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  1. #6851
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    Think we all know that Mercedes will still have the fastest package, just a question of who if any have caught up and what the running order will be! Guess we will only truly know come qualifying in 18 days time
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  2. #6852
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    BBC 'analysis' said the merc of hamilton was lapping 0.8 seconds faster than Ricciardo when they were both on their race sims. And was 0.3 seconds behind having only used the harder (medium) tyres for their quick runs.

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC

    F1 pre-season testing: What have we learned in Barcelona?

    Just when McLaren probably thought their preparations for the new Formula 1 championship could not get any worse, they did. A lot.

    The crash suffered by Fernando Alonso shortly before lunch on the final day of the second pre-season test not only resulted in the two-time world champion being taken to hospital, it put the team's struggles with their new Honda engine firmly into perspective.

    A recalcitrant new engine badly restricting the testing mileage of an ambitiously aggressive car at the start of a new relationship that costs hundreds of millions of pounds a year is one thing. The health and fitness of any driver is quite another.

    And Alonso is not just "any driver". He is arguably the finest of his generation; undoubtedly one of the greatest in history. And he is being paid the biggest salary in F1 - $40m (£27m) a year - to lead McLaren into their new era and eventually, all involved hope, to the world championship.

    There was serious concern for Alonso for a time after the accident, which happened on the exit of Turn Three of the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. This is a formidable corner - taken almost flat-out at 150mph - and any accident there is not going to be a small one.


    Alonso was airlifted to hospital after being treated at the circuit's medical centre

    In the end, everyone in the sport will be glad to hear, he is fine, but had to stay overnight in hospital as a precaution.

    There is as yet no information on what caused the accident. But early indications were that this was an abnormal situation.

    Sebastian Vettel, who Ferrari signed after Alonso made clear last year his intention to leave, was following the McLaren at the time. He said: "The speed was slow - maybe 150kph (93mph). Then he turned right into the wall. It looked strange."

    Alonso somehow ended up against the wall on the inside of the track - not unusual if a car has spun on the exit of the right-hander, but photographs of the incidentshow the car was still facing in the direction of travel and suggest Alonso did not spin, but rather speared across the track still heading forwards.

    On the face of it, that does not sound as if he made a mistake, but nor does it suggest an obvious technical failure.
    Teams always want to get to the bottom of accidents, but such an unusual set of circumstances will make that an even more pressing concern for McLaren in this situation, and it simply adds to the team's problems.


    A drama? Or a crisis?


    Alonso had only completed 20 laps on Sunday before the crash

    After a first test in Jerez that was not far short of a write-off because of a series of problems with the Honda engine, Barcelona was little better, largely in this case because of one small issue - a recurring problem with a seal on a part of the hybrid system.

    It broke on Thursday, restricting Jenson Button to just 21 laps. A temporary fix was put in place for Friday, when Alonso completed 59 laps with the engine turned down. And then the redesigned part intended to solve the problem itself broke within a few laps on Saturday, when Button managed only 24.

    The part was "re-engineered" again for Sunday, but still Alonso had done only 20 laps at the time of his accident.
    What was already a drama is now looking very much like a crisis. McLaren have only four days of testing left before the start of the season and have so far done no running with the car in terms of establishing its performance level.

    This is not exactly unexpected. It is, after all, Honda's first season with one of the ultra-complex and high-tech new turbo hybrid engines now used in F1, while their three rivals all have a year's experience.

    McLaren-Honda's problems are very similar to the truncated build-up of Red Bull and Renault last year. Red Bull hardly ran at all in pre-season testing in 2014, but Daniel Ricciardo turned up in Australia and qualified and finished second, before being disqualified for a technical infringement.

    It's not beyond the realms of possibility that McLaren could do something similar, but it's very hard to make any sort of judgement about their car after such a fractured test schedule.

    There have, though, been hints of what might be. The Honda has been running de-tuned, but even so Alonso was respectably fast on Friday, and McLaren believe the car is fundamentally good.

    They admit they may well not be ready for the first race of the season. But, assuming Honda can get the engine working, there seems to be at least the potential prospect of McLaren bouncing back and challenging at the front later in the year, perhaps even winning a couple of races.


    Ominous Mercedes


    Pre-season favourites Mercedes have shone in testing so far

    If they do, it is pretty obvious that the team they will have to beat are Mercedes.

    Already the pre-season favourites, there was at the second test what looked like the first real signs of the true potential of the 2015 Mercedes car. And it made a huge impression.

    Despite still suffering with the fever that forced him to abandon testing after just 11 laps on Thursday, Lewis Hamilton made everyone sit up and take notice with what he did on Friday.

    He was only fifth in the list of headline times, but he was using a tyre reckoned to be more than a second slower than the one used to set the pace by Ricciardo, who was only 0.349secs quicker.

    Hamilton also did a race-simulation run - a full race distance, including pit stops - at the same time as Ricciardo, and the Mercedes was 0.8secs quicker a lap than the Red Bull. That equates to nearly a minute over a race distance.

    The two blisteringly quick laps Hamilton's team-mate Nico Rosberg did on mediums on Sunday only added to the impression of a team still on another level from the rest.

    Of course, the usual caveats apply - it's only testing, we don't know what spec the cars were in, there will be upgrades before the start of the season and throughout, the championship itself is 20 races long, and so on.

    And inevitably, Mercedes themselves are playing any advantage down.

    Hamilton said he was "anticipating a closer fight this year". While Rosberg said it was "clear that the others have really stepped up their game, their lap times are surprising to us and it seems Ferrari have made the biggest step right now".


    Ferrari better - but how much?


    New Ferrari team boss Maurizio Arrivabene wants two race wins in 2015

    Ferrari have been grabbing a lot of headlines in testing so far, with a series of fast laps creating the impression they have made a step forward after a dismal 2014 which led to major upheaval within the team, including several top-level sackings, including that of short-lived team principal Marco Mattiacci.

    Ferrari do look in better shape than they were in 2015, but then that is only to be expected; last year was their worst season for 21 years.

    The 2015 design is the first car on which new technical director James Allison, who joined in September 2013, has had free reign. Allison is highly regarded within F1 and is expected to turn Ferrari around, as long as the team give him the freedom to do so, which they appear so far to be doing.

    But Ferrari's performance is hard to read, not least because they have not yet done any race runs.

    Publicly, Ferrari continue to be cautious. New team boss Maurizio Arrivabene says he is "not so crazy as to change the objectives" of two race victories in 2015 on the back of some decent testing times.


    The other top teams


    Lotus' testing pace suggests they could be dark horses this season

    Williams, Mercedes' closest challengers by the end of last season, have had a low-key winter but are quietly confident of a strong start to the year.

    As for Red Bull, they may well start the season a bit behind. Their Renault engine had a 60bhp power deficit to Mercedes last year and Red Bull are expecting the French company to make up no more than half of that by Melbourne - while Mercedes are said to have added about an extra 50-60bhp themselves.

    Renault, though, are saving up some of their permitted development 'tokens' until later in the year, to ensure they get the biggest possible gain from them. So Red Bull, like McLaren, could come on strong later on.

    And Lotus could be a dark horse, judging by the pace they have shown on occasions.

    "It looks like Ferrari have potentially picked up their pace," Hamilton said. "Red Bull are just as quick and have improved their engine and Williams are going to be there.

    "I imagine they have made a step but so have we. Time will tell how big a step they have made compared to us."


    A conclusion, such as is possible

    Overall, the general feeling remains that Mercedes' advantage will be reduced, that their main rivals have made a step forward, and that could well be true.

    But it could easily be that Mercedes are even further ahead than before. Either way, it looks like they will take some beating.

    In the immediate aftermath of this test though, the main thing is that it looks like Alonso should be able to take part. It somehow would not be the same without him. For McLaren, especially, but for everyone else, too.
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  3. #6853
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    Alonso's car doesn't look that badly damaged.......
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  4. #6854
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    Carmen Jordá is one step closer to her goal of racing in Formula 1 today, as it was announced she would be joining the Lotus F1 Team family for the year as a Development Driver. With her sights firmly set on driving the E23 Hybrid before the year is out, Carmen will work closely with the team on an intensive simulator programme in Enstone, while being put through her paces thanks to a comprehensive fitness regime to prepare for the opportunity.

    Combined with attending Grands Prix and tests for Lotus F1 Team, Carmen’s role will focus on assessing the latest developments of the team’s 2015 challenger. With racing experience in both Europe and America, Carmen’s distinctive perspective will serve to further enhance the E23’s evolvement curve.

    Daughter of ex-driver Jose Miguel Jorda, Carmen has been racing professionally since 2001 and her goal has always been Formula 1: “It feels like a dream come true to join Lotus F1 Team,” said the Spanish driver. “I’ve been racing since I was ten years old so it was my dream to drive a Formula 1 car since I was very young.

    “Joining Lotus F1 Team is a big step towards my goal. I will be working to improve myself as a driver as well as helping the team to develop the car by testing new developments in the simulator; it’s such a fantastic opportunity. I know this is just the beginning and the biggest challenge is yet to come but already being part of a team with such a history is a real honour. This is a great achievement, but an even greater opportunity which will lead to bigger and better things.”

    Lotus F1 Team CEO, Matthew Carter, added: “We are happy to announce Carmen Jordáas a Development Driver for Lotus F1 Team and we are looking forward to working with her over the course of the season and ultimately seeing her behind the wheel of the car.

    “Carmen will bring a fresh perspective to the team,” continued Matthew, reflecting on Carmen’s racing background which covers Formula 3 and Indy Lights, as well as the GP3 Series. “We have a strong programme for her attending Grands Prix as well as extensive time in our sophisticated simulation facility at Enstone. She is a unique addition to the team and we are looking forward to helping her progress her goals as well as receiving the benefit of her insights and contributions to the development of the E23 Hybrid.”
    http://www.lotusf1team.com/news-arch...e-step-closer/

  5. #6855
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    Good news, really want to see a woman in F1 it's been too long, she has a very pretty face!
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  6. #6856
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
    Good news, really want to see a woman in F1 it's been too long, she has a very pretty face!
    which is the right criteria for being in F1?

    I'm all for there being a female F1 driver on the grid (and I'm sure at some point, there will be), but not if she's not deserving of it. I had no idea who this woman was until I looked her up online a few hours ago. reading her racing CV, it's even flatter than susie wolff's. apart from the very VERY rare occasional podium in some low end mickey mouse formulae, she's achieved absolutely nothing.

    I'm sorry, but the qualifications for being given a seat in F1 in any capacity should NOT rest on being pleasing to the eye. these teams appointing female drivers like this when there are better male options available is making a mockery of the sport.

    let me reiterate, I'm all for gender equality in F1, but that equality should also include the ability to say you deserve to be there on merit as much as any man.
    Don't waste your words I don't need anything from you.
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  7. #6857
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    Well like I said earlier this month, there are a lot of women coming through the junior ranks lately so I think it'll be very soon when we'll see the first woman drive a full season in F1. I think Lombardi is the only one to come close with 10 races in a season.

    Quote Originally Posted by Surebrec View Post
    let me reiterate, I'm all for gender equality in F1, but that equality should also include the ability to say you deserve to be there on merit as much as any man.
    Agreed.

  8. #6858
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    I don't mind women in F1 either, but we yet to see any of them Race!! I mean Susie done some tests ect ect but will they ever be put in a race that's the real question!! does anyone see this as a 1man 1woman in teams racing in future?

    this is the forth woman to be snapped up to be in F1 even though maria had that test crash god rest her soul!! Williams, Sauber & now Lotus.

  9. #6859
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    Williams today huh?!

    Oh and i coulndt care less about women in f1, women in UFC? now your talking

    Thanks to Final for the sick sig!

  10. #6860
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    She'd get it....
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