Senna: Renault test “wasn’t a trial”

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Keith’s heading back from Jerez today but he wants to send his very best wishes to Bella Combs. Many of you know Bella, who’s a massive F1 fan, and has often commented on this site and on Twitter. She’s not very well at the moment and Keith would like to wish her all the best and say ‘get well soon’.

In today’s round up, Bruno Senna gets his first drive in the R31, but rules himself out as a candidate to replace Robert Kubica as race driver.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Senna: Team right to want experience (Autosport)

??Bruno Senna says he accepts that Renault needs a ‘more prepared’ driver to stand in as Robert Kubica’s replacement from the start of this season.??

Jerez Test, Day 4: Mileage for Bruno (Lotus Renault GP)

??Bruno Senna: ‘It was an awesome day – my first chance to drive the R31 and I’m pleased with how things went. It was very much a learning day for me. I had never used the adjustable wing or the KERS before, so I had to adapt to these. It’s not easy at first, because there is a big workload and you are operating two factors that change the balance of the car, but by the end of the day it became more like second nature.

??’I started the day pretty relaxed; gradually built up my confidence, and then by lunchtime I was feeling pretty comfortable with things. I was looking forward to doing some hard laps at the end of the day, but with the red flags and the weather, there wasn’t enough time.’??

Formula One set to bring in a cap to team budgets, says Red Bull boss (The Guardian)

??Formula One is on track to get the equivalent of a cap on team budgets to curb excessive spending according to the team principal of Red Bull, the winners of last year’s championship.??

The F150th Italia goes over the three thousand mark (Ferrari)

??Over three thousand kilometres – 3,195.594 to be precise – in one week is a sound start to the work of developing the Maranello newborn, the F150th Italia.

??Fernando and Felipe will be on track again tomorrow: no, it’s not an extra day’s testing granted to Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, but a day dedicated to promotional filming for the Scuderia’s partners. Development work on the new car will resume on Friday 18 at the Catalunya Circuit, on the outskirts of Barcelona: it will actually be the Spanish driver who will get the session underway, with Felipe taking over from him for Sunday and Monday.??

Jenson Button on Twitter

??Hey guys it’s a chilly day here in Jerez but still getting some useful laps in. Seems like everyone is running big fuel loads this afternoon. Most teams are doing long runs.. interesting to see the tyre degradation from different teams..??

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Comment of the day

Invoke thinks the new Lotus Renault looks great, but has made a little adjustment:

Looks great doesn’t it, if only it looked like this however??

From the forum

The results are in for Round 6 of the Official F1Fanatic PS3 World Championship at Monte Carlo. After 23 laps, RIISE crossed the line first to score the maximum 25 points, followed by Magnificent Geoffrey and slr.

With two races to go, Magnificent Geoffrey is in the lead with 114 points, ahead of damonsmedley with 109.

Happy birthday!

No F1 Fanatic birthdays today. If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailing me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

On this day in 2008, Williams were the toast of testing with a string of quick times. The FW30 was fast on its debut at Valencia and was quicker still at Jerez, with Nico Rosberg ending the test as the fourth-quickest driver.

Read more: Testing suggests Williams are best of the rest

68 comments on “Senna: Renault test “wasn’t a trial””

  1. Bruno seems a nice guy – I hope he will get his chance one day (maybe instead of Petrov?).

    1. Petrov set his time when the track was possibly at it’s worst… but still with Heidfeldt almost topping the entire test, it’s hardly a ringing endorsement of the Russian!

      1. Based on team comments last year, Petrov will need a fairly strong and consistent season to keep the seat. Failing that, my hope would be to see Senna in the second Renault for 2012.

    2. Bruno seems a nice guy – I hope he will get his chance one day (maybe instead of Petrov?).

      No, I think Petrov is too fast to be let go. He reminds me of Massa – very quick, but rough around the edges. I think Heidfeld deserves a drive, but I’d like Senna to be given a proper chance. His HRT failed him in nearly every second race last year, so we’ve not seen the best of him yet. But back to my point; Petrov has proven his worth with several strong performances in 2010, and I think he will have found his feet by the middle of this season.

      1. I think he was also let down by not having the chance to do any testing in the car before the season started…

        …incredible that yesterday was only his 2nd ever outing at an F1 Test Day!!

      2. Wa-wa-what? When has Petrov ever been quick? He’s always lagging in qualifying. Apart from his trouble to keep the car on track, qualifying is his biggest problem.

        Petrov is worse than Piquet. Even when we can only compare Piquet to Alonso and Petrov against Kubica.

        1. Well, I honestly think he is capable of driving fast, but he needs a huge amount of time to achieve that. For now, Petrov is in my opinion one of the worst drivers in F1. But not because of lack of talent – I think he just needs the experience. Anyway he doesn’t deserve a place in Lotus-Renault at this moment.

        2. Ditto on the Pet thingy Patrickl. He’d have never gotten or kept that seat with out some serious lolly, and it’s gonna bite Renault very hard of their silly little bottoms when the Manufactures points are tallied at the end of the season.

  2. Red is dead.. black is back! Total agreement :)

    ( which is ironic because it’s the Total agreement that means red is alive and well. )

    1. I feel we should play some AC/DC right about now…

      1. dammit I like the red. Only new bit to the an entirley boring idea for a livery. Even if it’s a pretty livery in the end.

        1. I agree on the Total making it look like something new. But the livery doesn’t cut it for me with those thick bars of gold stuck on.

        2. Nah – looks 100x better with black instead of red, said that since day one of the JPS livery, and I said the same last year with the bee livery, but I can understand Total’s reasons for wanting to stand out! ;)

    2. Putin ordered the red… or they’d all be back in black at Renault and dead. :)

  3. Wow… I had convinced myself that the red of the total emblem looked good, but after seeing invoke’s touch up, I see I’ve been lying to myself. All black looks so good!

    1. I’ve been saying it’s a great looking car ruined by the livery. I thought the red was only part of the problem, but having seen this, its most of the problem. The gold is still too thick, but just getting rid of the red is such an improvement.

      1. Link please.

        1. Ehm, … the picture is in the roundup, next to the COTD!

    2. It looks better with the black. Miles better. Now if only TOTAL could see this but it’s their marketing department that probably rules it out.
      They should be thinking:
      “This could be an iconic car in F1 that everyone loves and wants to take pictures \ keep models of. Lets change our logo to match.”
      Or they are really are thinking:
      “Let’s keep the annoying red and then everyone can talk about how TOTAL are the sponsor to ruin that lovely livery.”

      I say, that if a sponsor wants to keep it’s corporate colours it should be a major sponsor and colour the whole car. Otherwise it show bow down to keep the car looking more aesthetically pleasing.

      1. I don’t see why it has to be this way though. They didn’t bother here:

  4. All things being equal, I am convinced that Senna does have a future in F1. Hes pretty must spent mst of his teenage years out of any racing car, and he does have the talent. Maybe not WDC or even as good as Montoya, but hes still good enough to be one of the 24.

    1. I agree with you, but it seems team needs someone experienced to help them develop the car.

      Fingers crossed for Senna/Petrov lineup here, even though I like Heidfeld – a good driver who’s time has unfortunately passed it seems.

  5. So when do Renault announce Nick, then? Within days, I assume?

    1. The start of the next test (Fri 18th) would be my guess.

  6. Like many I also wish Bella Combs to get well soon & come back between us.

    1. +1 All the best Bella

    2. Fully agree. Hope to see you back on here as soon as possible Bella!

    3. +1 get well Bella.

    4. McLarenFanJamm
      14th February 2011, 8:43

      +1 Get well soon Bella.

    5. Get Well Bella.

    6. All the best Bella, hope to see you here soon again!

  7. F150th Italia = Most ridiculous name ever?

    1. At least for a F1 car it is!

      Ferrari are looking like they want to run the car until the 150th lap each day of testing, just to prove the name

      1. Why not jsut call it the Italia like the roadcar)? Or the 248 Italia? Or the I150? Or the 150 Italia? There are so many ways of getting round the F150 issue…

        1. Probably a combination of feeling confident Ford will never push the matter (or try it anyhow) and a lack of imagination?

    2. I dunno, the Nissan Cedric made me laugh, and the Kia C’eed?

      1. HounslowBusGarage
        14th February 2011, 10:01

        Look up the Mazda Bongo Friendee . . . I kid thee not.

    3. Ah, but what about Osella’s chassis from 1988?

      The Italian team used the chassis designation FA1 followed by a letter to show the year. So the team used FA1H in 1986, FA1I in 1987 and FA1L (FAIL) in 1988.

      Never has a terrible car been so well named…

      1. I didn’t know about that…quality!

  8. Looks great doesn’t it, if only it looked like this however…

    I can’t see what the difference is. Can someone tell me please?

    1. *Ahem* (Endplates…)

      1. Oh! I see now.

  9. Bruno Senna is really an unlucky fellow: yesterday, when he was ready to push with the soft and super soft tires, the session was red flagged and started to rain. Would love to see his true pace with those tires. He’s so unlucky that in almost every thread or news post in this site concerning him, discussions tend to go to really strange, off topic places! :)

  10. Happy Valentines day formula one. :-)

  11. F1 should have a “soft” budget cap, like the NBA. Basically it means that for every $1 spent over the cap, that team has to give x amount to all the other teams (not sure about the exact details). That way the big teams can spend, but the smaller teams also get some money out of it, allowing them to keep pace. It should include everything except marketing, which has nothing to do with how the race pans out.

    1. That’s actually not a bad idea. I like it.

    2. I suppose that is exactly what Horner is against (article yesterday). I think it is a good idea, NBA proved it works, didn’t they.

    3. I like!

      In all serousness, that is an inspired idea. To FOTA!

    4. It could work, but there is a lot of room for debate as to who would be classified as a “small team”. Red Bull for example, while not a manufacturer team, clearly have resources and are now WCC. I suppose you could base it on the previous season’s performance (eg the teams from 8th downwards get a cut) rather than number of staff or total budget. I also imagine that the teams wouldn’t really want to disclose their total budgets.

      Brawn would have been an interesting one because despite winning the WCC they were really starting to run out of cash.

      1. Or maybe give it to teams with a budget less than 2/3rds of the average budget?

        Suppose there will be quite a few discussions before the teams agree on anything like that!

  12. Budget Cap? OK, prepare for rival series.

    1. The budget cap was proposed by Honda (Brawn), BMW (Theissen) and Renault (Briatore). They claimed they could not stay in F1 if there was no budgetcap.

      They are now gone (because there was no budget cap?), but I think the teams they once sponsored are still in favor of a budgetcap. So are Williams, Red Bull and I’ll bet the 3 new teams. McLaren have never been much against it either.

      If someone comes with a sensible budgetcap limit. One that doesn’t need a horrible construct to overrule a single team’s veto. Then it could go down pretty well with all teams apart from Ferrari.

      1. FOTA doesn’t need unanimity to agree on changes – isn’t it something like 70%? Perhaps HRT not being there could tip the balance against having a budget cap…

        1. If 70% majority is enough, it could still be voted.
          Which teams would be against the budget cap apart from Ferrari, RBR and McLaren? (not even sure if McLaren are really opposed to it)
          If none, you have 8 vs 3 or 72% majority.
          I wouldn’t mind this kind of rule.

          Being the pinnacle of motor racing is not only about building competitive cars, but also about having the very best drivers in them.
          If a team like Renault has to hire Petrov and Williams has to ditch the Hulk both only for financial reasons, then something seems to be structurally very wrong.

  13. Thanks for getting rid of those tyring and the abusive (I mean the racism, not the hijacking of synonyms ;-) ) posts Cari.

    Let’s hope they stay away for a while now.

    1. Guys, best thing to do if that ever happens again is to just alert the mods and ignore them. Fight the urge to reply to them for any reason as any sort of a reaction encourages them to do it more.

      1. best thing to do if that ever happens again is to just alert the mods and ignore them.


  14. The results are in for Round 6 of the Official F1Fanatic PS3 World Championship at Monte Carlo

    Meanwhile, the Xbox 360 Championship has, after only 4 races, decended into a FISA-FOCA style war.

    Will the series make it to round 5 at Spa? Will drivers boycott? Will a whole new rival series be set up using Mario Kart? It’ll be intereting to find out.

    1. I’m interested in joining in please. What do I do?

  15. What, except from the special tyres, are the limitations for filming days?

    I read something about a speed limit but that’s not in the rulebook. Also not in the rulebook, is the agreement of last year, which says that only parts which are raced before can be used.

    But now, there are no parts which are raced before, so they still can test some new things, right?

    Knowing the way Ferrari works, they must gain something, except from having a nice promo-movie…

    1. If there is a loophole though its not Ferrari’s fault for using it, the other teams are missing a trick by not doing it as well.

    2. As far as I know McLaren, Williams, Renault and Lotus have all had filming days outside of test sessions and there’s probably more too.

      1. Not to forget the filming HRT is doing with Pirelli!

    3. You make a good point. I thought these promo days were banned too. Or indeed severely hampered by slow speeds, old parts and special tyres.

      You shouldn’t have mentioned Ferrari though. Now the only reaction you will get is people defending Ferrari’s honor.

      I do understand why you mention them, because I saw their footage of the promo day too. Clearly that Ferrari F150 was being driven at speed.

      1. Well, it wasn’t meant as a stab at Ferrari, I mentioned them because of the link in the round up.

        On the other hand, Ferrari did a filming day at the launch and now again, with the 2011 car.

        That aside, I am still curious as to what the exact limitations are for these filming days.
        (how fast? how long? which parts? can the hours be split over more days? etc etc)

  16. James Allen writes, that Mercedes changed the engine on the car on sunday to explain why he did not do many laps.

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