Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

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Bottas posts fastest time of pre-season testing as Ferrari crash

Räikkönen hits the wall and Mercedes pick up the pace

Sidepodcast: Bottas posts fastest time of pre-season testing as Ferrari crash

by Christine

It took a while for the second day of testing this week to really pick up the pace, but it gradually rumbled into life and brought with it plenty to ponder. Firstly, Mercedes were back on top with Valtteri Bottas posting the fastest time not only of the day, but of the pre-season testing this year so far. He had the supersoft tyres on, which was an advantage, so we're still not reading too much into the lap times.

Felipe Massa forges ahead as final pre-season test gets underway

Williams go fastest as long runs are key

Sidepodcast: Felipe Massa forges ahead as final pre-season test gets underway

by Christine

It was a quiet day of pre-season testing in Spain as the final week began under blue skies in Barcelona. Teams looked to be running longer distances than they did in the first four days, and were concentrating on getting a complete package out of their car, moving on from the early shakedowns we saw last week. There was just one red flag today, brought out by Renault right at the very end of the session.

Teams double up driver duties to rack up the miles

Renault, Mercedes and Toro Rosso all run both drivers

Sidepodcast: Teams double up driver duties to rack up the miles

by Christine

It was a quieter day overall in Barcelona, with most of the attention focused in Williams' direction. Rookie driver Lance Stroll suffered two off track excursions that limited their running. He was still faster than McLaren though, with Fernando Alonso concentrating on getting laps completed and working through the aero data gathered, rather than going for all out pace. That was their excuse anyway.

Aero devices dominate as Ferrari go fastest in Spain

Measurements and experiments are all part of the plan

Sidepodcast: Aero devices dominate as Ferrari go fastest in Spain

by Christine

The second day of testing in Barcelona was a cooler affair with clouds moving in across the Catalunya circuit. Eyebrows were raised at the pace of the Ferraris, with Kimi Räikkönen posting the fastest time on soft tyres and Mercedes managing the second fastest time on the super-soft compounds. Times are not the most important thing in testing though, and the fact that Mercedes managed to complete 168 between their two drivers without an issue is the key point.

McLaren's 2017 testing begins under a cloud of troubles

Mercedes lead the way as Barcelona pre-season action gets underway

Sidepodcast: McLaren's 2017 testing begins under a cloud of troubles

by Christine

We've had a week of fabulous 2017 build-up with teams revealing their new cars for the coming season, but now it's time to stop talking about it and get those tyres turning. All eleven teams hit the track in Barcelona for the first day of pre-season testing, with mixed results. Mercedes and Ferrari did battle for supremacy on the debut day for the new-look 2017 cars, whilst McLaren struggled with reliability issues. Oof, this all sounds very familiar.

Räikkönen runs a test cockpit design and finishes fastest

Day three of Barcelona testing sees Ferrari back on top

Sidepodcast: Räikkönen runs a test cockpit design and finishes fastest

by Christine

The conversation was all about Ferrari today, as Kimi Räikkönen became the first driver to test out one of the potential cockpit protection solutions - the halo. The additional bodywork was added to the Ferrari, and Kimi was sent on his way, reporting later that the visibility was "ok." The Finn set the fastest time, after bolting on the supersoft tyres, and notably it was also the quickest lap of pre-season testing so far.

Williams top their first test day of 2016 in Barcelona

Haas suffer reliability issues as Mercedes continue to rack up laps

Sidepodcast: Williams top their first test day of 2016 in Barcelona

by Christine

Williams hit the top of the table for the first time this year, as Valtteri Bottas posted the fastest lap time of the second day of this week's test. Lewis Hamilton wasn't far behind, once again splitting duties with teammate Nico Rosberg, and Mercedes managed another whopping 164 laps today. Having said that, Carlos Sainz completed two more all by himself!

Rosberg takes Mercedes to the top as second 2016 test begins

German team post the fastest lap for the first time this year

Sidepodcast: Rosberg takes Mercedes to the top as second 2016 test begins

by Christine

Nico Rosberg was on the pace for Mercedes right from the start of this second week of testing, as the team put on the soft tyres for the first time. Rosberg set the fastest lap before lunch and then handed over the car to Lewis Hamilton, who set about working on a long run programme instead. Last week's pacesetters Ferrari finished the day in fourth place, with Kimi Räikkönen causing a red flag shortly after lunch.

Back to the top for Ferrari as first Barcelona test ends

Kimi Räikkönen sets the pace on final test day this week

Sidepodcast: Back to the top for Ferrari as first Barcelona test ends

by Christine

Kimi Räikkönen soared back to the top of the timesheets on the final day of testing in Barcelona this week. The Finn set his time on the ultrasoft tyres, and helped Ferrari finish three of the four days with the fastest time. Meanwhile, Mercedes continued to concentrate on getting the lap count up, with Lewis Hamilton completing 99 laps before handing over to Nico Rosberg to total 185 altogether.

Force India zoom to the top of Barcelona day three timesheets

Ferrari drop back as Hülkenberg posts the fastest time

Sidepodcast: Force India zoom to the top of Barcelona day three timesheets

by Christine

Force India knocked Ferrari from the top spot in Barcelona, as Nico Hülkenberg took the team to the head of the timesheets. Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen suffered a lack of running after completing just four installation laps in the morning without setting a lap time, but he made up for it in the afternoon. However, he didn't manage to repeat Vettel's feat of posting the fastest lap time, and he was even deposed to third by Romain Grosjean in the Haas.

Ferrari lead the charge as 2016 testing begins in Spain

Mercedes put in the laps whilst Haas suffer front wing setback

Sidepodcast: Ferrari lead the charge as 2016 testing begins in Spain

by Christine

We can now say the build up to 2016's Formula One season is well and truly underway after the first day of official pre-season testing went off without a hitch. Well, apart from a few early niggles here and there. Overall it was a solid day for all 11 teams, kicking off with a few more launches in the pit lane. Once the covers were off the cars, the running got underway in earnest.

Teams back to Barcelona for final week of 2015 pre-season testing

Four more days available for analysis and preparation

Sidepodcast: Teams back to Barcelona for final week of 2015 pre-season testing

by Christine

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.

Second week of 2015 running gets underway in Barcelona

Follow day by day updates of pre-season testing

Sidepodcast: Second week of 2015 running gets underway in Barcelona

by Christine

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.

Give an inch, take a mile

Pirelli's new tyres could slow Formula One down

Sidepodcast: Give an inch, take a mile

by Christine

During Silverstone testing this week, Pirelli teamed up with Lotus to test out their prototype 18 inch tyres. They gained plenty of attention for doing so, although they introduced the concept rubber off their own back, rather than being requested to do so by Formula One's governing body. As motorsport director Paul Hembery said at the time, the tyres would make F1 more road relevant and that's a direction the sport is always trying to head towards.