Domenicali: “Reliability the key in Australia”
Sakhir, 2 March – Testing prior to the start of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship came to an end this afternoon in Bahrain and at the end of the day, Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali shared his thoughts with the journalists. “The rule changes for this season have been so radical that I’d say to get a consensus you would need further tests before the championship gets underway. In our case, we are taking a lot of data back home, which we will now analyse in depth. Some aspects deserve more attention to achieve the performance level we are looking for, while others maybe just need a bit of fine tuning. Once back in Maranello, we will do all in our power to rectify the things that aren’t working properly yet, so that we can be as well prepared as possible in Melbourne.”
Domenicali reckons this will be an unusual season, especially in the early stages. “I believe, we could see big changes from the first race to the second and from the second to the third, with everyone bringing in developments all the time. At first, reliability will be the key, because without it you don’t score points. I also think that some teams that are struggling at the moment will be able to catch up, while teams that currently seem to have a slight advantage could see a plateau in their performance, allowing the others to close the gap. From what we have seen so far, there are two teams out in front, Mercedes and Williams. After them, it could be us.”
For Scuderia Ferrari, the remaining twelve days to go to the first race will be busy. “From our side, we know there is still a mountain of things for our engineers to develop. What I’m interested in and what I have specifically requested is that we define a list of priorities and stick to it. One aspect we will definitely be looking at is the relationship between the turbo engine and the electric energy recovery systems and there’s much to do in this area. On the other hand, we return to Maranello knowing that the figures we saw from the car during the design phase have been correlated at the track and that’s already a good starting point.”
Next stop Melbourne
Circuit: Sakhir circuit – 5.412 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F14 T
Weather: air temperature 21/26°C, track temperature 26/36 °C. Sunny.
Laps/Kms completed: 74/400
Best time: 1:34.280
Fernando Alonso was at the wheel of the F14 T for the final day of winter testing for Scuderia Ferrari and the other ten Formula 1 teams, prior to the start of the 2014 World Championship.
In the morning, the team worked with Fernando on fine tuning some electronic configurations linked to optimising the use of energy in the new power unit. Before the lunch break, work was halted by the need to change the gearbox on the car.
In the afternoon, the technical programme moved on to a series of short and long runs to check the management of systems on the F14 T.
Over the past four days in Sakhir, the F14 T has completed a total of 337 laps, equivalent to 1.823 kilometres.
“The team did its utmost to carry out changes on the car as quickly as possible, but again today, we had planned to do more laps than we managed” – Fernando told www.ferrari.com – “There are a lot of things to learn with the use of the power unit to improve the performance of the car and we are not yet where we want to be. Everyone in the team is very competitive and we are working day and night in order to get all the potential out of the F14 T as soon as possible. We have gone through twelve days of testing that were very demanding for everyone and I would like to thank the whole team for all its efforts.”
The next time the cars will be on track will be on Friday 14 March in Melbourne’s Albert Park, when the curtain goes up on the first free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.
Final rehearsal for Kimi
Circuit: Sakhir circuit – 5.412 km
Driver: Kimi Raikkonen
Car: Ferrari F14 T
Weather: air temperature 24/29°C, track temperature 27/37 °C. Sunny.
Laps/Kms completed: 87/470
Best time: 1:35.426
The sun was still shining on Scuderia Ferrari as it tackled the penultimate day of testing at the Sakhir Circuit. It marked Kimi Raikkonen’s final test appearance prior to the Finn getting back behind the wheel of the F14 T at the Australian GP in twelve days’ time.
In the morning, after a series of laps, the team had to deal with a problem relating to a connector, which meant the mechanics had to partially dismantle the car to get it fully sorted out.
In the afternoon, Kimi did some short runs as well as a race simulation, including some live practice pit stops.
“I’d hoped to do more laps, but this wasn’t an easy day,” said Kimi to www.ferrari.com. “We lost some time this morning when we had to fix something on the car, but then we managed to make up for some of it in the afternoon. Running a race distance, we continued to get more data relating to fuel consumption strategies and tyre degradation, even though the strong wind upset the driving a lot. I’d like to be able to say we did better, but there’s still one more day with Fernando to continue our preparation for Melbourne.”
Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, when Fernando Alonso will be on track for the final day of the test.
Kimi ready for a race simulation
Sakhir, 1 March – It’s been a busy morning in the Scuderia Ferrari garage on the penultimate day of testing at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. The mechanics have finished fitting the latest updates to the F14 T, but the team also had to tackle an annoying problem with a connector which involved some dismantling before the car was ready.
This afternoon, Kimi Raikkonen is scheduled to tackle a race simulation, hopefully without any unplanned visits to the garage. Team Principal Stefano Domenicali is here in Bahrain for the final two days of testing prior to the Australian GP and he’ll be keeping a keen eye on proceedings as the Finn goes for a 60 lap run to submit all the components to a stiff test. For Kimi it will be a chance to adapt his driving style to the demands imposed by the new regulations, when race management and strategy will be even more important than ever.
Alonso: “Non-stop learning”
Sakhir, 28 February – This was the third last day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari ahead of the start of the season. After the morning’s work, focused on aerodynamics, set-up and tyres, the afternoon programme for the F14 T included a race distance. In the cockpit for his first 310km ‘in one go’ was Fernando Alonso, who told journalists about this fundamental moment of the test: “The race simulation went rather well, even if not perfectly: we had a few small problems but we managed to complete the 55-60 laps that we had set ourselves as a race distance without ever coming back to the garage. I’m happy with the large number of laps that we got through today, also taking into account the 45 laps in the morning. Today we worked on set-up as well as aerodynamics and we continued to learn important things about the F14 T.”
Fernando looked back on the work that has been completed so far: “It’s important to have been able to get through so many laps this winter; we have important data both on the level of potential performance and on the set-up and how the new components are working. Still the work is not yet finished: for the team there are still two days left, one of them for me, which will be crucial to arrive in Melbourne in the best shape. The important thing is that these two days should be free of problems because we have to be able to maximise the hours that are still available. One thing’s for sure: Ferrari has really done a great job and I’m sure that we will be competitive. I can’t say if we will be at the front or behind someone else but we will definitely be up there at the top among the best.”
Regarding the race simulation, Alonso had clear feelings: “I’d say that there are not huge differences in how you manage a race distance: without going into too much detail I can say that many things have stayed the same. Last year we had to manage tyres from the first lap and this year it’s the same, with the extra point that the car seems slower thanks to the increased weight and the reduction of the available aerodynamic downforce. You also have to manage fuel consumption and the batteries. There are therefore few big changes even if the time to complete the race distance will inevitably go up. The biggest differences this year will probably be seen between the race and qualifying because you will really be able to push hard on Saturdays.”
Then there were his thoughts about the new powertrain, which was sent to the FIA for homologation yesterday: “When it comes to drivability, the new engine requires a few changes in driving style, both in the corners and on the straights. The main difference is in the distribution of the power, which is more immediate and less progressive. We must learn to understand the car’s behaviour given that, and it will be necessary to almost anticipate it with our reactions, because you get an intuition about how it will behave at certain points: overall it’s a bit harder to drive in a clean and precise way. On the straights too the sensations are different. Last year we had a KERS that gave us 80bhp more, this year we have 160bhp extra and you really can feel the push.”
More than 600km for Alonso
Circuit: Sakhir Circuit – 5.412 km
Driver: Fernando Alonso
Car: Ferrari F14 T
Weather: air temperature 23/29°C, track temperature 27/38 °C. Sunny.
Laps/Km completed: 122/660
Best time: 1:35.634
For Fernando Alonso, at the wheel of the F14 T, this was his penultimate day of testing with Scuderia Ferrari prior to the start of the 2014 World Championship.
In the morning, Fernando continued with development work on the F14 T, trying various changes to the car’s set-up and running a comparison of some aerodynamic parts.
In the afternoon, Fernando completed a race simulation with live pit-stops.
“Six hundred kilometres are always welcome, but it’s still too early to say we are a hundred percent ready for Melbourne” – said Fernando to www.ferrari.com – “We still have a lot to learn, but I am happy with the way the day went. In the morning, we did some set-up work which taught us what was the best direction to go in, while in the afternoon, we managed to complete a race simulation and every lap we did can be added to the learning phase, which is the normal situation to be in during winter testing. On the performance front, it’s still difficult to have a clear idea of what our rivals are up to and I think we will only find that out in Australia.”
Testing at this circuit continues tomorrow, when Kimi Raikkonen will drive for the final time before tackling the Australian Grand Prix at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit.
Set-up and tyre work for Alonso
Sakhir, 28 February – Second day of the third and final pre-season test for Scuderia Ferrari and the ten other Formula 1 teams, taking place at Sakhir in Bahrain. Fernando Alonso got behind the wheel of the F14 T this morning to start working on car set-up, as well as running a tyre evaluation programme. The Spaniard used the Medium and Soft compounds, acquiring valuable data for the team, while also familiarising himself with the 2014 Pirelli rubber.
The best time over his 45 laps this morning was a 1.35.634, a few thousands off the quickest set by Sergio Perez in the Force India.
In the afternoon, the Scuderia will continue testing components on the F14 T and, depending how that work progresses, the second part of the afternoon could be used for long run tests.
Times as at 13h00
||Team – Driver
||Force India – Sergio Perez
||Ferrari – Fernando Alonso
||McLaren – Jenson Button
||Marussia – Jules Bianchi
||Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton
||Williams – Felipe Massa
||Toro Rosso – Jean-Eric Vergne
||Sauber – Esteban Gutierrez
||Red Bull – Daniel Ricciardo
||Lotus – Pastor Maldonado
||Caterham – Marcus Ericsson
Kimi: “All I’m missing is a race simulation”
Sakhir, 27 February –For Kimi, this was the penultimate day of testing before the start of the season as he got back behind the wheel of the F14 T. His last day comes on Saturday. This morning’s the Finn’s progress was delayed by a problem, but the afternoon went well. “Before I leave Sakhir, it’s planned that I should do a race distance and that’s the only thing I’m missing. Today we chose to concentrate on some of the many things we still have to work on and we won’t assess the winter testing until the final day, when we will put together all the data we have gathered. What I can say is that I have been through worse winters than this.”
Raikkonen seemed very relaxed about the topic of fuel consumption and how it could influence the races, when asked about it by journalists. “It’s been years now that we haven’t been able to drive flat out from start to finish,” he replied. “First you had to look after the engines, then it was the tyres. You are never pushing 100% on every lap because there is always something you have to keep an eye on. We will also get used to the 2014 situation, but we have to start racing before worrying about it.”
As for what he thought the others were up to, Kimi gave his characteristically succinct response. “We have been on different programmes and I don’t think you can judge a car’s potential from how many laps it does in testing. We have a lot of things to test and we want to make the most of these days to check everythting, because the race weekend doesn’t last long and the hours on Friday fly by, while on the other days you are only looking for performance.”
Tomorrow, the second day of this final test, Fernando Alonso will be in the F14 T.
Few laps, but good ones
Circuit: Sakhir circuit – 5.412 km
Driver: Kimi Raikkonen
Car: Ferrari F14 T
Weather: air temperature 24/28°C, track temperature 30/39 °C. Sunny.
Laps/Kms completed: 54/292
Best time: 1:36.432
First day of testing for Scuderia Ferrari, working from today until Sunday at the Sakhir Circuit in Bahrain, at the final pre-season test.
Kimi Raikkonen was back at the wheel of the F14 T, as the team resumed its work programme aimed at preparation for the first race of the season.
This morning’s work soon got delayed, because of a problem on the car that took some time to fix before the lunch break. Once back on track in the afternoon, Kimi managed to run regularly, alternating between aero measurements and a series of set-up tests over short runs.
“We had a small problem today, which limited the number of laps but still managed to learn some new things about the car” – said Kimi to www.ferrari.com – “You always want to do better, but every team has unexpected things happen and we are still trying to do all we can to be ready for Melbourne. During the race weekends there will be little time to try different things in terms of setup, so it was important today to keep on this track to find out what’s the best direction to go in.
On the final day of the test, we will put everything together that we have learned so far and will concentrate on the conditions we will encounter in the races.”
Testing continues at this circuit tomorrow, when Fernando Alonso will be on track.
Piero Ferrari visits testing
Sakhir, 27 February–First day of the final test session for the Formula 1 teams at Sakhir, Bahrain. Kimi Raikkonen’s performance this morning at the wheel of the F14 T was witnessed by Piero Ferrari, the son of the Founder and current Vice President of the company, who decided to add his support to the team at this key moment of the year. “I have come to encourage the whole group, but also I was curious to find out what these cars sound like,” he told www.ferrari.com. “I still remember the noise the engines made in the Eighties and the current power units don’t seem so different to those. However, these cars are the interpretation of a technological challenge that can be summed up as being momentous and right for this age. Ferrari has accepted this challenge, also looking to the future and the possible transfer of this technology to its road cars. I think it really is a step forward that can prove to be very satisfactory.”
Ferrari then went on to say: “When I talk about new technologies, I don’t really mean the turbo so much, which for us is already part of the present as can be seen on the new California T, which we will launch at the Geneva Motor Show, fitted with a new generation turbocompressor, but rather I’m thinking of the hybrid aspect of the car, with the ability to recover energy from braking and from the exhaust gases linked to the turbo. This technology can lead to cars having amazingly low consumption levels and ever higher performance. In this sense, I believe Formula 1 can open the door to these new systems.”
As for the coming Formula 1 season, he added, “It’s hard to make predictions. For sure I can say that it will be complicated because there are many more variables. Up to last year, one only really had to take into account aerodynamics and tyres, while this year the power unit will have a much bigger role to play in deciding the outcome, not just in terms of outright power, but also when it comes to making strategic decisions. With just 100 kilos of fuel on board, one of the keys to the season will be consumption. It will be impossible to complete a GP pushing from start to finish. One will have to pay close attention and be able to react when it come to race tactics. That’s another reason why we opted for two experienced drivers.”
Last test in Bahrain: Kimi to start
Sakhir, 26 February –The final test prior to the start of the season for Scuderia Ferrari and the other ten Formula 1 teams gets underway tomorrow. Once again, it takes place in Bahrain, an ideal location because of its temperate climate, similar to that which the drivers and teams can expect to encounter at many of the opening rounds of the 2014 season. Tomorrow and Saturday, Kimi Raikkonen will be on driving duty for Ferrari, with Fernando Alonso at the wheel on Friday and Sunday. Testing runs from 9 in the morning to 5.30 pm, with a 30 minute lunch break at 1 o’clock.
The Scuderia’s work schedule is already mapped out. These four days will see a continuation of the work of shaking down and fine tuning all the components on the car, with particular attention focusing on the new power unit, which will be signed off on Friday in accordance with the FIA”s homologation process.
In the mornings, the team will also work on doing runs to check all the new systems, as well as continuing to look at set-up. The afternoon will see some long run tests, while monitoring all the elements of the F14 T, as well as evaluating the how the car works with the Pirelli tyres.