Sauber F1 Team won’t be running at the May 17-18 test at Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona for a couple reasons, the team confirming its absence today.
Sauber said it doesn’t have any car updates coming for the next round of the season, the Spanish Grand Prix, and additionally doesn’t have a suitable young or reserve driver it could use for the test.
It’s the latest less than ideal bit of news for the venerable Swiss outfit, which per Autosport also lost its head of track engineering, Tim Maylon, left the team after three months.
Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson are yet to score this season. Nasr debuted a new chassis in Sochi.
With McLaren’s pair of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button, plus Renault’s Kevin Magnussen and Force India’s Sergio Perez also getting on the board in Russia, Sauber and Manor MRT are now the only two teams yet to score points this year.
The second in-season test is scheduled for July 12-13 in Silverstone, after the British Grand Prix.
Jean-Eric Vergne is back in an F1 car today; the Ferrari test driver is taking out the Ferrari F14-T to work on Pirelli’s 2017 tire compounds at the Fiorano test track.
Vergne’s testing the 2016 size tires, which contain a number of prototype elements.
Earlier this year, Pirelli was granted extra test time to test its 2017 compounds. The plan is to increase larger tires for 2017, which is the first of a new three-year program for Pirelli.
Vergne is fresh off finishing second in the most recent FIA Formula E Championship round, the Paris ePrix.
On a related but as yet unconfirmed note by Pirelli, Motorsport.com reported Tuesday that ex-Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado has also been tasked with part of the 2017 Pirelli testing. The Venezuelan spent five full seasons on the grid but lost his ride late this offseason to Kevin Magnussen when his budget failed to materialize as planned.
While Pirelli’s hardest compound, the orange sidewall P Zero hard tire, is set to make its season debut at the Spanish Grand Prix in two weeks, few teams are stocking up on the hard as the soft and medium tires take preference.
None of the 11 teams and 22 drivers has opted to bring more than two sets of Pirelli’s hard compound. Instead, the balance is between the soft and mediums.
Ferrari and Haas bring the most soft compounds – eight sets apiece for Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.
Haas has split its hard and soft strategy though with Grosjean having two hard and three soft sets for the weekend to Gutierrez’s one hard and four soft sets. Renault and Toro Rosso have also opted for a split two hard/three soft versus one hard/four soft set strategy.
After a one-stop race in Sochi for most of the field, Barcelona should revert back to being at least a two-stopper given its nature as a much more abrasive track for tires.
The full breakdown is below:
Kevin Magnussen has won Formula 1’s official Driver of the Day poll for the Russian Grand Prix.
Magnussen started 17th in Sochi after a difficult qualifying session, but made the most of the trouble at the first corner for many of the cars ahead to work his way into the top 10.
The Dane’s pace was impressive during the second half of the race to ensure he finished the race seventh, marking Renault’s first points as an F1 constructor since the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The result was also Magnussen’s first top 10 finish in F1 since the penultimate race of the 2014 season when he raced for McLaren.
On Monday, the official F1 Twitter account confirmed that Magnussen had won the vote through its website.
The Russian Grand Prix proved to be a busy race for the FIA stewards as a number of incidents resulted in three drivers receiving penalty points on their super licences.
Daniil Kvyat, Esteban Gutierrez and Carlos Sainz Jr. were all sanctioned by the stewards for actions during the race.
Kvyat’s antics on the first lap defined a number of drivers’ races as he hit Sebastian Vettel twice in a matter of seconds, the second hit punting the Ferrari racer into the wall and out of contention.
Kvyat said after the race that it was easy to attack him, but the rest of the paddock was less than impressed, leaving many expecting an apology from the Russian.
After being handed a 10-second stop/go penalty during the race, Kvyat was also given three points on his FIA super licence, taking his tally up to five for the 12-month period.
Gutierrez was also penalized for an incident on the first lap after he took out Nico Hulkenberg and sparked a multi-car melee at Turn 2. He too received a time penalty during the race, but was handed two penalty points afterwards by the stewards.
Finally, Sainz was found to have forced Jolyon Palmer off track between Turns 2 and 3 during the race. He had 10 seconds added to his race time and also received two penalty points.