Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuito de Jerez, 2015

Vettel on top again as Hamilton hits trouble

2015 F1 testing

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Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuito de Jerez, 2015Sebastian Vettel stayed on top for Ferrari in the second day of F1 testing at Jerez.

But Mercedes were unable to replicate the impressive mileage they achieved on day one when a water leak curtailed Lewis Hamilton’s first run in the W06.

The pair wasted no time in getting on the track and up to speed with both drivers quickly logging timed laps. Jenson Button was also out early in the new McLaren-Honda, though he ended up seeing no more running than his team mate had the day before.

Lotus had announced that they were only expecting to run the E23 from day three of the test on Tuesday, but the team surprised many when Pastor Maldonado suddenly rolled out of the garage for the first time in public. The new Lotus would complete 41 laps over the course of the day.

Then Daniil Kvyat provoked even greater surprise when he ventured out to the end of the pitlane without a front wing on the RB11. Christian Horner later confirmed that Kvyat had touched a tyre wall between turns two and three on an installation lap and damaged the front wing, with the team lacking a spare to replace it with for the rest of the day.

Hamilton quickly ran up a healthy number of laps in the Mercedes, but again it was Vettel that set the ultimate pace. A 1’20.984 by the Ferrari driver around midday proved to be the fastest lap of the day.

As the skies darkened and the temperatures dipped in the afternoon, the on-track activity quietened down with it. Vettel took the opportunity to have a short run in the SF15-T in which he gradually dropped for 1’22s down to 1’24s.

Having completed 91 laps, Lewis Hamilton’s running in the afternoon was cut short after Mercedes suffered a water leak. The world champion would end the day fourth fastest.

It was otherwise a relatively quiet and trouble-free afternoon until Maldonado’s brand new Lotus slowed to a crawl in the final sector, bringing about the first and only red flag stoppage of the day.

When the session restarted, Vettel, Nasr and Bottas took the opportunity to post some quick times. Nasr set the second fastest time of the day on Soft tyres with a 1’21.887, while Bottas posted his personal best time of a 1’22.319.

With around an hour to go, rain began to fall around the Jerez circuit and soon the track fell quiet. It looked as though that would be all the running for the day, but Max Verstappen and Felipe Nasr both opted to try out their cars on Intermediate tyres.

The rookies were eventually joined by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel and then the McLaren of Button, who made his one and only appearance of the afternoon.

2015 F1 testing day two result

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF15-T 1’20.984 89
2 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari C34 1’21.867 88 0.883
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes FW37 1’22.319 61 1.335
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W05 1’22.490 91 1.506
5 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault STR10 1’24.167 73 3.183
6 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes E23 1’25.802 41 4.818
7 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-30 1’54.655 6 33.671
Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault RB11 No time 18

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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87 comments on “Vettel on top again as Hamilton hits trouble”

  1. I wonder how Fernando is feeling…

    1. Not great … that’s for sure. But then again Red Bull had an equally rough start last season, and they still ended up on the podium in Australia.

      I’m hoping Mclaren at least gets one day of solid running in the Jerez test.

      1. Red Bull had no podium.

        1. That was because Ricciardo was stripped of his 2nd place finish due to his car breaching the fuel flow regulations, just in case you weren’t aware of it. I think the point Todfod makes is that how testing may not reflect what happens in the season.

        2. You know they did.
          A “technicality” which by no means boosted their performance took it away from them.

          1. They wound up on the podium yes, but they exceed fuel flow regs, and therefore exceeded the “legal” horsepower of their engine.

            It’s not a “technicality”, it’s “breaking the rules”– Rules that were specifically written to limit the power output of the engine. The FIA had clear guidelines on how to calculate the fuel flow if the FIA sensor wasn’t working– and Red Bull ignored that, and used their own formula.

          2. Of course exceeding the fuel flow rate boosted performance. Why do you think they were doing it? The engine sensor failed, nothing more. A sensor failing doesn’t mean the engine starts sucking in more fuel than the regulations allow.

          3. So no, they didn’t get on the podium and were rightly chucked off it after the fact.

          4. They did get a podium at Malaysia

          5. So no, they didn’t get on the podium and were rightly chucked off it after the fact.

            Technically, they did get on the podium. RIC stood on the second step and received his trophy.

            However, I agree that they were rightly stripped of it. Whether or not they gained any performance (which I believe they did) they broke the rules.

      2. @todfod lol @ comparing rbr and mclaren.

        Maybe if this was 2012…

        1. @beejis60
          Well.. as you mentioned, 2012 was a bit of a surprise as well, wasn’t it?

          I dont think Mclaren are currently as capable as RBR in turning fortunes around, but then again every now and then we are surprised. It doesn’t seem that far fetched that Mclaren could get to Melbourne with the 3rd or 4th quickest car. I think they could possibly do a better job than Ferrari despite the lap time show boating that Vettel has been up to.

    2. Well. This is just the first test so it may not be representative of how McLaren will perform over the season.

    3. @jackysteeg Probably not too worried at this stage – the Ferrari was pretty fast around Jerez last year, but we’ve not seen many long runs from Ferrari. Their engine issues last year stemmed from their ERS not generating enough power to charge the battery and boost the ICE power.

    4. With Ferrari’s record of going low fuel, high revs or whatever to finish on top in tests and training, it’s tempting to assume it’s empty show. But if not… it really would be horrendous bad timing for Alonso to have moved away from Ferrari just as they finally came good again. And even more so were Vettel to reap the benefit.

      1. yeah, last year in Bahrain pre-season testing Ferrari exceeded the fuel flow limit to run at the same pace as the Mercedes

    5. Only Barcelona will tell…

    6. I imagine he’s feeling that in the medium term Mclaren have better shot at Merc than any other team. Compare and contrast rear packaging on Mclaren to that of the Ferrari.

  2. So, Sebastian’s FIST seems to have a hard punch!

    1. AMR (@aiera-music)
      2nd February 2015, 22:45

      The ‘T’ stands for “Tough Luck” :D

  3. Oh God, I do not want to see another boring era of Vettel domination…

    1. A bit premature, eh? Even if Ferrrari improved, I doubt they improved enough to catch up Merc.

    2. I don´t think you need to worry, maybe a more competitve Ferrari, but I don´t think they can reach Mercedes in so little time.

      On the other hand we still need to see how Kimi does with the new car.

    3. Mashiat Lam Gofran
      2nd February 2015, 16:27

      @ultimateuzair …and Alonso’s bad decisions I’m afraid.

    4. Vettel dominating does not make anything boring.

      As long as there is some good racing to watch going on then I don’t care who wins or by how much because I pay attention to more than just 1st place.

      Was the same back in the Ferrari era, While the title fight was over early in 2002 there was plenty of good racing going on elsewhere which kept the races entertaining.
      For instance-

    5. From the first 2 days of the first test, it seems like Vettel and Ferrati will dominate. Seb can win the first 20 races of the season and Kimi might win the 21st.

      Also Sauber looks threatening!

      1. you really believe that?????

        1. Didn’t you get that memo?

      2. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd February 2015, 21:23

        Don’t forget the dark horses! (FI, Caterham, Manor)

    6. Last year’s Mercedes domination not boring?

    7. Already?

  4. I know those are very early times, but Ferrari (and Seb) looks impressivly consistent (and fast) on both short and long runs with mediums.

    1. Mashiat Lam Gofran
      2nd February 2015, 16:29

      Well, Ferrari did too this time last year. If I remember correctly, people said that the 3 best cars were the Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren. Well, they were 66.67% wrong.

      1. from my memory 100% of people were saying Mercedes look the best. ferraris times in the last 2 days are a real eye opener, even if people are denying them and saying it is all for show. even if it is all for show, it is still a massive improvement.

        1. But we know that Merc aren’t pushing the car at all, they are just putting consistent miles on the car. Same goes for Williams…The Ferrari may well be quicker than last year but at the front again? I doubt it.

          These test are all about millage and reliability, Barcelona we will start to see where team kind of sit in terms of pace, but even then that’s not a given. Mercedes were slower than Williams in Bahrain during testing, but where 2 seconds a lap quicker than the hole grid a few weeks later in the race.

          1. It’s part of Vettels persona to always be on top of the list if at all possible, remember the pleas from the RBR pit-wall, that fell on deaf ears untill he had set fastest lap, to conserve the engine/fuel/tyres. Ferrari also want every accollade they can gather witness Alonso always looking good on Fridays but less so on Saturdays. Ferrari and Vettel are a great match and look to have improved greatly but only race results will tell the true story.

    2. Define fast.

      1. adjective: moving or capable of moving at high speed.
        adverb: at high speed.

        1. @ironcito – you forgot this one:

          verb: to eat like a Formula 1 driver.

  5. Well. First Test timings are actually nothing to be thrilled about. It all depends on the setup they were running. so… “Pinch of Salt” Please . I am sure Fernando Expected this. It is not big surprise for him. Moreover remember last year’s red bull hardly did any laps but went on to win races.

    I can also hear some Murmur behind the bushes that “this new Ferrari was secretly designed by Newey so no wonder Vettel is fast !!!! ” LOL

    1. “this new Ferrari was secretly designed by Newey so no wonder Vettel is fast !!!! ”


    2. lol – what impresses me about Ferrari is that they could collect data to create a solid baseline and even push the engine a bit without major troubles. I agree that the times mean nothing in terms of performance, but still it’s an encouraging showing.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd February 2015, 21:26

        a very realistic assessment indeed @tmf42.

  6. Mashiat Lam Gofran
    2nd February 2015, 16:25

    Daniil Kvyat running without a front wing was hilarious. Especially since Red Bull “gives you wings”. Horrid day indeed for McLaren-Honda, although Ron Dennis and Honda say that the PU is aimed at maximizing performance rather than focusing on reliability. As a McLaren fan, I hope it’s true. Because as the old saying goes, “it’s easier to make a fast car reliable than a reliable car fast.”

    1. dont forget the 2004 car that never appeared…. but this isnt the case this year, it is just getting the power unit to work with the chassis, which they will during the 12 days of testing, that is what testing is for.

    2. It’s hard for me to believe RB didn’t bring a spare wing. Am I the only one who sees this lack of foresight as a problem?

      1. It’s more likely not a lack of foresight, merely that they haven’t got the car finished in time. This is probably why they’ve decided to slap white stickers all over the car – they didn’t have time to get it painted.

      2. Don’t worry, they’ll fly one in ASAP.

      3. Maybe they were going to check how that design went before producing a few more of them.

      4. Given that they passed the crashtests with that wing only towards the end of last week, its hardly surprising they did not have a spare ready at the track. If you remember, last year when Lewis had a shunt during testing in the first week, mercedes also had to wait for spare parts to be flown in.

        Making a wing takes a lot of effort and therefore time, so it quite possible that the second wing was layered up immediately after passing the crashtest, but was finished only yesterday.

    3. +1 LOL Loved the Comment about “Red Bull Gives you wings” ?

  7. Newey is the best disigner!

    1. Mashiat Lam Gofran
      2nd February 2015, 16:31

      No offence mate, but we’ve sorta know that since about 1991, or 2009 if you want to look at more recent success.

  8. Ferrari fastest on both days and Sauber second fastest on both days. Both use Ferrari PUs. Have Ferrari made a lot of gains over the winter on the PU?

    1. Sauber set their time on softs. On mediums they were nowhere close to Vettel.

      1. still… it is sauber, so not bad.

        1. Yeah! Thankfully Marussia isn’t there or else we’d had a Ferrari PU 1-2-3. Total domination!

    2. No, they have taken a lot of weight out of the cars to do so and probably run closer to the engines max than other teams.

  9. Mercedes were fourth quickest on day 2 last year as well…… just saying……

  10. Is it even worth Mclaren being there!?

    1. I guess you didn’t see their 2015 launch video. That car they’re pretending is in the garage? It’s actually on the Jerez track, just 30 years in the future.

  11. Wow now Vettel has 20 points!!

    1. LOL!! Please people last year Mercs were 1.5s slower, but we know what happened.

      These times mean nothing. All we know Ferrari might be running underweight, just to get some attention.

    2. That’s right – Arrivabene’s reached his target of 2 wins already.

      1. ColdFly F1 (@)
        2nd February 2015, 21:29

        good one!

      2. @bullfrog – excellent!

        On the other hand, 2 fast tests may be enough to sustain their PR people for quite a while outside of the cognoscenti. I’ve seen thinner achievements spun into PR gold. Most people don’t realise that it’s almost irrelevant to the season.

  12. I hope Ferrari and Red Bull will give a run for the money to Merc. this year !

  13. Last year day2

    Unofficial Wednesday test times from Jerez:
    1. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 24.165s, 43 laps
    2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 24.812s, 47 laps
    3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 25.344s, 35 laps
    4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 25.588s, 97 laps
    5. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 28.376s, 37 laps
    6. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m 33.270s, 53 laps
    7. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, 1m 37.975s, 11 laps
    8. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1m 38.320s, 8 laps

    1. Now that Redbull timing…

  14. Did Honda even put the PU in a chassis in Japan? It’s weird.

    1. Probably not, no. They did so in the UK at the MTC

  15. Ferrari seems to get a solid run in the first two days which is good to see, especially with the new driver settling in.

    One thing is for sure though: Mercedes wouldn’t have such a big advantage like last year and can maybe not afford those ‘racing’ they allowed between the two drivers. It is going to be a lot closer this year and with another team gaining their engines, they will have to be careful as well.

    McLaren seem to be stuttering but it could be teething troubles with their new engine.

    Hoping for a championship fight with more players at stake this time.

    1. Tbh, I don’t think that is “one thing for sure”.

      Let’s see what happens when the team are focusing on performance, Ferrari were quickest quite a few times on Friday last year, but they were nowhere in the race. Ferrari have a habit of going quickly when it doesn’t matter and going nowhere when it does.

      1. @woodyd91 even though Ferrari were fast on Fridays, we knew from the tests that Mercedes/Williams were capable of turning it up when required. I am not talking of headline times. But when they conducted standard tests, it was common consensus that Merc powered engines were the best of the lot and Ferrari were a lil behind. Only in Australia we were able to gauge Mercedes’ advantage.

        Ferrari continued topping the charts during Friday but I think most close observers would have seen beyond it.

  16. zak misiuda (@)
    2nd February 2015, 18:06

    Despite this being test day 2 at Jerez, and no meaningful conclusions can be drawn at this stage, I quite hopeful that this season will see a resurgence for Sauber. Certainly seems that they have put together a good package. Will be good to see if the consistency of Nasr’s can get them a few points.

  17. Mercedes are very well known for showing their not their true cards first. As many mentioned, last year they were seconds off the pace in pre season testing, and then blew the field away at Australia.

    They mainly last year focused on putting on the miles, getting all the kinks out of the cars, running race simulations well beyond any race distance to try and find the final breaking points for all the parts. It looks like they started this same type of testing this year. Mercedes are known to play this type of game. So I say it will be another dominating year from them unfortunately…

    They know they are fast, they don’t need to test aero as much, they believe in their data. They just want to push everything to and past the limit and find its breaking points, this seems to be why yesterday Rosberg did 157 laps, and then finally today after 90 some odd laps something finally broke (water leak). So they will fix that with a better design and continue until something else breaks. So they are basically going to have the most reliable PU out there. Its scary…

  18. It’ll be interesting to see how Kimi does over the next two days. His new teammate, and presumably the car, should be more “compatible” with his driving style. Will he keep pace with SV or still be 6-8 tenths behind like last season?

  19. I don’t see why people are making conclusions about the first few days of testing. We won’t know for sure who has the best package until Barcelona at the end of the month or even Melbourne in that fact.

    1. I wouldn’t call them conclusions, but we can speculate a bit.

  20. Another good performance from Sauber.. looking at the number of sponsors currently on the car, this is probably a way to attract new investors. It’s also a good reminder that testing times, especially in the first couple of days, are completely irrelevant.

    1. I wouldn’t say “completely irrelevant”. It’s a useful data point that Vettel in the Ferrari on medium rubber is nearly a second quicker than both Sauber drivers on the soft, and it suggests that Sauber have quite a bit of catching up to do.

      1. We don’t know what their fuel loads were though, or even how much the drivers were pushing.

  21. Sauber has a lot of lap, it’s very good!

  22. At the end of last season, Renault’s power unit was supposedly 60 hp down on Mercedes’, while Ferrari’s was supposedly 50 hp down. However, the race pace of Ferrari’s engine was worse due to the inefficiency of their electrical systems.
    Red Bull’s chassis was thought to be just as good as Mercedes’, while Ferrari’s was estimated around 0.3 – 0.45s a lap slower.

    Current rumours for engine performance as of the first 2015 test are that:
    Mercedes have found 50-60 hp
    Renault have found 60 hp
    Ferrari have found 80 hp

    Assuming these rumours are true, here’s how the engines would stack up:
    Mercedes’ engine is once again the class of the field
    Renault’s deficit doesn’t change much, still maintaining a 50-60 hp disadvantage
    Ferrari have closed to within 20-30 hp of Mercedes.

    With James Allison saying that a lot of work has gone into improving the efficiency of the electrical systems, the Ferrari engine could have a considerable advantage over the Renault engine. Ferrari’s large horsepower gain makes sense, because they were capable of producing a more powerful engine in 2014 but purposely compromised the engine performance for aerodynamic benefits (which obviously didn’t work out). They should now have learned from that.

    As Mark Hughes has pointed out in his analysis in of the Ferrari and McLaren cars ( there is some cause for optimism over the Ferrari’s chassis as well (especially as it’s the first James Allison Ferrari), though considering aspects such as the wider sidepods compared to Red Bull (and simply due to Adrian Newey) I imagine Red Bull will still have the superior chassis. However, if the Ferrari engine does have a considerable horsepower advantage over the Renault, then as long as they have resolved the electrical problems and built a decent chassis I could see Ferrari potentially challenging Red Bull. Obviously though, it depends on whether or not Vettel and Raikkonen can get back into their top form, as I expect Ricciardo will be continuing his great performance this year (Kvyat is a bit of an unknown though – all we know is that he is quick).

    I can’t see Ferrari beating Williams however – as long as Williams don’t take a backwards step (and assuming Massa’s abysmal luck doesn’t continue) I imagine they will be second in the constructors in 2015 (or at least in a close fight for second). Last year Williams’ bad first half of the season was influenced to a fair degree by having unfavourable gear ratios (which they later changed) that caused a lot of wheelspin and rear tyre wear, as well as just plain bad luck (e.g. Australia where they could have had both cars on or close to the podium, all those wet qualifying sessions early on in the season, etc.).

    1. @polo – thanks for that, very interesting.

      1. Very good post, Ferrari could be on the way back to the top three. Pushing William’s and RBR. I wonder what BHP the Honda PU delivers?
        Times in the testing don’t mean a lot, but what does is putting in the miles to produce the data. Mercedes did that last year and look very much like they are doing it again this year.

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