Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Vettel fastest as Ferrari target qualifying pace

2016 F1 season

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Sebastian Vettel led the first day of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya as Ferrari focused on identifying solutions for their lack of pace during qualifying last weekend.

Alex Lynn, Williams, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016
Williams sported unusual aerodynamics
With Sauber absent, ten F1 teams were present for the first of two days of running and each completed more than a race distance at the Spanish Grand Prix venue.

“On Saturday we struggled a bit so today we tried some stuff,” said the pace-setter. “We needed to have a good look at it, but this is not the only thing we were here for.”

Vettel said Ferrari have “improved the car in the areas you need for [Monaco] so I think it should help.”

“Here in Barcelona we were as competitive as expected, with the exception of Saturday.”

Esteban Ocon, who managed just six laps in his practice outing for Renault at the track on Friday, managed more significant running for the team today.

“It would have been great to have gone for some fast laps with low fuel and soft tyres but that wasn’t the purpose of today,” he said. Ocon will drive for Mercedes tomorrow.

Williams caught the attention of many by running some unusual aerodynamic appendages on their FW38. Chief test and support engineer Rod Nelson said the team “went through a programme looking at some Monaco set-up alternatives”. Test driver Alex Lynn was at the wheel.

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrariSF16-H1’23.220103
26Nico RosbergMercedesW071’23.3370.117119
322Jenson ButtonMcLarenMP4-311’23.7530.53386
48Romain GrosjeanHaasVF-161’23.8820.66296
594Pascal WehrleinManorMRT051’24.2971.07786
63Daniel RicciardoRed BullRB121’24.3071.08789
738Pierre GaslyToro RossoSTR111’24.8211.60178
834Alfonso CelisForce IndiaVJM091’25.4672.24799
941Alex LynnWilliamsFW381’26.0712.85186
1045Esteban OconRenaultRS161’26.5303.310105

2016 F1 season

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  • 32 comments on “Vettel fastest as Ferrari target qualifying pace”

    1. Williams looks like it is on steroids on the front.

    2. Will be interesting to see Ocon’s time tomorrow when he switches to the Mercedes.
      Should give a fairly good insight into true speed difference between the Renault and the Mercedes.

      1. It shouldn’t be to representative…. They probably run different programes.

        Quali was as representative as it gets. Renault is way off pace.

        1. Yeah, it’s not like the Mercs are driven by nosepickers. Not 100% sure about the Renault guys, but they were rather evenly matched. The car probably doesn’t have much more pace in it.

    3. knoxploration
      17th May 2016, 20:21

      Meanwhile, Merc are only a tenth behind. What are the odds they’re working on reliability more than performance, and hence we’re seeing Ferrari’s qualy pace against Merc’s race pace? Pretty good, I’d say.

      1. A 1:23 isn’t a race pace lap, that’s still a low fuel, fresh tyre lap time but Mercedes probably aren’t setup for a fastest possible time on this track given they know they already have that. The car is probably setup to provide more usable data for other tracks than specifically here.

      2. Ferrari, and we, know what the qualifying target is: 1.22.000 They might have topped the time tables today, but they won’t be happy: they haven’t gained a lot. Back to the drawing board in Italy, guys, and redesign something…
        It looks like the PU is fixed but the rest of the car needs some overtime…

        1. Depends on the engine mode it was set on. Low fuel soft tyres but not full quality engine mode, track temperature, only they know. Only bad pace they had was Saturday. On Sunday in clean air they coul

          1. Easily catch Red Bull but could not pass but then Hamilton could not overtake a Torro Rosso in Australia on the track. Proof will only come though in the races so we will see.

            Great lap by Button.

        2. Not only did they not come close to the Merc Q3 pace, they didn’t even improve on their own times — the time today was slower than Vettel did in Q3. Although again, as others have mentioned, we don’t know the engine mode they were using. They could have dialed the engine back for reliability but improved on sector 3 handling.

          Still, nothing here to make you say “watch out for the Scuderia in Monaco.”

    4. There was a report from Honda that they are now between Renault and Ferrari in power, anyone kniw more about that? How poor is that McLaren chassis then, if Ferrari and RenHauer were on podium?

      1. The only report I know about was one issued by Mercedes, according to which the PUs are very evenly matched, the 2015 Ferrari having been overtaken by its 2016 version as well as by Renault and Honda. They didn’t say anything about which PU was more powerful than the other, but they alluded heavily to them being so close together that it hardly matters.

        1. Of course Merc says there is nearly no difference in power… They don’t want the intervention to equalize their advantage away.

          1. Yeah, and when we take our fanciful light metal hat off, we realise that there’s not a single engine manufacturer that contradicted Mercedes’s statements. Why? Because they all have access to the same GPS data. They know that they’re reaching a very steep part of the development curve, where it becomes hard to make any siginificant progress. And they all know that there’s a lot more to Mercedes’s success than just a powerful engine.

          2. In the races mabbe but in q3 they have something. I think a lot of Mercs advantage comes in low speed corners which is not aero. Their their whole package is great but maybe their suspension is overlooked as if only aero and engine count. Next race Pirelli will monitor tyre pressures in real time and McLaren recently denied a wheel rim

            1. That could lower psi on the move. Maybe knowing it would not be allowed as they suspect someone doing this already, no surprise if a German manufacturer is being dodgy with car tests.

            2. markp can you give me source about pirelli monitoring psi in real time

            3. MikI the real time psi monitoring was due next year but will be used from the next race according to Paul Hembrey who told Brindley on Sunday on his grid walk.

      2. I think that’s peak power. How much of the lap they can deliver that peak power for is another matter.

        1. Yes, you’re probably right. But we have no reliable data to put these parametres into perspective. The only indication we have so far is Red Bull’s incessant talk of how great their chassis and how uncompetitive their engines are. The same goes for McLaren. But do we really have to take that at face value? We have no indications that this is really true. Just the statements of two teams, who could simply using their partners as scapegoats for their lack of success.

      3. @jureo Considering that McLaren were in qualifying pretty much as high up in Russia as they were in Catalunya, 12th and 10th (after Massa’s debacle). Alonso has to be pretty foolish to declare that McLaren’s chassis is better than that of ferrari that said he based his comments on his impressive 5th fastest s3 sector.
        What happened in Catalunya is that apart from Ferrari’s Saturday struggles, all ferrari (2016) powered cars were pretty rubbish on the slowest corners. Ever since Shanghai, all 2016 (not STR) sound like popcorn off and as the throttle is applied. I would say that might explain why STR was the only Ferrari car that was as quick in s3 as they were elsewhere on the lap, Sainz was s1 10th, s2 9th, s3 10th

        Look at the s3 times relative to the rest of the sectors.

        Kimi Raikkonen 22.724 (5) 31.054 (3) 29.335 (8)
        Sebastian Vettel 22.724 (5) 31.326 (7) 29.284 (6)
        Romain Grosjean 23.003 (13) 31.767 (15) 29.639 (16)
        Esteban Gutierrez 22.945 (12) 31.690 (12) 29.752 (18)

        The Sauber’s are so slow that’s hard to judge them, Ericsson’s s1 is within a tenth of the midfield but his s2, which comprises the low speed turn 5 and 6 is way off not to mention the slow s3.

        1. Nice observation. But that spells Disaster for Monaco if they are so bad in slow stuff.

    5. Both Ocon and Ricciardo report significant improvements. Bystanders also mention that the new Renault is a lot louder than the previous engine. So that’s good, I guess ;-)

      1. Geoff, a fly on the Strategy Group wall
        18th May 2016, 0:28

        There’ll be championship points for noise next year.

        1. I care about little things like engine noise. I miss the V10s.

    6. Ferrari is fastest! Again!

    7. Guybrush Threepwood
      17th May 2016, 21:47

      Any speed trap figures? Interesting to see if the Renault upgrade made any difference to RBR’s top speed.

    8. Buttonhole22
      17th May 2016, 22:57

      Decent lap by Button at least they’re getting consistency , hopefully this will translate into decent race pace in coming races

    9. Given that McLaren are probably in Monaco set up and still texting new aero karts Buttons time is v.interesting, certainly agree that they are now constant in their performance and should be looking to move into a firm top 10 race finish. Ferrari seem to be lacking direction or any sort of strategy on the way forward at moment, I wonder if they are missing the guidance and leadership of James Allison while he concentrating on his family ( I wonder if he will return at all this season, I’m not sure I would want to under such sad circumstances) .

      1. Allison was already back at Ferrari manufacturing in mid April, one month ago.

    10. They have a lot of laps, it’s very good!

    Comments are closed.