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Old 27th February 2014, 09:49   #511
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

Peter Windsor's interview with Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson on driving the new 2014 cars and the feeling of the new power units.

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Old 27th February 2014, 21:34   #512
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

Perez tops the first day of the final pre-season test with lap time of 1:35.290. Like previous tests its Mercedes, Mercedes, Ferrari combination for the top three slots, the teams being SFI, Williams and Ferrari this time.
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Old 28th February 2014, 00:06   #513
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

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Perez tops the first day of the final pre-season test with lap time of 1:35.290. Like previous tests its Mercedes, Mercedes, Ferrari combination for the top three slots, the teams being SFI, Williams and Ferrari this time.
This looks like bad news for Ferrari unless they pull up their socks. All 4 Mercedes engined teams have come up with lap times that Kimi and Alonso couldn't match. Ferrari might be struggling to get both their cars into Q3 in the initial races with 8 cars that seem to be much faster than them.
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Old 28th February 2014, 08:20   #514
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This looks like bad news for Ferrari unless they pull up their socks. All 4 Mercedes engined teams have come up with lap times that Kimi and Alonso couldn't match. Ferrari might be struggling to get both their cars into Q3 in the initial races with 8 cars that seem to be much faster than them.
The SFI was on soft compound tyres. Sauber which uses Ferrari had similarly posted one of the day's fastest time in the previous session's. They ran on soft compound tyres as well. The work's Mercedes seems outrightly fastest. The Mclaren's seem to be on par with Ferrari and the rest of the Mercedes teams seem to be down in the pecking order.
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Old 28th February 2014, 11:20   #515
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This looks like bad news for Ferrari unless they pull up their socks. All 4 Mercedes engined teams have come up with lap times that Kimi and Alonso couldn't match. Ferrari might be struggling to get both their cars into Q3 in the initial races with 8 cars that seem to be much faster than them.
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The SFI was on soft compound tyres. Sauber which uses Ferrari had similarly posted one of the day's fastest time in the previous session's. They ran on soft compound tyres as well. The work's Mercedes seems outrightly fastest. The Mclaren's seem to be on par with Ferrari and the rest of the Mercedes teams seem to be down in the pecking order.
Testing is not about setting fastest times but getting the laps under their belt, in which Ferrari are right on track with more than 500 laps set between Jerez and Bahrain 1. We have had Williams, Force India, Mercedes, McLaren all set fastest day times at some point, so no conclusion can be drawn.

Mercedes do look strong but more so due to the mileage they have been able to cover, which in turn enables them to be the first team to do a race simulation.

Red Bull clearly are in trouble and will take a few races (or more?) to get into the game.

We will have to wait till Melbourne!
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Old 28th February 2014, 16:26   #516
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The other factor most have overlooked is fuel consumption. That is the other mystery in the Mercedes vs Ferrari battle. Normally fuel load can make around 4 seconds in lap times. This year though, for the first time in F1, the team that is quickest over a race distance will come out on top. Qualifying might play a much smaller role.

Here too we should see a pattern evolve as there are only 3 engine manufactures in F1.

Alongwith tire management (although reduced this year with harder tires) fuel management will play a big role in strategy.
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Old 28th February 2014, 20:20   #517
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The other factor most have overlooked is fuel consumption. That is the other mystery in the Mercedes vs Ferrari battle. Normally fuel load can make around 4 seconds in lap times. This year though, for the first time in F1, the team that is quickest over a race distance will come out on top. Qualifying might play a much smaller role.

Here too we should see a pattern evolve as there are only 3 engine manufactures in F1.

Alongwith tire management (although reduced this year with harder tires) fuel management will play a big role in strategy.
All teams have had their share of breakdowns. Its no different if the Merc breaks down after the second pit stop while Renault breaks down before the first. End of the day, both would be retirements and contribute 0 points in Australia.

Some key points from today's test:
  • Red Bull finally managed to get a 1m35s lap time.
  • Ferrari seems to have done a satisfactory race simulation that they were unable to do so far.
  • Hamilton's Mercedes breaks down due to gearbox problems.
  • Two Renault-powered cars on fire today - a Lotus and a Caterham - is it just coincidence or a new issue with Renault engine?

Doesn't look like anyone can relax yet.
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Old 1st March 2014, 17:28   #518
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

Qualifying gets a welcome change that gives more incentive to participate.

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The meeting was put together because of concerns that too many drivers were electing to sit out the final qualifying session in a bid to save tyres for the race.

The proposed revisions featured drivers starting races on their Q2 tyres rather than Q3 rubber, extra tyres being provided for Q3 only, and Q1 being reduced from 20 to 18 minutes with Q3 lengthened to 12 minutes so that drivers can all complete two runs.
Source: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112707

If someone wants to start the race on the harder compound, they should be prepared to start around P16 this season.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 00:36   #519
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All teams have had their share of breakdowns. Its no different if the Merc breaks down after the second pit stop while Renault breaks down before the first. End of the day, both would be retirements and contribute 0 points in Australia.
Are you suggesting then, that Red Bull are at par with the rest?

Teams also 'try to break' their cars in order to understand component limits like Lewis has mentioned. Since we again do not know the order of the day, it would be wrong to classify it as a retirement.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 14:46   #520
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Are you suggesting then, that Red Bull are at par with the rest?

Teams also 'try to break' their cars in order to understand component limits like Lewis has mentioned. Since we again do not know the order of the day, it would be wrong to classify it as a retirement.
In terms of speed, RBR seems to be up there alongside Ferrari given the lap times that RIC managed on day 2. Reliability is still a concern and Mercedes engine seems to be more reliable but Merc gearbox issues are still not resolved fully. From the results perspective, it is the same if car retires and even a small component failure can lead to it. Renault might have a higher chance for retirement but Mercedes isn't 100% reliable either. Till the other teams reach the reliability levels of last year, RBR might still manage to hang on in the fight till they get their at together by around race 5.

Hamilton & Vettel are used to the driving style of pushing the limits as much as possible which increases the failure risk with the new specs. Compared to their team mates, they had more issues probably due to their more aggressive driving style which would be good for the team since they would discover issues that other would only realize mid season.

Last edited by zenren : 2nd March 2014 at 14:50.
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Old 2nd March 2014, 15:19   #521
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

Still looks extremely difficult to gauge the pecking order for this season. The last two days of testing have looked good for Ferrari. Force India and Williams are setting some quick times. RBR seems to have gone backwards again. Mercedes facing some reliability issues and Mclaren have not brought any updates so far.

Just a little over a fortnight to go for the start of the season. Cant Wait!!
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Old 2nd March 2014, 23:05   #522
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

Here is the verdict from Stephano, another year playing catchup with other teams. Now we got Williams as well to fight

http://en.espnf1.com/ferrari/motorsp...ry/147539.html
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Old 2nd March 2014, 23:39   #523
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

It would be great to see the Williams up front and especially if Alonso is going to be looking at the gearbox of Massa's car at the first race.

Williams always show well in testing and it seems to be another thing when the lights go green at the first race. Hope thats not the case this year again.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 00:26   #524
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

Qualifying seems to be predictable - 4 Merc powered teams and Ferrari making it into the Q3 for the top 10 shootout. Rest of the teams doesn't seem to be in the same level as these when it comes to qualifying pace.

When it comes to race day, some of these newbies would be finding it difficult to overtake. Its one thing to catch up to the car in front and a different thing to overtake it which is probably the only ray of hope for Ferrari.

Alonso and Kimi are probably the experts in nursing a car to the chequered flag which gives them an advantage in the second and third races when the other teams with more aggressive drivers might start seeing reliability issues.
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Old 3rd March 2014, 10:09   #525
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Default Re: The 2014 F1 Season

This looks like the best analysis of the pecking order.

http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2014/0...sts-for-years/

1. Mercedes - I think JA is underestimating Mercedes, because they normally always go well in testing and then fail on raceday. This time I have a feeling its going to be different. I wont be surprised if they smoke everyone atleast the first few races.

2. Ferrari and Williams - This is going to be epic to watch. Massa vs Kimi vs Alonso. I suspect the Brazillian will be rejuvenated and will want to prove a point or three to Ferrari and to a lot of doubting thomases that he still has it.

And then close behind them is

3. Mclaren and Force India : The gap between these 4 teams is not clear as of yet, and will be very interesting to watch if the likes of Magnussen and Hulkenberg have a car capable of mixing it with the lead pack.

Behind the lead group, it all looks very fuzzy. The Red Bull looks horrible to drive for the first time in years, and it looks like Vettel may have his hands on the first real "pig" of a car (As Prost fondly called his Ferrari), since 2008. The Renault engine will be turned down atleast for the first 2-3 races from the looks of it. Are we looking at the humiliating prospect of a new 4 time world champion being lapped by debutantes and newbies like Magnussen and Bottas a few times ?

We're in for some epic racing this year. Fasten your seatbelts folks !
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