Mercedes Top Times as Testing Begins

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring

    mercedes testing.jpg There are cars on track and now it really feels like the 2017 season is right around the corner, but what have we actually learned from the first day of testing?

    Whilst the day will have bene valuable for the teams trying to understand the new tyres and what exactly their fins and wings are doing at speed, the test sessions won’t really tell the outside world much of what to expect this season.

    Mercedes, naturally, topped the timing screen and, between their two drivers, completed the most laps, with Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel coming in second on both times and lap numbers, but that doesn’t tell the entire story.

    One thing we did learn today is how the fins look at speed. According to those at the track, very wobbly. Williams were testing the t-wing we saw on the Mercedes last week, as well as the Finn, and both seemed to be very unstable. Those at the track have suggested other teams had similar problems.

    That will be something the teams want to get sorted out for two reasons. The first, more obvious, is that wobbly fins don’t really do the jobs they’re supposed to. The second is that, if they move around a lot, they may not be classed as a “stable aerodynamic device” which could be considered illegal.

    Mercedes, naturally, might have a fix for that. When Lewis Hamilton jumped in the car in the afternoon, there was an interesting fin stuck on the back of it. The fin was smaller than other teams and had an opening at the top. It’s understood to be an exit duct for hot air, but it also makes the fin stronger and more stable.

    So, not only were they topping the times, they also seem to have solved a problem other teams are still scratching their heads over.

    Red Bull are favourites to bring the fight to Mercedes, but they didn’t really seem to be in a position to do that today. The morning session to was red flagged when Daniel Ricciardo stopped in the first sector due to a sensor issue. The car was able to get back on track and the Australian got some decent running in before a battery issue halted the team’s afternoon running. Ricciardo finished the day fifth in the timings after 50 laps.

    Red Bull weren’t the only team with problems and, after two years of trouble, the fact McLaren didn’t get a smooth day probably won’ come as a surprise for many. Alonso managed a single lap in the morning, but an oil system issue confined him to the garage for the rest of the session. In the afternoon, much to the delight of the fans gathered to watch the session, Alonso headed back out, only to return to the pit lane at a “crawling pace” two minutes later. The Spaniard did eventually manage to get back out, completing just under 30 laps by the end of the day.

    Each team will be focusing on their own checklist this week, most of them wanting to see just how their new aero gadgets work in real life and what the 2017 tyres are like, so we can’t read too much into lap times and we won’t really have a clear idea of the order until the end of the Melbourne GP.

    For more thoughts on Formula One and the latest news, head to the Formula One sub forum here at RaceDepartment.

    What do you think of the Mercedes fin (the aero device, not the driver)? Do you think McLaren Honda will be able to resolve their issues before the first race? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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  2. aphidgod


    It's smaller than the other fins, so I like it better. Ferrari, it's been a good 3 decades but I'm a silver arrow man now. I'll keep the Ferrari F1 poster I've had since 1985 on the wall where it belongs, for old times' sake. :cry:

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  3. BoogerMac


    How is Magnussen only 1.12-seconds off the pace?!? I realize he tagged the wall later in the session, but still...fourth on day one? As a Haas fan, I don't want to get too excited, but damn! I hope its no fluke, but I realize it probably is.
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  4. Pudu


    Testing times are notoriously non-indicative of in-season racing performance. So be optimistic but don't read too much into these times. Testing gives a better sense of reliability though.

    Hamilton -
    “I was behind a couple of cars out there and it was harder to follow, as we expected,” said Hamilton. “And then also right now the tyres are so hard that they don't drop off, they just keep going and going and going and going. So most likely we're going to be doing a lot more one-stopper [races] and, since there's not degradation, less mistakes, less overtaking.That's my prediction, I might be wrong, we'll find out.”

    Massa -
    “Definitely from the driving point of view, it’s much nicer for the driver,” said the Brazilian. “For the show, I don’t know. I’m sure it will be more difficult to overtake. Today driving behind cars you lose a lot more downforce, the car is also much bigger.We’ll see, but I think it will be more difficult to overtake.”

    Anyone, besides the rule makers, surprised?
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  5. Nick Hill

    Nick Hill

    A year full of Merc 1-2's with drivers complaining about being unable to overtake? Sign me up!
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  6. Benutzername

    I breathe a lot. I guess i just really like air.

    I am excited because these are the constructor champion probably has build the fastest car ever created (you know, not in terms of highest top speed but best performance).

    Or am i overseeing a faster car?

    Even if there will be less action, the fact that the footage ive seen looks already fascniating and quick makes me wanting to see the races.
  7. Knoxstar


  8. Pudu


    It may look mighty in qualy.

    But you can also put 20 bullet trains on a single track and watch them follow each other 'round and round at high speed for 90 minutes. (well, you actually probably can't do that)
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  9. Blkout


    Bottas way behind Hamilton as I expected.
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  10. paracletus


    These cars are already putting in faster times than last year, and will be the fastest GP cars ever.
    Asked whether the new rules - designed to make the cars up to five seconds a lap faster and demand more of the drivers - had made a difference, LH said: "The G forces are definitely higher. The load on the drivers is a considerable amount more than before. It is a lot more physical. I was always trying to pick up the speed through the corners and you have to drive a little bit different. It is a beast. It is so much better than last year." :thumbsup:

    Too much push-button overtaking last few years anyway. F1 is as much about the cars pushing the boundaries as it about racing; if watching cars fighting five-abreast into every corner is the only concern, there are better series out there for that.
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  11. Colin Knowles

    Colin Knowles

    not sure Bottas will take many 2nd places this year but we shall see :laugh:
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  12. el chasco

    el chasco

    I will go to see the tests this weekend. I live near the track fortunately!
  13. slowcrash101


    Wobbly fins do work to straighten out airflow, otherwise birds and insects wouldn't fly.
  14. Rob


    I guess your point is there will be no passing, or less passing, and therefore boring? The whole "system" of F1 (you pick the builder) has trans-morphed into e-cars with petrol power, with too little downforce (to encourage passing) for the insane amounts of power. That, ugly too, and they are no fun to drive. The 2017 cars are hopefully a step back to the heart of what made F1 great. If drivers are "racy" and happy, its going to be okay.

    When you ask the people that actually study the wind or work for team not named Mercedes, you get this:

    "One of the aspects by having a car wider, you could argue that it could be more difficult to overtake.
    "However, due to the aerodynamic effect and more drag effect it will have, and the more time you will spend on the straights, you will have more opportunity than previous years to overtake in this kind of condition."
    --Pierre Wache, Red Bull's chief engineer of performance

    "The more downforce cars produce the more they can be affected by other cars in terms of their drag – so it could be that cars are able to run closer behind another car to use the slipstream down the straight, so overtaking in that sense could actually be easier."
    --Dan Fallows, Red Bull's Head of Aerodynamics

    Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton, the guy who has a car nobody can beat, wants, ahhh, things to stay the same. :roflmao:

    Don't forget, in the same article, they also said:

    "And then also right now the tyres are so hard that they don't drop off, they just keep going and going and going and going."

    ...but the best was from Ricciardo:

    "I think there is still a lot more to come from the cars, sure, and it is cold.
    "The track feels like it is cold and the tyres are still not in their optimum temperature, but already you see the times - Lewis was already quicker than the qualifying here last year, so sure it will be faster.
    "It is cool, but I think we will get a lot quicker from where we are now."
    "You feel the difference in the high speed corners but I think we can still get a lot more out of the car," Ricciardo added.
    "The balance is still not where I think it can be, and the track is still really cold, so I feel the tyres are not at their peak and the car certainly isn't yet.
    "Today is a little bit of a tease - we feel a bit of it but there is a lot more to come."

    Maybe it will be more difficult to overtake where they are used to overtaking, but drivers like Alonso, Raikkonen, and Vettel have a way of passing you through Eau Rouge. That's what I want to see more of. Instead of this mentality of passing under braking, why not under acceleration? It would require the FIA to run at older, natural-terrain tracks which suit these cars. These faster, more historic, these beautiful, these
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  15. Pudu


    Well it's too early to say what the on track action will be like. But you could take the advice of a RedBull aerodynamics engineer - whose team's competitive advantage relies on an aero dominated formula - or you could listen to drivers who say these cars, so far, seem harder to overtake.

    It goes without saying that any formula which relies on above-car aerodynamics to produce performance gains results in less overtaking. Teams develop their aero to run in clean air and produce downforce. Get a car that can crush in qualy and then just stay ahead in the clean air - no one can touch you. Sebastian won 4 titles this way, Lewis 2, Nico 1. But that system falls apart when your car is in hot, turbulent air.

    You can try to mock Hamilton, but he has said from the beginning that these new regulations won't help overtaking - along with people like Patrick Head, Ross Brawn, (actually pick most non-Red Bull people who have voiced an honest opinion on this).

    Tires that keep going and going mean fewer pitstops, which in turn means strategy has much less impact on race outcomes. That's even less good if there is little on track action.

    You can't pass under acceleration if you cannot get close enough under braking because your engine/tires overheat and your car produces no downforce compared to the guy/gal you are following.

    You've got it wrong about downforce. The less downforce, the more the driver's skill comes in to play. The cars of the 80s and 90s had huge amounts of horsepower with comparatively tiny wings and fewer driver aids. That's what F1 should get back to.

    I agree that Riccardo is correct to say that we don't know what these cars will eventually be capable of. Every formula needs 2-3 years to reach maximum potential.

    But I totally disagree that these cars are more historic - unless your frame of reference extends back only 10 years or so - or more beautiful (no matter what your frame of reference).
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2017
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  16. yusupov


    i dont get (what sounded like) complaining about harder tries that dont degrade. i want these guys to have to drive at 85 to 100% for 2 hours, & i sure THOUGHT thats what they wanted, tires that don't let the car down...where are alonso's quotes? sounds an awful lot like 2004-type cars to me. so hes all content now, right? :rolleyes:

    what i find most ridiculous tho is that we've apparently gone BACKWARDS re being able to follow?? thats insane, isn't there a relatively simple solution for this? i don't know jack about aero, but there needs to be a regulation to simplify it or otherwise make the cars somewhat dirty-air proof; along with made-to-degrade tires this was my issue with F1 regs last year. verstappen showed great nerve for a young driver, but it was maddening watching raikonnen & hamilton gain on him lap after lap only to inevitably lose him in the final chicane because their downforce is shot. even with artificial aid of DRS they couldn't catch up on the S/F straight. thats such an obvious PROBLEM & to see that not only was nothing done about it, it was exacerbated w/ the new regs, is just incredible to me.

    is it realistic to hope for a change as soon as next season in this regard??
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  17. gamer19


    Just knock those damn ridiculously huge wings, especially front ones, and we got ourselves some racing. Finally.

    Back to basics.
    (note the huge difference between Renault and Ferrari back wing. lol)
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  18. Toinou780


    I don't think the difficulty or not to overtake is a real deal IMO. I remember some races were Schumacher tried to overtake Alonso in Imola during at least 10 laps. He did not succeed even and it was a memorable battle. Nowadays, with drs, he would have overtaken Alonso easily.
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  19. Ross Garland

    Ross Garland
    R3E & AMS Club Manager Staff Premium

    Which is why that crap has no place in F1. For me, fake overtakes are just as bad as no overtakes.
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  20. Ricoow

    RedShift Racing RDLMS #6 Premium

    In Dutch football terms we call this a "Success supporter".