F1: Jerez 2015 test cumulative times, lap count totals, and analysis


Year-on-year at Jerez, the Formula 1 teams have made key strides in both lap counts and performance in the second year of the new power unit life.

That’s the early takeaway from the first official preseason test ahead of the 2015 Formula 1 season, even if lap times are not a determining factor.

Last year’s Jerez test was primarily a “get the new cars running” type of atmosphere, and only six of 22 drivers completed more than 100 laps over their days of running.

This year, 11 of 16 banked 100-plus – and the five who didn’t were either close (both Red Bull drivers were in the 80s) or severely hampered by track time (Romain Grosjean and Lotus did not arrive until Sunday and the car didn’t run til Monday, and both McLaren drivers had issues throughout the week).

After completing 875 laps between its teams last year, Mercedes upped its total by more than 100 laps to 983 this year – and that was without McLaren and Force India as they had last year, with Force India missing this test and McLaren now with Honda. Mercedes has added Lotus as McLaren’s replacement.

Even more importantly, both Ferrari (with a team reduction absent Marussia) and Renault (with two team reductions absent Lotus and Caterham) made major strides from this test last year. Ferrari went from 444 to 728 laps completed; Renault from 151 up to 516.

This of course leaves Honda, in its first real running beyond the installation runs at Abu Dhabi last November, on the back end and playing catchup in terms of running. With only 79 laps competed between Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, the manufacturer spent the week working through issues with McLaren rather than gathering enough data and finding the pace. The Barcelona tests must see improved reliability, otherwise they could be in trouble. But for a first test, issues are excusable – and almost welcomed.

Driver-wise, the Mercedes pair of World Champion Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were the standouts, lap-wise. Rosberg banked a bonkers amount of 308 laps – compared to 188 last year – while Hamilton added 207 of his own. These two drivers led the field in total laps, with Rosberg doing so at Jerez for the second consecutive year.

In terms of lap times, Kevin Magnussen was the standout this test last year… and this shows you how much things can change in F1 over 12 months, and how little lap times at Jerez really mean.

Ferrari, more than Sauber, is the wild card in terms of pace from here. A year ago, Williams-Mercedes was the interloper among the factory Mercedes and McLaren-Mercedes teams, and their pace developed to become the second fastest car on most weekends throughout the rest of 2014.

Ferrari itself led three of the four days this year, and came second to Sauber’s Felipe Nasr on the Tuesday. But will the pace translate and continue beyond the headline-grabbing first week, where Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were no doubt keen to make an impression to the new managerial structure at the Scuderia? That’s the question.

As Ferrari’s power unit goes, so too does Sauber’s, and a points-scoring turnaround for them would be a welcome tonic after a pointless, fruitless and trying 2014.

Alas, here’s a day-by-day recap (Wednesday, Tuesday, Monday, Sunday) from this week. Meanwhile here is a link to last year’s times and analysis from Jerez.

With Barcelona next up, this is the only preseason test F1 will have as a year-on-year reference point – Bahrain was the testing circuit last year.

Jerez Test – Cumulative Results
1. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.841 (198 laps; 92 Tues., 106 Wed.)
2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.984 (148; 60 Sun., 88 Mon.)
3. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:21.545 (197; 89 Mon., 108 Tues.)
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:21.982 (308; 157 Sun., 151 Tues.)
5. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:22.019 (185; 73 Sun., 112 Wed.)
6. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.172 (207; 91 Mon., 116 Wed.)
7. Felipe Massa Williams 1:22.276 (144; 71 Tues., 73 Wed.)
8. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:22.319 (134; 73 Sun., 61 Mon.)
9. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:22.553 (170; 73 Mon., 97 Wed.)
10. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:22.713 (137; 41 Mon., 96 Tues.)
11. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1:23.187 (182; 46 Sun., 136 Tues.)
12. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:23.338 (83; 35 Sun., 48 Tues.)
13. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:23.802 (53; 53 Wed.)
14. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:23.975 (81; 18 Mon., 63 Wed.)
15. Jenson Button McLaren 1:27.660 (41; 6 Mon., 35 Wed.)
16. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:35.553 (38; 6 Sun., 32 Tues.)

Jerez Test – Cumulative Laps by Chassis
1. Mercedes 515 laps (Rosberg 308, Hamilton 207)
2. Sauber 382 laps (Nasr 197, Ericsson 185)
3. Toro Rosso 352 laps (Sainz Jr. 182, Verstappen 170)
4. Ferrari 346 laps (Raikkonen 198, Vettel 148)
5. Williams 278 laps (Massa 144, Bottas 134)
6. Lotus 190 laps (Maldonado 137, Grosjean 53)
7. Red Bull 164 laps (Ricciardo 83, Kvyat 81)
8. McLaren 79 laps (Button 41, Alonso 38)

Jerez Test – Cumulative Laps by Engine
1. Mercedes 983 laps (Mercedes 515, Williams 278, Lotus 190)
2. Ferrari 728 laps (Sauber 382, Ferrari 346)
3. Renault 516 laps (Toro Rosso 352, Red Bull 164)
4. Honda 79 laps (McLaren 79)

Kyle Larson wins High Limit Sprint race at Tri-City Speedway ahead of Rico Abreu

Larson High Limit Tri-City
High Limit Sprint Car Series

A late race caution set up a 14-lap shootout at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Illinois with Kyle Larson winning his second consecutive High Limit Sprint Car Series race over Rico Abreu.

Starting eight on the grid after a disappointing pole dash, Larson missed several major incidents as he worked his way to the front. On Lap 1 of 35, a five-car accident claimed Tyler Courtney and Michael “Buddy” Kofoid, who both took a tumble and before collecting three other cars. Once that red flag was lifted, it didn’t take long for drivers to get tangled again as the leader Danny Dietrich experienced engine trouble on Lap 8. When he slowed rapidly, second-place Brent Marks collided with his back tire, ending the day for both.

Larson moved up to fourth with this incident.

Another red flag on Lap 21 for a flip involving Parker Price-Miller set up the dash for the win.

“My car felt really good and then we got that red,” Larson said from victory lane. “I was kind of running through the crumbs before that in 3 and 4; I could tell the top was getting really sketchy. Parker was making mistakes up there.

“When the red came out, I could see there was a clean lane of grip – not just marbles. It’s hard to see when you’re at speed. I figured Rico was going to run the top and he did. I got to his inside a couple of times and I was like ‘please don’t go to the bottom,’ and I threw a slider on him. Then he went to the bottom and I thought I was screwed until he spun his tires really bad off the corner and I was able to hit the top okay and get another run and slide him. I got good grip off the cushion.”

The victory makes Larson the first repeat winner in the series’ five-race history. He beat Justin Sanders earlier this month at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio.

With 10 laps remaining, Larson caught and pressured Abreu. The two threw a series of sliders at one another until Abreu bobbled on the cushion and lost momentum.

“Anytime you race Rico and he’s on the wall like that, you have to get aggressive,” Larson said. “He’s pushing so hard that just to stay in the striking zone if he makes a mistake, you have to push hard too.”

For Abreu, it was his second near-miss this season. He was leading at Lakeside in the 2023 opener until a tire went flat in the closing laps.

“I felt like I made a lot of mistakes at the end,” Abreu said. “It’s just hard to judge race pace. You’ve got Kyle behind you and [Anthony] Macri and these guys that have had speed all year long. I was racing as hard as I could and the mistake factor is more and more critical.”

Cory Eliason earned his career-best High Limit finish of third after starting deep in the field in 13th.

Macri lost one position during the race to finish fourth with Sam Hafertepe, Jr. rounding out the top five.

Visiting from the NASCAR Cup series, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished 19th in the 25-car field after advancing from the B-Main.

2023 High Limit Sprint Car Series

Race 1: Giovanni Scelzi wins at Lakeside Speedway
Race2: Anthony Macri wins at 34 Raceway
Race 3: Kyle Larson wins at Wayne County Speedway