F1 Testing in Bahrain - Day Two

F1 2014 Primer: The Changes

1 Comment

In the final part of MotorSportsTalk’s preview of the 2014 Formula 1 season, we take a look at the changes that have occurred over the winter. The sport is a very different place to where we left off in Brazil last November, with new cars, new engines, new rules and even a few new drivers.

SPORTING CHANGES

  • Official in-season testing returns in 2014, replacing the young driver tests. Three-day events will be held following races in Bahrain, Spain, Great Britain and Abu Dhabi.
  • As part of an altered penalty system, drivers now pick up ‘points’ on their superlicence, and must not exceed 12 at any one time, or they will be banned for a race. Stewards can now apply a five second penalty in races.
  • Grid drops can now carry over for one event, meaning that if a driver is demoted ten places but can only serve five, they will be demoted another five places at the next event. It can only be carried over once though.
  • Drivers are restricted to five engines to use throughout the season, but parts are interchangeable and liable to their own quota.
  • Drivers now have permanent numbers which they will use throughout their careers. You can see them here.
  • A trophy will be awarded to the driver who scores the most pole positions in 2014.
  • Double points will be awarded at the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi. The winner receives 50 points (instead of 25), second place receives 36 points (instead of 18) and so on.

TECHNICAL CHANGES

  • V8 engines have been replaced by turbocharged V6s, limited to 15,000rpm. This now is part of a “power unit” that also features two forms of Energy Recovery Systems (ERS). ERS replaces KERS, meaning drivers can no longer press a button for a boost. The power units will generate a greater amount of torque.
  • Drivers are limited to 100kg of fuel within a race, a reduction from the unrestricted figure of 150kg most used last year. This will create plenty of fuel saving and lots of retirements due to over-thirsty engines.
  • The exhaust must now be placed above the rear crash structure of the car, whilst beam wings have been banned, both creating a reduction in rear downforce (i.e. less grip).
  • Front wings are 150mm narrower, with teams taking 75mm from either side of the wing on their cars.
  • The centre tip of the nose must be 185mm above the ground, down from a height of 550mm. This is the regulation that has created the ugly noses on display this season. Although it was designed to reduce the likelihood of the nose entering the cockpit, it is thought that a change to this regulation will be made for 2015.

DRIVER CHANGES

Team change

  • Daniel Ricciardo – Toro Rosso to Red Bull
  • Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus to Ferrari
  • Pastor Maldonado – Williams to Lotus
  • Nico Hulkenberg – Sauber to Force India
  • Sergio Perez – McLaren to Force India
  • Adrian Sutil – Force India to Sauber
  • Felipe Massa – Ferrari to Williams

Entering Formula 1

  • Kevin Magnussen – McLaren (from Formula Renault 3.5 in 2013)
  • Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso (from GP3 in 2013)
  • Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham (from WEC in 2013)
  • Marcus Ericsson – Caterham (from GP2 in 2013)

Leaving Formula 1 (full-time)

  • Mark Webber – Red Bull to Porsche’s LMP1 programme in the WEC
  • Heikki Kovalainen – Caterham/Lotus to ???
  • Paul di Resta – Force India to Mercedes in DTM
  • Charles Pic – Caterham to Lotus reserve driver
  • Giedo van der Garde – Caterham to Sauber reserve driver

 

More of MotorSportsTalk’s 2014 F1 season preview
F1 2014 Primer: The Drivers
F1 2014 Primer: The Tracks
F1 2014 Primer: The Teams
5 storylines that could define the 2014 F1 season

IndyCar’s last big pre-season test occurs this week at Sebring

img_0856
Conor Daly. Photo: IndyCar
Leave a comment

Pre-season testing for the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season will conclude this week with all eight full-season teams having two days at Sebring International Raceway’s short course on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Sebring marks the closest venue to simulate street course conditions; four of the first eight races are street races while only one street race, Toronto, occurs in the second half of the season.

Although this is private testing, this will be a de facto “spring training” on the 1.5-mile road course for teams to see what the others are running all at once. IndyCar’s official spring training, the Prix View test at Phoenix International Raceway’s 1-mile oval, occurred on February 10-11.

The bulk of the field runs tomorrow, with seven of the eight teams set to test – the only exception is Andretti Autosport. Andretti is listed to test on Wednesday.

All but one of the 21 full-season drivers expected for the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg season opener on March 12 will test this week. The one not listed is Sebastien Bourdais of Dale Coyne Racing; Bourdais and Ed Jones tested at Sebring in January prior to the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

They’ll be joined by the three drivers making their test debuts, all for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports: Robert Wickens, Luis Felipe “Pipo” Derani and Luis Michael Dorrbecker.

Wickens tests tomorrow as part of his planned ride swap with James Hinchcliffe, with Derani and Dorrbecker set to test on Wednesday.

Sebring is usually a hotbed for tests over the IndyCar offseason. This year saw A.J. Foyt Enterprises (in late January with Chevrolet) and Chip Ganassi Racing (in early January with Honda) premiere their new manufacturers and aero kits at Sebring, among other teams that have tested here.

Although the test season has seen an increase in interest this year, the regular season starts in St. Petersburg and returns to NBCSN with Long Beach on April 9.

F1 Paddock Pass: 2017 launch roundup (VIDEO)

Leave a comment

The NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass returns today with a recap of the remaining launches of the 2017 Formula 1 cars that occurred over the weekend.

Williams was first to reveal a rendering of its 2017 car, but it wasn’t a formal launch. Sauber’s online launch properly kicked off proceedings last Monday, before Renault, Force India and Mercedes did actual launches, and then Ferrari (online) and McLaren (in Woking) both launched on Friday.

Official launches then followed for Williams, Red Bull, Haas and Toro Rosso over the weekend. Haas had pictures of its car leak the day before its planned launch as it was a filming day on track.

In this edition of Paddock Pass, NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton and producer Jason Swales recap the remaining cars revealed over the weekend.

Previous Paddock Pass editions from this week are below:

Testing continues this week with days two through four of the first test at Barcelona.

Alonso’s McLaren struggles on first day of F1 tests

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 27: Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team McLaren MCL32 on track  during day one of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 27, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

MONTMELO, Spain (AP) Troubled Formula One team McLaren has gotten off to a wretched start in preseason testing.

Fernando Alonso spent most of the first day waiting to get back out of the garage after his car broke down following just one lap at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Monday.

What the team identified as an “oil system” malfunction to its Honda-made engine kept the two-time world champion out of action until after the lunch break. Back behind the wheel, his 29 total laps was the lowest amount of the 11 drivers who participated.

Alonso also posted the second-slowest time, more than three seconds off the leading pace set by Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes. Only Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson was slower.

“It’s disappointing,” Alonso said. “You work for three months and at the track on the installation lap something breaks down and you lose the day.”

This misstep is the latest technical hiccup to plague McLaren since it paired up with Honda.

One of F1’s most successful teams with eight constructor titles and 12 driver titles, the British outfit has struggled since it switched from Mercedes to the Japanese automaker before the 2015 season.

After earning just a combined 27 points from Alonso and Jenson Button in the first year with Honda, the team showed some growth last season with 76 points and two fifth-place finishes. But that is still a far cry from the glory days of the Woking-based team whose last race win was in Brazil in 2012.

For his part, Alonso hasn’t won a race since he claimed his 32nd victory back in 2013 at the Spanish Grand Prix while with Ferrari.

“It is fair to say that after the difficulties we had the last three seasons, it’s a nice temptation for the media,” Alonso said.

“From the point of view of the team, we are disappointed and sad to arrive to the first day of testing and not run.

“We are focused on what we have to do to make up the lost time. We know that we have four days for each driver and now one day is gone to prepare for the world championship.”

Stoffel Vandoorne, who has replaced Button, will get his turn for McLaren on Tuesday.

McLaren team chief Eric Boullier acknowledged that the relationship with Honda is far from perfect.

“It is like any marriage, you can have some ups and downs,” Boullier said. “We went through a lot of stress through the last couple of years, but we have a positive and constructive relationship and I don’t expect this to change in the future.”

The opening test will run through Thursday.

The track near Barcelona will host a second round of testing from March 7-10 before the season starts at the Australian GP on March 26.

Steiner: Haas is ‘a lot better prepared’ after this day one

MONTMELO, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 27:  Kevin Magnussen of Denmark driving the (20) Haas F1 Team Haas-Ferrari VF-17 Ferrari on track during day one of Formula One winter testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 27, 2017 in Montmelo, Spain.  (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Last year’s first day of testing at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona for Haas F1 Team was both exciting and tense all at once.

As it was the first official day of running for the team, questions abounded over whether the new team would bank laps and if so, how would they get on. They did though with Romain Grosjean completing his first 13 laps in the morning session.

Luckily, having had a full year to acclimatize to Formula 1 and get in the rhythm of how this all works, Haas was able to have a smoother first day of testing in 2017, even despite an incident for Kevin Magnussen in his first day aboard the team’s Ferrari powered-VF-17 chassis.

“The plan was to do more, but that’s how the first day goes sometimes,” said Haas team principal Guenther Steiner. “We had a few issues, but that’s normal. They are to be expected when you have a new car and we sorted them out. We are here to learn and that is what we did.

“Our learning process is a lot better than last year because our people have worked together for a year now and we know more about the car. We are a lot better prepared.”

Magnussen ran through Pirelli’s hard, medium and soft compound tires on the day. An incident at Turn 10 damaged the front wing assembly but didn’t stop him from completing 50 laps.

“We had a few issues, but the good thing is that they were small issues,” Magnussen said. “Even though they stopped us from some running, it wasn’t something that is at all worrying for the coming days. It’s kind of the typical baby problems you have with the cars when they’re completely new. Except for that, the first feeling of the car is nice. It’s good to finally get that feeling of the car after looking at it, and all the anticipation for the faster cars. It’s a good feeling. Today’s been a day I’ve enjoyed a lot.”

The Dane continues tomorrow before Grosjean runs the last two days of testing.