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Featured Barcelona Testing Day Four: Alonso in hospital as Grosjean makes it a Lotus triple

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Jordan Adcock, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. _X0W3366.jpg McLaren’s torrid pre-season continued on the last day of the first Barcelona test as Fernando Alonso was airlifted to hospital after hitting the wall at turn 3. Several sources are reporting he was conscious and speaking with doctors, but the double champion will stay in hospital overnight.

    It caps four days full of bad luck for the Woking team, with engine supplier Honda twice redesigning the seal on the MGU-K energy recovery system to try and address failures which prevented Alonso or Button from longer running in the MP4-30. Alonso himself had only completed 20 laps before the incident, and while the car only appeared to be missing its front wing McLaren called it a day after the Spaniard was taken for precautionary checks. It is still unclear whether it was mechanical issues or driver error which caused the crash.

    Alonso wasn’t the only one to make mistakes out there though. Carlos Sainz Jr. crashed his Toro Rosso at the same corner, for which he partly blamed the high winds for making conditions more difficult. Sainz later told Sky Sports News HQ: “But these things happen. Today was my turn. You have seen many good drivers in the past crashing cars and it sometimes happens in testing, you just have to learn from it.”

    He added that “The day had been the best day of testing up until that point. I felt from the morning compared to day two a completely different car and I was a completely different driver with much more feeling on the braking and in all type of corners.” He eventually finished 6th fastest.

    Nico Rosberg began his day similar to how Sebastian Vettel began yesterday, a small spin requiring some quick repairs. Not that it really mattered, since the German still managed a mammoth 131 laps in his Mercedes, and a lap on medium-compound tyres less than two tenths behind Lotus driver Romain Grosjean’s fastest on super-soft tyres. Unknown variables aside, the medium tyres are much harder and should be much slower than the super-softs (Lewis Hamilton has even commented that he feels that Pirelli have produced compounds which are too hard), so it’s another very promising display from the world champions. Speaking of Rosberg’s compatriot, Vettel put in another 76 laps despite being stuck in the garage for much of the time, and finishes another test where the new Ferrari has impressed the paddock. Williams are conversely keeping much quieter; neither Valtteri Bottas or Felipe Massa have focused on topping the times, but another 129 laps of race simulation and set-up work saw Bottas go 5th today, amidst confidence that the team can still fight for podiums with Red Bull and an apparently improved Ferrari.

    Arguably under even more pressure than McLaren right now is Force India; Nico Hulkenberg finally got his first running of 2015 today, but it was in 2014’s car and brought to a halt after 36 laps with a smoking engine. The team are hoping the new VJM08 will be able to do at least some of the final test after a couple of delays in getting it ready.

    First Barcelona Test Day Four Results

    1. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes 1:24.067 111 laps
    2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.231 131 laps
    3. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault 1:24.941 104 laps
    4. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.956 73 laps
    5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:25.345 129 laps
    6. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso-Renault 1:25.604 88 laps
    7. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.312 76 laps
    8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.591 36 laps
    9. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1:27.956 20 laps
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 22, 2015
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  2. the_sigman

    Sim racer, F1 news editor... Racing is in my blood Premium

    The first time Mercedes have shown their speed, and oh my... They are fast.

    7 tenths faster than Kvyat on softs, 1.5 slower than Grosjean on supersofts. Differense between medium and supersoft? Pirelli says it is 1.5 to 2 seconds.

    I know testing is not so important, but when almost everyone has gone on softs and many even on supersofts and the second fastest time of 4 days of testing comes from a medium set of tyres you can understand that these Silver Arrows have a lot of speed.
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  3. Dux


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  4. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

    Grosjean set 1.24.067 on super softs, and Rosberg set 1.24.321 on mediums ... i have no idea on tyre conditions or fuel load though, but Mercs speed is really scary :D
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  5. Dux


    Testing F1 car is like laboratory with infinite results. Something like it, at least.
    Having said that, we cannot conclude anything. Briefly about it, i took Kimi comment for this years car performance when he compared with last year Ferrari. He is the only one who can do it. So i'll do the same with Nico. In Merc, both Nico and Hamilton seem a lot satisfied and are, at least to me, looking like they are hiding some expressions when they are speaking to the media.

    About the laps in Barcelona and the tyre compounds, it may well be they tested their last stint, when they will have low fuel and running on medium, to bring them home let's say, so he did that time. If he did that time on medium fuel or full tank, i am not watching F1 season.
  6. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

    Apparently it was on worn mediums and Rosberg was not satisfied with it :D
    I don't get it, you wouldn't watch F1 in case they are fast ? or just because Merc is faster than the others :D
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
  7. Dux


    Just joking. There is no way i'd stop watching but they are so so fast
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  8. Qazdar Karim

    Qazdar Karim

    But still far from V10/V8 laptimes :)
  9. note that V10 and V8 was using Naturally Aspirated engine and the gearbox-freeze rules wasn't applied in that era. when in V10/V8 era the team could tweak the gearbox for shorter gear in order to get more power when accelerating on the corner exit. and the car was have more downforce than this year or last. that's why they could do a fast laptimes.

    IMHO turbo is a way more powerful than NA. and this and last year car is/was harder to tame. take a look to 2014 Brazilian GP qualy times and compare them with i.e 2003 season qualy times. i bet 2014 or 2015 V6 Hybrid engine spec can beat V10/V8 on the straight.
    in this video you can see 2014 W05 was faster than W04 on speed but suffered on the corner exit unlike 2013 W04.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2015
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  10. Wow. Leaves Ferrari for a new team, second test series, crashes, injured. Reminds us painfully how F1 can change in an instant.
  11. Dux


    People who never raced can never imagine how frighting it would be to drive F1 car in a race. They can say whatever they like, for me the is no split between real races of the past or today. To me they are all equal. Only difference, perhaps then it was more dangerous but today is nothing safe either for sure.

    However drivers nowadays have much bigger freedom thus they make more kamikaze moves :) it's a nice balance