Monaco marked the first appearance of the purple marked ultrasoft Pirelli tyre at a race weekend. Introduced at the start of this season and initially billed as a qualifying tyre, the compound seems decidedly similar to a supersoft in both pace and longevity. An assertion supported by Haas and Renault’s decision to take just soft and ultrasoft tyres to the Canadian Grand Prix, avoiding the supersoft completely.
Haas have made an early impression on the paddock. The American based squad converted their excellent pre-season into a strong debut weekend, as Romain Grosjean took full advantage of a timely red flag to secure sixth place. Eight points already on the board for F1’s youngest team and their lightening start has certainly put pressure on Sauber and Manor as the teams who stand the most to lose should Haas continue to shine.
The second and final pre-season test in Barcelona commenced today and it was a familiar face at the top of the timesheet. Nico Rosberg managed 82 laps this morning before handing driving duties over to his teammate, and sat on top spot throughout with impressive times on both the medium and soft compound Pirelli’s. For the first time this pre-season, Ferrari and Williams looked adrift of the Mercedes on pace.
Here are five things we learnt on the fifth day of winter testing.
The final chequered flag has fallen on the first pre-season test, with Ferrari topping the timesheet for the third time this week. Kimi Raikkonen managed 80 laps in the SF16-H today, with a 1:23.477 recorded on a ultrasoft run. While the Finn’s benchmark was a full eight tenths clear of Daniil Kvyat’s time for Red Bull, it was half a second adrift of Sebastian Vettel’s equivalent run on Tuesday – which has remained the fastest time set during the entire test.
Here are five things we learnt on the final day of the opening pre-season test… (more…)
The second day in Barcelona was largely a case of status quo at the top of the timesheet. Sebastian Vettel made it a brace of table topping days for Ferrari, with a run on the brand new ultra-soft tyre. Mercedes, however, were once again supreme in the mileage stakes, with a record 172 laps and finishing fourth on the timesheet after a run on the medium compound.
Here are five things we learnt on day two of winter testing…
F1 finally has an American team back on the grid. Haas revealed the VF-16 this afternoon, their 2016 challenger and “Very First” F1 entry. An aesthetically pleasing livery, albeit another lacking the distinct colours which many fans are pleading for, as well as some interesting technical features mean that Haas have certainly turned heads on their first day in the spotlight.
Jean Eric Vergne’s time in F1 is a perfect testament to the fine margins by which career’s in the sport are defined. Despite matching Daniel Ricciardo for the majority of their partnership at Toro Rosso, it was the Aussie received a ticket to graduation while Vergne was left to fight off the next young talent – a fight which Red Bull decided he had lost. Now racing in Formula E and with a role as Development Driver at Ferrari, JEV has not given up on his F1 career just yet and is eyeing a possible return to the grid in 2016, behind the wheel of a Ferrari no-less.