Tag: Jenson Button

F1: Barcelona Test 2, Final Day: Valtteri Bottas fastest for Williams

Williams driver Valtteri Bottas set the pace, as Mercedes emerged from the final day of pre-season testing as strong world title favourites.

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was sixth, but the team have done enough over the winter to prove they are still well ahead of the rest of the field.

Bottas was 0.406 seconds quicker than Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, both using the fastest tyres, the super-soft.

McLaren had another troubled day, Jenson Button managing only 30 laps.

The team, starting a new engine partnership with Honda, have done less pre-season mileage than any team other than Force India, whose car appeared for the first time only on Friday.

Button was consigned to the garage for the morning session after the team discovered a problem that required the engine to be removed.

The team then had a stuttering afternoon, at the end of which Button was eighth fastest, 2.264secs off the pace.

“I am pleased with the winter,” said Rosberg. “We have done a good job with the development of the car. That’s not to say the others aren’t also quick but I am optimistic for the first couple of races because we have a good car.

“I am comfortable, setting the best time of the whole winter testing two days ago.”

Sauber’s Felipe Nasr was third quickest ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen and Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado had a light crash at Turn Four just after lunch and was slowest of all.

Lotus said the crash was caused by a “braking-related issue” which meant Maldonado could not slow sufficiently for the corner.

The season starts with the Australian Grand Prix on 13-15 March 2015.

Final pre-season test.
1. Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Williams-Mercedes 1:23.063
2. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:23.469
3. Felipe Nasr (Bra) Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.023
4. Max Verstappen (Ned) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:24.527
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Red Bull-Renault 1:24.638
6. Sergio Perez (Mex) Force India-Mercedes 1:25.113
7. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Mercedes 1:25.186
8. Jenson Button (GB) McLaren-Honda 1:25.994
9. Pastor Maldonado (Ven) Lotus-Mercedes 1:28.272

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Barcelona Test Day 3: Maldonado top again, McLaren hits more trouble

Pastor Maldonado topped another session in Barcelona as McLaren was hampered once again by an MGU-K problem which has limited its running all week.

McLaren hoped it had fixed the faulty seal which had ended its running early on Thursday and limited Fernando Alonso on Friday, but an early stoppage for Button suggested all was not well in the morning. The team confirmed in the late afternoon a recurring issue with the MGU-K seal had been discovered again. The issue means McLaren has completed 109 laps in three days in Barcelona but says a re-engineered seal is scheduled to arrive in time for tomorrow’s final day, when Alonso returns to the cockpit.

day3-mclaren-problems

Maldonado, who finished first on Thursday, topped the session with a 1:24.328, a time set on the super soft tyre. He also broke a century of laps as Lotus once again showed it is adapting well to life with Mercedes power. The factory Mercedes also broke that milestone, with Hamilton driving despite still feeling the effects of the illness which saw him end testing early on Thursday. The world champion completed 101 laps and will hand the car back to Nico Rosberg tomorrow. Max Verstappen finished the day second on the timing screens and leading the lap count with 129, but his day ended in frustrating fashion when he pulled over at the end of the pit exit, bringing out the day’s final red flag.

Ferrari found itself lower on the timesheets than the Tifosi have become accustomed to this winter but headline times are still of limited significance. Sebastian Vettel did not have an ideal start, sliding off just four corners into his first lap due to cold tyres. But the four-time world champion sustained no damage to his car and went on to finish the day with 105 laps, which included an impressive stint on the medium tyre where he lapped consistently in the high 1:28 mark, though fuel loads are unknown.

Daniil Kvyat started a disrupted full race simulation in the afternoon, which included a surprisingly short stint on the soft tyre and a lengthy stoppage at mid-distance. However, the Russian finished the day with 111 laps to his name. Sauber had a gearbox issue in the morning and Marcus Ericsson did not leave the garage until the final minutes before lunch. In the afternoon he saw much more of the track and finished with a tally of 53 laps. Pascal Wehrlein continued to gain F1 experience with 81 laps for Force India, who will hand Nico Hulkenberg the reigns tomorrow. Williams switched its drivers at midday, with Felipe Massa finishing with 55 laps and Valtteri Bottas spending the afternoon focused on pit stops and did not set an official time until four minutes from the end of the session.

Final times:
1. Pastor Maldonado – Lotus – 1:24.348 – 104 laps
2. Max Verstappen – Toro Rosso – 1:24.739 – 129 laps
3. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:26.076 – 101 laps
4. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 126.340 – 53 laps
5. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari – 1:26.407 – 105 laps
6. Daniil Kvyat – Red Bull – 1:26.589 – 111 laps
7. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:26.912 – 55 laps
8. Pascal Wehrlein – Force India – 1:27.699 – 81 laps
9. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:27.556 – 48 laps
10. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:29.151 – 24 laps

Read more at ESPN

F1: Barcelona Test: Day 1: Maldonado tops eventful first day

Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado topped a scrappy opening day at the second pre-season test in Barcelona, which featured the unusual sight of two cars colliding and saw McLaren and Mercedes hampered by problems.

Maldonado leapt to the top of the timing screen with a 1:25.011 less than one hour from the chequered flag, a lap he set on the soft tyre. Maldonado had a frustrating start with two separate stoppages out on track in the morning but the red flag waving was not limited solely to Lotus.

There was more woe for McLaren-Honda as a faulty seal on the MGU-K forced the team to change the whole power unit and end its first day early. Jenson Button’s start had been promising as he accumulated 21 laps in the first two hours but it was yet another setback for McLaren and its new engine partner.

mclaren-faulty-seal

There was also early difficulty for reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton, who completed just 11 laps before ending his day early due to a fever. A neck injury for Nico Rosberg meant Mercedes had to wait until after lunch for reserve driver Pascal Wehrlein, who completed 32 laps in the morning driving Force India’s 2014 car, to step into the breach. A fuel pump problem after lunch hampered Mercedes further, but Wehrlein managed to add another 48 laps before the close of play.

The afternoon session started with an unusual sight for testing as two cars collided. Damage to the left front of Susie Wolff’s Williams and the right rear of Felipe Nasr’s Sauber was the tell-tale sign the two had come together on the run down to Turn 5, with the Sauber beached in the gravel just before the tyre barrier. It is unclear exactly what happened in the crash, though Wolff was on an out-lap when it occurred. Nasr and Wolff both made it out for late runs but the Sauber finished the session early when it stopped at Turn 9, an incident which brought out a late red flag.

wolff-nasr-crash

Kimi Raikkonen continued Ferrari’s solid start to winter testing, completing 73 laps, though it is still hard to gauge whether the team has made inroads to Mercedes because fuel loads are unknown. However, it will be another morale boosting day of testing after topping three of the four days in Jerez earlier this month.

Daniel Ricciardo had been at the foot of the timesheets for much of the morning without recording a time, but the camouflaged Red Bull was one of the more active participants after lunch. The Australian accumulated 58 laps, though rarely in stints longer than five or six at a time. Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen also had a disjointed morning and early afternoon but still clocked 93 laps overall with some solid running late in the day. Sergio Perez continued Wehrlein’s good work in the afternoon at Force India and by the end of the session had recorded a 1:26.636 to go 4th, although headline times are still of limited significance.

1. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:25.011 69 Laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:25.167 73 Laps
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:25.547 58 Laps
4. Sergio Perez Force India 1:26.636 39 laps
5. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:27.307 78 Laps
6. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:27.900 93 Laps
7. Jenson Button McLaren 1:28.182 21 Laps
8. Pascal Wehrlein Force India 1:28.329 32 Laps
9. Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1:29.489 48 Laps
10. Susie Wolff Williams 1:28.906 83 laps
11. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.429 11 Laps

Read more at ESPN

F1: Jerez Test Day 4: Raikkonen top, but slow progress for McLaren

Kimi Raikkonen put Ferrari at the top of the Jerez timesheets for the third day in four as the first week of pre-season testing came to a close on Wednesday.

Raikkonen used soft tyres on a dry track to set the fastest time of the test under sunny skies, beating the time set by team-mate Sebastian Vettel on Monday by over a tenth of a second. Ferrari also completed more than a century of laps in a day for the first time this week with a total of the Finn’s 105.

There was more slow progress for both McLaren and Red Bull as the two former championship-winning teams struggled again for mileage. From its starting point on Sunday and Monday, McLaren has made progress, but a total of 79 laps over the course of the week is a long way off its pre-test target. Positives came from multiple-lap runs without major issues such as overheating, but smaller reliability problems kept it from running throughout the day.

The first run went all of two feet onto the pit apron before the car was rolled back and there was a similar issue as Jenson Button tried to take to the track and stopped in the pit lane on one of his afternoon runs. The team finally called it a day just over an hour before the end of the session when a fuel pump problem could not be fixed. Nevertheless, the team is confident it can be competitive when it is able to turn its power unit up to full power and chase lap times.

day4-button-issues

Red Bull had another slow start to the day as an ERS problem on its Renault power unit forced Daniil Kvyat to park the RB11 on the side of the track. After engine issues on day one, a broken front wing on day two and a full power unit change on day three, the team has only completed 164 laps, which means only McLaren has completed fewer over the course of the four days.

Defending champions Mercedes once again topped the lap count with 117 for Lewis Hamilton despite a half spin in the morning at the chicane. The total for the week comes to 517, a remarkable feat for any team on the first week of running with a new car. Although Mercedes is only interested in mileage this week, Hamilton set the third fastest time with a 1:22.172, which was 1.331s off Raikkonen and 0.153s off Marcus Ericsson in the Sauber. Ericsson’s time meant the two Ferrari-powered cars topped all four of this week’s sessions.

Elsewhere, Max Verstappen added another 97 laps to his tally for the week in the Toro Rosso and Felipe Massa completed 73 laps for Williams. Romain Grosjean took to the track for the first time this year and was impressed with his new Mercedes-powered Lotus. However, a power unit-related problem brought his day to an early end after 53 laps.

Jerez Test Day 4 Times:
1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.841 105 laps 
2. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:22.019 111 laps 
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.172 116 laps 
4. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:22.553 97 laps
5. Felipe Massa Williams 1:23.116 73 laps 
6. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:23.802 53 laps 
7. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:23.975 63 laps 
8. Jenson Button McLaren 1:27.980 35 laps

Read more at ESPN

F1: Jerez Test Day 2: Vettel top again as McLaren struggles continue

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel topped the times for the second day in a row at the opening test of the season in Jerez as McLaren again struggled and world champion Lewis Hamilton had his 2015 debut cut short by a water leak.

Vettel improved on his Sunday time with a 1:20.984 before rain in the final hour ruled out any further quick laps. The Ferrari completed a total of 78 laps – another improvement on Sunday – and was lapping in the 1:23s on longer runs. His time was 0.883s clear of his nearest competitor Felipe Nasr, who continued Sauber’s solid start to testing with 87 laps. Rookies Nasr and Max Verstappen in the Toro Rosso went out to get some wet weather experience in the final hour and were joined by some of their rivals as the rain eased ahead of the chequered flag.

Mercedes had already called an early end to Hamilton’s day after a technical problem resulted in a water leak on the W06. Initially the team had hoped to get him back out on track quickly, but the problem proved harder to resolve than it had hoped. Nevertheless, Hamilton still registered 91 laps in total – shy of team-mate Nico Rosberg’s mammoth 157 on Sunday, but still more than any other team managed on Monday.

Red Bull also hit trouble, limiting the RB11’s mileage for the second day in a row. On Sunday the team had power unit related problems but on Monday it was down to driver error. On his debut with the team, Daniil Kvyat made a mistake on a cold track and nudged the barriers – skewing and damaging the front wing.

day2-kvyat

With the pre-season just over a day old, Red Bull did not have a replacement at the track and had to remove the wing completely to allow him to continue to run. In total he notched up 18 laps, but was limited to practice starts at the end of the pit lane and therefore did not set a lap time. The team is having a replacement wing flown in to allow it to resume a proper test programme tomorrow.

Once again the McLaren-Honda was a rare sight on track and Jenson Button could only add six laps to match Fernando Alonso’s tally from day one. The team is struggling to get the new power unit communicating with the other systems on the car and the result was a lap 33 seconds off the pace. In its current state the Honda’s exhaust note is noticeably louder and throatier than its rivals, but it has yet to run smoothly or at high revs to make a fair comparison. McLaren hoped to get the car on track soon after lunch for more mileage, but despite several fire-ups it only emerged from behind the screens covering the garage door in the last 20 minutes of the day to add one extra lap to the morning’s five.

After receiving delivery of its car yesterday from the factory and building it overnight, Lotus made its 2015 debut in the second hour of running with Pastor Maldonado at the wheel. He went on to complete 41 laps but caused a red flag towards the end of the session. Lotus later confirmed the E23 had been curtailed by a drivetrain issue. Williams had a solid if unspectacular day as Valtteri Bottas set a best time of 1:22.319 and completed 61 laps while Verstappen managed 73 in the Toro Rosso and a best time of 1:24.167.

 

 

Jerez Test Day 2
1. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.984 87 laps
2. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:21.867 87 laps
3. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:22.319 61 laps
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.490 91 laps
5. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:24.490 73 laps 
6. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:25.802 41 laps 
7. Jenson Button McLaren 1:54.655 6 laps 
8. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull No time 18 laps

Read more at ESPN

F1: Alonso to debut McLaren MP4-30 at Jerez

Fernando Alonso will be the first man to test the new McLaren car as the team begin their engine partnership with Honda.

The Spaniard will drive the MP4-30 on the first day of the first pre-season test, at Jerez, Spain, on 1-4 February.

Team-mate Jenson Button will test it on the second and fourth days, with Alonso driving on the third.

Alonso, 33, who has joined from Ferrari, wrote on social media that he was “ready to enjoy the challenge”.

alonso-to-debut-2015-car-tweet

McLaren are taking a similar approach to testing to Mercedes, for whom Nico Rosberg drives on the first day of testing before alternating with world champion Lewis Hamilton thereafter.

McLaren will unveil their new car online on 29 January, a day before the wraps come off the 2015 Ferrari, also via the internet.

Mercedes are to wait until the morning of 1 February before revealing their new W06.

Williams on Wednesday became the first team to release images of their new car.

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: Williams recruits Button’s engineer to work with Massa

Williams has poached Jenson Button’s old race engineer from McLaren to work with Felipe Massa this season.

Dave Robson was Button’s engineer from 2010 to midway through last year, but has now joined Williams to work under head of vehicle performance Rob Smedley. Robson’s appointment has kicked off a reshuffle in the Williams engineering department with Andrew Murdoch, Massa’s old engineer, being promoted to senior performance engineer, a largely factory-based role but one that will also see him work with Valtteri Bottas at the track.

Jonathan Eddolls remains as Bottas’ race engineer while Carl Gaden has been promoted from chief mechnanic – a role he has held for 22 years – to senior car systems engineer. Mark Pattinson, previously No.1 mechanic to Massa, will take over the role of chief mechanic.

“Off the back of a great 2014 campaign Williams is determined to continue this positive momentum into the new season, and these recent changes show our commitment to that goal,” chief technical officer Pat Symonds said. “We are proud to be able to promote our existing talent to help strengthen every area within our engineering team and we will continue to invest in new talent where necessary to ensure we have the support and resources to achieve our on-track ambitions throughout 2015 and beyond. Our engineering team for the coming season is looking strong and I’m excited to get the new season underway.”

Read more at ESPN

F1: Jenson Button marries Jessica Michibata

Former F1 world champion Jenson Button has married long-term partner Jessica Michibata.

Button, 34, confirmed the news after newspaper speculation that the pair had married in Maui, Hawaii.

jenson-button-gets-married-tweet

He and Ms Michibata, a lingerie model, have been in a relationship since 2008.

Their marriage comes after McLaren announced in December they were retaining the 2009 world champion alongside new signing Fernando Alonso for the 2015 season.

Button, who will contest his 16th season in Formula 1 this year, has won 15 races and scored 50 podiums from 268 starts.

His father, John, a former rallycross driver, died last January at his home on the French Riviera.

Read more at BBC Sport

F1: McLaren-Honda announces Fernando Alonso & Jenson Button for 2015

McLaren-Honda announce its new driver line-up for 2015: Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Kevin Magnussen will remain an important part of the team, as test and reserve driver.

All three men will play crucial roles in re-establishing the ascendancy of one of global sport’s most iconic unions, for McLaren and Honda have already formed one of the most dominant partnerships in motorsport history: Honda broke new ground in the 1980s by creating a turbocharged engine that was unparalleled in both its output and its efficiency, and, between 1988 and 1992, McLaren-Honda won eight world championships and 44 grands prix, and took 53 pole positions and set 30 fastest laps, all in just 80 grands prix.

In 1988, the partnership created arguably the single most successful Formula 1 car of all time: the all-conquering McLaren-Honda MP4/4, which was driven to victory by Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost in an amazing 15 of the season’s 16 grands prix.

The lure presented by those same goals has once again brought the legendary Japanese corporation back to the pinnacle of global motor racing; and, again, that company, Honda, is developing its revolutionary new turbocharged engine at its all-new purpose-built state-of-the-art motorsport facility in Sakura, Japan.

It is against that backdrop that McLaren and Honda are now committing to rebuilding afresh the strongest possible partnership in Formula 1.

The aforementioned Ayrton Senna, in the opinion of many the greatest driver in the history of our sport, won 30 of the 44 grands prix that McLaren and Honda annexed together between 1988 and 1992. Ayrton once said: “We do not need myths. We need examples to be followed – examples of courage, determination and hope. We need to believe it is possible to win, and it is our duty to pursue that belief.”

Fernando Alonso said:

“I have never hidden my deep admiration for Ayrton Senna, my favourite driver, my idol on track, my reference.

“I still remember, as a kid, the posters in my wardrobe, my toy cars in which I dreamed I would one day emulate Ayrton, and the kart that my father built for my older sister, and that I ended up falling in love with. That kart had the livery of one of the most legendary partnerships in the history of Formula 1, McLaren-Honda, the car that Ayrton drove, the same partnership to which I am now honoured to join, to take part in the next Formula 1 world championship.

“I am joining this project with enormous enthusiasm and determination, knowing that it may require some time to achieve the results we are aiming for, which is no problem for me.

“Over the past year I have received several offers, some of them really tempting, given the current performance of some of the teams that showed interest. But, more than a year ago, McLaren-Honda contacted me and asked me to take part, in a very active way, in the return of their partnership – a partnership that dominated the Formula 1 scene for so long.

Jenson Button said:

“I am extremely excited to be embarking on my 16th year in Formula 1 and my sixth season for McLaren.

“Like Fernando, I am certain that McLaren and Honda will achieve great things together, and I feel sure that, working together, all of us will pull incredibly hard to create a brilliantly effective winning team.

“I admired Ayrton Senna enormously, but, for me, it was the exploits of his McLaren-Honda team-mate Alain Prost that inspired me most as a boy. The way he stroked those beautifully brutal red-and-white cars to grand prix wins and world championships was to my mind poetry in motion, and I have tried to emulate his driving style ever since.

“Being a part of new-look McLaren-Honda is a wonderful opportunity for all of us, and I am very pleased to have been invited to do my bit. In fact, I am absolutely raring to go.

“I am also very glad that Kevin will remain part of the team. He is a very quick driver and a really nice guy.

Read more at mclaren.com

F1: Jenson Button secures McLaren seat alongside Fernando Alonso

Jenson Button is to partner Fernando Alonso at McLaren next season.

The team are to announce their driver line-up at a news conference at their factory in Surrey on Thursday.

But BBC Sport has learned they have decided to retain Button after weeks of leaning towards Kevin Magnussen.

Button, the 34-year-old 2009 world champion, will continue into a 16th season and has his wish granted to test himself against the man widely regarded as the best in F1.

McLaren signed Alonso some weeks ago, but had been vacillating over the identity of his team-mate.

Chairman Ron Dennis had been keen to retain Magnussen, 22, but the continuing delays over making a decision have tipped the balance back in favour of Button.

The two were evenly matched for pure pace in 2014, with Button out-qualifying the novice 10-9 in 19 races.

The Englishman scored more than twice as many points as Dane Magnussen over the season.

McLaren had intended to retain Magnussen, who finished second on his F1 debut in this year’s season-opening Australian Grand Prix, on the basis that the team’s data had suggested he was fractionally quicker and had youth and promise on his side.

But Button’s strong finish to the season, his experience and perhaps unrest at boardroom level over Dennis’s position has influenced the team to go the other way.

magnussen-button-tweet

Magnussen, who ended the season on 55 points compared to Button’s tally of 126, may be retained as reserve driver for 2015.

McLaren, as well as representatives of both Button and Magnussen, were unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

The farrago over the identity of the team’s second driver has detracted from the impact of McLaren’s signing of double world champion Alonso.

This is quite a coup considering his standing in the sport and the fact McLaren have succeeded in luring him away from Ferrari.

Ferrari had their least successful season for 21 years in 2014 but still finished ahead of McLaren, largely thanks to the efforts of Alonso.

Read more at BBC Sport