Here we go again, another season of Formula 1 images starting in the best place on the calendar, Australia! You can relive the 2015 season opener after the break with our gallery of 89 images, all clickable to 2560px mega image sizing.
Lewis Hamilton has made a perfect start to his world championship title defence with a seemingly easy win at Albert Park yesterday.
It was a funny week for Formula 1, with the Giedo van der Garde v Sauber saga dominating headlines, the return and then no show of Manor, Valtteri Bottas’ injury withdrawal and the failure of Kevin Magnussen and Daniil Kvyat to start after their cars died on the out lap before the race.
Only 13 cars started the grand prix and it seems a miracle that 11 of them finished. The expectations were that more cars would run into reliability problems.
In the end Hamilton defeated his teammate Nico Rosberg by 1.3 seconds. You sense Hamilton would have been able to hold off Rosberg if a serious challenge for lead was mounted. It wasn’t.
Sebastian Vettel claimed the final podium step in his Ferrari debut, a few seconds ahead of Felipe Massa.
The real winners, though, were Sauber who had their two preferred drivers finish strongly. Felipe Nasr marked his F1 debut with a fifth place and Marcus Ericsson came home eighth. Last year Sauber didn’t manage a single championship point, now they have 14 after just one race. Who knows what the courts will dictate for them in Malaysia and beyond, but after a terrible week that’s one team party that would have been a blast last night.
The Toro Rosso kids had a fun time with the grown ups too. Sadly for Max Verstappen he was forced to retire, but Carlos Sainz finished in a credible ninth place.
Jenson Button did finish the race in his McLaren. But he was stone motherless last, two laps off the pace, and the only finisher who didn’t score a championship point. It was valuable testing time for the struggling McLaren-Honda outfit.
It’s easy to tell how boring this race was when the highlight was the post-race podium interviews conducted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yes, that Arnold Schwarzenegger!
I had a shiver of horror go down my spine when Arnie was announced for fear that this interview would end in high farce. Fair dues to the Hollywood icon because either he has a clue or is a genuinely good actor and thankfully he handled the role well.
So, who knew Arnie was a Formula 1 fan!
There will be more exciting times ahead in this 2015 F1 season, but save from the sunny weather and mostly clean racing this was as dull as it gets for a season opener.
Well done Lewis, well done Nico, well done Mercedes, you were just too damn good.
Formula 1 pre-season testing is all done and the post-rationalising from the teams telling us what a great job they were able to do is well underway. As the saying goes, when the flag drops the bullshit stops and we’ve got less than two weeks until the Australian Grand Prix.
After the break is a list of times for the final four days of testing in Barcelona. Mercedes AMG and Williams shared the spoils with their drivers setting the fastest times across the week.
Nico Rosberg claims the title of fastest man in pre-season with his 1:22.792 lap on day two, a full 1.2 seconds faster than his nearest challenger on the day.
It’s no surprise, then, that reigning constructors’ champions Mercedes AMG look to be the team to beat once again this season.
Kimi Raikkonen ensured Ferrari ended its pre-season testing at Jerez in the headlines by setting the fastest time of the day (1:20.841).
“Over the winter, we have made a good step forward and this car is definitely an improvement over the 2014 one,” Raikkonen said at day’s end. “It’s the whole package that has progressed, but there is still a lot of work to do.”
Second quickest was Felipe Nasr (1:22.019) in the Ferrari-powered Sauber C34. Defending champions Mercedes found themselves with the third best time of the day, thanks to world champion Lewis Hamilton (1:22.172), who completed 117 laps, more than any other driver.
Max Verstappen piloted his Toro Rosso to the fourth best lap (1:22.553), more than half a second ahead of Felipe Massa (1:23.116) in fifth.
Pocketing a helpful 53 laps for Lotus with its switch to Mercedes power was Romain Grosjean (1:23.802 ) who recorded the sixth fastest lap. Daniil Kvyat (1:23.975) managed to keep the front wing of the RB11 in one piece but was well off the leading pace, going seventh fastest.
In a consistent last place on the lap charts was the McLaren-Honda. Jenson Button (1:27.660) was at the wheel and did at least take the MP4-30 below the 1:30 barrier for the first time this week.
Pre-season testing will resume in two weeks time at Barcelona (19â€“22 February) and will conclude with a second session in Barcelona (26 Februaryâ€“1 March).
Sauber’s F1 rookie Felipe Nasr (1:21.545) has kept Ferrari power at the top of the timesheets in Jerez overnight. He completed 109 laps overall and this is in stark contrast to pre-season testing last year when cars were falling over themselves to break down first.
Kimi Raikkonen (1:21.750) went second fastest and managed 94 laps in his SF15-T. Nico Rosberg again covered more miles than any other driver doing 151 laps and setting the third best time (1:21.982).
The fourth best time was set by Felipe Massa (1:22.276) who racked up 71 laps. Half a second behind was Pastor Maldonado (1:22.713) in the Lotus E23. He managed 96 valuable laps.
Carlos Sainz Jr managed the most laps of the two Renault-powered teams, 137 in all, and went sixth fastest (1:23.187). Daniel Ricciardo had a slow start to the day after his RB11 was given a new engine. He was not chasing outright pace and went seventh quickest (1:23.901), managing 49 laps.
“Although we were limited with running today, we got some long runs together and that was encouraging,” said Daniel. “I was happy to do some 10â€“15 lap runs as thatâ€™s always where you get a better understanding of the car.
“I think the consistency today was good, we put a few laps together in the end, so a few positives to take away from today.”
McLaren took its place at the bottom of the pile, with Fernando Alonso some 14 seconds off the pace (1:35.553). Still, he’ll be pleased that he managed to complete 32 laps. The Honda-powered McLarens have a long way to go although the team remains bullish and says its happy with the progress being made.
“Operationally, we’ve already covered everything in our programme,” enthused Eric Boullier, McLaren racing director. “But what’s even more positive is that we’ve been able to carry out a number of longer runs. They’ve shown us that the car doesn’t have any conceptual or architectural issues.”
Sebastian Vettel has started his Ferrari career on a high after setting the fastest time (1:22.620) on the opening day of pre-season testing in Jerez.
Ferrari power proved strong, with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson going second fastest (1:22.777). You get the sense though, even this early on, that Mercedes is just playing with its rivals. Nico Rosberg completed 157 laps, more than Vettel and Ericsson combined, and bossed the morning session setting the quickest time and third best overall (1:23.106).
Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest (1:23.338) in the RB11. The young Aussie completed 35 laps and his day ended in the afternoon due to an undisclosed technical glitch.
“We got going pretty well this morning and I got a few laps under my belt,” said Daniel. “I can feel a step forward. I won’t go into too much detail but it’s there. We didn’t do a whole lot of laps but definitely more than at this test last year!”
Red Bull can expect a much closer relationship with engine provider Renault in 2015 now that it is in effect Renault’s sole customer, in conjunction with its junior Toro Rosso team.
Valtteri Bottas tallied up a handy 73 laps for Williams and posted the fifth best time (1:23.906). Carlos Sainz Jr finished his first full day on track as an F1 driver with the sixth fastest lap (1:25.327) in the STR10.
The slowest time of the day was left to Fernando Alonso (1:40.738) who was well off the pace in the McLaren-Honda. The dual world champ managed just six laps and it’s likely to be a difficult pre-season for the MP4-30.
Force India has chosen to delay its first pre-season appearance until Barcelona (19 February). Meanwhile, Lotus is trackside in Jerez and says it expects to debut its E23 on Tuesday.
After showing off its new car via twitter last week Mercedes AMG went with a low key launch for its 2015 Formula 1 car on the morning of testing in Jerez.
World champion Lewis Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg were on hand to take the covers off the F1 W06 Hybrid for the second time. Rosberg then took to the track to begin the car’s official test season.
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport says his team will not be taking anything for granted as it prepares to defend its dominant 2014 season.
“From outside, winter might look like a rest time in Formula 1. But this couldnâ€™t be further from the truth,” Wolff said. “Long before the end of last season, development work on our 2015 car became the main priority. The winter months are the most intense, with everybody at Brackley and Brixworth working around the clock to prepare for the season ahead.
“Thereâ€™s a famous Babe Ruth quote I always say to people: ‘Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.’ We are fully aware that success is not only hard won but can also be short-lived without the right approach.”
The Mercedes AMG F1 team has all but revealed its title-defending F1 W06 Hybrid with a couple of images first published to twitter. The official unveiling is not due until the morning of the opening day of testing in Jerez on Monday, 1 February.
Briefly on track for a filming day at Silverstone the 2015-spec F1 W06 managed to complete 18 laps with Nico Rosberg at the wheel before inclement weather brought a halt to proceedings.
From what we can see here, and below, it’s quite a nice looking and sounding car.
[Source: Mercedes AMG]
Bruce Thomson is an all round good guy. We know this because he hits our inbox from time to time with some seriously cool automotive drawings. Over the last few days he’s been sharing with the world a few illustrations showing how he would like the F1 cars of 2015 to look.
If you follow those links then you’ll be treated to much larger versions of these images where you can further appreciate the detail.
Even better, there’s the promise of a Lotus and Williams concept to follow. Keep up the great work Bruce!