Teams make winter test plans for mid-March 2013 opener

F1 teams are already making plans for winter testing.

Auto Motor und Sport reports that provisional plans are already being made for the teams to reveal and test their 2013 cars for the first time from February 5 next year. The date of the first test, set for Jerez, is based on the fact that – according to the Melbourne organiser – Australia is provisionally scheduled to host the 2013 season opener on March 17 “subject to FOM confirmation”. The teams are therefore already setting dates for the 12 days of pre-season winter testing, which will be divided into three four-day tests.

The German report said the teams have agreed to simply scrap a mid-season test. Auto Motor und Sport revealed that teams will after Jerez then move to Barcelona in mid-February, and then stay at the Circuit de Catalunya for a third and final test until 3 March.

“There is a contingency plan,” said McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh, “in the event that we race in Melbourne on 10 March.”

In that case, the February testing plans will be moved forward by a week. That could, however, create a problem for the opening Jerez test, because Auto Motor und Sport says the Spanish venue is already booked for other activities prior to 5 February.


Ferrari & Mercedes to test at Magny Cours in September

Ferrari and Mercedes will test at the former French grand prix venue at Magny Cours in mid September.

Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said the circuit is one of no fewer than three venues selected by F1 teams to complete their allowed days of ‘young driver’ running in 2012. The magazine said the three-venue solution is a farcical outcome, after the scheduled end-of-season Abu Dhabi test plans disintegrated due to team disharmony.

The bulk of the teams are, however, sticking with Abu Dhabi, including Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Caterham. Williams, HRT and Marussia ran at Silverstone last week.

Auto Motor und Sport said the Magny Cours session will take place in the week after the Italian grand prix. The report said midfield teams ruled out joining Ferrari and Mercedes in France because they have “neither the material nor the staff to complete a parallel programme” just days before freight sets off for Singapore.


GP2 leader Razia eyeing Red Bull test

With his career in tatters at the end of last year, the next step for Luiz Razia could be a test for reigning world champions Red Bull. Just 12th at the end of last year’s GP2 championship, when under Caterham’s wing, the Brazilian nearly quit racing altogether.

“I almost stopped,” the 23-year-old confirmed to Globo. “I was thinking about going back to college to do engineering.”

One year on and he is leading the 2012 GP2 championship and now tipped for a Red Bull test.

“Christian Horner called me, sat me down and proposed a very generous contract for this year,” Razia revealed, referring to the Arden GP2 team owner and Red Bull Racing principal. “It was an opportunity to be with a strong team and to improve as a professional within RBR. Things went well from the start.”

Razia openly admits that his next target is F1.

“It’s the goal of every driver in GP2,” he insisted, “and I have the dream to be the GP2 champion — it’s something that no Brazilian has done before. Being GP2 champion can open many doors for me,” he said.

“The goal is to win and then do the rookie tests at the end of the year with a good team.”


Marussia’s María de Villota injured during F1 high-speed test at Duxford

Marussia’s test-driver Maria de Villota is said to have ‘life threatening injuries’ following an accident during testing at Duxford Aerodrome. The 32 year old is said to have crashed into the ramp of a team-trailer at 9:15am this morning. She had just completed her installation lap in preparation for the two day test at the Cambridgeshire venue.

Chris Mann, a correspondent for BBC Cambridgeshire witnessed the crash. “The car suddenly accelerated into the big truck and there was a sort of board down, like a loading board, and the car went careering into the side of that, probably only 20 to 30 mph at that point…they called, as I understand, for an air ambulance to come in, but there is obviously the site ambulance here”. He later added, “from where I was standing it looked like the helmet took the brunt of the impact”.

In a statement the East of England Ambulance Service said, “a woman has been taken to hospital with serious injuries following an earlier road traffic collision this morning, Tuesday, July 3.”

“The East of England Ambulance Service were alerted to Duxford Imperial Museum at 9.17am. An ambulance, a duty mamager and MAGPAS attended the scene.”

A spokesman for the Ambulance Service, Gary Sanderson, said: “A woman has sustained life threatening injuries and following treatment at the scene by paramedics, she has been taken to Addenbrookes Hospital for further care.”

At 10:45am the Marussia F1 Team issued the following statement:

“At approximately 09.15hrs BST this morning, the Marussia F1 Team’s Test Driver Maria De Villota had an accident in the team’s MR-01 race car at Duxford Airfield where she was testing the car for the first time. The accident happened at the end of her first installation run and involved an impact with the team’s support truck.”

“Maria has been transferred to hospital. Once her medical condition has been assessed a further statement will be issued.”

According to the BBC, the Emergency medical charity Magpas who treated and transported Villota to Addenbrookes for treatment, have said she sustained  “facial and head injuries” but was in a stable condition on arrival to hospital.

Duxford Aerodrome is a former World War Two base, now home of the Imperial War Museum, and used by modern day F1 teams to conduct high-speed testing using it’s longer 1,503m runway.

We’ll continue to update this article as we learn more. Meanwhile, all our thoughts are with Maria and we wish her a full and speedy recovery.

Forum discussion –
East of England Ambulance Service – Statement
Statement from Marussia F1 Team
BBC’s Chris Mann on accident


Last updated – 13:03pm 03/07/2012

Ferrari to launch ‘F2008K’ development car

Like many teams, Ferrari are to use a revised version of this year’s F2008 car to develop parts for next season. Code-named the F2008K, the ‘K’ believed to refer to the new KERS technology, the car will act as a halfway house between the current 2008 and radically revised 2009 regulations.

The development machine is expected to break cover at Ferrari’s Fiorano circuit shortly, before travelling to Barcelona with Luca Badoer next week for the start of testing. It is unlikely that the car will use the complicated KERS technology in Spain, instead the team will simulate the weight of the system with strategically placed ballast.

Jerez Testing: Day 3 round-up

Pedro de la Rosa finished the week on a high setting the quickest time on the final day of testing at Jerez. The McLaren test driver was the only man to managed a time under 1 minute 19 seconds.

Sebastian Vettel returned to Toro Rosso after a brief testing sprint with Red Bull Racing, and he finished the day with the fourth quickest time. Sebastien Buemi took over testing for the Red Bull team.

Meanwhile Felipe Massa completed Ferrari’s testing across at the Mugello circuit, completing 98 laps with a quickest time of 1:23.618.

Unofficial Test Times for Day 3 Jerez

Pos  Driver        Team                   Time     Laps
 1.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes       1:18.992   90
 2.  Heidfeld      BMW-Sauber             1:19.250   98
 3.  di Grassi     Renault                1:19.280  102
 4.  Vettel        Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:19.470   93
 5.  Buemi         Red Bull-Renault       1:20.005   84
 6.  Glock         Toyota                 1:20.482  111
 7.  Wurz          Honda                  1:22.658   51
 8.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota        1:22.806  102

Testing: Day 3 round-up

Sebastian Vettel, winner of last weekend s Italian Grand Prix, has continued his run of good form by topping the timesheet on the third day of testing at Jerez this week. His quickest time was 1:18.001, set in a Red Bull Racing car. The German driver completed just 37 laps before the team had to carry out an unexpected engine change.

On a day of testing interrupted by rain around lunch time, BMW Sauber s Nick Heidfeld was the second quickest of the day, followed closely by Lucas di Grassi for Renault. Takuma Sato was seen behind the wheel of an F1 car for the first time since the demise of Super Aguri earlier in the season. He finished with the sixth quickest time of the day for Toro Rosso.

Meanwhile, Ferrari continued with their second day of testing at the Mugello and Fiorano circuits. On Wednesday, the team s test driver Luca Badoer had kicked off with some aerodymanic testing. On Thursday, Kimi Raikkonen was in action at the Mugello circuit, continuing with the work Badoer had started, whilst Felipe Massa started to shakedown the cars that will be used at the Singapore Grand Prix at the Fiorano circuit.

Pos  Driver        Team                   Time      Laps
 1.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault       1:18.001   37
 2.  Heidfeld      BMW-Sauber             1:18.167   70
 3.  di Grassi     Renault                1:18.999   36
 4.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes       1:19.281   39
 5.  Wurz          Honda                  1:19.499   79
 6.  Sato          Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:19.574   49
 7.  Kobayashi     Toyota                 1:19.863   47
 8.  Nakajima      Williams-Toyota        1:21.892   60

Jerez Testing: Day 2 round-up

Eight teams took to the Jerez circuit on the second day of testing this week. Christian Klien was the quickest man of the day in the BMW Sauber with a time of 1:19.537. Sebastian Vettel wasn t far behind with a quickest lap of 1:19.873 in his first test for Red Bull and despite having some gear box issues. Robert Kubica was set to take over for BMW on Thursday however an infected tooth means that Nick Heidfeld will test for the remaining two days instead.

Sebastien Buemi, normally the reserve driver for Red Bull, tested for Toro Rosso, finishing the day in third place.

Gary Paffett was behind the wheel for McLaren as the team ran their KERS system for the first time. The team finished with the fourth fastest time of the day.

Unofficial times for Day 2 Testing at Jerez:

Pos Driver              Team                  Time      Laps
 1. Christian Klien     BMW Sauber            1:19.537    84
 2. Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull-Renault      1:19.878    60
 3. Sebastien Buemi     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1:20.209    88
 4. Gary Paffett        McLaren-Mercedes      1:20.602    52
 5. Kamui Kobayashi     Toyota                1:20.769    94
 6. Lucas di Grassi     Renault               1:20.853    90
 7. Alexander Wurz      Honda                 1:21.123    71
 8. Kazuki Nakajima     Williams              1:23.171    61

Jerez Testing: Day 1 round-up

Having been given the green light by FIA official Charlie Whiting after several modifications had been made to the circuit, three teams kicked off the final testing session of 2008 at Jerez, Spain yesterday.

Just BMW Sauber, Williams and Honda were present on Tuesday although everyone else is expected out on track on Wednesday.

The quickest driver of the day was BMW test driver Marko Asmer who completed 79 laps and posted a quickest time of 1:20.189.

Dani Clos, a 19 year old Spaniard, took to the wheel of an F1 car for the first time in a Williams. He managed 75 laps with a fastest time of 1:23.224 as the team tested out their new KERS for the first time.

Mike Conway was out on track for Honda. He could only manage 20 laps and a quickest time of 1:24.123 thanks for a problem with sensor wiring on the car.

Unofficial Times for Day 1 Testing at Jerez

Pos  Driver        Team                   Time     Laps
 1.  Asmer         BMW-Sauber             1:20.189   79
 2.  Clos          Williams-Toyota        1:23.224   75
 3.  Conway        Honda                  1:24.123   20

Vettel continues to fly at Jerez testing

Vettel remains the man to beat in Jerez testing as the Toro Rosso driver topped the timesheet for the second day in a row. Vettel was the only man to post a time under 1 minute 19, with a quickest lap of 1:18.843.

Five drivers, including Vettel, were out on slick tyres. Raikkonen was the quickest of the non-slick-tyre users with the third fastest time. There was only a single red flag during the session caused by the Honda of Alex Wurx who stopped around midday with a suspected engine problem.

Unofficial times for Day of testing at Jerez:

Pos  Driver        Team                   Time     Laps
 1.  Vettel        Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1:18.843  100
 2.  de la Rosa    McLaren-Mercedes       1:19.081  122
 3.  Raikkonen     Ferrari                1:19.446   76
 4.  Rosberg       Williams-Toyota        1:19.861  112
 5.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault       1:20.021  105
 6.  Wurz          Honda                  1:20.416   77
 7.  Trulli        Toyota                 1:20.534   81
 8.  Liuzzi        Force India-Ferrari    1:20.577  102
 9.  Piquet        Renault                1:20.827   99
10.  Klien         BMW-Sauber             1:20.866   89