McLaren’s Vandoorne quickest in final test of 2015

2015 F1 season

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Stoffel Vandoorne headed the times for McLaren as F1 cars tested for the last time in 2015.

The test, which was conducted behind closed doors, was organised by Pirelli and involved all ten teams. Unmarked tyres were used as F1’s official tyre supplier evaluated several different potential versions of the new-for-2016 ‘ultra-soft’ compound.

Alfonso Celis had his first run in an F1 car
Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said the test gave them “one shot” to develop its tyres for next year.

“The ultra-soft’s target for 2016 is to introduce a compound softer than the super-soft and mainly designed as aggressive choice for street circuits: with better performance than the latest version of the super-soft tyre and faster degradation, in order to allow the teams to take a more aggressive approach to race strategy.”

“Whether this will produce more pit stops, or any difference in strategies, it’s too early to say for now. We will fully analyse our data and team telemetry once we get back to base. But it seems we are heading in the right direction: the ultra-soft is expected to offer more possibilities for certain races.”

World champions Mercedes entrusted their car to DTM champion Pascal Wehrlein who ended the session fifth fastest behind Kimi Raikkonen, Marcus Ericsson and new Lotus driver Jolyon Palmer.

The busiest team was Force India, who covered 136 laps. New development driver Alfonso Celis completed more than a full race distance in his first F1 test. Jordan King, who was also having his first run in an F1 car, ended the test slowest in the Manor albeit within a tenth of a second of Rio Haryanto’s time.

Pos.DriverTeamFastest lapGapLaps
1Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1’44.10399
2Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’44.4560.35356
3Marcus EricssonSauber1’44.4800.37750
4Jolyon PalmerLotus1’44.5680.46590
5Sebastian VettelFerrari1’44.9400.83756
6Pascal WehrleinMercedes1’45.6051.502107
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’45.8051.70257
8Max VerstappenToro Rosso1’45.8491.74654
9Nico HulkenbergForce India1’45.8521.74971
10Valtteri BottasWilliams1’45.9401.837103
11Daniil KvyatRed Bull1’46.3092.20648
12Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso1’46.9952.89256
13Adderley FongSauber1’48.4394.33657
14Alfonso CelisForce India1’48.5454.44265
15Rio HaryantoManor1’49.5935.49056
16Jordan KingManor1’49.6615.55859

2015 F1 season

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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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28 comments on “McLaren’s Vandoorne quickest in final test of 2015”

  1. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    1st December 2015, 18:49

    So McLaren found the right setup to top the times… 3 days after the season ended.

    1. Maybe they have a track mode button like their P1 roadcar and they only just discovered it. Was it written in Japanese and Honda engineers had a look and told them.

      1. I can imagine the situation!
        Ron: Hey Honda-San, the engine was awful! What happened?
        Honda-San: Did you press the track mode button?
        Ron: What?
        Honda-San: The one behind the steering wheel.
        Ron: Oh…

    2. Did you see how that car behaved after Nasr gave it a good hard kick: it took off like a wild horse, even Alonso couldn’t control it, it sped past Vettel and in a wild rage it took out Maldonado’s Lotus. Since then it has been like a real F1 car. I don’t know what Nasr did, but McLaren should thank Nasr for his assistance.
      On a more serious note, Vandoorne’s time was actually faster than than Hamilton’s fastest race lap, mind you, so were Kimi’s and Ericsson’s tyre test times.

  2. Only session McLaren will top this year.. except for the penalty chart!

    Impressive that Vandoorne was only 1 tenth off Alonso – McLaren can work out the rest (tyre, fuel, track conditions).

    1. *Or 7 tenths faster of course, likely on the Ultra-soft.. (Still don’t know why they didn’t add a ‘Super-Hard’ to balance the choices and hint at having tyre durability.. oh wait :P)

  3. Definitely and earlier than usual transition back to the ‘Hope’ phase of being a McLaren fan…

    Here is today’s official status:

  4. Where was this? It doesnt sound very quick if this was in Abu Dhabi with faster tyres than the GP.

    1. @rethla Yes they were seconds off the quali times, but Pirelli run the test, so the teams weren’t going for maximising performance but doing what Pirelli said for the tires. That’s why no new parts were allowed too.

  5. While it’s surprising that Vandoorne topped the times, I think it’s even more surprising that a 2015 McLaren managed to not break down for 99 laps :)

    1. This!!

      I am not sure how that happened, but I am glad it did. If Mclaren solve their reliability issues by 1st pre-season test, they can focus on speed later and have a competitive package by Australia 2016.

    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      1st December 2015, 19:49

      @tim-m or maybe they did 98 installation laps and one full-throttle-and-almost-no-fuel very fast lap!!!

  6. What kind of sorcery is this..!?

  7. Any idea why McLaren and Mercedes ran only one of their cars? All the others ran two cars.

    1. I think that they all ran one car, but some switched drivers after the lunch break.

  8. Are there any charts of how many engines McLaren used to complete this test?

  9. First joke: why is Vandoorne so fast in McLaren? Because he is used to GP2 engine…

    Then the real question, how is he not in F1? Where will he race next year? FR3.5? McLaren test driver waiting for Alonso or Button to retire? They wont, especially if car improves…

    Standards in F1 are high today.. Is he better than Hulk, Kimster, Toro Roso boys, who can he replace… It is incredible that seat cannot be found. For sure lotus could ditch Maldonado? Carbon fibre cannot be that cheap.

    Someone make room please.

    1. Is he better than Hulk, Kimster, Toro Roso boys, who can he replace…

      No, he is not. For instance, te Hulk is current Le Mans champion. Gotta get some credit against a driver topping a testing time table against noobz

    2. For sure lotus could ditch Maldonado? Carbon fibre cannot be that cheap

      Lol, love it :)

  10. Renan Martinuzzo
    2nd December 2015, 0:51

    Is this real life. Or just fantasy.

  11. Did VTEC just kick in?

    1. lol. Didn’t expect to see that phrase in here…

      1. All it needs is the ‘yo’ :)

    2. Good one :-)

  12. So that would have been good enough for 18th on the grid, and with faster tyres than they raced with on Sunday.

    People reading anything good into it are extreme optimists.

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