Pedro de la Rosa disappointed by limited F1 testing

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Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa has expressed his disappointment over F1’s limited testing time, having undertaken his first and only run in the F14 T car at Silverstone on Tuesday.

In an attempt to cut costs, the sport has been trying to limit testing time for teams. This season has seen three in-season tests take place, but this will fall to two in 2015. For de la Rosa, this is only to the detriment of the drivers in F1.

“It’s just a disappointment generally for drivers,” he explained. “You just question yourself if this is going in the right direction.

“I come out of Maranello after being two days in the simulator, and I see a nice track there just empty with no cars called Fiorano. For me, it’s a bit strange.”

In the days of unlimited private testing, Ferrari would use private track Fiorano almost daily in order to improve the car. Nowadays, this role has been taken by the simulators, but de la Rosa still feels that this is not enough.

“I just miss it,” he said. “I just miss it because it’s like today, for example, I came here and I need to perform. Thank God we have the simulator to train you a bit, but there’s nothing like the real car.

“I feel like if a tennis player could not train every day, and then suddenly you are thrown into the final of Wimbledon against Djokovic. How would you feel? I feel a bit like that.

“I feel like I’m in inferiority because the other guys are racing every two weeks and I am not, so I feel a bit sad about this because bottom line is all this will make drivers like me disappear.

“A bit of testing, a bit of agreed testing between teams would be good for the sport.”

The in-season testing debate is one that is set to rage on in F1. Although it does give drivers more time behind the wheel, it is also very expensive, and as the sport looks to cut costs, it is probably an element that can be lost.

The next chance for teams to test will come in the week following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November.

Josef Newgarden wins pole for Grand Prix of Alabama

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With time running off the clock, Josef Newgarden lapped Barber Motorsports Park with a speed of 122.773 mph to win his third career pole and first on this track in the Grand Prix of Alabama.

Newgarden was .0128 seconds faster than teammate Scott Dixon in second.

Newgarden has two previous wins at Barber. He won last year’s edition of this race after starting seventh and in 2015 from fifth.

“I didn’t know if that was going to be enough,” Newgarden said after winning the pole.

“Team Chevy has done a good job,” Newgarden said. “They’ve really given us good power this weekend – good driveability. We’re going to need some fuel mileage tomorrow, which I think we’ll have. But it’s going to get mixed up with the rain.”

Dixon’s lap of 122.750 mph was not quite enough.

“I’m sure you could pick out a number of different things on a lap when it’s that close,” Power said about what made the slight difference between him and Newgarden. “A little mistake out of 9; a little lift here or there.”

Sebastien Bourdais (122.605 mph) qualified third, with Ryan Hunter-Reay (122.159) and James Hinchliffe (121.859) rounding out the top five.

Scott Dixon was the last driver in the top six.

Fast 12

Newgarden topped this chart with a speed of 123.475 mph.

He brought Power, James Hinchcliffe, Scott Dixon, Ryan Hunter-Reay, and Sebastien Bourdais along with him to the Fast 6.

Marco Andretti (122.480), Alexander Rossi (122.216), Simon Pagenaud (122.050), Robert Wickens (122.042), Zach Veach (121.784) and Ed Jones (120.984) failed to advance.

Round 1, Group 1

Newgarden posted the fastest single lap in round one, group one of qualification for the Grand Prix of Alabama with a speed of 122.550 mph.

Hunter-Reay, Hinchcliffe, Wickens, and Andretti also advance to the fast 12.

Taking the final slot was Jones with a speed of 119.835 mph after an off-course excursion in final practice.

This was Andretti’s first advancement to the fast 12 for the first time since 2014.

Round 1, Group 2

Power had the fastest lap of 121.570 mph.

Bourdais, Veach (who is battling food poisoning-like symptoms), Rossi, and Pagenaud grabbed positions 2-4.

Scott Dixon had an uncharacteristically slow lap of 121.006, but managed to advance to the fast 12 when the session was red-flagged for an incident involving Tony Kanaan.

With three minutes remaining, Kanaan spun into the tire barriers while leaving pit road. Since he brought out the red flag, he lost his qualification time of 119.996 mph.

Takuma Sato had slipped off-course midway through the session and posted only the Ninth-fastest speed of 120.789 mph.