F1: Barcelona 2015 first test cumulative times, lap counts, analysis

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Just as we did after the Jerez test to kick off the 2015 round of preseason testing, we have also looked inside the numbers following this past weekend’s first Barcelona test thus far.

As my MotorSportsTalk colleague Luke Smith noted in his Sunday paddock notebook from Barcelona, Mercedes AMG Petronas still has the edge overall, as it appeared they did after Jerez, even though the team did not lead the timesheets on any of the four days.

Mercedes as a team banked the most laps for the second consecutive test, with 446 laps in Barcelona after completing more than 500 in Jerez.

The team has nearly 200 laps more completed than any other squad after the first two tests of the season – an impressive number for the improved reliability, thus far, on the W06 chassis.

Mercedes’ prolific running at Jerez meant it was one of only two teams that didn’t improve its lap count total at Barcelona than it did in Jerez. The other was Ferrari, but with only one fewer lap completed in Barcelona compared to Jerez (345 vs. 346), you’d have to call that a wash.

Toro Rosso is particularly impressive thus far with its pair of rookies in Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. The two of them are third and fourth in terms of completed laps thus far, only behind the Mercedes teammates, with Toro Rosso second as a team in lap count too.

The “senior team,” Red Bull has appeared to make a performance leap, both in pace and reliability, with the cars completing more than 250 laps more in Barcelona than they did in Jerez (418 over 164).

Lotus was a standout from the pace standpoint, even though it was tire choice-aided. Although the lap count total for them was always going to grow given the team ran only three of the four days in Jerez, it was still a good showing from them this weekend as they look to recapture past form.

Without overstating the obvious, McLaren Honda is in trouble, and the numbers bare that out even more with two tests in the books compared to just the traditional “shake the bugs off” first test in Jerez.

Through eight days of running, McLaren Honda have completed only 203 laps – less even than Force India, who have only run the Barcelona test with its 2014 chassis. Susie Wolff and Jolyon Palmer, test drivers for Williams and Lotus, respectively, have come close in one day’s running to matching Jenson Button’s totals over four days.

Consider too Mercedes power units, via their four teams, have unofficially banked more than 2,500 laps of running to date thus far.

Force India is not without its issues as well. The team got out for four days in Barcelona, which was good, but is still yet to premiere its new full 2015 chassis. It remains to be seen whether that will be ready for this weekend’s test. Nico Hulkenberg, in particular, is lacking for seat time with only 36 laps completed on Sunday in preparation for the season.

Below are the totals both from Barcelona and the testing season to date:

Barcelona Test 1 – Cumulative Results

1. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1m 24.067 (111 laps; 111 Sun.)
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m 24.321 (197: 66 Fri., 131 Sun.)
3. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:24.348 (173; 69 Thurs., 104 Sat.)
4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:24.574 (202; 59 Thurs., 143 Fri.)
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:24.585 (164; 74 Thurs., 90 Fri.)
6. Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.672 (143; 88 Fri., 55 Sat.)
7. Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.702 (155; 34 Thurs., 121 Fri.)
8. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:24.739 (223; 94 Thurs., 129 Sat.)
9. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.923 (201; 11 Thurs., 89 Fri., 101 Sat.)
10. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1m 24.941 (216; 112 Sat., 104 Sun.)
11. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1m 24.956 (152; 79 Thurs., 73 Sun.)
12. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1m 25.345 (178; 49 Sat., 129 Sun.)
13. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1m 25.604 (188; 100 Fri., 88 Sun.)
14. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:25.961 (79; 59 Fri., 20 Sun.)
15. Jolyon Palmer Lotus 1:26.280 (77; 77 Fri.)
16. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m 26.312 (181; 105 Sat., 76 Sun.)
17. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:26.340 (166; 113 Fri., 53 Sat.)
18. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m 26.591 (36; 36 Sun.)
19. Pascal Wehrlein Force India 1:27.333 (113; 32 Thurs., 81 Sat.)
20. Jenson Button McLaren 1:28.182 (45; 21 Thurs., 24 Sat.)
21. Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 1:28.489 (48; 48 Thurs.)
22. Susie Wolff Williams 1:28.906 (86; 86 Thurs.)

Barcelona Test 1 – Cumulative Laps by Chassis

1. Mercedes 446 laps (Hamilton 201, Rosberg 197, Wehrlein 48)
2. Red Bull 418 laps (Kvyat 216, Ricciardo 202)
3. Toro Rosso 411 laps (Verstappen 223, Sainz Jr. 188)
4. Williams 407 laps (Bottas 178, Massa 143, Wolff 86)
5. Lotus 361 laps (Maldonado 173, Grosjean 111, Palmer 77)
6. Ferrari 345 laps (Vettel 181, Raikkonen 164)
7. Sauber 318 laps (Ericsson 166, Nasr 152)
8. Force India 304 laps (Perez 155, Wehrlein 113, Hulkenberg 36)
9. McLaren 124 laps (Alonso 79, Button 45)

Barcelona Test 1 – Cumulative Laps by Engine

1. Mercedes 1518 laps (Mercedes 446, Williams 407, Lotus 361, Force India 304)
2. Renault 829 laps (Red Bull 418, Toro Rosso 411)
3. Ferrari 663 laps (Ferrari 345, Sauber 318)
4. Honda 124 laps (McLaren 124)

CUMULATIVE TOTALS – 2015 PRESEASON TESTS

Jerez and Barcelona Tests – Cumulative Lap Totals

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 505 laps (308 Jerez, 197 Barcelona)
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 408 laps (207 Jerez, 201 Barcelona)
3. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso 393 laps (170 Jerez, 223 Barcelona)
4. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 370 laps (182 Jerez, 188 Barcelona)
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 362 laps (198 Jerez, 164 Barcelona)
6. Marcus Ericsson Sauber 351 laps (185 Jerez, 166 Barcelona)
7. Felipe Nasr Sauber 349 laps (197 Jerez, 152 Barcelona)
8. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 329 laps (148 Jerez, 181 Barcelona)
9. Valtteri Bottas Williams 312 laps (134 Jerez, 178 Barcelona)
10. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 310 laps (137 Jerez, 173 Barcelona)
11. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 297 laps (81 Jerez, 216 Barcelona)
12. Felipe Massa Williams 287 laps (144 Jerez, 143 Barcelona)
13. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 285 laps (83 Jerez, 202 Barcelona)
14. Romain Grosjean Lotus 166 laps (53 Jerez, 111 Barcelona)
15. Sergio Perez Force India 155 laps (155 Barcelona)
16. Fernando Alonso McLaren 117 laps (38 Jerez, 79 Barcelona)
17. Pascal Wehrlein Force India 113 laps (113 Barcelona)
18. Jenson Button McLaren 89 laps (41 Jerez, 45 Barcelona)
19. Susie Wolff Williams 86 laps (86 Barcelona)
20. Jolyon Palmer Lotus 77 laps (77 Barcelona)
21. Pascal Wehrlein Mercedes 48 laps (48 Barcelona)
22. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 36 laps (36 Barcelona)

Jerez and Barcelona Tests – Cumulative Laps by Chassis

1. Mercedes 961 laps (Jerez 515, Barcelona 446)
2. Toro Rosso 763 laps (Jerez 352, Barcelona 411)
3. Sauber 700 laps (Jerez 382, Barcelona 318)
4. Ferrari 691 laps (Jerez 346, Barcelona 345)
5. Williams 685 laps (Jerez 278, Barcelona 407)
6. Red Bull 582 laps (Jerez 164, Barcelona 418)
7. Lotus 551 laps (Jerez 190, Barcelona 361)
8. Force India 304 laps (Barcelona 304)
9. McLaren 203 laps (Jerez 79, Barcelona 124)

Jerez and Barcelona Tests – Cumulative Laps by Engine

1. Mercedes 2501 laps (Mercedes 961, Williams 685, Lotus 551, Force India 304)
2. Ferrari 1391 laps (Sauber 700, Ferrari 691)
3. Renault 1345 laps (Toro Rosso 763, Red Bull 582)
4. Honda 203 laps (McLaren 203)

Mario Andretti says Colton Herta could be next American star in F1

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Mario Andretti’s last Formula One victory is also the last by an American driver in more than 42 years on the international open-wheel road racing series.

If you had told Andretti that while he was celebrating on the Grand Prix of the Netherlands podium on Aug. 27, 1978 at the Vandzoort circuit, he wouldn’t have believed it.

“Absolutely not,” Andretti told Kyle Petty during the most recent “Coffee With Kyle” episode (video above). “It’s a shame. Somehow we have so much talent here, and either there’s no invitation or something there. But I think it’s time to give some of this young talent that, in my opinion, is absolutely capable.”

The Dutch GP was the last of Andretti’s 12 victories in F1 and came during his championship season. No one since has come close to matching his success in F1.

Mario Andretti drives his Lotus-Ford to victory in the 1978 Grand Prix of the Netherlands (Bernard Cahier/Getty Images).

Andretti’s son, Michael, took a full-time ride with McLaren in 1993 but left with three races remaining in a season marred by crashes and mechanical problems.

Scott Speed was the last American to run a full F1 season in 2006, and Alexander Rossi made the most recent F1 start by a U.S. driver in 2015. Rossi has said he has no desire to return to racing in Europe after winning the 2016 Indianapolis 500 and becoming an IndyCar championship contender.

But Mario Andretti believes Andretti Autosport has another rising star with F1-caliber ability.

“Colton Herta is one that comes to mind,” Mario Andretti said. “As a young lad, his dad sent him to Europe, he was doing Formula 3, and he knows most of the circuits there. He’s trained. He’s showed in his rookie season and won some premium races at COTA (and Laguna Seca), beat two of the very best Indy has to offer (in) Will Power and Scott Dixon.

“This is one kid I’d love to see him get a break over there to fly the U.S. colors again.”

Herta, 20, seems interested in exploring an F1 leap over the next few years. After winning Sept. 13 at Mid-Ohio from the pole position (his third career victory in the NTT IndyCar Series), the No. 88 Dallara-Honda driver is ranked fourth in the standings in his sophomore year and regarded as one of the series’ top prospects.

Herta recently told RACER.com “I’d love to give Formula 1 a crack” but said he also would be happy driving in IndyCar and IMSA.

A naturalized U.S. citizen who told Petty about spending several years with his family in an Italian refugee camp before coming to America, Mario Andretti said F1 brought an enormous sense of patriotic pride.

“Formula One is like the Olympics in a sense,” he said. “You’re in a different country, a different continent. When you earn that highest step of the podium, they play your national anthem. That’s when you take nothing for granted. You feel like I’m representing my country, and the proudest moments are those.

“I’d just like to see some other American drivers experience that. It’s time.”

Mario Andretti with four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon and six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton before the Nov. 22, 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).

During the “Coffee With Kyle” conversation, Andretti also discussed:

–His versatility as a winner in IndyCar, sports cars, NASCAR and Formula One;

–His 1967 Daytona 500 victory and how he enjoyed racing with crew chief Jake Elder at the famed Holman-Moody team;

Mario Andretti Colton Herta
Mario Andretti and Kyle Petty saluted “The King” by wearing their Richard Petty-style hats during the latest “Coffee With Kyle” (NBCSN).

–Why he delayed his entry to F1 for a few years because of his earnings power in IndyCar. “I always say I’d race for free, but at the same time, you’re thinking of family and the future,” he said. “It was in the back of your mind that you can’t give up the earning power of IndyCar. That kept me from going full time in Formula One, but I always said that sometime in my career, I’d have to devote a period to Formula One.”

–On what it was like racing in an era when driver deaths were more prevalent. “If you’re going to do this, you’re not going to dwell on those negatives,” Andretti said. “There’s no way. You knew it was present. Especially in the ‘60s at the beginning of the season at the drivers meetings, you couldn’t help but look around and say, ‘I wonder who is not going to be here at the end of the season.’ We’d lose four to five guys. In ’64, we lost six guys.

“It’s something if you dwell on that, you’re going to take on a different profession. It’s a desire and love to want to drive that overcame all that and then the confidence it’s not going to happen to me. And then you pray.”

Watch the full “Coffee With Kyle” episode in the video above or by clicking here.

Mario Andretti looks on before the 103rd Indianapolis 500 on May 26, 2019 (Chris Graythen/Getty Images).