Barcelona F1 Test Paddock Notebook – Saturday


He may have a far from spotless reputation in Formula 1, but Pastor Maldonado has firmly established himself as the man to beat during this week’s test in Barcelona.

For the second time in this test, Maldonado posted the fastest time on Saturday with a lap of 1:24.348, giving him an advantage of three-tenths of a second over the rest of the field.

Although the Lotus driver did post his time on the super-soft tire, it was still an impressive showing from a driver that scored just two points in the entirety of 2014.

Saturday was a very interesting day of running. Whilst some chose to push for the optimum lap time, others elected to focus on more basic matters such as pit stop practice and race simulations. Interestingly, neither Lotus nor Ferrari has managed a full race sim in testing: Red Bull now has two under its belt.

Here’s all of the latest news from the paddock in Barcelona.




Another busy day in Barcelona has come to an end, with just five days of running now left until the teams will be preparing for the long trip Down Under for the first race of the season. Time is precious, and some used it more wisely than others at the track today.

Sleepy Seb lucky to avoid more damage from spin

The day was just two minutes old when the first red flag was shown, with Sebastian Vettel spinning his Ferrari at turn five. Given that he was on his first lap of the day, he really shouldn’t have been pushing that hard, making it a very surprising incident. “This morning I was sleeping a bit and, coming out of the pits on cold tires, I spun. The least I could do was help the guys clean all the gravel out of the car!” It was the first real blot on Ferrari’s testing record, given that the team had been in fine fettle up to now. Vettel finished the day in fifth place, 2.3 seconds down on Maldonado’s time.

Hamilton still not 100% after fever

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed his first full day in the car in Barcelona on Saturday, having completed half-day runs earlier in the week after coming down with a fever. The Briton said that he still doesn’t feel 100%, but still managed to finish a solid third for Mercedes without putting on the soft or super-soft tire. The German marque still appears to be the team to beat as we approach the start of the season.

Red Bull consistent, but perhaps a little too hard on its tires?

Daniil Kvyat followed the example set by his teammate to complete a full race simulation for Red Bull on Saturday, tackling a full 66-lap race just as he will in Spain on May 10. His times on the medium tire were very consistent indeed, but there was quite a drop off during his soft-tire stints, suggesting that the RB11 isn’t yet primed to work for this compound just yet. The Russian was happy with his day of running, though, and will be hoping for more of the same on Sunday.

Verstappen showing great maturity once again

He may only be 17 years old, but Max Verstappen is more than ready to take on the big boys of the Formula 1 world. He topped the timesheets for most of the day in Barcelona, finishing second in the end behind Maldonado, and with over 100 laps to his name had every reason to be pleased with his performance. A clutch problem cut short his running, forcing him to pull over with ten minutes to go, but all in all, the Dutchman is looking in very good stead for his full F1 debut in Australia next month.

More trouble for McLaren and JB

Jenson Button can’t catch a break. After completing just 11 laps on Thursday and then giving up his Friday session to Fernando Alonso, the Briton came unstuck yet again on Saturday as the same problem – a faulty seal on the MGU-K – limited him to just 24 laps in total. Button was disappointed, but remained upbeat about the potential of the McLaren-Honda MP4-30. “In some areas we’re very strong,” Button said, “but there are some areas letter us down.” Fernando Alonso will be back behind the wheel of the car on Sunday.


That’s all for Saturday in Barcelona. We’ll be back for the final day of the second test tomorrow at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya as the pecking order continues to shape up.

Supercross 2023: Results and points after Seattle


The final results from the Monster Energy Supercross race in Seattle suggests the season is turning into a two-rider battle as Eli Tomac scored his sixth win of the season to tie Cooper Webb for the points’ lead and Chase Sexton crashed in yet another race.

Tomac downplayed the neck strain that caused him to lose the red plate for two weeks, but without that holding him back, it would appear it might have been a bigger problem than he admitted. Despite finishing on the podium in Detroit, Tomac has not shown the late-race strength everyone has come to expect. He was in a slump after scoring a season-worst in Indianapolis and described his sixth win as a “bounce back”.

With this win, Tomac tied James Stewart for second on the all-time list with 50 career Supercross victories. Six rounds remain and there is no sign that Tomac is slowing down. Jeremy McGrath’s 72 wins remains untouchable, for the moment at least.

RESULTS: Click here for full 450 Overall Results; Click here for 250 Overall Results

Cooper Webb was disappointed with second-place, but he recognized the Supercross results at Seattle could have been much worse. He rode in fifth for the first nine laps of the race, behind Tomac and Sexton. When Sexton crashed from the lead and Tomac took the top spot, Webb knew he could not afford to give up that many points and so he dug deep and found enough points to share the red plate when the series returns in two weeks in Glendale, Arizona for a Triple Crown event.

Justin Barcia scored his third podium of the season, breaking out of a threeway tie of riders who have not been the presumed favorites to win the championship. Barcia scored the podium without drama or controversy. It was his fourth consecutive top-five and his 10th straight finish of eighth or better.

Click here for 450 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

Jason Anderson kept his perfect record of top-10s alive with a fourth-place finish. Tied for fourth in the standings and 49 out of the lead, his season has been like a death of a thousand cuts. He’s ridden exceptionally well, but the Big Three have simply been better.

Sexton rebounded from his fall to finish fifth. He entered the race 17 points out of the lead and lost another five in Seattle. Mistakes have cost Sexton 22 points in the last three races and that is precisely how far he is behind Tomac and Webb. Unless those two riders bobble, this deficit cannot overcome.

The rider who ties Anderson for fourth in the points, Ken Roczen finished just outside the top five in sixth after he battled for a podium position early in the race.

Click here for 450 Overall results | Rider Points | Manufacturer Points

The 250 West riders got back in action after four rounds of sitting on the sideline and Jett Lawrence picked up where he left of: in Victory Lane. Lawrence now has four wins and a second-place finish in five rounds. One simply doesn’t get close to perfection than that.

Between them, the Lawrence brothers have won all but two races though 11 rounds. Jett failed to win the Anaheim Triple Crown and Hunter Lawrence failed to win the Arlington Triple Crown format in the 250 East division. In two weeks, the series has their final Triple Crown race in Glendale. When he was reminded of this from the top of the Seattle podium, Jett replied, “oof”.

Click here for 250 Heat 1 | Heat 2 | Last Chance Qualifier | Lap Chart

RJ Hampshire finished second in the race and is second in the points. This is fourth time in five rounds that Hampshire finished second to Lawrence. If not for a crash-induced 11th-place finish in the Arlington Triple Crown, he would be much closer in the points standings. With that poor showing, he is 23 points behind Lawrence.

Cameron McAdoo made a lot of noise in his heat. Riding aggressively beside Larwence, the two crashed in the preliminary. McAdoo could never seem to get away from Hampshire in the Main and as the two battled, the leader got away. It would have been interesting to see how they would have raced head-to-head when points were on the line.

Click here for 250 Overall results | 250 West Rider Points | 250 Combined Rider Points

The Supercross results in Seattle were kind to a couple of riders on the cusp of the top five. Enzo Lopes scored his second top-five and fourth top-10 of the season after crossing the finish line fourth in Seattle.

Tying his best finish of the season for the third time, Max Vohland kept his perfect record of top-10s alive. Vohland is seventh in the points.

2023 Results

Round 11: Eli Tomac bounces back with sixth win
Round 10: Chace Sexton wins, penalized
Round 9: Ken Roczen wins
Round 8: Eli Tomac wins 7th Daytona
Round 7: Cooper Webb wins second race
Race 6: Eli Tomac, Jett Lawrence win
Race 5: Webb, Hunter Lawrence win
Race 4: Tomac, H Lawrence win
Race 3: Chase Sexton, Levi Kitchen win
Race 2: Tomac, J Lawrence win
Round 1: Tomac, J Lawrence win

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings

Week 10: Chase Sexton leads with consistency
Week 8: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
Week 7: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
Week 6: Perfect Oakland night keeps Tomac first
Week 5: Cooper Webb, Sexton close gap
Week 4: Tomac retakes lead
Week 3: Ken Roczen takes the top spot
Week 2: Roczen moves up; Sexton falls
Week 1: Tomac tops 450s; Jett Lawrence 250s