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WINTER TEST 2 – BARCELONA

The second winter testing at Barcelona has been done. The picture has gotten clearer although that would be an understatement. As with all F1 testing, different teams have different programs, run different fuel loads at different times with different tires, use different setups, etc. But does that put us F1 fans off trying to understand the order and trying to forecast who is strong and who has the fastest car? Of course not! It just makes us speculate more, forecast, argue and strengthen our opinions of our own favorite drivers and teams.I’m just like any other F1 fan out there, I’d like to know that my chosen driver and team has got it right. Has got the strongest package, are doing the right things, have the opportunity to test all their theories correctly on the track and dominate long and short runs, low and high fuel loads, hot or cold temperatures, maintain an even pace when the tires drop off. But, we have to be realistic. And base it on facts.And the fact is, Barcelona was cold, very cold which does not represent most track conditions throughout the season. And on the last day it rained with some hail even. Temperatures were reported at around 6c even. Of course the teams got some good data on wet and cold conditions but a lot of points are going to be fought over in hot track conditions. So hopefully, this week at the third test at the same track, we’ll have some nice dry and sunny weather.Well, at least I know Lewis Hamilton is still good in wet and cold conditions as he set the fastest time on the last day (which was wet and cold). See what I mean by us fans wanting or just seeing what we want to?So, since we are going to look at the tests from a more informed angle, where do we start and what do we look at? Well, for me there are a few areas we should look at but the most important are:1. Short runs with tires used2. Long runs with tires used and the consistencyShort RunsShort runs tends to tell you how fast the car is on low fuel, which would indicate a qualifying lap. This also tells you which lap the car is able to set the qualifying lap i.e. 1st, 2nd or 3rd and so on. How long the car…

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Posted by admin Posted in: News Comments Off February 2013

Paddy Lowe will join Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes from 2014

By Simon Cass PUBLISHED: 11:21 EST, 25 February 2013 | UPDATED: 13:39 EST, 25 February 2013 Lewis Hamilton will link up with Paddy Lowe at Mercedes next season after McLaren confirmed the departure of their technical director less than three weeks before the Formula One curtain raiser in Australia.The switch has raised doubts over the future of Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn after he admitted that Lowe would only join should he decide to stand down.Speculation Lowe would follow in Hamilton’s footsteps intensified last month after he stayed away from the launch of McLaren’s 2013 challenger. Departing: Paddy Lowe (left) has been put on ‘gardening leave’ by McLaren In a statement announcing that director of engineering Tim Goss is to replace Lowe as technical director with immediate effect, McLaren team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, confirmed: ‘Paddy [Lowe] will be performing a different role within McLaren until the end of the year. ‘He’s been a good and successful F1 Technical Director, and we wish him well when he embarks on a fresh challenge in 2014.’ Lowe’s ‘different role’ has been interpreted in most quarters as amounting to nothing more than gardening leave while the timing of the announcement is far from ideal given its proximity to the start of a new season. Promotion: Tim Goss (second left) will be McLaren’s technical director It remains to be seen what role Lowe will perform at Mercedes. If, as expected, he is to run the team alongside new Mercedes director of motorsport Toto Wolff there would seem little room for manoeuvre for Brawn within a management structure which already includes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda and CEO Nick Fry. Speaking last month Brawn conceded: ‘I want to see how things go before I make a final long-term commitment. If I choose to leave the team then Paddy will come. We’ve got a plan. We have a fall-back plan. It’s as simple as that.’ Off target: Jenson Button admits McLaren have endured a ‘tricky winter’ and are off the pace Hamilton will doubtless be pleased by the news he is to be reunited with Lowe with whom he enjoyed six largely successful seasons at in formula One at McLaren. But Hamilton has also revealed the opportunity to work with a man of Brawn’s experience and expertise was instrumental in his decision to move to Mercedes, describing the 58-year-old as the team’s ‘figurehead’. Reunion: Lowe will join…

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Posted by admin Posted in: News Comments Off February 2013

F1: Lewis Hamilton plays down title chances

Lewis Hamilton has played down his Mercedes team’s chances of challenging for the Formula One title after rivals Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso talked them up.[Related: Alonso fastest in Barcelona testing]Speaking to reporters on the wet and cold final day of the second preseason test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, the 2008 world champion dampened any excessive optimism about his prospects.”I think that people are talking us up at the moment,” said the Briton, who was top of the timesheets on a day of frequent interruptions and red flags when times were largely meaningless due to the conditions.Jenson Button, his McLaren teammate last season, was second quickest.Hamilton disagreed with the assessments of Red Bull’s triple world champion Vettel and Ferrari’s Alonso, who had spoken of him and Mercedes as title contenders.”I really don’t see that happening at the moment,” Hamilton added while pointing out that Mercedes, who won one race last season with Germany’s Nico Rosberg, were more than a second and sometimes two off the pace in 2012.”We haven’t caught two seconds up and the other teams would have put another second on over the winter, so we’ve not gained three seconds. That’s just a fact,” he said.”Hopefully by the end of the year, we’ll have gained three seconds – that’s our goal. But definitely not at the beginning.”Hamilton won four races last year with McLaren but has said before that it will be tough to triumph this season and his sights are more on 2014 when the engine rules change.He said on Friday that he did not want to have any race wins “gifted” to the team because others had tripped up. “We want to do it through hard work,” he declared.Despite the subdued comments, Mercedes have been doing plenty of laps in Barcelona and Rosberg was the fastest driver on the timesheets on Tuesday. Hamilton did a hefty 121 laps on Wednesday alone.Over the eight days of testing so far, eight different drivers from four teams – McLaren, Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus – have set the fastest times. The final four-day test is in Barcelona next week.Champions Red Bull, chasing their fourth successive drivers’ and constructors’ titles with Vettel, have yet to set a fastest lap in any session but still look the team to beat even if all could be closer than ever.The season starts in Australia on March 17. Last year kicked off with seven…

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Lewis Hamilton sets pace on last day of testing

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Despite setting the pace under cold and wet conditions on Friday, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton downplayed his chances of successfully competing for the Formula One title in his first season with the German team. Hamilton, who left McLaren for Mercedes this season, used a brief dry spell in the morning to record a time of 1 minute, 23.282 seconds on the fourth and final day of preseason testing at the Catalunya Circuit. ”I think people are talking us up at the moment,” said Hamilton. ”(Sebastian) Vettel, and maybe Fernando (Alonso), were saying I’m maybe going to be competing for the world championship, but I really don’t see that happening at the moment. ”Of course that’s our goal, but you have to remember the car was over a second off (the pace), sometimes two seconds off, last year and we’ve not caught up a second. Hopefully by the end of the year. That’s our goal, but definitely not at the beginning.” Practice was interrupted by eight red-flag stoppages due to the slippery conditions, which gave several drivers problems staying on the track. While the rain and delays from spin-offs didn’t allow teams to get in many laps or long runs, it did offer the opportunity to try out Pirelli’s new wet and intermediate tires. Hamilton’s former teammate Jenson Button steered his McLaren to the session’s second-best lap, while Jean-Eric Vergne of Toro Rosso was next. Hamilton had gotten off to a rough start with his new team in testing at the Jerez track earlier this month when a brake failure sent him straight into the barrier. Now it appears that both he and Nico Rosberg are adjusting well to the car. Rosberg clocked the fastest lap time during Tuesday’s session. ”Nico and Lewis are becoming more familiar with the car and its behavior as each day progresses, and Lewis is settling into the team very well,” Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said. ”We now have just four days of testing left until the first race in Australia, and a lot of work will be done before we return to Barcelona next week.” Preseason testing returns to northeastern Spain from Feb. 28-March 3 before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 17. Jules Bianchi, who is competing with Adrian Sutil to be named a Force India pilot along with Paul di Resta, helped his cause by putting in…

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Lewis Hamilton rules out F1 world title bid

By Phil Duncan PUBLISHED: 15:49, 22 February 2013 | UPDATED: 22:05, 22 February 2013 Lewis Hamilton might have predicted his Mercedes will be off the pace when the Formula 1 world championship begins next month but the British driver is in pole position when it comes to body art.The 28-year-old had a tattoo inked on to his arm in the Mercedes motor home following another day of testing in Barcelona.But the former McLaren racer doesn’t expect to be challenging for honours come the end of the season. Getting to work: Lewis Hamilton has his new tattoo inked on to his arm in the Mercedes motor home Blow: Lewis Hamilton doesn’t believe his Mercedes is quick enough to challenge for a world title in 2013 Speaking at the conclusion of the second pre-season test in Barcelona, Hamilton said: ‘We’re not looking at wins at the moment. We’re hoping to get into the points and fight for top 10. ‘People are talking us up at the moment – Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso saying we’re going to be competing for the world championship. Well, I really don’t see that happening at the moment. ‘Of course that’s our goal. But you’ve got to remember the car was more than a second off, sometimes two seconds off, last year and we’ve not caught two seconds up, and the new teams will have put another second on this year and we’ve not caught up three seconds. That’s just a fact. ‘Hopefully by the end of the year we will have gained three seconds but definitely not at the beginning.’ Off track: Hamilton is concerned this year’s Mercedes could start the season well off the pace Mercedes started last season strongly after Nico Rosberg secured the team’s only race victory in their current guise at the Chinese Grand Prix. But the Brackley-based constructor finished the season in a lowly fifth scoring points on just one occasion in the last five races. And when pushed on whether this year’s Mercedes was an improvement on the McLaren he drove last term, Hamilton said: ‘No. The downforce factor is what everyone’s pushing on. Centre of attention: Hamilton has signed a three-year deal with Mercedes ‘The team has won a race so they have clearly not such a bad foundation in terms of the mechanical side of the car but it’s downforce where we need to improve.’ He added:…

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Lewis Hamilton walks dog speaks on Pirelli tyre wear effect on Formula 1 Grand Prix with Sergio Perez

By Ian Parkes, Press Association PUBLISHED: 08:55 EST, 21 February 2013 | UPDATED: 13:09 EST, 21 February 2013 After 121 difficult laps in his Mercedes yesterday at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya, Lewis Hamilton took time out today to walk his dog ahead of day three of the winter pre-season Formula One test.Looking relaxed in a team jacket and large pair of shades, Hamilton carried a football under his arm as he walked Roscoe.Hamilton also admitted looking after the latest range of Pirelli tyres ‘isn’t easy.’ Walkies: Hamilton takes time out from gruelling pre-season to walk Roscoe Concern: Hamilton, pictured today, admitted looking after the new Pirelli tyres isn’t easy McLaren driver Sergio Perez backed up Hamilton’s claim, voicing his concerns the new tyres could turn this year’s Grand Prix into pit stop free-for-alls.Perez finished the second day of the second pre-season Formula One test yesterday at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya at the top of the timesheet in his McLaren.Perez’s time was two-tenths of a second faster than the best from the eight days of testing at the track last pre-season as Pirelli appears to have delivered on its vow to make this year’s rubber quicker.As a further part of the revolution, Pirelli also believes each driver will face at least two pit stops per race this year. Free-for-all: Perez, in his McLaren car yesterday, is concerned about tyre wear this year Perez, however, fears Pirelli may have gone too far as he said: ‘It’s extreme. The degradation is very difficult. It’s a big surprise.’Normally in winter testing we see a lot of degradation, but never this much.’We are going to have a race here (Spanish Grand Prix in May) so it’s a bit of a worry.’But we are still learning about the tyres and I think once we go racing I hope things will change.’I hope it changes, because if we are in this situation in Melbourne (venue for the season-opening race on March 17) we are going to see something like seven or 10 stops.’ Force: Paul Di Resta of Force India says understanding the tyres is a priority Force India’s Paul Di Resta, though, believes he and his team are beginning to develop a strong understanding of the new Pirellis.’Understanding the tyres is always a priority and we’re getting a feel for the degradation rates, which have been quite high,” said Di Resta.’However, we have to remember…

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Lewis Hamilton confident Mercedes ‘going right direction’

Moving forward: Lewis Hamilton has laid to rest the demons from his first outing when he suffered a rear brake failure that pitched him into a tyre barrier at Jerez a fortnight ago Photo: REUTERS Hamilton completed another productive day behind the wheel of the W04 for his new team on the second day of Formula One’s second pre-season test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya. The 28-year-old comfortably topped the day’s lap charts with 121, with his best of 1min 22.726sec good enough for fourth fastest on a timesheet headed by his replacement at McLaren in Sergio Perez. Overall, in his last two days in the car, Hamilton has now clocked up 1,205 kilometres (748 miles), laying to rest the demons from his first outing when he suffered a rear brake failure that pitched him into a tyre barrier at Jerez a fortnight ago. Impressively, Hamilton’s time was set on the hard Pirelli compound, in contrast to Perez’s time of 1:21.848 on the softs. In between the duo were triple world champion Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull, 0.349sec behind Perez, and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen who was a further half a second down on the German, both on mediums. Overall, Hamilton is confident he and the team “are going in the right direction”. He added: “It’s so encouraging to see the amount of work that’s going in, to see the atmosphere there [at the factory] and how determined everyone is. “I’ve a great group of guys behind me. I’m sure they’ve been working hard over the years. “But I’ve only just arrived and immediately I see just a fantastic determination and effort going in. I hope it all pays off.” Whilst Pirelli are proving themselves to be as good as their word this year as they promised compounds would be half a second per lap quicker than those from last year, the high degradation is proving a concern for all drivers. Hamilton claims looking after the tyres “isn’t easy”, whilst Perez feels the wear is “a big surprise”, adding that “normally in testing we see a lot of degradation, but never this much”. This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers….

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Lewis Hamilton is ready to inspire Mercedes to Formula One glory

By Ian Parkes PUBLISHED: 14:09 EST, 20 February 2013 | UPDATED: 14:12 EST, 20 February 2013 Lewis Hamilton is hoping to reward Mercedes for all the hard work he can see going on behind the scenes in a bid to turn the team into winners.Hamilton completed another productive day behind the wheel of the W04 for his new team on the second day of Formula One’s second pre-season test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya.The 28-year-old comfortably topped the day’s lap charts with 121, with his best of one minute 22.726 seconds good enough for fourth fastest on a timesheet headed by his replacement at McLaren in Sergio Perez. Determined: Lewis Hamilton wants to inspire Mercedes to Formula One success Overall, in his last two days in the car, Hamilton has now clocked up 1205 kilometres (748 miles), laying to rest the demons from his first outing when he suffered a rear brake failure that pitched him into a tyre barrier at Jerez a fortnight ago.Impressively, Hamilton’s time was set on the hard Pirelli compound, in contrast to Perez’s time of 1:21.848s on the softs.In between the duo were triple world champion Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull, 0.349s behind Perez, and Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen who was a further half-a-second down on the German, both on mediums. Overall, Hamilton is confident he and the team ‘are going in the right direction’.He added: ‘It’s so encouraging to see the amount of work that’s going in, to see the atmosphere there [at the factory] and how determined everyone is. Test session: Hamilton practicing at the Montmelo racetrack near Barcelona, Spain ‘I’ve a great group of guys behind me. I’m sure they’ve been working hard over the years.’But I’ve only just arrived and immediately I see just a fantastic determination and effort going in. I hope it all pays off.’While Pirelli are proving themselves to be as good as their word this year as they promised compounds would be half a second per lap quicker than those from last year, the high degradation is proving a concern for all drivers.Hamilton claims looking after the tyres ‘isn’t easy’, whilst Perez feels the wear is ‘a big surprise’, adding that ‘normally in testing we see a lot of degradation, but never this much.’ Popular: Hamilton’s driving style has made him one of F1′s big attractions Tyres have been the least of Raikkonen’s worries, however, as…

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Top Gear F1 star Lewis Hamilton beats Vettel’s fastest lap time

Lewis Hamilton in Jerez, Spain [Picture: Daimler / Mercedes AMG Pertronas] By Alan Davies, Formula One correspondent Sunday, February 17, 201310:02 PM FORMULA One driver Lewis Hamilton has clocked his first fastest lap of the season after beating Sebastian Vettel’s quickest time in BBC Two’s Top Gear. To send a link to this page to a friend, you must be logged in. Lewis Hamilton in Jerez, Spain [Picture: Daimler / Mercedes AMG Pertronas] The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 star from Hertfordshire smashed Vettel’s best time for the celebrity in a Reasonably Priced Car challenge in tonight’s (Sunday’s) episode of the hit motoring show. Hamilton set a blistering record hot lap of 1m 42.9s. The Stevenage-born racing driver clocked a time of 1m 44.7s in wet conditions when he first raced around the Top Gear test track in 2007. However, the 28-year-old former world champion eclipsed Vettel’s fastest circuit of 1m 44.0s in tonight’s show to storm to the top of the Top Gear F1 leaderboard. Hamilton’s new Mercedes AMG F1 team tweeted: “Well done @LewisHamilton for that amazing 1.42.9!! Top of the @BBC_TopGear F1 driver’s timesheet! #TopGear” BBC Radio 5 Live Formula One pit lane reporter Jennie Gow congratulated Hamilton via Twitter for his flying lap. She tweeted: “Ridiculous time!!!!! Well done @LewisHamilton – great #TopGear tonight.” This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Eyes Like Blank Discs – The Guardian’s Steven Poole On George Orwell’s Politics And The English Language.

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Lewis Hamilton beats Sebastian Vettel in Top Gear’s ‘star in a reasonably priced car challenge’

By Sunni Upal PUBLISHED: 21:09, 17 February 2013 | UPDATED: 21:09, 17 February 2013 Lewis Hamilton finally got the better of three-time world champion Sebastian Vettel as he blitzed around the Top Gear track in 1:42.9, over a second faster than the German.The 2008 world champion made his second appearance on Top Gear having set a 1:44.7 in the wet six years ago.This time, though, Hamilton had a dry run and he eased to the top of the Top Gear timesheet.He said: ‘I’m really surprised. I was going to be disappointed in myself if I didn’t do a competitive time.’ All smiles: Lewis Hamilton returned to BBC’s Top Gear and topped the timesheets in the Suzuki Liana Defeated: Host Jeremy Clarkson said The Stig is the only man unhappy with the result Hamilton may have beaten Vettel in the ‘reasonably priced’ Suzuki Liana but he will have a tough time trying to repeat his victory when he lines up alongside the Red Bull man in his Mercedes this season. Jeremy Clarkson asked if moving from McLaren to Mercedes was like moving from Manchester United to West Ham and Hamilton responded: ‘It is a big change but I am really excited about it. Everyone has criticised it but I have been at McLaren since I was 13. I wanted a change and I’m a risk taker.’Even so, Hamilton played down his chances of challenging the leading teams from the beginning of the season in Australia on March 17. In good company: Hamilton was interviewed by Clarkson during Sunday’s Top Gear episode VIDEO: Watch Hamilton’s competition as Sebastian Vettel performs his lap[embedded content] This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service — if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers. Five Filters recommends: Eyes Like Blank Discs – The Guardian’s Steven Poole On George Orwell’s Politics And The English Language.

Posted by admin Posted in: News Comments Off February 2013

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