Alonso ends Jerez test quickest for Ferrari

2012 F1 testing

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Jerez, 2012

Fernando Alonso was quickest on the final day of testing at Jerez.

His lap of 1’18.877 served as a timely response to questions over the performance of the Ferrari F2012.

Alonso set the lap early in the running before spending much of the day conducting aerodynamic tests in the new Ferrari.

Behind him the times were close – Jean-Eric Vergne, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Kamui Kobayashi all lapped within two-tenths of a second of each other.

The world champion had a quiet start to the day as the team had to fix an electrical fault on the RB8.

Another driver to hit trouble was Bruno Senna, who caused two red flags when his Williams stopped on track. Nonetheless Senna completed another busy programme, logging 124 laps in his FW34, one fewer than he did yesterday.

Kamui Kobayashi lost a significant amount of time after an hydraulic leak in his Sauber C31 caused him to stop on the track. But was able to return to the circuit before the end of the session.

Having missed out on yesterday’s running, Nico Hulkenberg had his first taste of the Force India VJM05.

Jarno Trulli got behind the wheel of the Caterham CT01 for the first time. Having struggled with the power steering in last year’s car, he quickly reported back that the new model seemed to be an improvement in that area. However he was two seconds off the best time of the next-slowest car.

The next test will begin on 21st February at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Jerez test times

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Fernando AlonsoFerrari F20121’18.87739
2Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari STR71’19.597800.720
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault RB81’19.606490.729
4Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-271’19.640860.763
5Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault E201’19.729950.852
6Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari C311’19.834760.957
7Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes VJM051’19.977901.100
8Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault FW341’20.1321241.255
9Jarno TrulliCaterham-Renault CT011’22.1981173.321

2012 F1 season

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Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

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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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63 comments on “Alonso ends Jerez test quickest for Ferrari”

  1. Do we have an overview of how many laps teams did manage?

    Seems there are quite some teams with bigger problems so far. And there’s Mercedes running the old car off course.

    1. Alonso 38
      Vergne 80
      Vettel 50
      Hamilton 86
      Grosjean 95
      Koybayashi 76
      Hulkenberg 90
      Senna 125
      Trulli 117

    2. The table has been updated with the (correct) lap counts.

      1. Why did Alonso complete so few laps?

        1. Apparantly they had electrical problems

        2. According to Autosport, they had hydraulic problem.

        3. According to Eggry and N, they had hydro-electrical problems.

      2. could you do and article on which tire they are using for their fastest lap during the test session

        1. Testing really doesn’t give accurate late time information so I wouldn’t worry about this at all.

  2. Well, it’s only 7 tenths from SRT. It’s not very quick and I think Ferrari are facing same problems as Mclaren last year, when they tried radical design path.

    1. Well at least it has no reliablity problem except one hydraulic failure while Mclaren had been suffered from massive exhaust failure. Of course once reliability problem solved, Mclaren became front runner but we don’t know how exactly F2012 is fast yet.

    2. Ferrari was on soft tyres, so that time compared to the Lotus is worse than it seems. Lotus I think was set on medium tyres.

      1. or different tyres and different fuel loads,meh!

    3. Romain Grosjean-Lotus-1’18.419-Medium Tyres
      Fernando Alonso-Ferrari-1’18.877-Soft Tyres

      1. apparently the tyre performance are much closer between the compounds this year

        1. Actually, as far as I know, Pirelli was requested by FIA to produce a even more different performance between 2 different compounds. e.g. medium/soft.

          1. Nico said opposite things. He said compounds are much closer than last year.

          2. Your information sir are incorrect. For 2012 Pirelli will provide compounds with better analogy for lap time and life circle. Exactly the opposite from what you are saying.

    4. @osvaldas31 There’s nothing radical about the F2012 as far as the rest of the field goes. Going to pull-rod suspension is about thi biggest departure I think.

  3. Wait, why are Mercedes and HRT not listed? Did they not compete today?

    1. That is correct.

    2. Nope, HRT won’t run there car until the third (and final) test. Mercedes will be running with their new car at the next test.

      1. But they used their 2011 cars in the past three days. Didn’t they do the same today?

        1. No, they didn’t run a lap at all. I can’t understand either but I guess they think they’ve done all jobs they planned.

        2. @fixy Mercedes were just evaluating tyres. HRT, I don’t know. I doubt even HRT knew what they were doing.

          That’s harsh.

          1. What they were doing is running and setting up a car so Pedro can feel the car and get a little racing and the team can work together because they have a lot of new guys since their departure with Kolles.
            Basically people learning to work together.

          2. Thanks @andrewtanner and @eggry, that was what I was wondering. Surely an extra day of testing can’t hurt that much?

  4. We will see what would happen in Barcelona…

  5. Toro Rosso seemed pretty impressive for the entire testing period if you ask me.

    1. Don’t forget the Caterham! Reliable car so far, their only issue was with the starter too, not the car :)

  6. Although times mean absolutely zilch during testing, I am glad to see the Ferrari somewhere other than the bottom half of the order. At first I was more concerned that they were doing so few laps, but this must be part of their method of learning the set up parameters of the new chasis. Hopefully this info will be processed during the coming break and they will be able to log alot more miles in Spain. There are lots of positives with several teams this week. STR and Lotus have done some consistent runs, while Catterham have posted alot of miles compared to years past. Lastly, I hope Mercedes new car is as promising as people guess it might be.

  7. seems like ferrari just did a fast lap to shut the media up, kinda like what mclaren did last year when reporters started speculating how competitive the car was.

    my money is on 2 way tie between Mclaren and RBR. followed by ferrari and Renault. ..

    1. Don’t think that was the case.

      They had some new bits flown over for today & from watching the car round the track it looked a lot better today as a result. Alonso really seemed to be able to push & the car generally looked very well balanced.

      His fast lap was also set in the middle of a fairly long run of about 15 laps on the medium compound so it wasn’t a case of low fuel/soft tyres.

      Buzz in the paddock is all about the Lotus, Most seem to genuinely think that car is something very special.

      1. The Lotus/Renault of last year was good at the start of the year, and for the first few races, then they fell back as others out developed them.

      2. His fast lap was also set in the middle of a fairly long run of about 15 laps on the medium compound so it wasn’t a case of low fuel/soft tyres.

        No he didn’t. It was 3rd lap of 9, his longest stint of the day.

        Where do you get your tyre information by the way? Couldn’t find it.

        1. Where do you get your tyre information by the way? Couldn’t find it.

          By been at the track ;)

          The Lotus/Renault of last year was good at the start of the year, and for the first few races, then they fell back as others out developed them.

          Wasn’t that they were outdeveloped, Was more because there forward facing exhaust concept limited what they could do.

          While others worked on/improved there blown diffusers, Renault were limited by the forward facing concept. They tried to go to a rear facing system but coudn’t get the packaging sorted out due to everything been designed around the forward facing system.

          1. This makes massive sense now lol. I wondered how a car could start so well and end so badly. Talk about missing the obvious haha.

      3. According to Scuderia Ferrari via Twitter:

        “Another run completed on Soft Pirelli tyres. Fernando improved his best time up to 1.18.877.”

    2. If they were testing aero-widgets they would have wanted an idea of how fast the new base package was so as to be able to determine what was an improvement and what was a detriment.

  8. Combined times and lap counts for all drivers and teams:

    Lotus quickest of 2012 cars at Jerez

    1. Keith do you know which tyres each fast lap used and on what lap?

  9. If it adds anything to the times, i can tell you that Alonso posted his time in 1st lap of 6 lap stint, so he made the time having 5 more laps of fuel on board at least.

    Compare that to Hamilton’s best stint (not the fastest lap of the day though) – 1:19.8 on the first lap of 13 lap stint, ended by the red flag. So at least 12 laps worth of fuel in the tank as he posted it.

    Vettel did his best 1:19.6 in 8-lap stint.

    Interestingly, Senna in Williams posted 1:20.1 (not far off) in another 13-lap stint, so he also had at least 12 laps left doing a flying lap.

    I know that this doesn’t mean anything, but there’s nothing better to do right now (in F1 world anyway), so we may as well continue to not draw conclusions from those times.

    1. That’s very interesting indeed. Still can’t read too much into the lap times yet, but I get the feeling that Lotus, RBR, Force India, STR & McLaren are in pretty good shape. Based on where they are relative to each other, & the comments coming out of those three teams, they seem quietly confident that they’re heading in the right direction at least. Ferrari seems to have caught up, but again I know these times tell us nothing definitive. I dare not speculate too much, but it’s been a very interesting test.

    2. Interesting info though it just tells me times are almost useless but it’s useful.

  10. Curious if theres any cockpit views, the Ferrari last year always seemed a handful while RB was smooth, has the Ferrari smoothed itself out or did FA have to wrestle it to that position?

  11. Found this site which has a list of all the laps done throughout the day:

    1. Ferrari might have the fastest lap time, but it doesn’t look very promising for them in the way of consistency. Quick laps not withstanding, Red Bull & Mclaren are looking pretty good on consistency so far this week. Senna managed a pretty decent stint today though… glad to see the Williams looking good so far.

      1. How do you know that? The Ferrari only did 39 laps compared to the 80+ laps done by red bull and mclaren. Also based on the graphic it seems that Alonso made more las than the rb and mcca when doing the fastest laPs.

  12. Who did the best long run.

  13. Who did the best long run.

  14. If the difference between Lewis & Seb is the amount that an RB gets Pole by come Australia, I’m going to flip!!!

    So Close!!!

  15. Alonso didn’t push at all and they are working on “understanding” the car which is totally new to them. Those test didn’t tell anything regarding cars performances, the BIG 3 are definitely “hiding” the real performances so… few weeks we will know.I BET ON FERRARI POLE IN AUSTRALIA…..

    But I’m Italian so i guess it doesn’t really count :)

  16. It’s good to see Ferrari at the top of the table but makes me wonder, if there problems are as big as Pat Fry (and everyone else) makes out, what did they sacrifice to be so fast today?

    1. I don’t see it that way…firstly, I don’t believe they have ‘big problems’…I think they don’t know yet what their ‘problems’ are other than that they need more time with the car…nothing new or surprising to see here…they are just working to understand the car which is different enough from last year that they need to work it out. They are just concerned with the shortage of testing time and I’m sure other teams would love to have more too…Merc’s amount of testing time with their new car will be even less, but they told us quite a while ago that their decision was to skip the first test with the new car. They should be hoping they don’t have many growing pains with what I would assume should be a departure from last year too, unless they want to be a distant 4th still…

      Secondly, why did Ferrari have to ‘sacrifice’ something to be ‘so fast?’ Perhaps FA is a good driver, the car suits him better than FM, and they have already begun narrowing down some setups that have started to head them in the right direction…perhaps thanks to some of FM’s work as they strive to understand this car.

      Of course there is a chance the car is problematic, that they didn’t nail it, and that they will be struggling all season…but I see nothing in this first session to suggest anything anywhere near that. Odds are much greater that by race one they will have a much better understanding of any problems that will have consistantly arisen, and then they will know what to do about. It’s too soon imho to expect them to know everything about this car yet, but they have a first session under their belt and will no doubt be well prepared with a concise plan for the next session.

  17. More crazy journalism from Andrew Benson today in order to back up his view that Red Bull are fastest. Today he came up with this gem:

    But perhaps Hamilton’s most revealing remark was this: “You never know what fuel loads people are on. I think we’ve been quite aggressive with our fuel loads.”

    A translation of which seems to be that McLaren are running with less fuel on board than they might normally be expected to – which will make their lap times look more impressive….

    In summary, then, Red Bull again look like the team to beat, and there is a mixed picture from McLaren and Ferrari.

    So what he’s done he is taken a very ambiguous quote, one which has been taken by many to show the complete opposite, and twisted it to support his view, even if it goes against the evidence of the time-sheets.

    In fact, when we look at the times, Hamilton did a 13 lap run that started with a 1.19.866. This run was stopped because of a red flag so may have been longer. I am going to make an assumption here but I think it’s a safe one; I’m pretty sure Mclaren were not just running enough fuel to get that run done, probably a decent amount more.

    Considering that, if we then look at Williams, Senna did a 1.20.106 at the beginning of a 14 lap run. This was the final stint of a race simulation, and Bruno stopped on track at the end of that run, possibly running the tank dry? (another assumption I know, but at least a logical one).

    Therefore, Mclaren’s 1.19.8 at the beginning of a 13 lap run, on which it can be assumed they weren’t running on empty towards the end of it, seems to me like quite an impressive pace. In fact, looking at all the other teams it is the quickest time posted at the beginning of a decent length stint. RB have the next quickest time on a longer stint, with a 1.19.606 on an 8 lap stint.

    But hey, testing times mean nothing!

    1. @Jake Yeah I’ve found some of his summaries in the live commentary quite bewildering to be honest; and when I read his analysis of that quote from Hamilton it was pretty much the cherry on the top! How on earth does he know that Hamilton didn’t mean Mclaren were being ‘aggressive’ by running HIGH fuel loads?!?! Which is what I think you were commenting on above, where Hamilton’s quickest time was the first lap of a 13+ lap stint!

      I’ve also been very disappointed by the technical analysis of Gary Anderson; in a video interview with Jake Humphrey he basically wrote of the MP4-27 at the launch…before it had even turned a wheel!

      I know I’m biased as I’m a lifelong Mclaren fan, but some more objective analysis from a media corporation that is supposed to be balanced would be very much appreciated.

      1. @Jake – see above. I’m terrible at tagging.

    2. @jleigh or maybe that’ll work…

  18. I think Red Bull are the quickest by far, I mean if anyone will be doing some serious sandbagging it’s them, yet they already seem to be the quickest over significant runs, and that’s without showing their hand.

    The order I would guess they may be in at the mo would be:
    Red Bull
    Toro Rosso

    1. correction:
      Red Bull
      Force India
      Toro Rosso

    2. Check out this site to get an accurate picture of the lap times in long stints.

      Ferrari didn’t get a proper run all day today.. so its kind of hard to place them yet. And although its a known fact not to read too deep into pre season testing time, it still makes for an intersting comparison

  19. It seems that someone here is already feared of a fast ferrari hehehe…already given classifications….unfounded hopes?
    Will see soon….

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