Tag: Carlos Sainz

F1: Barcelona Test 2, Day 3: Lewis Hamilton top for Mercedes

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the pace on the penultimate day of pre-season Formula 1 testing.

The world champion underlined the impression that Mercedes have a clear advantage by beating Williams’s Felipe Massa despite using slower tyres.

Hamilton was 0.24secs faster than Massa, who edged Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by 0.014secs, using a tyre which is some 0.5-0.8secs slower a lap.

McLaren-Honda again had their running curtailed by a reliability problem.

Hamilton, who will not drive the car again until the first race of the season, said: “It wasn’t a spectacular day. The track seemed to have lost some grip to the last two days so it wasn’t the best in terms of feeling but we got some running done and I feel good in the car.”

Reserve driver Kevin Magnussen, standing for Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard recovers from concussion sustained in a crash last Sunday, managed only 38 laps before an oil leak in the engine ended the team’s day shortly after lunch.

The Dane was eighth fastest, 2.203secs off the pace, after a run on the soft tyre.

But despite the setback, Magnussen sounded optimistic about the team’s chances afterwards.

“Great to be back in the car today,” he said on Twitter.  “The McLaren-Honda feels great! Plenty more to come from this one.”

Racing director Eric Boullier said: “We won’t be as ready for the Melbourne as we would like, but we will do our best.”

Boullier added that “reliability is still a concern” and he said he expected the team to take until the fifth race of the season in Spain in May “to be more competitive”.

Final pre-season test. Day three, Circuit de Catalunya
1 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:23.022
2 Felipe Massa (Brz) Williams-Mercedes 1:23.262
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:23.276
4 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:24.191
5 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Lotus-Mercedes 1:24.200
6 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.477
7 Nico Hulkenberg (Ger) Force India-Mercedes 1:24.939
8 Kevin Magnussen (Den) McLaren-Honda 1:25.225
9 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:25.742

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Barcelona Test Day 4: Grosjean fastest as Mercedes starts to show potential

Romain Grosjean made it three out of four for Lotus at this week’s pre-season test in Barcelona as he topped an eventful day marked by Fernando Alonso’s unusual crash in the McLaren.

Half an hour before lunch, Alonso went off the circuit at the exit of Turn 3 and came to a stop on the run down to Turn 4. A lengthy delay followed and after being taken by ambulance to the medical centre a conscious Alonso was airlifted to hospital for precautionary checks. CT scans in the afternoon confirmed the Spaniard was uninjured, although he will be kept in hospital overnight.

Alonso completed just 19 laps before his accident and McLaren was not able to get the car back out on track in the afternoon when Jenson Button was scheduled to drive. It means McLaren finishes the second pre-season test with just 129 laps to show for its week in Barcelona and just one week of testing left to rectify its problems before the first race in Australia.

day4-alonso-crashes-out

Alonso’s accident was just one incident in an eventful final day at the Circuit de Catalunya, which saw four further red flags in the afternoon. First Nico Hulkenberg stopped on track under a cloud of smoke from his 2014 Force India. Carlos Sainz then spun off at Turn 4, snapping the Toro Rosso’s front wing on impact with the wall. The accident was heavy enough for him to have to pay a brief but routine trip to the medical centre for checks. Valtteri Bottas stopped in the same spot a few moments after the green flags came out and with ten minutes to go there was another red flag when Felipe Nasr pulled up with a problem with his Sauber.

Grosjean’s headline time of 1:24.067 was set on the super-soft tyre, and marked a day with 111 laps and a race simulation for Lotus. Mercedes added to its sizeable winter mileage count with 131 laps for Nico Rosberg as it continues to look for a step forward in reliability this season. In the final hour Rosberg put in an impressive 1:24.321, set on the medium tyre and just 0.254s off Grosjean’s time. The lap was roughly a second faster than Lewis Hamilton’s pole position time on medium tyres at last year’s Spanish Grand Prix, but unlike Hamilton’s was set on used tyres and most likely with a heavier fuel load.

After focusing on pit stops and race starts on Saturday, Williams spent the day focused on longer runs. Valtteri Bottas started a race simulation after lunch but it was interrupted by a visit to the Williams garage and Hulkenberg’s stoppage. He then continued the long run before stopping at Turn 4 himself, though it did not end his day. It was obvious Williams was not chasing times and his race simulation and 129 laps was an impressive way to round off the second test.

Sebastian Vettel’s second day this week in the Ferrari garnered a solid 76-lap haul, though his day was punctuated by several long spells in the garage. Ferrari still has plenty of reasons to be optimistic after eight solid days of testing so far. Felipe Nasr’s day was blighted by an early pit-lane stoppage which kept him in the garage for an extended period before lunch, though he did recover to record 73 laps. Sainz’s spin ended his day after 88 laps, while Hulkenberg finished his first F1 run of the year with 36 laps. Force India hopes to arrive at the third test with this season’s challenger but will have gained valuable 2015 tyre data from this week’s test.

Day 4 Times:
1. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:24.067 111 laps
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.321 131 laps
3. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:24.941 104 laps
4. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:24.956 73 laps
5. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:25.345 129 laps
6. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:25.605 88 laps
7. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.312 76 laps
8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.591 36 laps
9. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:27.956 20 laps

Read more at ESPN

F1: Barcelona Test: Day 2: Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo edges Kimi Raikkonen

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo narrowly outpaced Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Williams’ Felipe Massa on the second day of the second pre-season test.

The three were separated by less than 0.1 seconds at the halfway point of Formula 1’s preparations for the new season.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg of world champions Mercedes finished fifth and sixth fastest.

It was a better day for struggling McLaren-Honda, who ran problem-free.

Fernando Alonso set the sixth-fastest time despite a cobbled-together fix for an engine problem that had ended team-mate Jenson Button’s efforts on Thursday after just 21 laps.

Alonso completed more than 50 laps – by far the team’s biggest single-day mileage of the winter – and set relatively competitive lap times, despite the engine being down on power and carrying a known problem.

Honda had warned on Thursday that the temporary fix they had put in place on the energy recovery system could well fail again on Friday. A permanent redesign of the faulty part will be ready for Saturday, when Button is back in the car.

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier said: “It is good to finally put some laps and get the programme running. We did more than expected today and caught up on the programme.”

He added that the team were going through data-analysis programmes, including checking how the car behaved and reacting to set-up changes, and it was “so far so good”.

Ricciardo’s pace-setting time was the fastest of the winter at this track, beating that set by Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado on Thursday by nearly half a second.

The Australian was 0.01s quicker than Raikkonen, with Massa a further 0.088s adrift. All were running on the ‘soft’ tyre at the time, as was Alonso on his best lap.

Hamilton completed a race simulation run in the afternoon at the same time as Ricciardo and set his fastest lap – only 0.349s off the Red Bull – on the medium tyre, which is said to be about 1.2 seconds a lap slower than the soft.

Both times were set on similar-length short runs, which suggests the Mercedes continues to have a significant advantage over the rest of the field – as most F1 insiders believed already to be the case.

Rosberg’s best time – 0.982s behind Ricciardo – was also set on the medium tyre.

The German stopped running at lunch time to rest a neck injury and handed over to Hamilton, who had only partially recovered from a fever that curtailed his running on Thursday.

All the teams confirmed as participants in this year’s championship are at the test, where Britain’s Jolyon Palmer was getting his first taste of the new Lotus.

The GP2 champion, the team’s reserve driver, was seventh fastest.

Pre-season testing times are unreliable indicators of true competitiveness as the teams do not publish the fuel loads they are using, which have a dramatic effect on lap time.

Day Two Times:

1 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:24.574
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:24.584
3 Felipe Massa (Bra) Williams-Mercedes 1:24.672
4 Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India-Mercedes 1:24.702*
5 Lewis Hamilton (GB) Mercedes 1:24.932
6 Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:25.556
7 Fernando Alonso (Spa) McLaren-Honda 1:25.961
8 Jolyon Palmer (GB) Lotus-Mercedes 1:26.280
9 Marcus Ericsson (Swe) Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.344
10 Carlos Sainz (Spa) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:28.945
* 2014 car

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Jerez Test Day 3: Nasr quickest as McLaren-Honda makes limited progress

The third day of pre-season testing in Jerez saw Sauber’s Felipe Nasr at the top of the timesheets, while McLaren made limited progress with its new Honda-powered MP4-30 and Red Bull were delayed by a lengthily Renault engine change.

Of more significance to Sauber will be the 108 laps completed by Nasr as his lap time was still 0.5s shy of the benchmark set by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel on Monday. However, the quick lap will go some way to boosting his confidence after spinning into the gravel early in the session. The track was damp at the start of the morning but slowly dried under overcast skies to allow slick running for the majority of the day. Nasr’s nearest competitor was Kimi Raikkonen, who got his first taste of the Ferrari SF15-T. After two days of improvement with Vettel at the wheel, the Ferrari lap count increased again to 92 despite a slow start.

With the Mercedes W06’s Monday water leak fixed, Nico Rosberg added another 151 to his count on Tuesday to bring his combined total to 308 over two days in the car this week. The day was not quite faultless as the engine shutdown during one of his runs around lunch, but it did not keep the car in the pits for long. For what it’s worth, he set the third fastest time, 0.232s off Nasr’s time.

day3-rosberg-issues

McLaren had a productive morning, with Fernando Alonso matching the lap count of the previous two days in the first two hours, eventually finishing the day on 31. However, a loss of cooling water pressure that required a lengthily investigation of the Honda power unit and ended the day early.

Following two unproductive days with engine issues and a broken wing on Monday, Red Bull had another frustrating session when, after five laps, it had to change the Renault power unit in the RB11. The car made it back on track to notch up 48 laps in total, and although it is an improvement on last year, the team will be hoping for plenty of problem-free laps with Daniil Kvyat at the wheel on Wednesday.

Felipe Massa got his first taste of F1 2015 with Williams as the team completed another solid day with 71 laps. Carlos Sainz had a very productive day in the Renault-powered Toro Rosso with 136 laps, the second most after Rosberg. Pastor Maldonado was back in the Lotus and notched up 96 laps before stopping on track on the final run of the day.

Day Three Times:
1. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:21.545 108 laps 
2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:21.750 92 laps 
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:21.982 151 laps 
4. Felipe Massa Williams 1:22.276 71 laps 
5. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:22.713 96 laps
6. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:23.187 136 laps 
7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:23.901 48 laps 
8. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:35.553 32 laps

Read more at ESPN

F1: Jerez Test Day 1: Vettel top as McLaren hits early trouble

Sebastian Vettel ended his first day behind the wheel of the SF15-T at the top of the timesheets in Jerez, while in contrast the man he replaced at Ferrari, Fernando Alonso, managed just six laps at his new team McLaren.

Vettel finished half a second quicker than Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg in third, an encouraging start for Ferrari despite headline times being of limited significance in testing. Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber slotted into second after a late run on the soft tyre, ahead of Rosberg, who managed to accumulate a mammoth 157 laps – over two race distances of the Jerez circuit and more than double managed by anyone else.

Rosberg had been top mid-way through the opening day of testing but Mercedes were able to focus on long runs in the afternoon and he dropped below Vettel and Ericsson in the final few hours of the day. The German’s lap haulage is made all the more impressive by comparison to his rivals; Ericsson and Valtteri Bottas were the next closest with 73 each. He was beaten to the top of the chart by the 1:22.620 set by Vettel, who recovered from a slow start to record 60 laps of his own in the SF15-T.

Alonso managed just six laps before lunch and McLaren soon reported a “niggly” problem was keeping the Spaniard in the garage. With just half an hour left in the session the team fired up its engine again but the MP4-30 did not emerge before the end of the first day.

day1-alonso

Daniel Ricciardo only added 13 laps to his morning total of 22 in the striking black and white testing livery revealed by Red Bull on Sunday morning. The team struggled with two issues, the first a battery issue which caused a rear brake failure through the MGU-K and another “engine-related” issue later on. However, Red Bull has already improved on last year’s Jerez test where it completed just 22 laps in four days.

Williams and Valtteri Bottas managed just five laps in the morning but enjoyed a more successful afternoon. Though only finishing fifth on the timing screens, Bottas completed a flurry of runs in the final few hours and managed to extend his and the team’s mileage significantly.

Ericsson’s name sticks out at the top end of the timing screen but is proof headline times are of limited significance, with a late soft tyre run putting him in between Vettel and Rosberg. The Swede had triggered the first red flag of the 2015 season in the morning when he spun his Sauber on track. Toro Rosso rookie Carlos Sainz Jr caused a second in the afternoon after stopping in the middle sector, ending a day which saw him record his first 46 laps with the STR10.

Only seven teams completed a timed lap in Jerez as Lotus failed to arrive in time for the first day. It was due to arrive on Sunday afternoon so should participate in the second day of testing, while Force India is missing the entire Jerez test in order to maximise development time before the Barcelona double header at the end of the month.

Day 1 Times:
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:22.620 60 laps 
2 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:22.777 73 laps 
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:23.106 157 laps 
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:23.338 35 laps 
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:23.906 73 laps 
6 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:25.327 46 laps 
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:40.738 6 laps

Read more at ESPN

F1: Sainz secures Toro Rosso drive for 2015

Carlos Sainz has been confirmed as a Toro Rosso driver for 2015, joining Max Verstappen in an all-rookie line-up.

Initially Verstappen was supposed to join Daniil Kvyat at the team next season, but when Sebastian Vettel left Red Bull for Ferrari, Kvyat took his place and opened up a space at Toro Rosso. Sainz was in the running alongside 2014 driver Jean-Eric Vergne and GP3 champion Alex Lynn, but got the nod this week following a test with Red Bull in Abu Dhabi.

Sainz is the reigning Formula Renault 3.5 champion and feels ready to make the step into the top flight.

“I am really happy to have landed the drive with Scuderia Toro Rosso,” he said. “Ever since I have been part of Red Bull’s Young Driver Programme, this has been my aim and I want to thank Red Bull for putting their faith in me. I have had a very successful season in World Series by Renault this year and now I am looking forward to taking the step up to Formula One.

“I tested for a day with Toro Rosso last year and I liked the atmosphere in the team. In the next few months I will be working hard on my preparation, ready to get in the cockpit in Jerez for the first test of next year. It will be nice to make my “official” debut as a Formula One driver in my home country!”

Toro Rosso team principal Franz Tost added: “With Carlos Sainz joining Max Verstappen in our driver line-up next year, we continue the Toro Rosso tradition of providing youngsters from the Red Bull Junior Driver Programme with their first steps in Formula One. I have watched Carlos progress through the junior categories, always improving as he moved higher up the ladder, culminating in a well-deserved win in this year’s World Series.

“However, I also remember the day’s testing he did with us at Silverstone in 2013 in the STR8. He really surprised me and his engineers that day, with his mature approach and his speed.”

Read more at ESPN