McLaren cover least test distance with new car

2011 F1 testing

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Barcelona, 2011

McLaren covered the least distance in testing with their new car of all the teams, apart from HRT who have not yet tested their new car.

The data reflects the trouble the team have had with their MP4-26, which was introduced in the second test of the season at Jerez.

Lotus overcame a series of problems with their T128 to log one of the highest daily mileages of the year on their final day of testing.

Heikki Kovalainen covered 642km – the equivalent of more than two race distances – on his last day in the car.

Ferrari covered the most ground in the 15 days of pre-season testing, racking up almost 7,000km, almost twice as much as McLaren’s 3,601km.

Ferrari and Red Bull accumulated more than a season’s racing mileage in 15 days, each managing more than 6,100km.

Despite the usual testing problems most teams managed to share the run roughly equally between their two drivers. Mercedes gave Nico Rosberg extra running in Friday’s dry session to compensate for lost laps earlier in testing.

See below for a day-by-day breakdown on the amount of testing done by each team and driver. This does not include testing done in private ‘filming’ days.

Daily testing distances by car

This chart shows how many kilometres each car covered on each day of testing.

1st Feb2nd Feb3rd Feb10th Feb11th Feb12th Feb13th Feb18th Feb19th Feb20th Feb21st Feb8th Mar9th Mar10th Mar11th Mar12th Mar
150??? Italia392.49432.54320.4447.228513.648580.068509.22470.155418.95572.565544.6350470.155614.46656.35523.275

HRT did not test on the 10th-13th, 21st and 8th-12th. Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams did not test on the 8th. McLaren did not test on the 10th. Red Bull, Sauber, Renault, Force India, Lotus, Virgin and Toro Rosso did not test on the 12th.

Cars testing mileages

TeamModelTotal lapsTotal distance (km)
Ferrari150??? Italia15636,984.76
Red BullRB713716,124.87
Toro RossoSTR611945,351.89
Force IndiaVJM048994,124.92
Force IndiaVJM033271,309.64

Drivers testing mileages

DriverTotal lapsTotal distance (km)
Felipe Massa7743,501.711
Fernando Alonso7893,483.053
Mark Webber7303,272.088
Michael Schumacher7163,200.428
Rubens Barrichello6943,101.516
Sergio Perez6702,989.900
Kamui Kobayashi6462,924.340
Sebastian Vettel6412,852.779
Jerome d’Ambrosio6162,794.998
Paul di Resta6062,693.579
Sebastien Buemi5902,627.786
Nico Rosberg5702,577.226
Jaime Alguersuari5312,391.327
Adrian Sutil5182,312.313
Jenson Button5062,255.627
Vitaly Petrov4912,239.711
Lewis Hamilton4672,098.597
Pastor Maldonado4251,882.298
Heikki Kovalainen4091,870.537
Timo Glock4101,789.877
Nick Heidfeld3681,693.518
Narain Karthikeyan3361,441.880
Jarno Trulli3021,359.772
Robert Kubica199796.995
Nico Hulkenberg102428.660
Gary Paffett91364.455
Daniel Ricciardo73332.778
Vitantonio Liuzzi70325.850
Bruno Senna68301.104
Davide Valsecchi50232.750
Giorgio Mondini39181.545
Luiz Razia29134.995
Ricardo Teixeira26121.030

2011 F1 testing

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    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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    112 comments on “McLaren cover least test distance with new car”

    1. Graph box is showing up, but no data?

      1. OK… switched to Chrome, all is good

      2. Works fine for me.

        1. Opera can be a bit buggy at times.

          1. Change the selection and the graph appears.

      3. Works for me!

        Wow… The Ferrari’s did an absolutely stupid amount of laps. You gotta hand it to them, they are very, very good.

      4. Not much help if you don’t tell me which browser you’re using. The graphs haven’t changed since they were introduced a few months ago and they were checked across all browsers then. Just checked these in IE, Firefox and Chrome and on my phone and no problems.

        1. Bit buggy with Opera, you have to un-check and then recheck the select options to see.

          1. Yup, that’s what I’m getting in Opera 11.x. Not unmanagable, just a bit odd to see a white square in the middle of articles whenever there are graphs :)

      5. I have never been able to view the graphs since they were changed a few months ago. I have Internet Explorer 9.0.8080.16413IC.

        1. I believe IE9 has not been officially released yet.

      6. DeadManWoking
        13th March 2011, 18:34

        No problems here with IE8 and Firefox.

    2. I wonder how much Red Bull where licking their lips having got 4 days of perfect dry running in the final test and seeing their main rivals sitting in the garage due to the heavy rain that wrecked the final days testing.

      1. I think Webber said it best… “We’re ready to go to Melbourne”

        1. I think they were ready at the first day of the last test. They did a lot of pit stop training on the days after that.
          But Ferrari are probably just as good prepared. Mercedes look like getting where they wanted to be by the end of the test.

          1. Only Mclaren and Force India look to be struggling to me. Which means the predictions are going to be very difficult!

          2. They did a lot of pit stop training for good reason. If we really do have 3-4 stop races, that’s double the stops from last year, which means the speed of a pit stop is twice as important as last year.

      2. Probably not too much. Ferrari seem on the ball. I would say that Mercedes might be kicking themselves a bit, considering that the upgrade package they’ve stuck on is very good.

        On the other hand though, Ferrari, Mercedes, Mclaren and Williams have done some miles with the full wet tyres. It wasnt a lot, but they have some data on those tyres which the likes of Red Bull, Renault and the rest dont have.

        1. James that’s a great point on the wets. Considering that the first 4 races of last year were wet ones.

          1. Mclarens tyre data will be pretty good considering they did 4700 laps if you combine both their cars.

          2. I dont remember Bahrain being wet ;)

      3. Good point – although Ferrari only did five laps in the wet session yesterday so they’re still looking good!

        1. Haha. This is true. Better nothing I guess!

          1. *Better than nothing

    3. with HRT missing some testing, could they test somewhere else?? its not going to happen because they cant afford it and there isn’t really time and they probably cant risk any of the cars they have because they have to be raced in melbourne.

      i was just wondering if the regulations allowed HRT to test even though they realistically cant?

      1. Maybe they can film?

        1. If they can afford a camera…

      2. In theory, I think they can get back the additional days, but there’s not enough time left before Melbourne.

        That said, who do they ask permission from? It’s the FIA, right? They’re not a member of FOTA, after all.

        1. They can for “marketing purposes”, just like Ferrari and a few other teams did.

        2. DeadManWoking
          13th March 2011, 18:37

          HRT can test all they want up to the FIA limit of 15,000 km and time cutoff of the weekend before the first race, that is if they could afford to rent an approved track to do it at.

          1. They can also exchange track time for wind tunnel time I believe, not that that’s feasible either.

            1. DeadManWoking
              14th March 2011, 12:05

              It’s one of the 4 straight line aero test days they’re allowed per year (Jan 1-end of last race) that may be swapped for 4 hours of the only full scale wind tunnel testing that they are allowed (All the rest is only 60% or less).

              F1 Sporting Regs 22.1a
              iii) four one day aerodynamic tests carried out on FIA approved straight line or constant radius sites between 1 January 2010 and the end of the last Event of the Championship. Any of these days may be substituted for four hours of wind-on full scale wind tunnel testing to be carried out in a single twenty four hour period.

    4. You should show how much kilometres F150, F150th Italia and 150° Italia did, not only for 150° Italia :)

      1. ha ha ha!

      2. If they were counted as separate cars I wonder if any did more than the MP4-26 did in all of testing.

      3. Wow… almost 7,000 K. I don’t know how many times they changed engines to do that,but they will knew with weeks to go ho to prep their engines and gearboxes for multiple races.

        1. Correction: know not knew and how not ho… Enigma still has me wetting my pants laughing :P

      4. Well said Enigma

      5. MacademiaNut
        14th March 2011, 0:21

        Where’s the Like button when you need one?

        1. Really we do need that ‘like’ & ‘dislike’ button,this is something Keith have to look out for 2011.

    5. Schumacher was a busy boy, I think this shows how committed to bringing Mercedes back up to speed. I believe he is a genuine title contender this year.

      1. *How committed he is*

        Why no edit button =(

        1. Good new is there is an edit function on the new live blog!

          It’s a fantastic set up You get all the tweets you want on the left column, or you can slide the comment section bar to the left and the tweets disappear leaving you with a whole page of comments from f1fanatics. It’s so much easier to follow that the old format.

          1. news not new… Ermmm… where is the blog edit function that we are crying for? haha

          2. Cool. Can’t wait to see the first live blog for FP1. The testing live blogs were all a bit too early for me. Bring on the real season!

      2. He was also lucky that he didn’t suffer the amount of hydraulic problems Nico got while testing the car.

    6. The basic stock iPhone weather app was saying heavy rain for Saturday at the final Barcelona test all week. Why with all the forecasting the teams have, would they choose to pick a day that was predicted to be very wet from the outset?

      1. The teams that tested saturday, other than mclaren, had already done a shed load of miles on their cars and if the rain was a bit lighter than it turned out to be it would have been a good opportunity to get some wet testing in to finish off testing. It was worth the risk for everyone else, no idea why mclaren did it.

    7. McLaren’s problem now is the limited tyres for free practice. It’s not like they can run around for ages to catch up. Expect a tough fly-away tour, but if they can be on the pace by Europe then they’ll still be in the hunt, it’ll just be a long, long slog.

      1. You know I was thinking on my way to the pub… and I am willing to wager that even though Macca is saying we know what we are doing in postponing testing and all that rot, that by the end of the season we will hear Whitmarsh saying “we suffered from a lack of testing”.

        1. Agree. I could see Mclaren catching up with the RBs and Ferraris.. but all there developments will not be sure fire improvements, as they did not test enough before the season started.

          1. and it was too rushed developments that lost them the title last year.

            lewis binning both suzuka and hockenhim major upgrades didnt help either.

            but uptil middle of the season they were long way ahead of ferrari and somehow got lost big time on development. canada and turkey they by far the best car….how did it go so wrong so quickly??

      2. I agree. They could/should catch up and still challenge but these early flyaways could really cost them the title.

    8. I have a question actually. They cover a serious number of km in testing but what about the engines? they have 8 per driver per season, but is the engines they use for testing also from those 8 engines or are they allowed to use as many engines as they like for testing?

      1. Season starts with a new engine… then the countdown begins.

        1. So they can use as many engines as they like in testing without affecting the number of engines they have for the season?

          1. Yes. No limits on any piece of equipment (engine, gearbox, etc.) in winter testing.

      2. Good new is they may have on less race to do… well maybe, depends if Bernie manages to Bahrain back into the schedule.

        1. one not on. Proof reading after the fact is a talent that I have in spades apparently.

      3. 4 engines for testing i guess.

        1. Your guess would be as good as mine Dev… the real question is, where is prisoner monkeys when we need a definitive technical question answered? Honestly I’m searching and I can’t find an answer to how many engines they can use in testing.

          1. Probably the uses of engine is not limited. Though it is only my prediction.

            1. I believe it’s unlimited.

    9. is it due to budget limitation?

      1. Is what due to budget limitations?

      2. I doubt it very much, however it does raise a good question.

        Mclaren as a company have just invested heavily in their new road car program and are known to be developing their engine building areas ready for the new rules and for when their Merc deal expires.

        Its also likely that now McLaren are not Mercedes “factory” team the investment from them could have gone down from what it has been in previous seasons, although im quite sure that their engines are supplied free of charge?

        I dont think it was lack of budget that is the reason for the lack of testing but it will be interesting to see if as this season develops its an area that has an implication on their ability to catch up.

        1. Interesting Lee. So if macca is planning on developing their own engines… do they, or are they thinking about 2012, or 2013. big big difference. Why put money into a v8 when the future is a turbo V4?

          1. From whats been published on here and other F1 websites, and said at various points by pundits and commentators last year the merc deal ends at the end of the 2012 season.

            The engine currently in the new sports car is a Mclaren built V8 twin turbo engine rather than the Mercedes engine that was in the SLR they built with mercedes.

            Entering into the F1 engine area of things in 2013 would make sense as its a clean sheet of paper for everyone, however it obviously will be requiring research and development prior to that, something that will most certainly not be cheap for the team.

            On the finance area again i do remember reading that Santander extended their relationship with the team, a relationship that was originally due to end at the end of last season after a years overlap with Ferrari so major backing in that area of things you would assume hasnt changed.

            1. On that alone I could speculate a very good reason for Ron Dennis stepping down as F1 team principal be in control of the engine development.

              There is a video of the new Macca sports car somewhere recently on this forum. It was badged “Mclaren” on the engine, so yes it’s pointing in the direction of Macca building their own F1 engines, which I think is fantastic.

              I’m a Ferrari fan and we consider Macca to be the biggest of our biggest rivals. To have witnessed McLaren struggle with Peugeot and Fords when Honda pulled out was painful even for us. I’m glad to see that they may develop their own engines when Mercedes has said bye bye and at least spare them that grief.

            2. DeadManWoking
              13th March 2011, 18:32

              IIRC the McLaren-Mercedes engine deal has options through 2015. 2013 may be too soon for Macca to build their own but I can see them doing it eventually.

    10. Interesting it took 8 days of testing the mp4 26 to do what the mp4 25 did in a single day.

    11. F111….Yeah

    12. HRT didn’t test their be car? Been away for the qeejrd but wasn’t it “confirmed” that the new car was to be unveiled on friday?
      Bunch of losers if you ask me. Klien shouldn’t be disappoint ed rather happy that he isn’t associated with this joke of a team

    13. One point I want to make on McLaren: are they now feeling the pain of Pat Fry’s departure? I know Pat just left very recently and has probably had little effect at either McLaren or Ferrari. But could Pat have any connection to the fact that McLaren is one of the teams with the least mileage in testing and Ferrari is one of the teams with the most mileage?

      1. Ferrari’s philosophy has always been to test, test, test more, and when you’re done, go testing some more. I don’t think Pat had anything to do with Ferrari’s reliability either, they’re testing a revised version of their 2010 F10 which was pretty reliable.

        1. True in Ferrari’s case, but this isn’t usual business for McLaren. I haven’t seen their cars to be this unreliable since… 2005?

          1. 2006 was not great either as far as reliability goes. They did not win a single race that season.
            Bad Mclaren reliability from Kimi days is back. I hope not.

            1. Their reliability was actually mostly fine in 2006 (notwithstanding Kimi’s suspension failure during quali in Bahrain). Their problem that year was genuine lack of pace.

    14. It’s really surprising to see McLaren struggling to get miles up. Red Bull have really evolved forward from season to season. Last years car and success has almost caused rival teams to ‘over design’ their 2011 entries and McLaren has probably come out worst.

      Some really positive comments coming from Lotus and their rear end design seems to have made giant leaps in performance terms. I’m really looking forward to see how they progress this year.

      1. I have to agree with this, Im a big fan of conservative evolution year on year, especially when a cars design has worked well.

        I was very surprised when Mclaren anounced their car was going to be this radical and experimental, they had a good car at the end of last season, they developed it well, much like ferrari did theirs. It would surely have made more sense to continue along that path to ensure competitiveness. If they had had a really poor or not so successful year i could understand a radical approach that say Renault have gone down as they would have nothing to lose, however as it is they are looking at competing well back in the midfield at the moment at a time in the sport when strong starts to the season are so so essential.

    15. The McLaren driven on friday and saturday has little winglets just behind the mirrors. I thought such winglets were banned in the 09 rule changes?

      1. Well, you are not allowed to put winglets on the sidepods. But with their U/L sidepods this winglet is inside the area defined for the sidepod (a bit like those deflector panels in front of the sidepod).

        1. ah thanks, i was thinking that the rule applied to the monocoque as well

          1. It does, just this winglet is inside the “box” defined for the shape of the sidepod, so they can put it there, as long as it does not protruges out of that area. As McLaren has the cut in the sidepod it fits in nicely there.

      2. MacademiaNut
        14th March 2011, 0:26

        Is there a picture of this? Sounds interesting..

    16. well for sure this year mclaren will be no where near the top for monte carlo. their wheel base is just way too big to run well there. Conversly spa may be their best race. i feel like Mclaren will be like for india was a couple of years ago when it had all the straight line speed…

    17. Mclaren may need to pay for that low numbers,nice to see Sauber & Torro Rosso have picked up good mileage along with Schumacher to whom everyone will be looking forward.

    18. Where are the numbers for the MP4-26, only last years testing numbers are shown?

      1. It is there, 6th line from the bottom:
        McLaren MP4-26 785 3,601.28

    19. Yay! Ferrari and Massa first!

      1. Yay, Massa beat Alonso .. when did we ever see that?!
        (I’m just kidding :-P)

    20. The mp4-25 was built around an aggressive double diffuser which would explain a radical redesign, both the Ferrari and the Red Bull had efficient designs from front to rear not relying on a diffuser as theirs being among the simplest of the front running teams.

      This would explain the radical Mclaren design as it required a clean slate to build on in the following seasons. I have confidence Mclaren will eventually come good but probably won’t be challenging the top two at the start of the season. I also highly doubt they have produced another turkey like the mp4-24.

      1. DeadManWoking
        13th March 2011, 18:50

        There’s only going to be one more season for these cars after this one, then it’s all change for 2013.

    21. Ralph Schumacher
      13th March 2011, 18:27

      i’m sure the MP426 will eventually come right. I have to be. I am a McLaren fan. However, would it be wrong to say that some races, especially the first 4 or so will be won purely on tyre strategy? I cant help but think that the faster a car is, the harsher it will be on the tyres. If the redbull is lapping 8tenths faster than the Mclaren, after a gruelling 50 odd laps, it might require an extra tyre change in comparison to a car that was a second slower per lap.

      1. DeadManWoking
        13th March 2011, 18:48

        A second slower a lap is a minute or so in the race and an extra tire stop takes less than half that.

      2. Maybe the opposite actually and I fear for the McLaren in this respect, that wheelbase is pretty long and may result in them chewing up their tyres faster.

    22. Keith,

      Apologies if it’s not allowed, but this is link of a podcast from BBC: Midweek Motorsports, with Nick Damon and Anthony Davidson.

      Some interesting views on McLaren and their car design (from 30 min).

      1. This is actually from Radio Le Mans, not the BBC. Still, should be a good listen. Thanks!

      2. Certainly pains a bleak picture for McLaren.

        1. oops.. paints

      3. Really nice to listen to that, thanks for posting it.

    23. 2010 is the last time McLaren will have numbers 1 & 2 on their car.

        1. oh i forgot the world ends in 2012. you might be right

    24. It appears that they have serious issues with their exhaust. The car is design around it, while they can’t make it work due to the hot gasses. As a McLAren fan, I hope they can solve it asap.

    25. @Icthyes
      Actually, the long wheel base was meant to help with tyre degradation, not hinder it, in the rear I believe.

      @Ralph Schumacher
      As good lap times mainly come from good downforce, the likelihood is that the slower cars, which have less downforce will be equally as bad, if not worse on their tyres due to lower grip levels.

      I read somewhere that the problem with these tyres wasn’t overheating (degradation), and therefore the rules that apply are different to previous seasons.

      Obviously, there are more variables in tyre degradation than downforce though, and maybe, just maybe that what McLaren’s car design was based around. It could well be a slower car, which is easier on its tyres. Although, for that to pay off, then they’d realistically need to still be within half a second or so to leapfrog the leaders by doing one less stop.

    26. Ralph Schumacher
      14th March 2011, 1:28

      still alot of unknowns about the cars of 2011 and how they’ll handle under the circumstances. It’s going to be a cracker of a season…

    27. Its now clear that had they simply stuck to their programme with the 25 they would have maintained their momentum past germany, certainly long enough to secure both titles. But you can’t fault them for trying(EBD). Its the complete opposite this year though coz they clearly need to simplify.
      What a pity.

    28. Keith, you got Massa on number one with 774 laps (3,501) and Alonso second with 789 laps (3,483). Is this possible?

      1. Thats because different tracks have different lap lenghts (Valencia 4.005km, Jerez 4.428km, Barcelona 4.655km). So while Alonso did more laps he did many of those on shorter tracks, while Massa covered more total Km in testing!

        1. Thanks BasCB, that clears it up!

    29. I just think that we should not be fooled totally by testing, Mclaren knew all along they would miss firts test and admit they have only really been datya gathering for the simulator, even Button admits that despite outward problems there is pace in the car, wait for Australia, both Mclarens will be challnging for podium, by 3rd or 4th race they will be right on it

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