Top Speeds F1 Test Barcelona 2016

Barcelona top speed hit list 2016
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D he lap times table for the first week of testing in Barcelona has a clear winner. Ferrari set the best time on 3 out of 4 days. Each on ultrasoft tires. Force India was the winner once. Nico Hülkenberg had put on super soft tires. And he was just 0.3 seconds short of Sebastian Vettel.

Mercedes was content with endurance runs on medium tires. The Silver Arrows were clearly behind in their fastest lap with 1.24.867 minutes. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have always been tough. And like their colleagues from the Mercedes customer teams, they were not allowed to switch to the hot engine mode.

This is how the teams analyze them Test times

In a direct comparison with medium tires, Vettel was only 73 thousandths slower than Rosberg with 1.24.939 minutes. Is that a ray of hope for the season? Maybe yes. The team's chief analysts have developed special software to eliminate the imponderables during test drives. There would be: fuel level, engine mode, Ers mode, drive level, tire type, tire wear, test program.

While we have to interpret 4 speed measurements and the sector times, the analysis programs from Mercedes, Ferrari calculate , Red Bull and Co. are already working out who was on the road when and in which operating condition. The sources of error have become smaller and smaller with the refinement of the software.

These programs mainly rely on GPS data. With this you can see how every car accelerates, brakes and drives through corners. From this, conclusions can be drawn about the weight, the aero specification and engine programs. The teams get the tire data from Pirelli anyway.

Ferrari has halved the deficit

We have one Team asked and asked what the crystal ball says. Accordingly, Ferrari has halved the deficit to 4 tenths. However, Mercedes has already missed the majority of its aero upgrades. And Ferrari probably still has an arrow or two in its quiver. The first stages of expansion are expected for the second week in Barcelona. Conclusion: 'If Ferrari finds the time, it could be a tight box between Mercedes and Ferrari at the start of the season.'

But there are also worry lines on the face at Ferrari. Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen covered only 1,643 kilometers in 4 days. About half the workload at Mercedes. Leaves about the backgroundsFerrari doesn't get much out of it. There should be problems with the gasoline system. That is the official version.

The rest of the information is revealed by the speed measurements. The new Ferrari V6 turbo apparently still lacks power. Forget the top speed value of 331.2 km /h. It is 8.4 km /h below Rosberg's record of 339.6 km /h. After all, the Renault works car reaches 332.3 km /h. Only McLaren-Honda still drops significantly with 324.3 km /h.

Top speed not as meaningful as acceleration

According to experts, the absolute top speed doesn't say much about the engine power. The decisive factor for this is the speed difference between the finish line and the top speed measurement about 400 meters behind it.

This is where the influences of the speed at which the car came out of the last corner begin to level out. This shows whether the engine still has punch at full throttle. And how much the MGU-K and MGU-H can contribute electric power. Of course, air resistance also plays a role. But when comparing Ferrari and Mercedes, one must assume that it is approximately the same as the downforce. In contrast to the Red Bull, both cars are moderately hired.

So now to the ominous speed difference. Over the four days of the 400-meter test, Mercedes gained relatively constant speed: 50.6 km /h (Monday), 53.2 km /h (Tuesday), 52.6 km /h (Wednesday) and 49.3 km /h (Thursday). That speaks for constant engine settings and no major setup changes to the car.

At Ferrari, the speed increased only moderately on three days between the finish line and the end of the home straight: 42.4 km /h (Monday), 42, 8 km /h (Tuesday) and 42.8 km /h (Thursday): The only outlier was Wednesday with 47.0 km /h. Which is still 6.2 km /h below the Mercedes best.

Tires determine speed measurement in sector 1

The speeds at the other two measuring points on the route should be enjoyed with caution after the first week of testing. The type of tire used and the downforce set play a major role. Sector 1 is at the exit of the long curve 3. The sector 2 border just before the braking point at the end of the back straight. Apparently, the Force India drivers often slowed down because they topped the ranking with a clear lead over the second best on all 4 days.

If you take the realistic values, Ferrari has with you at top speed on the back straight 275.5 km /h ahead of Red Bull (274.8 km /h) and McLaren (274.1 km /h). The speed at measuring point 1 is definitely indicative of how fast the cars come out of turn 3. But the tire compound also plays a role here. At this early stage, Ultrasoft and Supersoft still offer real glue compared to medium rubber. It is no coincidence that with Force India (284.9 km /h), Ferrari (283.4 km /h) and Red Bull (281.9 km /h) 3 carswho were out in front with the softest mixtures from the Pirelli range.

Here is the table with all the data. The sector boundaries are like in the Grand Prix: Sector 1 before T4, Sector 2 before T10. Apparently there was a problem with the transponder at Toro Rosso. Therefore we do not have any measurement data from the sector top speeds.

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