Toro Rosso STR12

F1 2017 is here: Testing starts today

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: The first test session of the 2017 F1 season begins today. F1 Fanatic is at the Circuit de Catalunya to bring you pictures, news and insight as the radical new generation of grand prix cars run together for the first time.

As always you can follow the test as it happens on F1 Fanatic Live – look out for the link on the home page from one hour before the test starts, which is a 8am UK time.

Stay across F1 Fanatic’s social media presences for more from the test:

Thanks again to RaceFans’s Supporters whose backing makes it possible for F1 Fanatic to attend these events to bring you its coverage. If you would like to become a Supporter and browse the site ad-free, or would like more information, see the links below:

Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

Comment of the day

The consensus seems to be we’ve seen very little of the real RB13 yet:

This is just a launch mock-up akin to the ‘RB9’ or ‘RB8’ mannequins that were used a test-bed in the first days of testing in 2012 and 2013. The fully fledged Newey masterpieces didn’t turn up until the final test.

Looking here, this ‘RB13’ has the RB12’s rear bodywork, the RB12’s tower bargeboards and front-wing elements suspiciously similar to those Red Bull were running in Abu Dhabi.

If anything it is pretty encouraging that Red Bull are going to such efforts to be secret squirrel out of the box.
WilliamB (@William-brierty)

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On this day in F1

Happy 65th birthday to Pedro Chaves, who failed to pre-qualify in all 13 of his attempts to start an F1 race with Coloni’s hopeless car in 1991. He went on to become a successful rally driver.

Author information

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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  • 20 comments on “F1 2017 is here: Testing starts today”

    1. Great to hear that “F1 Fanatic is at the Circuit de Catalunya”. No need to look any furthere where to find all the information. Keep up the good work, Keith!

      1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
        27th February 2017, 1:56

        +1 this is my number 1 site for F1 news (and my homepage)

        Thank you Keith

        1. Same. I also can’t wait for Codemasters F1 2017 with the new cars

      2. I am a little bit envious, but I’m sure I couldn’t do as half as well as Keith would, so I’m pleased he is the one attending. I think this is going to be the most interesting pre-season testing I’ve had the opportunity to see.

      3. Would it be an idea to do a meet & greet @keithcollantine?
        Maybe quick catch up around lunch break every day.

    2. @keithcollantine – hey Keith, really interested in your impressions on the engine sound this year vs last if you get a chance to post or tweet something

    3. Is there any way we can actually WATCH this on TV or a PC?

      1. Nope. Never. You’ll have to do with live timing videos and pit reports.

        1. Wondering this myself.. thanks.

          1. High speed artist’s renderings then?

    4. Way stoked that you’re covering the tests in person @keithcollantine, seems like a good time to drop a little by the way congrats on how far your website has come over the years. Keep up the great work!

    5. We’re nearly there, guys.

      We’re nearly there…

      1. It’s Happening!

    6. Why all testing happens at Catalunya? I think some years ago one test week was held at Bahrain. I thought it made lot of sense, since weather is perfect for testing (no chance of rain, more useful temperatures compared to Feb-Mar Spain), the track isn’t unforgiven, meaning if a car goes off the whole session doesn’t have to be red-flagged and it’s located closer to Melbourne than Catalunya, so even logistically it should make sense.

      1. Dust storms.

        1. @huhhii
          Money. Testing in the Middle East is several times more expensive than in Europe, as the teams constantly forge new parts and ship them to the circuit. They can send trucks to Barcelona for a fraction of the cost, whereas they have to take the plane to Abu Dhabi or Bahrain.

          Also, the fact that the Middle East is closer to Melbourne accounts for nothing. There’s a two weeks long break between the last test and the Melbourne GP, so virtually all the teams’ equipment will return to the factory before being shipped to Australia.
          Yes, the temperatures would be a lot more representative, but that’s pretty much the only advantage. A bit of rain would actually be quite helpful, as Pirelli desperately needs some useful data to work with.

      2. Whilst Catalunya is still quite cool, the weather is generally reasonable. The issue with testing at the Abu Dhabi is that many of the teams are based in the UK and should parts be required, it’s quicker to get them to Spain than it is Abu Dhabi…

        1. @nase @maddme Ah, didn’t think of shipping new parts to a track – I can see why that’s much more easier to Catalunya compared to Sakhir. But still I think teams could easily have 3rd test week in Bahrain maybe a week before the race in Melbourne. 2 weeks of testing really isn’t all that much, especially if rain ruins some testing days.

          1. @huhhii
            They’ll have two days of testing in Sakhir after the race, which I think is a really good compromise, as the additional cost is minimal. This means that they only have to drive 16 out of 19 races without much experience in hot conditions. Also, there’s the three Free Practice sessions before the race, so I think there shouldn’t be any major issues going into the race.
            Last year, Mercedes relied almost exclusively on the medium tyres for testing (60 sets), only sampling the soft tyres marginally (4 sets), and staying away from all other compounds. Nevertheless, they came to Melbourne fully prepared. This shows how little specific input the teams need nowadays, with their powerful simulation tools.
            So, long story short: They’ll be fine.

            Btw: Yesterday’s final stage of the Tour of Abu Dhabi (held at Yas Marina) was a bit of a nautical endeavour due to torrential rain, which was already quite difficult to cope with for the riders, and it would’ve definitely been impossible for an F1 car to keep going under these conditions. The desert can be a really wet place at times, while Barcelona has a pretty dry climate.

    7. Fernando is “happy”?

      He looks crotchety to me.

      (Yes, I know they’re quavers but you know …)

    Comments are closed.