Site logo

Alonso quickest on first day of Silverstone test


Much like last weekend, it was the typical British summer which ruled, rain in the afternoon meaning that some teams opted not to run, others tried a few brief laps and others treated it as 'business as usual'.

Unfortunately, Pirelli, which had Pascal Wehrlein on hand in a 2014 Mercedes W05 to try its 2017 tyres didn't have any prototype wets leaving the German free to play backgammon for much of the afternoon.

The changeable weather meant McLaren, in particular, could take advantage of testing different set-ups and both dry and wet-weather tyre compounds while working through its programme.

Today's run plan focus was on correlation of aero components, and verification of recent upgrades with wind tunnel data, plus set-up configuration for the next couple of races. Some of the data collected from today's programme will be used to aid the development of next year's McLaren chassis, while the team also performed additional testing of the recent Honda power unit upgrade.

Alonso completed 105 laps without any reliability issues and topped the timesheets with a 1:31.290, good enough for sixth on the grid in qualifying.

"It was very pleasing to complete today's test programme despite the ever-changing conditions posing a challenge for Fernando, our mechanics and engineers," said Team Manager, Dave Redding. "However, the rain allowed us to test a number of different configurations, during which we collected a lot of valuable data to support set-up for the next couple of grands prix before the summer break.

"Today has been a positive day and the information gathered from Fernando's 105 laps has provided us with the necessary tools to shape tomorrow's programme with Stoffel. The data secured from this test will support both short and long-term development of our chassis and power unit, especially with regard to aero components. Today's long run has also enabled us to put useful mileage on the power unit and ratify data following its latest upgrade."

"Today's testing was focused on confirming the functionality and data of the intake system upgrade we applied on the ICE for the British Grand Prix," confirmed Satoshi Nakamura, Honda's Principal Engineer. "Thanks to Fernando's solid and consistent running, we were able to gather useful data on reliability and performance which will keep our engineers busy tonight.

"We were able to do many laps in both the dry and wet conditions, and everything ran smoothly, so we are happy with the first day of running."

Mercedes had Esteban Ocon at the wheel of the F1 W07 Hybrid. The Frenchman emerged for his first run at 09:00 this morning, completing 80 laps before the lunch break and a further 43 laps in the afternoon.

Today's program focused on wet setup work to better understand Sunday's race performance at Silverstone. The team also worked on brakes, aero data collection, engine systems and software.

Fellow Mercedes-Benz Junior driver Pascal Wehrlein was also in action today, completing 48 laps of tyre testing at the wheel of the W05.

"It felt great to drive the car," said Ocon. "It took me a few runs to get used to it, as driving a Formula One car is still new to me - especially here at Silverstone as it has a few high-speed corners. But, at the end, I was really close to the limit, so that was a really good feeling.

"We needed to make most of the early weather, as we knew it would rain in the afternoon, so we planned most of our running in the morning. The afternoon was a bit tricky but we still managed to keep going and were able to finish our programme.

"The weather in the afternoon was quite tough, as it kept changing constantly. But I think we were able to manage the situation well and it gave me the possibility to experience dry and wet weather conditions. That was a great experience, as I was able to test all the different kinds of tyres.

"To drive in DTM and Formula One is an amazing feeling. I really enjoyed driving for this great team today and it's a big chance for a young driver like me to get that experience, so I am looking forward to tomorrow with a big smile on my face."

Third quickest was Alex Lynn, the Briton completing 54 laps in the Williams.

"I think we had a really productive morning," said Lynn. "We got a lot done, collected a lot of interesting data for the team and completed many laps on the medium compound tyre. It was a shame I didn't get to try out the soft tyre because the car felt really nice in the high-speed sections on the mediums.

"It was a bit of a shame that it was such a wet afternoon as well, but it is what it is with Silverstone playing its usual part. So aside from the weather setbacks in the afternoon, it was a good day."

Our running was affected by rain this afternoon, which is a shame because it limited the work we could complete today," added Rod Nelson, the Grove outfit's Chief Test & Support Engineer. "We did some pretty reasonable testing this morning though, looking at mechanical set-ups, aerodynamic work and testing some new components on the car, and that's something we'll be looking to push forward with tomorrow when Valtteri is in the car and we expect better weather."

On track for Ferrari was Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari Driver Academy student, currently racing in GP3. The morning’s programme focused on allowing the youngster to get accustomed to the car, which for its early runs, was fitted with various measurement sensors. This task involved long periods of work in the garage. After that, it was a case of running with the Soft and Medium tyres.

In the afternoon, Leclerc continued with the work begun in the morning, focussing mainly on acquiring data with the use of additional sensors. During the afternoon, he had to make an unscheduled stop because of a power unit problem. After that, the rain affected the rest of the planned programme, though Leclerc got back out towards the end of the session.

"Driving a Ferrari is always an incredible experience," said the Frenchman. "This afternoon, the bad weather didn't help, but all the same I'd like to thank the guys for all their hard work and help. It was a really a great experience.

"I felt very confortable in the car. This morning we did some aero work, while in the afternoon, we had a problem with an old power unit, so we didn't do so much running, especially as the weather wasn't that good. All in all, I'm very happy with my day."

At Force India, Russian Nikita Mazepin was one of two drivers making his debut behind the wheel of an F1 car, though in all fairness Charles Leclerc only got his first taste on Friday.

"It's a great feeling to be driving a Formula One car and I am so grateful to Sahara Force India for this opportunity," said the Russian. "We managed to do a lot of running this morning, before the rain, and thankfully we have a second day in the car to make up for the time we lost in the afternoon.

"Jumping from a Formula Three car into a Formula One, there are hundreds of surprises, but the biggest have been the amount of downforce and the amount of speed you can carry through corners, and how great the change of direction feels.

"The team has done a really good job to help me get acclimatised to the car and I already feel pretty comfortable. It's also been good to work with the whole team and get to know all the mechanics and engineers better. I still have lots to learn, but it's been good so far and I am looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow."

"It's always exciting to be part of a driver's first day in the car," added Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough, "and today was no different. We've worked very closely with Nikita for the last six months and driving the car at this test was the logical next step in his development programme with the team.

"He has shown some very encouraging signs so far and he's improved his lap time with every run. Even though the wet conditions in the afternoon limited our mileage, we still managed to gather a lot of data from the runs we did with the aero rakes this morning. Nikita is working really well with the engineers and I am looking forward to continuing our programme tomorrow, hopefully with weather that allows for more track time."

Fresh from his eighth place finish on Sunday, Carlos Sainz was back on track today, completing 91 laps of what he describes as one of his favourite circuits on the calendar. Tomorrow Brazilian Sergio Sette Camara will take over.

"I think it was a productive test," said the Spaniard. "We did plenty of laps and completed most of the run plan, especially in the morning, as we were expecting the rain to come.

"After many long runs on the medium tyre we were able to collect plenty of data and I think that we can be happy with today, it's been very useful. It's a shame that the rain arrived, but it didn't really affect us much as we had already done a lot while it was dry."

"A good day for us in the end," added Chief Race Engineer, Phil Charles, "anticipating the wet weather that was forecast we pushed to complete as much of our program as we could in the morning. In the end the rain came a little later than we first predicted and we actually ticked off most of the wish list of test items with Carlos.

"We had some new parts on the car and also worked on some set-up direction from the race weekend. In both respects we have seen some positive results. More analysis will be done by the factory to give a more complete picture over the coming days, but I am hopeful for some improvements we can carry to the races in Hungary and Germany. In the afternoon we did three short runs in the wet conditions for some data collection. After this we called the day to a premature end having achieved most of our targets."

Check out our Tuesday gallery, here.


more news >



galleries >

  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images
  • latest F1/Formula 1 images


or Register for a Pitpass ID to have your say

Please note that all posts are reactively moderated and must adhere to the site's posting rules and etiquette.

Post your comment



1. Posted by Kkiirmki, 12/07/2016 20:56

"19 laps by Ferrari, why'd they even bother turning up? Not the best way to go about hunting down Mercedes."

Rating: Neutral (0)     Rate comment: Positive | NegativeReport this comment

Share this page


Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2023. All rights reserved.

about us  |  advertise  |  contact  |  privacy & security  |  rss  |  terms