Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Circuit de Catalunya, 2017

Lap time watch: 2017 pre-season testing day seven

2017 F1 season

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Has Formula One got five seconds faster under the new rules? Here’s the full data from the pre-season testing so far.

Have they hit the ‘five seconds faster’ target?

The new regulations have been created to make F1 cars five seconds faster compared to the pole position time at the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix. This was the most recent race at the track which hosts pre-season F1 testing at the time the regulations were finalised.

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How do their lap times compare to 2015?

Mercedes set the pole position time at the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix. The graph below shows how much of an improvement each team has made compared to their own performance in that race weekend.

For reference the lap times for 2015 pre-season testing have also been included.

How do their lap times compare to last year?

Lap times fell last year after Pirelli introduced softer compounds at some races. For this reason, plus the usual car development, teams will not have improved by as much compared to 12 months ago.

Mileage watch

Here’s how much distance each team has covered so far in 2017 pre-season testing:

Force India3058.3km
Red Bull2853.5km
Toro Rosso2104.1km

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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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  • 2 comments on “Lap time watch: 2017 pre-season testing day seven”

    1. Interesting graphs.

      If I look at the last graph and compare only the difference between the blue and green lines, it gives me the difference of 2016 test time and 2016 race weekend time (essentially how much any team sandbagged). Interestingly, only Mercedes and red Bull went faster at the race weekend than at the test. Every other team was showboating and had shown their hand at some point during the test.
      Now, combine this with the detailed results of 2016 testing (, you will find that
      1) Mercedes set their fastest time last year on soft tyres. However, this year, Mercedes have used the US to set their fastest time, so it does seem that they are probably keen to check their own true pace this year. May be they are not that fast this year. Mercedes has done only 4600 km of testing this year compared to 6000 last year.
      2) Red Bull set their fastest time last year on ultrasoft tyres, same as this year. So, they could be on the same strategy as last year although they did only 2800 km this year compared to 3800 km last year.
      3) Ferrari have also set their fastest time last year on US, same as this year. They seem to be on a different testing strategy this year as they have already surpassed their mileage this year. Plus, their mileage is also done on the harder tyres this year compared to last year.

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