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


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)


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)

Ford unveils a new Mustang for 2024 Le Mans in motorsports ‘lifestyle brand’ retooling

Ford Mustang Le Mans
Ford Performance
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LE MANS, France — Ford has planned a return to the 24 Hours of Le Mans with its iconic Mustang muscle car next year under a massive rebranding of Ford Performance aimed at bringing the automotive manufacturer “into the racing business.”

The Friday unveil of the new Mustang Dark Horse-based race car follows Ford’s announcement in February (and a ballyhooed test at Sebring in March) that it will return to Formula One in 2026 in partnership with reigning world champion Red Bull.

The Mustang will enter the GT3 category next year with at least two cars in both IMSA and the World Endurance Championship, and is hopeful to earn an invitation to next year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans. The IMSA entries will be a factory Ford Performance program run by Multimatic, and a customer program in WEC with Proton Competition.

Ford CEO Jim Farley, also an amateur sports car racer, told The Associated Press the Mustang will be available to compete in various GT3 series across the globe to customer teams. But more important, Farley said, is the overall rebranding of Ford Performance – done by renowned motorsports designer Troy Lee – that is aimed at making Ford a lifestyle brand with a sporting mindset.

“It’s kind of like the company finding its own, and rediscovering its icons, and doubling down on them,” Farley told the AP. “And then this motorsports activity is getting serious about connecting enthusiast customers with those rediscovered icons. It’s a big switch for the company – this is really about building strong, iconic vehicles with enthusiasts at the center of our marketing.”

Ford last competed in sports car racing in 2019 as part of a three-year program with Chip Ganassi Racing. The team scored the class win at Le Mans in 2016 in a targeted performance aimed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Ford snapping Ferrari’s six-year winning streak.

Ford on Friday displayed a Mustang with a Lee-designed livery that showcased the cleaner, simplified look that will soon be featured on all its racing vehicles. The traditional blue oval with Ford Performance in white lettering underneath will now be branded simply FP.

The new mark will be used across car liveries, merchandise and apparel, display assets, parts and accessories and in advertising.

Farley cited Porsche as an automaker that has successfully figured out how to sell cars to consumers and race cars in various series around the world while creating a culture of brand enthusiasts. He believes Ford’s new direction will help the company sell street cars, race cars, boost interest in driving schools, and create a merchandise line that convinces consumers that a stalwart of American automakers is a hip, cool brand.

“We’re going to build a global motorsports business off road and on road,” Farley told the AP, adding that the design of the Mustang is “unapologetically American.”

He lauded the work of Lee, who is considered the top helmet designer among race car drivers.

“We’re in the first inning of a nine inning game, and going to Le Mans is really important,” Farley said. “But for customer cars, getting the graphics right, designing race cars that win at all different levels, and then designing a racing brand for Ford Performance that gets rebranded and elevated is super important.”

He said he’s kept a close eye on how Porsche and Aston Martin have built their motorsports businesses and said Ford will be better.

“We’re going in the exact same direction. We just want to be better than them, that’s all,” Farley said. “Second is the first loser.”

Farley, an avid amateur racer himself, did not travel to Le Mans for the announcement. The race that begins Saturday features an entry from NASCAR, and Ford is the reigning Cup Series champion with Joey Logano and Team Penske.

The NASCAR “Garage 56” entry is a collaboration between Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet and Goodyear, and is being widely celebrated throughout the industry. Farley did feel left out of the party in France – a sentiment NASCAR tried to avoid by inviting many of its partners to attend the race so that it wouldn’t seem like a Chevrolet-only celebration.

“They’re going right and I’m going left – that NASCAR thing is a one-year deal, right? It’s Garage 56 and they can have their NASCAR party, but that’s a one-year party,” Farley said. “We won Le Mans outright four times, we won in the GT class, and we’re coming back with Mustang and it’s not a one-year deal.

“So they can get all excited about Garage 56. I almost see that as a marketing exercise for NASCAR, but for me, that’s a science project,” Farley continued. “I don’t live in a world of science projects. I live in the world of building a vital company that everyone is excited about. To do that, we’re not going to do a Garage 56 – I’ve got to beat Porsche and Aston Martin and Ferrari year after year after year.”

Ford’s announcement comes on the heels of General Motors changing its GT3 strategy next season and ending its factory Corvette program. GM, which unlike Ford competes in the IMSA Grand Touring Prototype division (with its Cadillac brand), will shift fully to a customer model for Corvettes in 2024 (with some factory support in the IMSA GTD Pro category).