Category Archives: Jarno Trulli

Lewis Hamilton tests the McLaren MP4-25 on day 3 in Jerez

After the first 2 days of testing, which saw Jenson Button at the wheel of his MP4-25, day 3 in Jerez saw of 2008 Champion Lewis Hamilton out on the track. First the times (courtesy of Formula1.com), then the explanation.

1. Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso, 1:19.919, 76 Laps
2. Pedro de la Rosa, BMW Sauber, 1:20.736, 58 Laps
3. Adrian Sutil, Force India, 1:21.428, 48 Laps
4. Felipe Massa, Ferrari, 1:21.603, 72 Laps
5. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1:21.783, 59 Laps
6. Vitaly Petrov, Renault, 1:22.000, 68 Laps
7. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes GP, 1:22.820, 53 Laps
8. Rubens Barrichello, Williams, 1:23.217, 120 Laps
9. Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, 1:23.985, 68 Laps
10. Lucas di Grassi, Virgin, 1:37.107, 8 Laps

Now, before you panic and think it’s all going pear shaped like this time last year, there is a reason for the slow time, in comparison to the other drivers:

With wet weather forecast to hit the circuit today, the test team had specifically devised a run programme to make best use of the day. The only dry running of the day took place in the morning, which the team used to undertake a number of aero mapping runs. Conducted at lower speeds, the only dry times of the day were therefore not representative of the team’s overall pace. As the rain started falling, focus shifted towards evaluating Bridgestone’s wet and intermediate compounds.

You can read the rest of the report from McLaren over at McLaren.com. So, not quite the disaster it looked like at first glance. As you can see from the following photo, it got pretty wet out on the track yesterday:

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=hamilton+jerez&iid=7896594″ src=”3/7/b/5/Sports_News_5bf3.jpg?adImageId=10232368&imageId=7896594″ width=”500″ height=”338″ /]
 
The next photo, taken during the small window of dry weather, shows Lewis Hamilton being followed by Felipe Massa – get used to that Felipe ;o)

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=hamilton+jerez&iid=7891638″ src=”0/5/7/8/Formula_One_064a.jpg?adImageId=10232370&imageId=7891638″ width=”500″ height=”345″ /]
 
Interesting to see the sponsorship of Santander on the Ferrari with the addition of white to the traditionally all red livery. Lewis is out in Jerez testing again today, let’s hope the weather is better than yesterday so he can a good few laps of dry running completed.

On a side note, Hamilton’s McLaren team mate of 2008 and 2009, Heikki Kovalianen, was at the launch of his new car as part of the Lotus Racing team. Here he he is with the brand new Lotus T127, with team mate Jarno Trulli, at yesterday’s launch in London:

[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=kovalainen+lotus&iid=7896661″ src=”3/e/b/8/Lotus_F1_launch_5d67.jpg?adImageId=10232378&imageId=7896661″ width=”500″ height=”327″ /]
 
Best of luck at the new team Heikki, hope it goes well – though not too well!

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Filed under Constructors, Drivers, Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Lotus Racing, McLaren, Testing

FIA Hearing Result: McLaren given 3 race suspended ban

There are more details to follow, but @f1scoop lived up to its name by being the first on Twitter to announce that McLaren’s punishment is a 3 race suspended ban. After clarification from @F1_Girl, I understand this to mean that the ban is looming, and can be handed to McLaren by the FIA the next time they mess up.

I’m relieved that there is no ban in place now and have to hope that McLaren can stay squeaky clean for the rest of the season. I would assume that the ban is valid for the rest of the season only, and will not roll over to the 2010 season.

When the details are revealed I’ll also be interested to see if the ban applies to both Hamilton and Kovalainen, or just Hamilton as he was the only driver involved in the incident.

UPDATE: Here is the press release from the FIA / WMSC Statement:

At an extraordinary meeting of the World Motor Sport Council held in Paris on 29 April 2009, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes admitted five charges of breaching article 151c of the International Sporting Code relating to events at the Australian and Malaysian Grand Prix.

The following decision was taken:

“Having regard to the open and honest way in which McLaren Team Principal, Mr Martin Whitmarsh, addressed the WMSC and the change in culture which he made clear has taken place in his organisation, the WMSC decided to suspend the application of the penalty it deems appropriate.

“That penalty is a suspension of the team from three races of the FIA Formula One World Championship. This will only be applied if further facts emerge regarding the case or if, in the next 12 months, there is a further breach by the team of article 151c of the International Sporting Code.”

The full reasons for this decision will be issued shortly.

It would seem that the suspension will be for the whole team if it gets applied, which is especially harsh for Kovalainen who was not directly involved.

The ban will come into effect if there is any further breach of article 151c by McLaren. The aforementioned article states: This article covers “any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motor sport generally”.

The ban could also come in at any time in the next 12 months if McLaren are found in breach of article 151c, so that will include the first 4 races of the 2010 races as well as the remainder of the 2009 season.

I’m sure there are some that will say McLaren have been let off lightly – I’m just happy that Hamilton and Kovalainen will be able to continue racing and will keep the points they have won so far.

Let us now go forward, put this to the back of our memories and concentrate on a very exciting Formula 1 season.

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Filed under Chinese, Constructors, Drivers, Grand Prix, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Lewis Hamilton, Malaysian, McLaren

Hamilton takes 4th place & 5 points in Bahrain Grand Prix

We’ve had family up this weekend so for the first time in a while I wasn’t able to watch the Grand Prix live. That said, I have just finished watching it on delay and I was delighted to see Lewis Hamilton come in 4th, one place higher than his qualifying position of 5th.

Hamilton’s race started well as he went from 5th up to 3rd, but soon want back to 4th place as Button over took and went on to take the lead and win the race, ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Jarno Trulli. Hamilton seemed to have the pace when up close and personal, and I think it’ll be just a few more races until he’s able to compete for the lead, Spain will be an interesting race for McLaren and a lot of the other teams.

Kovalainen didn’t have such a great race, finishing in 12th, one place lower than his qualifying place of 11th. It could have been worse, at one point he was almost at the back of the field. He doesn’t seem to be making the most of the improvements McLaren are making, or maybe his car hasn’t been fitted with the same new parts Hamilton’s has.

Hamilton now has 9 points and is in 7th place in the Drivers’ Championship, while Kovalainen is in 10th with 4 points. Hamilton trails Championship leader Jenson Button by 22 points. In the Constructors’ Championship McLaren Mercedes are in 4th with 13 points, 37 points behind leaders Brawn Mercedes.

The next race is on 10th May in Spain, a race where teams traditionally come fitted with new bits of kits and performance improvements, let’s hope McLaren have just that. Of course before that McLaren have their hearing with the FIA on April 29th to discuss what happened at the Australian Grand Prix and the incident between Hamilton and Trulli – as a fan of McLaren, Hamilton and racing in general, I really do hope it won’t result in any race bans.

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Filed under Bahrain, Brawn GP, Constructors, Drivers, Grand Prix, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Sebastian Vettel

Bahrain GP Qualifying: Hamilton 5th, Kovalainen 11th

In what is the best qualifying this season so far for McLaren, Lewis Hamilton came in 5th, behind the two Toyotas of Trulli (pole) and Glock, Vettell and Button, and Heikki Kovalainen came in 11th, just missing out at a chance to place higher on the grid in Q3.

Hamilton was fuelled heavier than the Toyotas, the same as Button but lighter than Vettel whose Red Bull is on fire at the moment. He was also fuelled heavier than Barichello and Alonso who qualified behind him in 6th and 7th respectively. Kovalainen was fuelled heavier than all 10 cars in front of him.

It’s clear from this qualifying session that McLaren are improving more with every race, and Hamilton especially is taking advantage of that becoming more competitive. If they carry on like this it won’t be long until McLaren are looking for podium finishes again, as long as the hearing on April 29th doesn’t scupper their plans.

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Filed under Bahrain, Constructors, Drivers, Fernando Alonso, Grand Prix, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Rubens Barichello, Sebastian Vettel, Timo Glock