Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2018

Lap times watch: 2018 F1 pre-season testing day eight

2018 F1 season

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With just a quarter of an hour left in pre-season testing, Fernando Alonso set a lap time which earned McLaren the accolade of being the most-improved team in terms of lap time compared to last year.

The Renault-powered MCL33 lapped 3.5 seconds faster than its predecessor did in testing and 3.2 seconds faster than it did at the Spanish Grand Prix weekend.

Was this the result of a glory run designed to lift the team’s spirits and generate some positive headlines following a sometimes difficult test? McLaren, after all, ended the eight days of running having completed fewer laps than any other team. But here too they’re in a better position than they were 12 months ago, having covered over 600km more.

However for McLaren to genuinely be the second-fastest team would be a huge surprise. Mercedes’ position in seventh on the overall times table, 1.2 seconds off Ferrari, shows how far headline times must be treated with caution.

Position Team Model Time Gap Tyre
1 Ferrari SF71H 1’17.182 Hyper-soft
2 McLaren MCL33 1’17.784 0.602 Hyper-soft
3 Red Bull RB14 1’18.047 0.865 Hyper-soft
4 Renault RS18 1’18.092 0.910 Hyper-soft
5 Haas VF-18 1’18.360 1.178 Super-soft
6 Toro Rosso STR13 1’18.363 1.181 Hyper-soft
7 Mercedes W09 1’18.400 1.218 Ultra-soft
8 Force India VJM11 1’18.967 1.785 Hyper-soft
9 Sauber C37 1’19.118 1.936 Hyper-soft
10 Williams FW41 1’19.189 2.007 Soft

How much quicker are they than last year?

Last year Renault was the most improved team year-on-year in testing. This turned out to be an excellent indicator of their form over the season. Although they appear behind their two customer teams in terms of outright fastest lap, in terms of the performance they’ve gained almost as much as McLaren.

Mileage watch

The Toro Rosso-Honda covered almost 1,700km more this year than the McLaren-Honda did last year. But it will be even more frustrating for McLaren that their current car didn’t manage to do that much.

The good news for McLaren is that they are no longer the sole users of their engines. Two other teams have put plenty of laps on Renault’s motors, giving them greater confidence in its reliability.

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2018 pre-season testing so far

Team Distance
Mercedes 4794.7km
Ferrari 4315.2km
Toro Rosso 3826.4km
Williams 3803.1km
Sauber 3658.8km
Red Bull 3644.9km
Renault 3468km
Force India 3309.7km
Haas 3225.9km
McLaren 2779km

2017 pre-season testing total

Team Distance
Mercedes 5101.9km
Ferrari 4445.5km
Williams 3724km
Sauber 3663.5km
Force India 3654.2km
Red Bull 3184km
Haas 3170.1km
Renault 2774.4km
Toro Rosso 2718.5km
McLaren 2127.3km

2018 F1 season

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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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  • 18 comments on “Lap times watch: 2018 F1 pre-season testing day eight”

    1. Would still like to know the top-speed results as these are the best indicator of power.

        1. Thanks @hunocsi, it’s only testing but I’m guessing the Honda is still not up to MB-AMG standard.

    2. good stuff

    3. Even though Alonso’s time is pretty much meaningless, it is a good morale booster for the McLaren Team.

      1. Ferrari always look good in pre season testing.
        However? Mercedes always have the longest mileage in pre season testing.
        Therein lies the real difference.
        Ferrari lot of froth on their coffee!
        Mercedes strong & no froth at all!!!!

        1. Umm Ferrari had second highest mileage.

      2. Well, yes, I guess it is a moral booster, but surely everyone on the aeroplane home will be wondering why they had so many unreliability issues. They say it’s easier to make a fast car reliable than a reliable car fast, but unreliability means McLaren could easily arrive at Melbourne with a car that’s less fast than it could be.

    4. From what I’ve heard, it seems that Alonso did cut the last chicane/used the part of the pre-2007 configuration during his fastest lap, so, i.e., he cheated on his way to the 2nd fastest time of the day, LOL.

      1. He did that on a different lap but the time was deleted. The 17.7 was a legitimate time.

      2. Wrong lap you are talking about here.

      3. Hugo Pereira
        10th March 2018, 11:15

        The lap that was deleted was 1.16.725

      4. @jerejj the lap you are referring to was in the 16’s and was promptly deleted. Alonso did two genuine laps in the 17’s.

    5. My observation so far in terms of performance:
      Mercedes – 29 points
      engine: 10/10 aero package: 9,5/10 mechanical grip: 9,5/10
      Ferrari – 28,5 points
      engine: 9,5/10 aero package: 9,5/10 mechanical grip: 9,5/10
      Red Bull – 28,5 points
      engine: 9/10 aero package: 9,5/10 mechanical grip: 10/10
      McLaren – 27,5 points
      engine: 9/10 aero package: 8,5/10 mechanical grip: 10/10
      Force India – 27,5 points
      engine: 10/10 aero package: 9/10 mechanical grip: 8,5/10
      Renault – 27 points
      engine: 9/10 aero package: 9/10 mechanical grip: 9/10
      Toro Rosso – 27 points
      engine: 9/10 aero package: 9/10 mechanical grip: 9/10
      Williams – 27 points
      engine: 10/10 aero package: 9/10 mechanical grip: 8/10
      Haas – 27 points
      engine: 9,5/10 aero package: 8,5/10 mechanical grip: 9/10
      Sauber – 26,5 points
      engine: 9,5/10 aero package: 8,5/10 mechanical grip: 8,5/10

      1. Pardon me, but those are completely made up figures.

        1. Fun though and as useful as Ted Kravitz review which I just had to turn off also the Kraut magazine ANUS are no better.

          1. I’m sorry but I can’t take seriously any batch of numbers that is not including working variables such as RBR’s amazing strategy statisticians, WilliamsF1 terrible strategic dicethrowers and Renault’s completely irrelevant hashtag master.

    6. Overall Kilometers almost identical between 2017 and 2018 with Mercedes laying some pipe. Old Ferrari still heal nipping and the McLaren up in the meaningless pre season charts. 2018 is gunna be something to see. Heres to aggresive racing with some big balls moments. Heres to a safe season that rewards drivers, teams, fans present and fans infront of their media mechanisms. Heres to good fair dicing and heres to no whinning. Do the best you can with the machine you race on the day thats before you. Nothing has changed my mind about the high speed express called the Silver Arrows in 2018. There is little to discuss. Another striking and dominant pair of Championships.

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