Force India have finally got the VJM-08 up and running, on the second day of the second test at Barcelona, and with just three days of running available. Nico Hülkenberg got behind the wheel for the first run of the new car, with an installation lap just before the lunch break, and then a full 77 laps by the end of the day. Chief Race Engineer Tom McCullough admits it was a big effort to get the car ready in time, and they’re just grateful to have had a solid first day.
Amazingly, the 2015 Formula One season is now just over two weeks away. Launches are done, testing is almost complete, and we're starting to see at least a pattern in the results so far, if not anything concrete. McLaren have struggled, Mercedes have cruised, Ferrari have improved, and the midfield looks set for a shakeup. That's what I think, but what does the rest of the blogging world have to say about F1 at the moment?
Lotus F1 confirmed their development driver for the 2015 season, signing Spanish racer Carmen Jordá to the role. Carmen has been gathering experience in the Indy Lights and GP3 championships, but as with most young drivers, has always had an eye on making the step up to Formula One.
Two weeks of testing so far have given us a few signs of what the coming year might be like. Mercedes are still strong, if not untouchable. Ferrari have improved, as have Sauber who have shown surprising pace. McLaren are very much on the back foot, and are now dealing with the repercussions from Fernando Alonso's accident last week as well. The Spaniard will sit out this final week, with Kevin Magnussen taking his place.
The Manor Grand Prix team is continuing to make strides towards being ready to race in Australia next month, as the team formerly known as Marussia signed a driver for the coming season. British racer Will Stevens has a deal with the squad to race in 2015, having completed just one race in his F1 career so far, for the Caterham team in their 2014 Abu Dhabi comeback.
Fernando Alonso has been released from the Spanish hospital where he has been for three days following an accident during testing in Barcelona. The McLaren driver hit the wall in what appeared to be a normal accident but Alonso was airlifted to the hospital and has only been released today.
Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso are desperately trying to keep their spirits high despite the disappointments of testing in Spain so far. After a slow first week in Jerez, the McLaren team were hoping Barcelona would deliver better things. Unfortunately, their running was curtailed on Thursday due to a faulty part, and the replacements didn't arrive until Saturday. When they did, it turned out not to be the solution the car required, and more engineering is needed.
Lewis Hamilton completed 11 laps of his schedule today before admitting defeat and going home sick. Running a fever, and with what Toto Wolff described as the flu, Hamilton handed over driving duties to test driver Pascal Wehrlein, who had already been loaned out to the Force India crew. Nico Rosberg could have deputised, but was himself struggling with an inflamed and trapped nerve in his neck - which in turn puts his own running for tomorrow in doubt.
One day into the second week of F1 pre-season testing and we’ve got our first row between drivers. During the afternoon session at Barcelona, Felipe Nasr and Susie Wolff crashed, with both drivers ending up in the gravel trap and requiring a truck to come and rescue their stricken cars.
The second of three pre-season tests gets underway in Barcelona tomorrow, and some of the teams are trusting their new machinery to the hands of their test drivers. Williams have confirmed Susie Wolff will be in action for the first day of running, with their regular drivers taking one and a half days each.
The Formula One Commission met in Geneva to discuss future regulation changes for the sport and decided that drivers should be banned from changing their helmet colours during a season, in a bid to aid fans recognising and identifying the drivers when they’re in the car.
With four days of testing already completed, teams have a fair idea of what challenges they are facing over the final two weeks. Moving on from Jerez, drivers will get to grips with the Barcelona circuit - a track they should know well, and will be racing on later in the year. Force India will be participating this week, after skipping the Jerez action, but they've confirmed they will be using an older version of their car.
The 2015 Formula One season might seem, on the surface, an extension of 2014, settling in after a year of upheavel. But delve only slightly further and you'll find a wealth of intriguing driver movements, fascinating new partnerships, and a whole lot of development still to be done. With a twenty stop calendar, nine teams and eighteen drivers to keep track of, the Guide to the 2015 Grand Prix Season becomes the ultimate F1 fan's resource.
It's traditional here at Sidepodcast HQ that Mr C always forgets Valentine's Day and makes up for it with a certain brand of white chocolate. We renamed the day based on that certain fact but Mr C has shaken things up this year by not only remembering February 14th but having Milky Bar buttons ready and waiting beforehand. Bizarre.
Welcome to F1 Circuits Past and Present, the Sidepodcast mini series that takes a closer look at tracks that have hosted the pinnacle of motorsport across the years. This is the final episode, and so to finish we’re narrowing our gaze at an absolutely classic track, one that really lifts the spirits and makes each race it hosts an event to behold.
The FIA have kept the Manor team’s hopes of an entry to the 2015 F1 World Championship alive after it became clear the governing body weren’t finalising the entry list for the year ahead until satisfied one way or the other whether the team can compete.
The Force India team have revealed that they won’t be sending their 2015 car to the first week of testing in Barcelona, having previously hoped to see the VJM08 make its debut there at the next test. They’ve already missed four days of testing in Jerez, but consoled themselves with the knowledge that of the three opportunities, Jerez was the least relevant.
Hello and welcome to the sixth episode of F1 Circuits Past and Present, a second series of the miniseries brought to you by Sidepodcast. We’ve covered old and new, with a focus on the old, but now it’s time to look at the returning. Formula One’s calendar for 2015 features a race that was previously on the calendar, and is making a comeback.
With F1 taking something of a rest between the first of the two pre-season tests, news has been sparse. The teams have hunkered down and started working on whatever data they gathered from Jerez, leaving the rest of us speculating over what we'll see in Barcelona next week. That means a great mish-mash of further reading and listening for you in this week's Selection Box collection.
You’re listening to the Sidepodcast mini series F1 Circuits Past and Present, a second series that looks closely at tracks that have hosted the sport across the years. This is the fifth episode, and time to look at a classic track that has made an impressive name for itself despite featuring on the calendar on only two occasions.
365 F1 stories
The potential US F1 team officially shut down on this day in '10 - what was the name of the driver they had signed?
F1 test schedule
|Circuito de Jerez||Spain||1 Feb|
|Circuito de Jerez||Spain||2 Feb|
|Circuito de Jerez||Spain||3 Feb|
|Circuito de Jerez||Spain||4 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||19 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||20 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||21 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||22 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||26 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||27 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||28 Feb|
|Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya||Spain||1 Mar|