Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Circuito de Jerez, 2015

Nasr quickest on day three despite early spin

2015 F1 testing

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Felipe Nasr, Sauber, Circuito de Jerez, 2015Sauber’s Felipe Nasr topped the time sheets on the third day of the opening test at Jerez – but only after suffering a spin at Turn Nine earlier in the day.

For the third consecutive day, the two Ferrari-powered cars clocked the quickest times, but with Sauber beating out Ferrari to the top spot.

A slightly damp track greeted the drivers as the lights went green at the end of the pitlane to begin the third day of the opening pre-season test of 2015.

Felipe Massa soon made his first appearance of the test in the FW37, while Kimi Raikkonen turned his first laps in the Ferrari SF15-T with a sizable aero rake adjourning the left side of the car.

After a difficult start to the test over the first few days, McLaren were also quickly up and running with Fernando Alonso immediately taking to the track in the Honda-powered MP4-30.

Unlike the previous two days, the team were able to complete multiple lap runs in the car and in just over an hour, the McLaren driver had achieved more laps than the team had managed in the first two days combined.

Following a productive first day in the Sauber yesterday, Felipe Nasr’s second day in the car did not all go according to plan as the rookie spun the C34 in Turn Nine, beaching the car in the gravel and bringing about the first red flag of the day. The car was recovered back to the pits.

Despite the track being virtually dry when the session restarted, teams opted to remain on Pirelli’s new Intermediate tyres.

Raikkonen began to trade fastest laps with Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes, which was quickly logging far more laps than the opposition once more.

After being hampered by a telemetry problem early, Lotus became the final team of the day to take to the track with Pastor Maldonado getting hastily up to speed in the E23.

By this time, the teams had fully switched over to dry compounds. Nico Rosberg put in a long, consistent stint on the Hard tyres, before pitting for Mediums.

But Rosberg’s stint on the softer rubber was cut short when the W06 slowed to a stop just before the chicane, resulting in the second red flag stoppage of the day.

When the session was restarted, Felipe Nasr became the surprise name on top of the timing screens when the Sauber driver posted a 1’24.052 on Medium tyres.

Despite having ground to a halt just after midday, Nico Rosberg was soon back out on track and immediately set the quickest time of the day with a 1’22.835.

After enjoying their most productive morning by far, McLaren announced that a cooling issue would sideline them for the rest of the day. Alonso completed 31 laps over the course of the morning.

Another team that was also experiencing difficulties was Red Bull. Daniel Ricciardo managed some early running, but an engine trouble left the Australian stuck in the pits for most of the day before the team were able to get him back out in the afternoon.

Back on track, Raikkonen and Nasr began to trade fastest laps between the two Ferrari-powered cars. Raikkonen briefly took the top spot from the Sauber, before Nasr responded with a 1’21.545 on Soft tyres to retake fastest lap honours.

There was a flurry of activity in the final hour, but few improvements made to times. Pastor Maldonado stopped on track in the Lotus between Turns Five and Six, ending proceedings a minute early with a red flag.

2015 F1 testing day three result

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
2Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari C341’21.545109
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari SF15-T1’21.750940.205
4Nico RosbergMercedes W051’21.9821510.437
5Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes FW371’22.276710.731
6Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes E231’22.713961.168
7Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault STR101’23.1871371.642
8Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault RB111’23.901492.356
9Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda MP4-301’35.5533214.008

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Keith Collantine
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58 comments on “Nasr quickest on day three despite early spin”

  1. Isn’t Mercedes W06?
    There’s also an instance of Sauber C33 in the article.
    Old habits dying hard :)

  2. Highlight of the day – Niki Lauda! :D

    Shame that McLaren were not able to do some quicker lap times on the dry track.

    1. That team is fast becoming a laughing stock, if it already wasn’t. The may struggle to be competitive this year. We saw it with Williams, the gradual decline, until 1 day you look back and think ‘blimey, has it been that long’? They needed to hit the ground running with Honda but wouldn’t you know it, they seem to have managed to cock it up as usual. Missed an open goal.

      1. I really do not know why after two days of trying to integrate a very complicated power unit, software and physical car for the first time ever people are predicting the decline of Mclaren and the failure of Honda!

        All the teams bar Mercedes last year had similar issues. In fact the Renault teams could hardly get their cars going either!

      2. They have had 2 poor years, but I’d reserve judgement until later in testing. Remember that they are the only team with this engine, which is in its first year.

        1. @matt90 2 poor years are you serious? When was the last Constructor’s title? In the mean time they have managed only a solitary WDC. In 2012 they had the fastest car but hey presto, they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of glory. And here we are in 2015 and on the evidence of what I have seen I see another season of mediocrity!

          1. In 2012 they had the fastest car

            Which makes your comparison to Williams’ gradual decline rather dissimilar to the situation at McLaren. There’s no denying that they’ve underperformed at a championship level, and that isn’t what I’m disagreeing with. 2012 was an open goal which they missed, but to call it poor is a huge exaggeration, and the same can be applied to most other seasons over the last 15 years.

          2. Although they indeed had the fastest car at certain points in the season in 2012, they didn’t necessarily have the best car. F1 cars are a balance between performance and reliability, and the 2012 car was very unreliable (that cost Lewis two likely victories in Singapore and Abu Dhabi for example).

            That said, the team itself also threw many points out the window, with all their operational errors (many pit stop errors, and a fuelling error that cost Hamilton pole and a likely victory in Spain). Plus there was just some plain bad luck, with Hamilton being taken out by Grosjean at the start in Spa, by Maldonado in Valencia while running 3rd, and taken out by Hulkenberg while leading in Brazil (each time Hamilton was cleared of wrongdoing and the other driver was given a penalty by the stewards).

            Overall, Hamilton retired 6 times despite making no real mistakes all season (the worst thing he did was probably getting a bit too close to Maldonado in Valencia). It’s a shame as it was probably one of his best seasons so far – I can think of at least 4 victories and further podium position that Hamilton and McLaren lost that year due to unreliability, operational errors or bad luck. That’s over 100 points – with those points Hamilton would have won the driver’s championship and McLaren would have won the constructor’s.

            And that’s not even the end of it: James Allen compiled a list of all the points that slipped through McLaren and Hamilton’s fingers that year http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2012/11/analysis-how-the-points-and-the-title-slipped-away-for-lewis-hamilton/.
            110 points – and that was published before the Brazilian GP so it doesn’t include the potential 25 points lost from retiring from the lead there. So in total there were up to 135 points lost that year for Hamilton (more if you include Germany and Spa).

            Looking at the results, of the 20 races, Silverstone (8th), Japan (5th) and India (4th) were the only times Hamilton finished off the podium when he didn’t encounter misfortune. Every other time he was off the podium he had suffered some sort of reliability/mechanical issue (e.g. China, Singapore, Korea, Abu Dhabi), operational/pitstop error from McLaren (Spain, Bahrain, Monaco, Valencia) or had been taken out (Valencia, Spa, Brazil, plus retiring from a puncture in Germany caused by debris from other cars crashing).
            It was all a big missed opportunity.

          3. There’s another reason why 2012 makes me squirm. Jenson had done fantastically well to keep up with Hamilton in the races during their time as teammates together (I think he surprised a lot of people), but it’s largely because of Hamilton’s terrible luck in 2012 that he ended up being 15 points behind Button in their overall head-to-head (a statistic that I hear being used all too often by pundits) – 2012 should have been Hamilton’s chance to make up for his personal meltdown in 2011 (a year that IMO didn’t reflect his best form) but bad luck cost him that chance, as despite him driving very well he only ended up ahead 190-188 in points (unlike Hamilton, Jenson only lost at maximum around 30 points to bad luck in 2012 – most of his results were just due to struggling with the car).

            Now, I am afraid that if Alonso starts outperforming Jenson at McHonda people are going to start inferring things about Hamilton’s being out-pointed by Button, particularly as plenty of people seem to be looking for excuses to criticise him now he’s in a dominant car (like how many treated Vettel). If you look past the points head-to-head, then Hamilton was ahead of Jenson 44-14 in qualifying and 24-13 in a two car finish. Plus one of those years included his worst season in F1 imo (2011). So I think that if Alonso has a considerable advantage over Button people shouldn’t be so quick to question Hamilton.

            That said, I still expect Jenson will be a much tougher teammate to Alonso than a marginalised-by-Ferrari Massa and a struggling Raikkonen: Jenson could possibly his biggest in-house challenge since Lewis in 2007. However, I still think Fernando is likely the best all-round driver in F1 so I would still expect him to be ahead.

  3. Where are those Ferrari fans to proclaim Sauber as the top favorites for the title.

    1. Sauber simply managed to finally beat on softer tyres Ferrari’s time. Softs are 1.5 secs faster than mediums. They failed to beat Vettel’s time for 2 days, but managed to beat Kimi’s; that’s all.

  4. McLaren praised Alonso for his ability to report that there was something wrong with the car very quickly after he had left the pit lane. They then discovered the water leak. Alonso really must have some extraordinary skills! It has been said many times that Alonso can extract everything out from the car…so today they ended up taking out the engine…

    1. Hahaha!
      You’re so funny!!!

    2. Nice one!

  5. 1. Both Ferrari and Sauber use Ferrari PUs and both look the strongest. Have Ferrari made a lot of gains over the winter on the PU?

    2. Why are the Mercs putting lap after lap and not concentrating on performance?

    1. A simple reason – Mercedes know they have performance… They just need more reliability.. ☺

      1. Yep. Reliability was their main problem last season and they’re focusing on getting that dialled out. Testing laptimes mean nothing, it’s all about number of laps.

        Merc are sandbagging big time right now….there’s tons of dormant pace in the W06. They just have no need to wake it up yet!

    2. 1- Felipe Nasr who drove both Mercedes and Ferrari PUs said that this year’s Ferrari is almost on par with the Mercedes he drove on Williams last year.

      2-Because this are tests. Lap times are not indicative they’re not concentrating on performance.

      1. Exactly. On day three last year, McLaren topped the time sheets. Mercedes were third. At this stage, mileage & the resulting data are more important for development than hot laps on soft tires.
        It bodes well for Ferrari that they’ve improved their PU to close to last year’s Merc, but it still is no guarantee they’ll be higher up the order since this year’s Merc is rumored to be up around 50 HP, & Renault are saying they’re close to last year’s Merc as well. I’m anxious to see where the Honda stacks up though.

        1. On day three last year, McLaren topped the time sheets. Mercedes were third.

          Both were using Mercedes PU’s, which provided clear evidence that the Mercedes power unit was the strongest.

          1. Considering where McLaren ended up, them topping the time sheets in testing wasn’t “clear evidence” of anything. Ferrari topped the time sheets on day 1 & 2 last year. How come that wasn’t “clear evidence” they had the best PU? Or do you have some insider info or divine connection that says that on the third day, all teams show forth their cards, and it was good…?

          2. Here’s some secret insider info for you, Aldoid. In motor racing, faster is better. And the teams that go fastest are denoted “best”. The teams that went fastest in Jerez last year were all Mercedes powered, hence the universally held view in Feb 2014 that Mercedes had the best power unit by some distance.

          3. Also, Aldoid, Ferrari did NOT top the time sheets on days one and two last year. As I point out elsewhere, F1 fans have atrocious memories.

      2. Felipe Nasr who drove both Mercedes and Ferrari PUs said that this year’s Ferrari is almost on par with the Mercedes he drove on Williams last year.

        What Nasr is quoted saying is “quite similar”.

      3. Also, if we’re going by driver opinions, Rosberg says the Mercedes feels really good & Hamilton says it feels pretty much the same as last year, but with more downforce. If they really managed to find another 50 HP & more downforce, the rest of the teams will have their hands full from day one.

      4. @akshat I don’t know if you missed it but they are only allowed 4 PUs this year before they start to encounter grid penalties so reliability is gonna be key. This is the best time to stress the power trains to the limit to weed out any pesky issues if you want to be a title contender. The way to do that is by going round and round and round.

    3. Ferrari were always fast when it didn’t matter. Alonso constantly top the time tables on Friday practice, then when engine power got turn up they fell by the way side.

      I’m not sure if that just show that Ferrari don’t have an engine setting as low as Mercedes / Renault for testing.

      Mark Hughes analysis of per season testing mentioned a rumor that Ferrari have cut the gap to Mercedes engine power to 30bhp (from 50bhp) although that’s probably a finger in the air estimate.

      For point number 2 I think Mercedes biggest take away from last year was to work on reliability, so they’re putting in the miles during testing.

    4. I am not sure if Sauber is using a 2015 PU, or an upgraded 2014 PU
      Anyway the PUs used by both Ferrari and Sauber currently is not really near to the PUs used in Oz.

  6. For Ferrari it is all about politics, to give the fans etc back in Italy something positive to talk about, so they take all the fuel out and turn the engine up to qually standard. Mercedes do not want to scare everyone before the season starts, they fuel up half tanks, turn the engine down a notch. The computers will tell them what they could do, if they wanted. If Mercedes went flat out now, Ferrari and all the other teams would bang on Bernie’s door demanding that Mercedes be disqualified on the grounds of being too fast.

    1. > so they take all the fuel out and turn the engine up to qually standard.

      Something to back this up?

    2. Even more so now with a new driver, the 4 times WDC and an all new management. They need to show the people they finally hit the right track.

      I don’t believe in Ferrari. Mercedes is obviously ahead, and you see Williams and Red Bull doing their work quietly.

      Australia will say everything. Tests are just tests.

  7. For those that can access the BBC. , the Honda sounds good.

    1. It may change before the season begins – Mercedes’ engine last year started out sounding deep and throaty but the sound changed throughout pre-season testing as tweaks and refinements were made. From the test commentaries I’ve read, the McLaren Honda’s engine note has already started to change over the first three days of the test as it begins to run more smoothly.

      If it does still sound like that come Melbourne though, then that will be awesome.

  8. F1 fans have terrible memories, among the worst of any sports fans I know of. They constantly “know” things which just aren’t so.

    For all the talk about how “lap times mean nothing, it’s number of laps which count” and “Ferrari always top the charts in preseason”, here are the final results after the first four days testing in Jerez last year.

    1. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m 23.276s, 162 laps
    2. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 23.700s, 133 laps
    3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m 23.952s, 121 laps
    4. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 24.165s, 83 laps
    5. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 24.812s, 78 laps
    6. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 25.344s, 42 laps
    7. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m 25.495s, 173 laps
    8. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 25.588s, 188 laps
    9. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1m 26.096s, 17 laps
    10. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 28.376s, 48 laps

    And the total laps run, by team.
    1. Mercedes, 309
    2. Ferrari, 251
    3. McLaren (Mercedes), 245
    4. Williams (Mercedes), 175
    5. Sauber (Ferrari), 163
    6. Force India (Mercedes), 146
    7. Caterham (Renault), 76
    8. Toro Rosso (Renault), 54
    9. Marussia (Ferrari), 30
    10. Red Bull (Renault), 21

    There’s a number of things to notice here. One is that the four fastest times set in Jerez last year were set by Mercedes powered cars. The quickest Ferrari time was a second-and-a-half adrift of that. Which is why after the first test last season the consensus was that the Mercedes PU was both the most powerful and the most reliable.

    Another is that, while Merc did record the most laps (and go on to a double title) Ferrari and McLaren, with the second and third most laps, had very poor seasons, while Red Bull with by far the fewest laps emerged as Merc’s strongest competitor.

    1. F1 fans have terrible memories

      Have to agree on this one. In the past two days, I’ve read everywhere that Force India missing the first test is a very bad sign, “just look at Lotus’ season last year!”

      Do you guys remember when Brawn GP missed the first test in 2009? Or when Red Bull couldn’t get their car ready for the first pre-season test in 2010? Well, it didn’t turn out too bad for them.

      1. Really BAD comparison buddy.

        Force India isn’t testing because they DON’T HAVE MONEY. THEY ARE BROKE. And may even not compete this year.

        It’s not a choice they made not to be there. They CAN’T be there.

        1. ColdFly F1 (@)
          3rd February 2015, 20:58

          no need to shout Ed!

      2. @paeschli Yeah, citing Brawn GP as an example for missing first test, is like citing Bill Gates example for dropping out of collage to advocate that education is unnecessary.

        There is vastly more depth and complexity to all those stories. Missing a test is bad, the reasons for behind that can also be bad, like lack of resource, not being on schedule for development and so on.

        Missing a test does not guarantee a lack of success, but it does indicate problems.

        And speaking of short memories, let’s not forget all the problems RedBull suffered at the beginning of 2010.

    2. If Rosberg himself said till now they are looking for reliability, why should we not believe that and believe you?

      Hamilton set his fastest lap yesterday at his FIRST attempt. Then made another 90 laps.

      Lap times mean nothing. Or almost nothing. It’s clear that Mclaren IS in a bad spot at the moment.

      1. I’m not asking you to believe me. I’m asking you to remember history correctly. The constantly repeated story about how Ferrari was topping the timesheets in Jerez last season is a fiction, plain and simple.

        As for Mercedes deliberately ignoring performance this year (but not last year) in favor of reliability, what explains Williams? They’re not racking up lots of laps – just 61 yesterday and 71 today. And they’re not going terribly fast either.

        1. Raikkonen topped the timesheets on the first day of testing last year.

          As for Williams, they are doing normal amount of laps. 61 laps is a almost the lenght of a race. 71 laps is more than that. They already had a great reliability last year anyway.

          If you want to believe that a year later all these evolved cars bar Ferrari are struggling to go faster than MAG’s time last year with that crappy Mclaren, well, good luck with that.

      2. Hamilton set his fastest lap yesterday at his FIRST attempt. Then made another 90 laps.

        And what significance do you attribute to that? You’re not actually suggesting that he set his fastest lap with 90 laps worth of fuel in the tank I hope.

        1. I’m suggesting the obvious thing that they’re not concerned about performance and this example says it best.

          1. No it doesn’t. It might as well have been qualy sim, followed by a race sim, teams often do that in testing. Especially when they have established reasonable reliability, which Mercedes have, apparently.

            I’am not suggesting they did that, but the reasons given don’t support the idea that the Mercedes lap-times are totally unrepresentative.

      3. So, Rosberg must be believed but Raikkonen or Vettel must be distrusted. Did I got it right?

        1. Maybe Sauber also build and insanely quick car with few resources and green drivers, right?

          You’re assuming what you want there.

          1. You’re assuming what you want there.

            This is what you’re doing, not me.

  9. I saw pictures (or what are seemingly pictures) of Kimi today at Jerez running the red (super soft) tyre, on both Sky Sports and BBC. Scroll down the page here to 13:41


    I didn’t know the super soft was even available to teams in this test. If Kimi was on that rubber then his time was a little disappointing.

    1. It’s probably the orange hard tyre, it’s not a great photo.

        1. That’s orange, not red IMO.

          Anyway, I’m glad Pirelli hasn’t brought the super soft/hard tyre combination on a GP yet

    2. If you had taken the time to check which compound tyre Kimi was using to record his fastest laps before typing any comment and claiming it could’ve been the super-softs, you’ll find out that on every F1 website it was confirmed he was using the MEDIUM compound, Nasr did his fastest lap times on the SOFT.

    3. He set his time on mediums. Vettel, whose time was even faster yesterday, set his time on mediums for sure.

  10. Call me crazy all you like Vet is gonna make Alo regret it this year, you may think Alo is all about WC or nothing but if Ferrari are like Red Bull in Ric hands last year and Mclaren are slow, Alo is going to be gutted. He can not catch a break, remember he had chance to join RBull before there dominance(at the time though who can blame him for waiting for Ferrari) so if history was diff Alo could be a 6xWC. Now he is struggling for 3 which is not great when he is the best on the grid and as not won since his 2 closest rivals have been in F1. If those 3 retired right now. Vet, Ham, Alo in that order.

  11. This is very good! It looks like, this car will be very good.

  12. Why does the Honda sound so much different? Is it a lack of tuning or design?

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