Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015

Rosberg flies as Button hits 100 laps for McLaren

2015 F1 testing

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2015Nico Rosberg gave the clearest indication of Mercedes’ pace so far by lapping two-and-a-half seconds faster than last year’s pole position time at the Circuit de Catalunya.

Rosberg ended the tenth day of pre-season testing over a second quicker than any other driver. However while Lewis Hamilton set pole position at the Spanish track last year on the medium rubber compound, Rosberg set his quickest lap on soft tyres.

The Williams FW37 set its quickest time of the test to far in the hands of Valtteri Bottas, who also used soft tyres to break into the 1’23s.

A largely incident-free day saw two-thirds of the cars covering over 100 laps. Among them was Jenson Button’s MP4-30, a significant relief for McLaren who managed just seven laps yesterday.

However Button’s car came to a stop shortly before the end of the test, causing one of the day’s few red flags. Kevin Magnussen will take over from him tomorrow.

The second day of the final test also saw the first appearance of the new Force India VJM08 in the hands of Nico Hulkenberg. Unsurprisingly he propped up the times table, but managed a healthy 77 laps in the new car.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifferenceTyres
1Nico RosbergMercedes W061’22.792106Soft
2Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes FW371’23.995901.203Soft
3Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari C341’24.0711411.279Soft
4Sebastian VettelFerrari SF15-T1’25.3391432.547Soft
5Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda MP4-301’25.5901012.798Soft
6Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes E231’26.7051403.913Soft
7Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault STR101’26.7661393.974Medium
8Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault RB111’26.965844.173Medium
9Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes VJM081’28.412775.620Medium

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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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  • 64 comments on “Rosberg flies as Button hits 100 laps for McLaren”

    1. fullcoursecaution
      27th February 2015, 17:32

      Great to see McHonda eating up the miles at last. Does anyone know what JBs longest run was?

      1. It’s not clear, but it seems that he did do one stint that was 13 laps long with the following times (1:30.963, 1:30.870, 1:30.969, 1:31.111, 1:30.861, 1:31.057, 1:31.268, 1:31.135, 1:31.365, 1:31.355, 1:31.302, 1:31.502) and another 12 laps long (1:30.676, 1:30.903, 1:31.036, 1:31.041, 1:30.994, 1:31.086, 1:31.091, 1:31.427, 1:31.309, 1:31.433, 1:31.463, 1:31.892).

        That’s similar to what a number of other teams were doing in terms of stint length, so that is somewhat more promising for McLaren – mind you, they are still reportedly operating at reduced power, so they are still struggling in some ways.

        1. His times look sharp. Apparently their not running anywhere close their full power…

        2. That’s really good information. The times… not so good.

        3. Carlos Furtado das Neves
          27th February 2015, 20:43

          Great info!
          Where did you get the lap times?
          For ages I’ve been looking for that kind of information, but it seems I didn’t do it properly… I can’t find it anywhere…
          Please help. Thanks a lot. Best regards.

          1. check the records of the live feeds at F1Today.net, they have been providing stint times for a few drivers each day.

            1. Carlos Furtado das Neves
              27th February 2015, 23:12

              Thanks a lot!
              Very usefull!

          2. I picked the times up from the F1Technical forums, where somebody was reposting the times from Sky’s feed – and, as IvanB recommends, the f1today.nl site are now posting times from some of the longer stints that the drivers are doing too.

    2. Good for McLaren. Finally they managed to have a trouble free day (almost), and if they can run like this for another two days before Melbourne, then I’m sure they’ll be satisfied. But there is something even more worrying. In race simulations simultaneously by Vettel and Button, the Ferrari was 1 sec a lap quicker on hard tyres, compared to mediums on the McLaren. Finger crossed that they’ll not that slow, and that they were running more fuel or lower revs.

      1. Thats quite normal, as McLaren is not using its full power performance yet. Just hope the car can take it with all the performance power ON.

      2. You have to remember that Mclaren, in terms of development, is still in Jerez.

        They are behind. But if the package is as good as it looks, they’ll catch up quickly.

      3. Neither Ferrari nor McHonda did a race sim today, unless I’m completely mistaken. Therefore it’s quite difficult to compare their times and come to a reasonable conclusion.

        1. They did 12-13 lap runs with heavy fuel, which I assume meant that they were running in race trim.

    3. I think all the gross speculation as to what Mclaren’s 2015 will be like is so silly and overblown. All over, people are writing them off and reading waaaay too much into their test performance. I highly doubt that engine was ran today at anywhere near full potential. Mercedes are remarkably, yet depressing quick + reliable.

    4. Good for McLaren an Honda.
      Mercedes will still be unbeatable therefore

    5. Sauber’s time was more surprising to me than Mercedes’s. It’s a very good time. Ferrari sandbagging?

    6. Finally! McLaren needs 100 laps on the next two days. I read somewhere that the Honda PU is development version, so lap times aren’t important right now.
      Cosidering Massa’s lap time yesterday, Mercedes are still ahead of others by almost 1 sec. .

      1. i doubt honda PU is dev version in this test, it must be very close to racing spec, coz they have to homologate on monday, but its running with power turned down.

        1. That brought to mind… if a Honda engine were to fail after homologation, and a part needs to be redesigned, does that count against the tokens available or not since it’s a reliability fix?

          1. no all changes related to safety, cost or reliability are free (need FIA’s approval) and do not cost any tokens. Which is again a disadvantage if it takes 1 or 2 races to fix.

      2. They are around 5 tenths on 1 lap run. On long run race stints they were 1.5 secs a lap faster than everyone else. So the gap is still huge.

    7. Being an engineer at mercedes must be an incredible feeling at the moment, they really built an amazing car, lets not forget that championships are not only between drivers. I personally don’t care too much about Hamilton Or rosberg, not even the brand if that matters but I do like to see records being smashed, and see professionals excel on what they do, so good on them for making an extraordinary piece of machinery.

      And maybe williams can bring the fight back to them in some races

    8. As a McLaren fan, I am greatly relieved by JB’s 100 laps. And middle of the pack is about as good as can be expected, speed-wise.

      1. don’t get your hope’s up, although it is a breakthrough for them, its very late, on day 10 of 12 for testing. They have yet to do a race simulation in distance without having to bring the car in.

        They don’t know their reliability yet as they haven’t yet turned everything up and run int anywhere near the distance it needs to be. Still pretty scary when you think about it but if they failed today that would pretty much seal their fate for Australia, so good on them to make some progress. Hoping for more tomorrow.

    9. Ominous signs from Mercedes…. I will be disappointed if this is how another year of F1 is going to be. No thrill in a Lewis – Rosberg battle anymore.

      Ferrari back to good old SLOW COACH days I guess LoL.

      Happy for McLaren getting some mileage.

      1. I remember when Vettel was at RBR and racing Monaco, how he called the the “Silver Buses” cause they were holding him up. Boy is he ever eating his words now…

        1. But on that occasion the Mercedes were deliberately lapping way off their potential pace to preserve their tyres, because that’s how you win the Monaco Grand Prix these days. It’s not as if they were lapping at a representative pace and Vettel was calling them slow.

      2. Ferrari seemed to be doing mostly long stints today.

    10. Back in 2009 when Brawn announced they’d secured a supply of Mercedes engines I had a good feeling about that car. That it could just turn out to be a blessing in disguise. I have a similar feeling about this McLaren I may be proved wrong but when they bolt the Melbourne spec PU in the back it could just turn into a rocket ship. It may well be flaky and unreliable to begin with but I hope it turns out to be quick. I’d rather be quick and have to fix reliability issues than be bulletproof and have to find speed from nowhere.

    11. Regarding Mercedes’ pace it’s over guys let’s go home. Lol

      1. No, they were only 1.2s up on a Sauber on the same tyre which is really not that impressive tbh.

    12. That’s not bad pace from McLaren, considering they’re right at the bottom of the development curve, on Day 1 in effect. I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up quick.

    13. Oh my God. So much faster than last year pole… who said Hybrids are slow? I just hope the gap is not that wide come Australia… hoping for the best but expecting the worst

      1. Only a bit over a second off the lap record from 2008. Not bad!

        1. That time is probably going to fall this year.
          But at that time they carried fuel for the race on qualifying so…

        2. I think the fastest lap overall is Mark Webber’s 2010 pole of 1:19.995. This year’s time is almost 3 seconds slower than that but considering the restrictions imposed upon the cars I think it’s even more impressive.

          1. Not bad for a No.2 driver

      2. Besides the previous years better times (2010 pole), last year’s pole position time has been achieved on medium tires.

    14. It’s going to be as you were isn’t it. Merc about a second ahead of Williams, Red Bull and Ferrari with the rest another 1-1.5 seconds behind them.

    15. Keith, this may just be an interpretation issue, but “The Williams FW37 set its quickest time of the test… in the hands of Valtteri Bottas”, reads to me as if it was the fastest time by a Williams, rather than just Bottas’ quickest time so far; Massa having been quicker yesterday.

      1. Indeed I was going to comment the same thing, Massa was half a second quicker yesterday

        1. Poor Felipe. I’m sure it’s concidental, but his achievements do occasionally get downplayed/forgotten.

    16. 77 laps for Force India, not bad

    17. Merc finally twitching a muscle… can hardly call two hot laps flexing. They couldn’t have done much in the way of setup changes, but it didn’t seem to matter. That car is a rocket ship. Good to see McLaren finally logging a good amount of laps as well. I sincerely hope they get it together before Melbourne.

      1. 2013 pole
        Rosberg 1.20.718
        Fastest race lap
        Gutierrez 1.26.217

        2014 pole Ham
        1.25.232
        Fastest race lap SebVet
        1.28.918

        @ Aldoid

        Good call
        But a twitch

    18. Can we just give the trophy to Hamilton, and skip this season! It’s just going to be another snorefest…

      1. @irejag

        Noooooooooo!

        And possibly miss out on a Bahrain , Monaco , Spa , Hungary , Canada,

        It seems ( my guess) Nico has leant a lot from last season ,
        How he relates to Webber’s career is amazing ,
        Finally getting your hands on a great car and having a team mate that keeps finishing ahead despite your best efforts ,

        Does one deserve a WDC?
        I think it’s a bit random for that ,

        Teflon Fred drove some spectacular races in a car that others couldn’t drag up to the podium/points

        There’s enough money in F1 for it to be rigged
        But there’s also enough money and glory if you slip up then someone is happy to stomp on you head using it as a step up :)

        I’ll watch this season ,

        Somehow
        Someway

    19. W06 is not even in beast mode yet. I can only imagine the gap once they get set up sorted.

    20. The only thing worse than a Mercedes runaway in 2015 will be all the Hamilton/Rosberg extremist fans complaining all season long that -one/or the other- is -all good/all bad- with endless mostly made up speculation and completely unfounded rumors and hearsay flaunted as fact that the rest of us are too thick to realize. *yawn*

      1. I am in total agreement with you.

      2. Its a shame we don’t somehow have Alonso and Hamilton in those mercs. Could have been a golden period to rival 1989.

        1. Lol, you’re not wrong.

          1. @john-h
            @lockup

            I’m guessing Merc considered this pairing .

            If Bernie wanted action and controversy then he sould have made this happen,

            I sat and imagined scenarios :)

            2xWDC each, a race to be the first to 3xWDC , wow,

            fireworks,
            dummy spits,
            kaboooom,

            would have been spectacular.

      3. So pretty much every year in F1.

        Well, for the past few years Vettel has been the worst driver in F1, so a change of pace is nice.

        1. I disagree. I think FA/LH would just implode again, whereas last year had great elements to it with respect to rivalry, and this year, now that Nico has one season behind him of having a WDC capable car, has great potential to be even better. So for me if it must be another dominant Mercedes year, at least the team is making way better effort and progress and succeeding at managing this rivalry than Mac did with FA/LH. I think it helps that NR and LH are friends and in the end had things fairly well in perspective. This season could be just all about the racing without the engine mode switching, nor the Monacos nor the Spas. If they had replaced Nico with FA it still would have been perceived as FA coming to LH’s team, and as I say I think that would just implode. Especially since most people would assume FA would really grind LH’s gears…at least…why else is it being suggested FA/LH would be a better rivalry.

    21. McLaren have to improve, because the laptimes is not too good.

    22. Truly Well done Mercedes for superb engineering. But onfurtunatly F1 is loosing fans fast. As less and less fans wants to see one team dominance. Try imaging just for a sec what a race would be if there be only 0.100s difference between ALL cars!

      1. I see carnage… and a lot of tears.

      2. And when has that ever happened?

    23. A lot of over-reaction going on. But its predictable. People who have been saying this is just testing when Ferrari were fastest are now going bonkers over Mercedes times. Is it not testing too?

      Considering Sauber’s pace, I expect Ferrari can do a similar time as Mercedes.

      Mercedes might have more time on hands but the time set today is not as impressive as it seems.

      Many are letting their imagination see a Zebra while in reality it is only a Horse.

      Will it be Prancing come Melbourne; only time will tell.

    24. Last year’s Pole Lap was 1.25.232 on Medium tire ( Faster compound) . I am assuming that Pirelli would bring similar compounds (hard & medium) this year too. Assuming that cars have developed and tires have improved and it will be a dry sunny day at Barcelona, We are looking at a Pole Lap time of around 1.23.2 to 1.23.5 using medium tires. That should be target for Qualifying.

      As far as race is concerned the fastest lap would be in the 1.26 range with the average running happening at 1.28 and 1.29

      This is the target all the teams would be trying to achieve in the next 3 months before they come back to the Circuit Catalunya in May.

    25. Correction.

      Williams clocked 1.23.500 in the hands of F. Massa the day before

    26. COTD, one of the best ever, in my job, I started in a very unglamorous way at the bottom learning my craft, those early years served me for the next 30 !
      And every so often a gem of a driver can show their talent when the conditions allow, think Vettel in a Torro Rosso in the wet. Webber in a Minardi.

    27. Welcome to the party JB !!!

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