Vettel drives 2014 Ferrari at Fiorano

2016 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel has been spotted driving Ferrari’s 2014 car at the team’s Fiorano test track today:

Ferrari is allowed to conduct running with the F14-T – the team’s first car built to the current engine rules – under article 10.2 of the sporting regulations which governs “Testing of Previous Cars (TPC)”. This permits teams to run “cars which were designed and built in order to comply with the 2012, 2013 or 2014 Formula One Technical Regulations”.

However teams must run the cars in the same specification used during that period and can only use tyres “manufactured specifically for this purpose may be used”.

Ferrari is one of three teams which will participate in Pirelli’s planned wet weather test at Paul Ricard at the end of the month.

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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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53 comments on “Vettel drives 2014 Ferrari at Fiorano”

  1. I was going to say good idea, using 2014 cars is now allowed but no parts for 2016 or even 2015 parts can be present on the car. The only reason I can see which may be of benefit is to confirm windtunnel or CFD correlation is accurate or to what degree it is acurate. They may have figures for the 2014 car and have theoretical figures for 2016 so they run the 2014 car on the track and see how close the figures correlate, they can then have confidence their 2016 contendor will produce what they think it will?

    1. I’d have to agree with this logic, it is entirely plausible as teams this day, especially ferrari will try and exploit anything they may have to get an upper hand on. That is the budget to run older cars endlessly around the track and their own track as well. Any way they can exploit that they will and this seems like a logical method.

      1. Mark,Mark, around the bend,
        mark,mark, our hairlipped k9 friend.

        1. Awesome, love it I am going to use those crazy lyrics.

          1. I am in no way related to MarkP or know who this man is lol :-D

    2. I agree Mark, most likely an aero calibration data exercise.

  2. Or…. driver practive…

    or Seeing if something about 2014 car was good, that Vettel might want to see in 2016 car..

    Or Vettel wants to know if he is as good as Alonzo in same car :P But this one should be hard to judge, since Alonso never drove F14TC on Fiorano.

    I think they want to get any edge they can. Maybe they are fiddling with electronic maps, maybe something not noticable. Maybe Seb was bored and wanted to race a little.

    1. They cannot alter maps it has to run as it did in 2014. The driver practice is interesting as if footballers do not train or play games they are not match fit but F1 drivers go all winter without driving an F1 car then have a few days testing a 2 week break then a race weekend. Could driving an F1 car on a regular basis improve the drivers sharpness or is it completely different to other sports?

      1. Drivers do a lot of physical training in other ways; I believe they do a mix of running, cycling, and gym work.

        Plus you can practice football anywhere there’s flat grass; not so easy to find a place to run an F1 car ;)

        1. Exactly right so if they do get a chance for extra running it may well be of benefit, keeping them match fit so to speak rather than just fit?

      2. @jureo Indeed, there is no substitute for practice, practice and more practice. This will be effective driver training; strengthening muscles and sharpening reflexes in the precise manner they are of most value. Rather than a tailored fitness regime and simulator running, which of course is not real.

        Vettel, smart and determined as ever.

        1. Another in the long list of reasons I’ve been a Vettel fan for so long

    2. @jureo Alonso might have driven the F14-T in Fiorano during filming days

    3. Actually… Even if Alonso had laps on fiorano with the f14t, vettel would beat him… Vettel is a better qualifier.. The thing is… Racing against other drivers… But that won’t ever happen :(

      1. …with the same conditions and the same set-up, tyres, fuel loads…

        Far too many variables in any case for it to be an even remotely useful comparison (even if it had happened).

  3. Thought we had the Bonfire of the F14T’s immediatelly after the Abu Double.

  4. I’m not making any insinuations or oblique accusations, but how do we know that there are no 2015 or 2016 parts being used? Do the FIA send inspectors, or is every part on the 2014 car tagged and sealed?
    I was also intrigued to read that 2014 tyres had to be used. So Pirelli have to keep a stock of tyres going back four years, do they?

    1. Was about to ask that.

    2. Do the FIA send inspectors, or is every part on the 2014 car tagged and sealed?

      Probably a bit of both.

      I was also intrigued to read that 2014 tyres had to be used. So Pirelli have to keep a stock of tyres going back four years, do they?

      I don’t think it’s necessarily 2014-spec tyres; all the regs say is tyres ‘manufactured specifically for that purpose’.

    3. There will be an audit trail of parts checked out of storage etc… and it would require many people to be complicit in the fraud to run them.

      In all honesty many of the manufacturers could be testing in secret all the time, exceeding wind tunnels hours and so on and so on if they’re willing to commit fraud so there is no audit trail. You just have to kind of hope they don’t.

      1. Thank you @philipgb and @raceprouk. I’m sure you are both right in that there are sensible measures in place to dissuade any team from cheating and also that it would still be possible. This is what has always worried me about any idea of budget limiting; the practicalities of policing that budget and the length of time before evidence of overspending might surface made the entire idea impractical.

    4. Here is the regulation:

      In order that an FIA observer may be appointed, where possible competitors must inform the FIA of any planned TPC at least 72 hours before it is due to commence, the following information should be provided:

      i) The precise specification of the car(s) to be used.
      ii) The name(s) of the driver(s) if known.
      iii) The nature of the test.
      iv) The date(s) and intended duration of the test.
      v) The purpose of the test.

      1. @ambroserpm Thanks very much!
        I assume it wouldn’t be that difficult to get an FIA observer briefed and to the track in three days. Do you know what TPC stands for? Tyre Performance . . . something?

        1. Testing of Previous Cars.

        2. @nickwyatt It says in the article (there’s also a link to the regulation there).

  5. McLaren should run their 2012 car in a Woking car park in case this years car is quick as their drivers have not driven a proper F1 car for over a year, in fact you could say 2 years in Alonso’s case and 3 years for Button. They have to get used to an F1 cars speed again.

    1. @markp What engine would McLaren run in that circumstance? Are they allowed by Mercedes to run the old Mercedes engines?

      1. I would assume so. They did run the old Honda cars when they were with Mercedes. I would guess that would have been worked out in the contracts.

  6. Well 2014 spec probably still allows ferrari to use some 2015/2016 parts on the car. Like dampers, wheels, electronics, fuels, radiators. The wording 2014 spec is kinda vague as it can allow a lot indeed since there has not been huge rule change from 2014 to 2016.

    1. The wording 2014 spec is kinda vague

      It means ‘parts homologated for use in 2014’. Hardly vague ;)

      1. Mechanical parts, check, Tyres, check, but I didn’t see anything about fuel, lubrificants, weight distribution, software tweaks. They could use the old engine with new fuel, and try to compare the max boost pressure allowed, mixture differentiations w/o overheating, between different fuels.
        They could check power burst modes to enable overtaking, they could finetune powersteering and energy harvesting modes… The correlation between sim and real can be checked, As long as you live, you’re able to learn.

  7. Can anybody shed some light on how it can be governed especially when you’ve your own private track and no other fans or teams nor media are present.

    1. you shouldn’t ban what you can’t police, that’s what Max Mosley used to say, right?

    2. Basically the FIA will do nothing until a protest is lodged. Hypothetically say Mercedes spot this footage and think there is something suspicious about that engine sound so they lodge a protest with the FIA. The FIA then would expect Ferrari to provide auditable documents for the test carried out (inventory, health and safety, work orders etc…) and depending on how strong the evidence that had peaked Mercedes suspicion maybe even call staff involved to a tribunal.

      To get away with all that would require a lot of staff to be complicit in a fair amount of fraud.

      There is so much bureaucracy involved in an operation the size of an F1 team, there’s no just wheeling out some new parts and testing them, it involved a lot of documented evidence and procedures. At any point getting caught with your pants down is a disaster such as the 2007 spygate.

      1. If they wanted to run new engine parts they could shoe horn the 2016 engine into a road car test mule so would be impossible for someone to make a legitimate protest when you they are a road car manufacturer as well. I think they should test the 2016 engine in a rear engine Fiat 500 test mule.

        1. A Fiat 500 doing well over 200 km/h at Fiorano MIGHT look somewhat suspicious…
          Unless it turned out Ferrari was helping Abarth with a new “Abarth 500XX-K” ;D

        2. I’m sure the experts can still analyse the difference between a road engine and an F1 engine. They have different acoustics. They already do acoustic analysis to estimate power.

  8. Is it me or does there seem to be a worrying tone that Ferrari will find something and benefit from it? The thing is they WOULD definitely do this a lot more often if they would be able to find anything meaningful.

    1. @alexanderfin

      It’s not very ‘Ferrari’ to play by the rules, so it’s obvious they plan to gain something from it, no matter how small the advantage.

      It seems that Ferrari and Vettel are hungry for any small advantage they can get to close the gap to Mercedes. I’m not a fan of Ferrari, but someone needs to try to pull every trick in the book to catch the Mercs

      1. Sure it is never for nothing. This was a correlation test for the wind tunnel, which will benefit them in the long run, it’s not like the -16 car will suddenly gain .5 of a second :)

  9. Getting the body prepared for the year. I would say its great training for Vettel i reckon. Pre-season has started

  10. So after some thinking, I think Seb is training, getting ready psyching up. They are not using some development driver… They are doing their #1.

    I mentioned some conspiracies before… But mostly practice makes best sense.

  11. I just hope Seb changes his white helmet for something more colourful. I know some people like it, but I would prefer to see him with more red. Maybe like this:

    1. I actually like the white, not overly crazy design stuff. Take a look at Kyvat and Ricciardo at Red Bull, very difficult to tell the two a part in a glance, or a long look lol. The designs of some helmets are just too busy and blend in with the cars too much. Very indistinct.

      I like Vettel’s Red Bull days and his constant playing with different designs, and it was helped a quite a bit by the fact that Webber’s helmet stayed constant, with the yellow on top.

      While a red themed helmet ala Schumacher could be nice, I like the contrast between the red car and red race suit and the white helmet.

      1. I agree with you there @uan, Vettel’s current helmet is nice, clearly distinguishable and easy to detect. And it has a clean design instead of the messy melange many of the driver helmets have now become

      2. White is mostly easiest to spot. So good job on that. That’s what a halmet is suppose to do. Notify everyone Vettel is driving that car.

        1. it’s actually supposed to protect his head


        2. Vettel’s helmet is easily the most recognizable one and probably the most iconic one as well. I like it. Very interesting that such 1 helmet belongs to Vettel of all people…

  12. They can’t run any 2016 components on the car, but can they run 2016 fuel in the car and get combustion data for new formulas?

    1. A quick guess is that they can’t because the new fuel hasn’t been tested by officials and therefore isn’t 2014 spec.

      1. but testing new fuels is no problem in the benches so the benefit wouldn’t probably be huge

  13. Pretest for Ferrari. :)

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