Jolyon Palmer, Renault, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Palmer astonished by Mercedes and Ferrari’s mileage

2017 F1 season

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Jolyon Palmer admitted he was amazed at how much running Mercedes and Ferrari have managed to accumulate in the first two days of testing.

The Renault driver sat out almost all of the second morning of today’s test due to a problem on his car. The team have completed 512 kilometres of running so far, the least of any team bar McLaren.

In contrast Mercedes ended the second day of testing one lap shy of the 1,500km mark. Ferrari have also completed more than twice as much running as Renault.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017
F1 testing day two in pictures
“I can’t understand how they’re doing so many laps,” Palmer told media at the Circuit de Catalunya. “Day one and day two when the car’s completely new, different regulations.”

“That’s impressive, especially when not only us but you look at the rest of the field, really, and everyone’s doing 50 or 60 laps in a day. That’s impressive, I don’t think it’s a surprise that they’re going to be near the front.”

Palmer said it was “impossible to say” at this stage how competitive the others are. “So far it looks quite close.”

“I think Mercedes and Ferrari, they’ve been at the front all the time now. Red Bull we can expect will be there or thereabouts. For the rest I have no idea.”

Renault were unable to run this morning as the team was “waiting for parts and then fitting them – there were some modifications needed”, Palmer explained.

“We knew we were going to be delayed at the start but it kind of kept getting pushed back a bit as well.”

Once the car got on track”the afternoon was not bad”, Palmer said. “53 laps made up for it a little bit and the feeling in the car’s quite good.”

“I’m quite happy with the car. Probably everyone’s quite happy with the car because they feel so much better than last year. The downforce is much better. For us we’ve improved in terms of the compliance which is where, as a team, we were really weak last year. So I think as a team we’ve made some good steps.”

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Keith Collantine
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  • 14 comments on “Palmer astonished by Mercedes and Ferrari’s mileage”

    1. So was he ‘amazed’ or ‘astonished’?

    2. Well I’m confused – what has Renault been doing all winter with more than 400 employes? Haas got 200 and has been driving in circles round Renault for two dayes now – 118 laps today! Impressive/amazed/astonished whatever…!!!

      1. Haas buy a great deal of parts from Ferrari. Renault/Enstone manufacture just about every little bit themselves.

        1. *Insert thank you gif*

          1. You’re welcome…

        2. @andybantam So? It’s not as if Haas buys 90% of all parts from Ferrari combined with an IKEA manual and there you have your F1 team that will perform.

          I’ll quote 3 parts from an awesome Craig Scarborough article about Haas from November 2016:
          “Haas followed this ‘Listed Parts’ approach by bringing in the entire powertrain, suspension, electronics, hydraulics and even the steering wheel from Italian manufacturer Ferrari.”
          “Leaving the team to focus on the task of going racing, this would prove to be a clear advantage for Haas in its first year. However, it is also a strategy which could also come back to bite them, as they do not currently own – nor necessarily understand – the parts which have been bought in. At some stage in the process to become a fully-fledged F1 constructor, Haas will need to design these sub-systems, and will inevitably suffer growing pains as they get these systems up to race readiness.”
          “So, even with the path to a new car build eased by rules, the team still needs to recruit a design team, find premises and set out the processes to get parts specified, designed, made and tested.”

          As you can see, regarding the performance and base reliability of the parts, Haas got themselves covered by purchasing Ferrari parts, but they do have to design and build a complete car around it.

          And regarding your Renault comment: you’re partially right. None of the teams manufacture “about every little bit themselves”. Brakes, suspension elements, wheels (rims), steering wheels and such can all be (and some are always) outsourced to specialised companies. Brakes all come from Brembo due to safety regulations, just as tyres come from a single manufacturer (Pirelli). FIA doesn’t want competition with the accompanied risks this involves in these areas.

          So to conclude: there isn’t a lot of difference between the development of Haas and Renault. The main difference is that Haas has now bought Ferrari 2017 materials, while Renault already started developing 2017 materials for other teams (such as the engine) and of course for themselves as well. The focus is different, but please keep in mind that the people who build engines, gear boxes, MGUs and such are not the same people who worked on the Renault RS17. It’s a separate business.

          1. Not all brakes are from Brembo.

            1. Markp, yes, Hitco and Carbone Industrie also supply components for the brakes to the teams – I believe that Haas switched from Brembo to Carbone Industrie towards the end of last year in an effort to overcome their repeated brake issues. As far as I am aware there are no safety regulations that mandate a single supplier, although Brembo probably supplies the most drivers on the grid (some teams do allow their drivers to run different brake materials to each other – I’m fairly sure that Mercedes did, for example).

          2. My comment reads “just about every little bit themselves”. I didn’t say they built it all.

            And no, I’m not saying that Haas build a car from a kit like Ikea furniture.

            I am saying that they buy in as much as the regulations allow. This is inherent with risk, as they have to work to very short lead times as Ferarri release its final designs. But, if managed properly, the whole organisation can concentrate on building and running the car without the distraction of having to manufacture some of the ancillary components.

            Renault don’t buy in as much as the regulations allow. They are building the whole car (excepting the obvious bits that no one builds themselves) from the ground up with little or no carry over from last year. This means more component checking. They might have fair reaching resources, but they are still steadying from a ground up reshuffle. In their position, more checking likely means less mileage.

            There’s no shame in either approach, but Haas have paid Ferrari to do some of the work so they can concentrate on other things. That’s why they set up the deal in the first place! They didn’t set up the deal because it would make things difficult for themselves. They did this deal so they could manage more laps, at the cost of a little less design control.

        3. Haas has to get their parts from somewhere, and the presence of those parts in their stockroom and spare parts draws today required them being designed and manufactured on a time line that made sure they were all delivered to the racing team prior to this week’s test. Whether the manufacturer is Ferrari or someone else isn’t that important, what is important is Haas made sure those parts were all on hand this week.
          The same applies to Renault, they should have had all the parts required for this week’s test all completed and delivered to their F1 team as well as Red Bull Racing and STR at the latest last week.

        4. Not really. The Renault engine comes from a different crew in France.

          Haas does have Dallara doing it’s fabrication, though, which should help a bit.

    3. The Renault driver sat out almost all of the second morning of today’s test…
      “I can’t understand how they’re doing so many laps,”

      Seems pretty obvious to me. Not sitting out the morning would mean Renault are up there with the big boys. Mercedes themselves however are really setting themselves apart from the pack and can’t really be compared to Ferrari in the amount of Mileage. They’re in a league of their own really.

    4. I am surprised that our ‘old-fart-hero’ Kimi could be on track so many laps. The cars seem to be more physically demanding this year.

    5. As long as Renault can stock the VIP suite with champagne and shrimp cocktails for Carlos G. at Monaco, Singapore and Suzuka then the team is achieving its primary objectives.

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