wsrgo, yeah, JPM being signed on already in advance for the next season would have made the seat less than ideal.

    16. Well said, @AdrianMorse, I completely agree with you.

      The experts currently seem to think that either it is very close or Red Bull is ahead everyone else. As I understand, the car looks good on the track, it doesn’t understeer or obviously lack downforce. Red Bulls didn’t really try to set a quick lap time but that probably just shows how confident they feel about the car’s pace.

      For sure, the track configuration changes the pecking order every race, there will be higher temperatures at Melbourne and Sepang and new parts on cars will appear at every race. There are too many factors that have impact on the performance so I wouldn’t put my money on any team at the moment. And RBR don’t look like Brawn at the beginning of 2009 or McLaren at the beginning of 1998 either. But there is no reason to think that they won’t be fighting for both titles from the very beginning.

    17. Rosberg’s time of 1:20.1 is only 0.2s slower than the fastest ever time in this track of 1:19.954 which is set by Barichello with the Brawn in Q2 in 2009 season. That year the cars were fitted with the double (blown?) diffusers and they could run in the race trim fastest laps in the 1:22 margin. In comparison last years fastest laps in the race where in the 1:26s and the pole lap 1:21.7. Mercedes(and ferraris) time’s are the fastest in this track in the last 4 years , so even if they managed that with empty tanks, its very impressive.

      1. Testing Notes
        Circuit: Circuit de Catalunya
        Length: 4.655km
        Fastest lap (all time): 1’18.483 – Fernando Alonso, Renault R28, 2008
        Fastest lap (2012 car): 1’22.030 – Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus E20


    18. Last day of testing we saw Lotus experimenting with exhaust covers, which probably improves the airflow in this area and because of that improves the times.
      Obviously that’s not allowed during the championship, but in testing the teams can test anything they want even if that is outside the technical regulations.
      Equally with Lotus maybe other teams also experimented with solutions outside the regulations just to exaggerate in some areas as to see in which direction to evolve some parts or to see if the developing of certain parts is worth.
      What i’m trying to say is that, this is another factor in the equation of how fast each team was in testing(Beside the unknown quantity of fuel and sometimes tyre selection etc.)

    19. Why are Ferrari “moaning” about the tyres?

      (Just kidding: I saw a number of people claiming that Vettel was “moaning” for making the exact same comments. Why is there so much more fan boyism in F1 than in other sports?)

      Yes, it looks like the start of this season will resemble the start of last season, with drivers and teams scrambling to come to grips (get it?) with the new tyres. So there may be “false dawns” like the wins for Mercedes and Williams last year.

    20. Sebastian Vettel has commented on the relevance of this years testing times, interestingly though he has not made any mention of fuel loads.

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