2009 F1 testing: March 17th

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Fernando Alonso was quick in the Renault yesterday
Fernando Alonso was quick in the Renault yesterday

F1 testing continues at Jerez today with McLaren, Renault, Williams and Brawn GP still at work at the track.

Renault were quickest yesterday with Fernando Alonso at the wheel. Will Nelson Piquet Jnr be able to replicate his team mate’s pace today?

Today’s testing line-up

Jenson Button
Nelson Piquet Jnr
Nico Rosberg
Lewis Hamilton

Live timing

You can find live lap times on the following sites (various languages):

Renault usually post details of their test on their blog.

If you find any more good sites for following testing lap times, please post details below. Further updates will be posted in the comments and any images or video from today’s testing will be added here.

2009 F1 testing

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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40 comments on “2009 F1 testing: March 17th”

  1. From James Allen on yesterday’s test:

    Rubens was easily circulating in the 1m 19s all morning. His fastest time, a 1m 18.398s lap, came on lap 4 of a 7 lap run, in which three of the laps were 1m 18s and three were low 1m19s. The car would go signficantly faster on a low fuel qualifying simulation. He handed over the car to Jenson Button, but the Brit managed only a couple of short runs before the car stopped with a gearbox problem, missing the last two hours of running. The car has done well to run fairly trouble free so far, but this incident shows that reliability is the main concern for Melbourne.

    Renault’s Fernando Alonso ended the day a fraction faster than Barrichello, catching all the headlines, but his time came out of the blue, on a single lap qualifying simulation, so he would have been carrying quite a bit less fuel than the Brawn car. Looking at his other runs, they were manly quite short, but a 14 lap run saw laps mostly in the high 1m19s and low 1m20s, the thick end of a second per lap slower than the Brawn.

    1. Yup,

      I think Fernando had fuel for just two laps. But anyhow is a very good result, despite today times are under 1’18 for Brawn GP and near to 1’18 for Nico Rosberg.

      On the other hand, Piquet is in 1’20…

  2. So Brawn are still for real, and still stunningly ahead. But I have the impression that with McLaren fixing its problems and Renault on the up, the pecking order is now less clear than it was by the end of the Barcelona testing.

    1. And Williams have are leading at the moment.

  3. Wow! 1:17.9 from Jenson!

  4. Bufff guys…
    Button 1.17:937

  5. Jenson stunning time :)

    McLaren improving bit by bit – but so are the others!

  6. God BrawnGP are super Quick i can see them breaking records everywhere this season! Yet a other track record smashed this week! Button for championship this year would be a fairytale!

  7. 1’17”844 Jenson!

  8. Piquet 1:18:382 !!! ???

  9. I’v never seen an amazing performance as Brown’s one. Last year they were so bad…really strange.

    McLaren improve is slow, but may be they found the right direction. Anyway they’re still the slowest and if they made basic mistake in design of the car they will not be able to come back to last year design. They’re running high risk there (remember MP4/28 story…if I remember well)

    Never been so unclear before the first GP of the season. It’s exciting.

  10. The more I see that Renault the better looking I think it is :S

    1. Bollywood Bub
      17th March 2009, 11:56

      Agreed. For some reason, it reminds me of the A-10 Thunderbolt. Renault should put a sharks teeth paintjob on the nose to go with it, make it look like a hammerhead as it’s halfway there already.

  11. What is remarkable is that the times from Brawn, Rubbens or Button, come in a stint of laps, whilst the fastest time for Alonso yesterday was a flying lap (I think they tried to beat the fastest lap, like in a qualifying session).

    If the comments from f1today.nl are correct, Jenson has managed several laps in the 1:18, whilst the good time from Piquet seemingly came in short stints.

    Not sure about Rosberg though, but good thing the times are coming down, and I’m happy to see Piquet managing similar (or better) times than Alonso, cause it looked like Alonso would be almost 1s faster than his teammate (and that’s too much a disadvantage)

    1. In fact Jenson has made 10 laps stints in 1’19 and lower meanwhile Rosberg, doing the same was in 1’20. 1 Second faster for Brawn!!!

      On the other hand Piquet has improved but they have added some small modifications in the rear part of the front wing, and it seems it works.

      You can see the modifications in


  12. More pics
    Green paint on Mclaren again…

  13. I have a question for you all guys.
    I’ve always been curious but never known what actually are those appendixes that the cars have at the very top of the air box, just over the roll bar behind the head of the driver. They are the higher part of the car, I’ve always thought they incorporated TV cameras, but I’m not su sure…

    1. They are used to measure wind speed/direction and air flow generated by the wind. CFD and wind tunnels gave nearly accurate results but teams seek on-track verification.

  14. I believe they are tv cameras, but i’ve always wondered myself why they use taller ones in testing?

  15. They are for sending telemetry back to the pits.

  16. Will Nelson Piquet Jnr be able to replicate his team mate’s pace today?


  17. Doesn’t look like McLaren is making enough progress to be Competitive in Melbourn. I cant see them making up 1.2sec before Melbourn. And no in season testing. Gonna be a long season for me and the other McLaren Supporters

    1. I share your fears carl. Lets just hope it was a data gathering session and the new part is already winging its way over from woking. Maybe even a complete new car… :)

    2. I agree they’re behind but they aren’t testing light so they aren’t quite that far behind.

    3. Brawn potentially have a car that is nearly a second faster than anybody.

  18. I didn’t mean the antenna, I meant the “wing profile bodies”. There are at the top of the air box, vertical or horizontal, sometimes by the sides of the nose.
    Didn’t mean pitot tubes or velocity probes.

    1. TV camera housings.

  19. What about Ferrari complaining about GPBrown? They say they are illegal… what do you think about?

    1. where did you hear that?

    2. That’s why am I asking… there is not so munch information about. Is it only a kind of rumor?
      It seems that the diffuser is too big.


      Sorry, it is Brawn…

    3. Damn it! Even if that’s true in any way what kind of a saint does Flav think he is? Yep, the Renaults have always been 100% legal, right? Always?
      A hypocrite always deserves a kick but especially when they’re down… Grrr…

  20. Now we know why Ron Dennis moved over. He saw the new car developing without any Newey genes, and foresaw that McLaren are now entering an extended twilight period, just like Williams, post Newey.

  21. Press release: Brawn GP


    No of Laps 114 laps
    Best Lap Time 01:17.844
    Kilometres Covered 505km
    Track Length 4.428km

    Weather – Hot and sunny with a strong breeze
    Ambient Temperature – Maximum 20°C
    Track Temperature – Maximum 36°C

    Jenson Button concluded the Brawn GP team’s pre-season programme in Jerez this afternoon, topping the timesheets on the final day of testing ahead of the new Formula One season.

    Jenson completed 114 laps of the Spanish circuit as the team continued its chassis set-up evaluations and performance development of the new car.

    With seven valuable days of running completed with the BGP 001 car in Barcelona and Jerez, the team will now return to its Brackley base to complete the final preparations for the first race in Melbourne on 29 March.

    “We have had a very useful test in Jerez this week, particularly today where we have been able to fine-tune the set-up of the car to my liking ahead of the first race. Even after such a short testing programme, I feel that we are ready for the challenge ahead in Melbourne, however we will still need every minute of the Friday practice sessions to make the most of our first race weekend.”

    ROSS BRAWN, Team Principal
    “The conclusion of this week’s test in Jerez brings our short pre-season testing programme with the BGP 001 to a successful conclusion. Our programme to date has been dominated by the requirement to prove the car’s reliability however we are also pleased with the competitive lap times that we have seen from the car over the past two weeks. The test in Jerez has been particularly useful and allowed the drivers to complete valuable chassis set-up work and evaluate the Bridgestone Potenza tyre compounds which we will use in Melbourne. I would like to thank the team and our drivers for all their hard work over the past few weeks as we look forward to the first race and the opportunity to finally see the car in action in a competitive environment.”

    RESULTS (All timings are unofficial)

    Pos Driver Team Time Laps
    1. Jenson Button Brawn GP 1:17.844 114
    2. Nico Rosberg Williams 1:18.071 66
    3. Nelson Piquet Renault 1:18.382 133
    4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 1:19.121 121

  22. I’ve always had a soft spot for Jenson, too bad he’d fallen under the radar past couple seasons, I always enjoyed watching him get a good result.

    Looks like he’ll be on the pace this season, unless Max and his buddies deem the rear diffuser illegal.

    So I’ll be supporting Jenson as my second driver this season…Alonso as my first pick..as usual!

  23. Keith, it seems like you may have let some stupid and irrelevant comments slip through the cracks…

    1. Ta mate – fixed.

  24. How many Km has Brawn covered now? they seemed to have put a load on the clock over the past couple of weeks

  25. hmm if Brawn are that quick then they should’ve probably signed Senna. A Senna in a winning f1 car would get more coverage than even Hamilton gets. Sponsorships would be a formailty.

    With a geriatric comb over tubbs, maybe less so.

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