What the Jerez Test Showed Us – Time To Get Up To Speed…

From James Allen on F1 

Posted on February 2, 2014

The first test session at Jerez last week threw up some major surprises and interesting talking points, including the failure of Renault and the innovative aerodynamics on the McLaren.

Here JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan, former chief operations engineer at Williams and Toyota explains how the F1 teams approach the pre-season tests and analyses what they will be doing now, back at base, to get ready for the next test in Bahrain.

What the F1 teams were aiming to achieve at the Jerez test
The 2014 energy recovery system (ERS) boosted F1 cars are extremely complex systems so it was undoubtedly with a lot of trepidation that the Teams and engine suppliers turned up at Jerez for the first test. Clearly Mercedes and Ferrari power units have had a good start to the season having proven to be generally reliable, allowing their associated Teams to do pretty good mileage, whereas Renault have had a difficult V6 turbo era inception, leaving their Teams with limited running.

One typically wants to complete a minimum of 1200kms and ideally over 1600kms on a 4 day test. The first test generally has the least mileage as you get to grips with the new car and complex systems, which normally require a little debugging. However by the second test you want to be doing high fuel long runs, typically of 15 to 20 lap stints to get an understanding of the car’s general behaviour and tyre usage. By the third test the whole test matrix should be finished with a full race simulation successfully completed.

Read the entire article: What The Jerez Test Showed Us And What The Formula 1 Teams Will Be Doing Next


As most of you know I rate James Allen as one of if not the best source for all things F1. If his website is not already part of your F1 daily routine it should be. Mr Allen’s insight is invaluable, his knowledge is vast, his resources are many and he is well respected up and down the pit lane. Mr. Allen is very helpful to anyone who has the nerve to ask, as demonstrated last year when he replied to a request of mine for an interview. Enough said.

The post by Allen and his technical advisor Mark Gillian was just what I needed to make sense of the first winter test and I felt compelled to pass this along. One of the common complaints about F1 is that it is too technical (at times anyways). The teams are all so secretive and it is very difficult to ascertain anything from testing whether it be a consecutive day test such as we have during the winter prior to the start of the season or the testing the teams do on the Friday of race weekend.

Here we are provided an explanation as to what the teams are trying to accomplish, the important tasks each team will focus on, where the next focus will be and what to expect in the upcoming tests in Bahrain. There is also somewhat of a verdict on the teams’ progress so far.

It is posts such as this which help us understand the complexity of F1 and allow us to get just that much more closer to this great sport. I hope you enjoy the breakdown.


3 Comments on “What the Jerez Test Showed Us – Time To Get Up To Speed…

  1. Always good to point out the words of James Allen when it comes to F1, he really knows his stuff.
    Bikes next to Jerez for testing now the cars have gone, hope the weather is good!

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