Friday, 31 January 2014

Massa leads the way on the final day of an eventful first week of testing

(Williams F1 Team via Twitter)

Felipe Massa topped the time sheets for the Williams F1 Team on the final day of an extremely busy opening week of winter testing in Jerez.

The Brazilian's fastest time of 1m 28.229 was enough to keep him ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard, driving the F14T for the second day completed 115 laps, the most of any other driver. Daniel Juncadella was third for the Sahara Force India F1 Team.

McLaren's new driver, Kevin Magnussen continued to show impressive pace and finished the day in fourth place, however it was not all plain sailing for the Danish driver as he crashed the MP4-29 bringing out the red flags jsut before the end of the session.

The Woking based squad should be very happy with their progress this week having missed the opening day of testing due to a technical issue as Jenson Button was fastest on Wednesday while Kevin Magnussen was fastest yesterday on his first afternoon testing for the team as a full McLaren driver.

Ferrari have been very quick to say that they are pleased with their progress this week and as an engine supplier the Italian marque have covered 404 laps. However the momentum is currently with Mercedes as their teams have covered a staggering 849 laps over the course of the four day test. Despite a front wing failure on Tuesday morning when Lewis Hamilton was behind the wheel of the W05 the Brackley based squad can be extremely satisfied as Nico Rosberg completed a dull race simulation this morning which means they are ahead of their rivals as the other teams have been using this week to work on systems checks and set-up.

The Marussia F1 Team can also be very happy with their work this week as despite missing the first two days of the test due to a technical glitch Max Chilton was extremely happy with how his day went yesterday while Jules Bianchi completed 25 laps and recorded the sixth fastest time of the day.

It was a disappointing day for the Caterham F1 Team as they suffered a power unit component failure this after which meant that Kamui Kobayashi had to end his day early.

Adrian Sutil did a great job for the Sauber F1 Team on his second day in the C33 as he completed 69 laps and finished the day in 7th place. 

It was another extremely disappointing day for the Red Bull Racing team as once again they were forced to finish their day early as they have been having problems with the Renault ERS although today's issue was due to cooling issues with their new RB10. The team elected not run this afternoon and packed up just before lunch and headed back to their base in the UK where team boss Christian Horner and chief designer Adrian Newey returned yesterday in order to find a solution to the issue.

The Milton Keynes based squad have had a terrible week as they only managed to cover 21 laps over the four days of testing in Jerez.

This week, the total number of laps completed in Jerez was 1,410. The next winter test gets underway at the Bahrain International Circuit from February 19th -22nd.

Caterham end final day early

(Caterham F1 Team via Twitter)

The Caterham F1 Team have become the latest team to end their Jerez test early following a power train component failure on Kamui Kobayashi's car.

Earlier today Red Bull Racing packed up and headed back to their base in Milton Keynes. Despite Caterham's early finish they can be very positive with their work as Kamui Kobayashi completed a total of 54 laps with a fastest time of the of 1m 43.193.

In the space of one day the Leafield based squad have completed more laps then Red Bull Racing's total for the week as the reigning world champions have completed only 21 laps this week.

With just over an hour left on the final day of testing in Jerez, Felipe Massa currently leads the way for the Williams F1 Team followed by Daniel Juncadella in the Force India VJM07, Fernando Alonso is third with Lewis Hamilton in fourth.

Marussia and Lotus confirmed on the 2014 F1 entry list

(Ben Johnston 2014)

The FIA have officially confirmed the 2014 Formula One entry list after both the Lotus F1 Team and the Marussia F1 Team have paid the necessary entry fees for the year.

It has been an extremely difficult year or so for the Lotus F1 Team after they lost Kimi Raikkonen, Dirk De Beer and James Allison to Ferrari. Just last week it was announced that their chief engineer Ciaron Pilbeam who had been at the Enstone team for just a year has joined McLaren while it was also announced last Friday that team principal Eric Boullier had resigned from his position and is now the new Racing Director at McLaren Mercedes.

The team have also been in a pay dispute with Kimi Raikkonen as they owe the Finn his salary although team chairman Gerard Lopez has aid that this situation is being resolved.

It is not all bad news for the team however, as they have a new driver in Pastor Maldonado and have recently announced a new sponsor in Saxo Bank. They are slowly beginning the rebuilding process. The team also confirmed last week that co chairman Gerard Lopez will replace Boullier as team principal.

As so to Marussia, the Banbury based outfit are a team on the up as they have a new engine supplier in Ferrari and have stability on the driver front as they are one of only two outfits to have retained their line-up from last season with both Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi staying with the team.

Despite missing the opening two days in Jerez they are doing an impressive job and are gaining valuable insight into their new car the MR-03.

Impressive running for Marussia

(Marussia F1 Team)

The Marussia F1 Team have made great progress over the last two days of running at Jerez. Having missed the opening two days of the first test Jules Pianchi, who took over running from Max Chilton today is currently in 7th place on the timesheets.

The new car looks very plain compared to their rivals however it has shown that it is a really quick car and Max Chilton was absolutely delighted with his running in the car yesterday.

The Frenchman is currently ahead of the Sauber of Adrian Sutil, Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, Caterham's Kamui Kobayashi and Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo who finished their test just before lunch time.

The Marussia F1 Team have done a fantastic job with limited running when you consider that the teamare only into their second day of winter testing. Of course it is only the opening week of winter testing so the times aren't really relevant at this early stage in testing.

Red Bull cut short Jerez test

(Red Bull via Twitter) 

Red Bull Racing have brought their test to an end early. The news comes after a horrendous opening week of winter testing for the reigning world champions as they had to cut short their running on the second day due to a problem with the Renault ERS system.

The was once again forced to call a halt to their running yesterday with Daniel Ricciardo and both team boss Christian Horner and chief designer Adrian Newey returned to Milton Keynes yesterday to try and come up with a solution to their problem.

Over the course of last four days the team have only managed to complete 25 laps this week while their main rivals have been circulating Jerez and building up the mileage. Mercedes Nico Rosberg for example, completed his first race simulation this morning.

Red Bull now have just over two weeks to find a solution to their issues. The team will bounce back from this problem and find a solution.

Alonso on top as teams break for lunch

(Ferrari via Twitter)

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is currently fastest for the Italian team as teams have taken an unofficial lunch break ahead of the final afternoon of running in Jerez before the teams decamp back to their various HQ before flying out to Bahrain for the second test session which gets underway on 19th February.

Speaking to the media ahead of the final day of testing the Spaniard insisted that he is happy to work alongside the returning Kimi Raikkonen who spent the first two day's of the Jerez test at the wheel of the F14T and that he (Alonso) wants to ensure that they give the team the best opportunity to challenge for this year's Drivers and Constructors championships.

Raikkonen, who was the teams last driver's champion in 2007 has been brought back to the team following two years at the Lotus F1 Team. The team's chasssis technical director James Allison described Kimi as great at giving technical feedback on the car which has enabled the team to sort out any issues that they have had.

He said that although the Finn doesn't talk too much they are very pleased with his progress so far.

The Mercedes AMG F1 Team have just confirmed that Lewis Hamilton will take over running the W05 from Nico Rosberg this afternoon. Rosberg is currently second. Hamilton missed some running on Tuesday following his front wing failure.

During his time on track this morning Nico Rosberg ran through a full race simulation which means that the Mercedes team as most teams are using this week's test to sort out reliability issues and to run system checks.

Morning update on final day of first winter test in Jerez

(Mercedes AMG F1 via Twitter)

Today is the final day of the first winter test in Jerez, Spain. Following Christian Hormer and Adrian Newey's decision to fly back to their base yesterday following another terrible day for Red Bull Racing, the reigning world champions have elected to see out the final day of testing with Daniel Ricciardo once again behind the wheel of the RB10.

Lewis Hamilton drove the Mercedes W05 on day three and today his team mate Nico Rosberg will complete the Brackley squad's running. The German is currently fastest with a time of 1m 27.580s.

Following his impressive first outing in the new MP4-29 yesterday afternoon, Kevin Magnussen is once again doing a great job as he is currently 2nd.

Felipe Massa is once again behind the wheel of FW36 and is currently third making it a Mercedes top three. Fernando Alonso is currently fourth in the F14T and so far this morning there has been no red flags out on track.

Sahara Force India test driver Daniel Juncadella is driving the VJM07 this morning and is currently just behind Fernando Alonso in 6th place.

Following their issues earlier this week the Toro Rosso STR9 is on track this morning with Daniil Kvyat at the wheel, the Russian rookie is currently in 6th place just ahead of Adrian Sutil in the Sauber.  Kamui Kobayashi is in 8th place in the new Caterham.

After only completing a handful of laps yesterday Daniel Ricciardo was back on track this morning and he is currently in 9th place.

After debuting their new car yesterday, the Marussia F1 Team are back out on track with Jules Bianchi at the wheel of the MR-03

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Team's cover a combined total of 348 lap's on Day 3 of testing in Jerez.

(McLaren Mercedes via Twitter)

Thursday was another busy day for the team's in Jerez as team's completed a combined total of 348 laps of the Jerez circuit.

The McLaren due of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen covered the most amount of mileage in the M4-29 as they completed 92 laps between them. Red Bull Racing's Daniel Ricciardo conducted the least number of laps over the course of the day as he could only manage three laps.

Max Chilton, who was driving the new Marussia MR-03 completed 5 laps for the Banbury based squad.

It was a good day for the Sauber F1 Team as their new driver, Adrian Sutil who joins the team from Force India for this season covered 34 laps and finished the day in 8th place.

So far, over the first three days of the Jerez test Mercedes powered teams have covered the most amount of laps with 456 under their belt. Ferrari powered teams come next with 201 and Renault have only completed 88 laps due to the issues that their team's especially reigning world champions Red Bull Racing have suffered over the last three days.

So that means that the total number of laps completed over the last three days is in the region of 745 laps.

Ferrari powered Marussia MR-03 makes track debut in Jerez

(Marussia F1 Team via Twitter)

The new Ferrari powered Marussia MR-03 made its track debut in Jerez this afternoon with Max Chilton at the wheel. 

The team delayed that they have been extremely impressed with Ferrari so far. The team have had ten Ferrari personnel at their facility in Banbury to help with the installation of the new Ferrari 1.6 litre V6 turbocharged engine.

The team were forced to postpone the debut running of their new car as they discovered a glitch with the car. The teams other driver, Frenchman Jules Bianchi will take over testing tomorrow for the final day of testing in Jerez.

The new car features a simple front wing and nose assembly just like the Williams FW36. 

Ross Brawn dismisses reports linking him to the role of McLaren Racing CEO

Former Mercedes AMG F1 team principal Ross Brawn has dismissed reports linking him with Chief Executive Officer position at the McLaren F1 Team.

The F1 veteran announced in December that he had left his position as Mercedes team boss and was replaced by Mercedes Motorsport boss Toto Wolff and the team Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe. 

Brawn has said that he will take at least six months off before deciding what he will do next. His denial comes in the same week that the Woking squad appointed former Lotus F1 Team boss Eric Boullier to the newly created role within the team of Racing Director.

The Frenchman, who resigned from his role at Lotus last Friday will start his new position at McLaren on Monday.

(McLaren Mercedes via Twitter)

Magnussen on top as Red Bull senior management return to the UK

(McLaren Mercedes Via Twitter)

McLaren Mercedes new driver Kevin Magnussen hit the ground running this afternoon as he took to the track in the team's new MP4-29 for the first time this afternoon after taking over from team mate Jenson Button who was at the wheel this morning.

The Danish driver set an extremely impressive time of 1m 23.276. Felipe Massa was second as Williams continue to impress with their new FW36. Despite their late start to testing on Monday with Valtteri Bottas on Monday he managed to finish the day in third place and he finished their again yesterday so they have certainly made a good start to winter testing.

Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes AMG F1 as the Brackley based squad continue to work on their reliability. The Brit topped the time sheets earlier today but ended the day just ahead of former team mate Jenson Button who ran a half day for McLaren. So the top four place's today were taken by Mercedes powered cars.

Despite stopping out on track this morning, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the fifth fastest time on his first day in the F14T. He will finish off testing for the team tomorrow.

It was another disasterous day for Red Bull Racing as Daniel Ricciardo, who was making his debut in the new RB10 stopped out on track after just three laps. This meant that for the second day in a row the Milton Keynes based squad were forced to end their day early. Senior team personnel including team principal Christian Horner have now returned to the UK in order to get to the bottom of the problem that they are suffering. It is not yet known whether the team will complete the test in Jerez tomorrow or if their focus will now switch to the next session in Bahrain.

It was a great day for the Marussia F1 Team who finally got the new Ferrari powered MR-03 on track after missing the first two day's of running due to a technical glitch with their car earlier this week.

Testing in Jerez concludes tomorrow before the teams head to Bahrain for the second test which takes place from February 19th - 22nd.

Red Bull end another day early

The third day of testing in Jerez has turned out to be another disappointing day for Red Bull Racing as the Milton Keynes based team were forced to end their day early.

Daniel Riccardo could only complete 3 laps before his RB10 came to a stop out on track.

It is the second in a row that the team have been forced to end their day early due to reliability issues with their new car after world champion Sebastian Vettel went home early yesterday following an issue with Renault's new ERS unit.

It has been confirmed that the issue the team suffered today was a similar ERS issue to the one they suffered yesterday

Schumacher gradually being woken up

One month after the skiing accident that left seven time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher in a medically induced coma his manager Sabine Kehm has confirmed that doctor's are:

'reducing his sedation to allow for the waking up process which may take a long time.

His family continue to request that the media continue to respect their privacy.

Morning update: Button currently fastest as Alonso stops out on track

(McLaren Mercedes via Twitter)

Jenson Button is the current pace setter in Jerez this morning as the 2009 world champion completes his running for McLaren this morning before handing the MP4-29 over to new driver Kevin Magnussen who drive the car this afternoon and tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton is currently 2nd for Mercedes with Felipe Massa in third for Williams making it three different Mercedes powered teams in the top three. It hasn't been the best start of testing for Fernando Alonso as the Spaniard stopped out on track just after 10AM (UK time). It is unclear what the problem was with the F14T.

The Marussia F1 Team have confirmed that Max Chilton will run their new car, the MR-03 today although they have not said when it will be out on track.

There have been more woes for the Red Bull Racing team as moments ago Daniel Ricciardo brought out the red flags as his car came to a halt with smoke coming out of the rear of the of the RB10. This is far from an ideal situation for the Milton Keynes based squad after they missed a full day of running yesterday following an ERS issue with the new Renault engine.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

ERS issue curtails Renault powered team's

Renault sport have confirmed this evening that a technical issue with their Energy recovery system was the reason for the lack of running from their team''s in Jerez today. Sebastian Vettel left the circuit early after stopping out on track after just eight laps as a result of the problem while Toro Rosso did no running at all today. The Caterham F1 however, did manage to get some running in with Marcus Ericcson.

Renault are confident that they will be able to solve the issue over night and their team's will be in a position to complete their planned running tomorrow.

(Toro Rosso via Twitter)

Button leads the way on a dramatic day 2 in Jerez

(McLaren Mercedes via Twitter)

McLaren's Jenson Button lead the way on a wet second day of winter testing in Jerez today. The Brit, who failed to make it out on track yesterday due to a problem with the new car was the pace sitter setting the fastest time of 1m 24.165.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was second fastest in the F14T. The Italian team should be happy with their progress so far after the Finn topped the time sheets yesterday despite a small technical issue yesterday morning.

Behind the Ferrari was the Williams of Valtteri Bottas in the FW36. The Finn once again finished in third place just like he did yesterday. The Grove based outfit are so far showing that they have a strong package, however once again we can not read too much into the times s it is only the end of day two of testing.

Nico Rosberg was fourth fastest for the Mercedes AMG F1 Team and completed the most amount of laps today by doing a total of 93.

Despite stopping out on track this morning with a suspected mechanical issue, Sahara Force India's Sergio Perez was fifth fastest with Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez in 6th place.

It was another disappointing day for reigning world champions Red Bull Racing as world champion Sebastian Vettel stopped out on track after just eight laps this morning with a suspected electrical fault with the new Renault power unit. As a result the team were force to cut their programme short for the day.

For Vettel, it is a far from ideal situation as he is has now concluded his time at Jerez as the team's new driver Daniel Ricciardo will take to the track for the remaining two day's in Jerez and Sebastian's next opportunity to drive he RB10 will be in Bahrain on February 19th.

It was also a disappointing day for the Toro Rosso team who didn't manage to run the STR9 at all today as they were dealing with their own technical issue.

The Marussia F1 Team's new car the MR-03 will make its on track debut tomorrow as they confirmed that it has arrived in Jerez and they have solved the technical glitch that forced them to miss the opening two day's of the test. It is expected that Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi will split the final two day's of testing between them. The banbury based outfit have a new engine supplier this season in Ferrari.

MR-03 enroute to Jerez and should hit the track tomorrow

The Marussia F1 Team have confirmed that their new car the MR-03 is currently making its way to Jerez as the Banbury squad have solved the technical glitch which forced the team to miss the first two day's of winter testing.

The team are now on target to put the new car through its paces tomorrow. Both their drivers Max Chilton and Jules Bianchi are expected to run the new car this week.

With the Marussia being revealed tomorrow that just leaves the Lotus F1 Team to run their new car. The E22 is slated to make its test debut in Bahrain from 19th February.

(Ben Johnston 2014)

BREAKING: Red Bull forced to finish their day early

The Red Bull Racing team have been forced to end their second day of testing early due to what has been described as a suspected energy store issue.

More on this when I get it...

(Red Bull Racing via Twitter)

Mercedes power dominates Tuesday morning's running in Jerez

This morning has been an extremely busy one in Jerez as the second day of winter testing got underway. First of all we caught a glimpse of the new McLaren MP4-29 as Jenson Button took to the track for the first time following the team's technical problems yesterday.

Then we had the news from Woking that they have appointed former Lotus F1 Team principal Eric Boullier to the newly created position of Racing Director at the team.

This morning's running has been completely dominated by Mercedes powered cars. Jenson Button and McLaren led the way with Sergio Perez in the Force India briefly topping the time sheets, however Button reclaimed the top spot.

Jenson reclaimed the top spot just before lunch and Nico Rosberg, who took over from Lewis Hamilton today was third while Williams Valtteri Bottas was fourth as he continued his good run from yesterday where on his first time lap he put the car in third place.

(Mercedes AMG F1 via Twitter)  Mercedes power dominates the top four this morning on a wet track in Jerez as Pirelli wet the circuit

It's official!! Boullier joins McLaren as racing director

(McLaren Mercedes via Twitter)

It's official, former Lotus F1 Team principal Eric Boullier has joined McLaren. The Frenchman will take up his new role as Racing Director on Monday.

Speaking about the new appointment, Ron Dennis CEO of the McLaren Group he said 'Eric's appointment is an integral part of a senior management restructure at McLaren Racing.

He also confirmed that Eric will report directly to the teams as yet unnamed new team CEO however, the team's current Managing Director Jonathan Neale has been place in the role of CEO temporarily. who will in turn report to Dennis. Eric's new position is a newly created role within the McLaren Racing team.

Speaking about his new role Boullier described it as an honor, a privilege and a wonderful opportunity.

He also took the opportunity to assure everyone at McLaren that he is committed and determined to match their passion and their commitment to win. The Frenchman joins the Woking based team from Lotus where he spent four year's at the Enstone squad and last season he led Lotus to a fourth place finish in the Constructors championship, while McLaren finished fifth.

There has been no news regarding the future of former McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh. The news comes as the new McLaren MP4-29 took to the track for the first time this morning after a technical fault meant they were unable to test yesterday.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Raikkonen ends action packed day one at Jerez on top

(Ferrari SpA Via Twitter)

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen recovered from early morning stoppage to record the fastest time on the opening day of pre season testing in Jerez today. The Finn, was one of many drivers to stop out on track as his car came to a halt just four turns into his first run however he proved to be fastest of all today setting a best time of 1m 27.104s.

It was a disappointing start to the session for Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes as he suffered a front wing failure on his W05 and suffered a nasty crash, it brought his running for the day to early end which was a shame for him as he had been topping the time-sheets this morning.

It was also a disappointing day for the McLaren team who failed to get out on track today due to a suspected electrical fault with their car. Jenson Button had been scheduled to run today but the team will be on track tomorrow.

The Williams F1 Team were the surprise of the of the day as Valtteri Bottas, on only his first run in the new FW36 set the third fastest time of the day.

The Sauber F1 Team, like the majority of their rivals had a difficult start to testing as Esteban Gutierrez stopped in the pit-lane and had to be heeled back to the garage despite this however he managed to complete some good mileage for the team and ended the day in 6th place.

It was also a tough day for Red Bull Racing as reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel completed just three laps and spun his car, despite this, there was no damage done to the car and he was able to continue.

We have had an extremely busy day in Jerez with new cars and plenty of drama on track. The new cars sound great and it is safe to say that this season is going to be an extremely interesting season and of course we can't draw too many conclusions from today's times as the team's were essentially conducting 'shake down' tests and system checks. 

Testing continues tomorrow.

Williams reveal FW36 in Jerez

It has been an incredibly busy opening day of Winter testing in Jerez today as the Williams  F1 Team became the latest outfit to reveal their new car.

Valtteri Bottas is on track for the Grove based squad as he put the Williams FW36 through its first runs in Jerez this afternoon. There are plenty of changes at Williams this season, they have a new driver, as Felipe Massa joins from Ferrari and aswell as that they have a new engine supplier with Mercedes.

The new car, which was revealed with the team's now traditional navy blue testing livery looks really impressive and features a nicer looking front wing and nose assembly compared to some of its rivals.

The team have done a great job with the look of the new car and hopefully it will help them to return to where they deserve to be and that is challenging for podium's and point's on a regular basis.

(Williams F1 Team via Twitter)

New Caterham breaks cover

(Tony Fernandes via Twitter)

Caterham F1 Team owner Tony Fernandes released this picture of the new Caterham F1 car as the tea's new driver Marcus Ericsson prepares to leave the garage for the teams first run of 2014. 

The new car features an extremely interesting front nose concept. The CT05 will be driven by returning F1 driver Kamui Kobayashi and F1 rookie Marcus Ericsson, who will drive the new car today. 

Mercedes finished for the day

(Mercedes AMG F1 via Twitter)

The Mercedes AMG F1 team have confirmed that they have finished testing for today following Lewis Hamilton's front wing failure this morning on the opening day of the Jerez winter test.

The team will be back on track tomorrow.

Lotus confident their new car complies with the FIA regulations

(Lotus F1 Team via Twitter)

The Lotus F1 Team believe that their new car, the E22 complies with the FIA's 2014 regulations. In an interview with the team's official website their technical director Nick Chester said:

"We have passed all the necessary crash tests and we are very confident that our design complies with all the FIA legal requirements"

The Enstone based team are the only F1 outfit to sit out the opening test of the winter testing period, instead opting to run their new car at the first Bahrain test which gets underway next month.

Chester's comments come admit suggestions that the team's 'twin front nose' did not comply with the new regulations for 2014.

The team have said that the new E22 is well advanced in the build phase and they believe that they will be in good shape for the second test in Bahrain which takes place from February 19th - 22nd.

Hamilton crashes new W05

Mercedes AMG F1's Lewis Hamilton has crashed the W05 heavily at turn 1 in Jerez resulting in there being substantial damage to the new car and it would appear that he has been forced to sit out the rest of the day of today's test.

Lewis got out of the car and is ok.

UPDATE 12:25: Mercedes have confirmed Lewis Hamilton's car failure was due to a front wing failure.
(Mercedes AMG F1 via Twitter)

Sahara Force India launch their new car, the VJMO7

The Sahara Force India F1 Team took the wraps off their new car, the VJM07 in the Jerez pit-lane just before the start of Winter testing this morning. the team's drivers, Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez were on hand to unveil the new car which once again will be powered by Mercedes engines.

The new car features a long nose and front wing, and has a long ant eater still piece that a number of other team's have already. The team carried out an initial shakedown test of the car last Friday at Silverstone.

(Sahara Force India via Twitter)

Mercedes unveil W05 at Jerez

Mercedes AMG F1 have unveiled their new W05 car in Jerez, the car which they hope will enable them to challenge for both the driver's and the constructor's championships this season.

The Brackley based squad finished a fantastic 2nd place in the Constructors championship last year and Lewis Hamilton finished the season in third place in the driver's standings. The new car is a lovely looking car and has a slightly more conservative front wing and nose assembly.

The car looks very good and it will be interesting to see how the team do this year can they go one better and win this year's championship. We;ll just have to wait and see what happens.

The new car was unveiled by the team's driver's Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with Hamilton the first of the teams driver's to take to the track. Lewis was the first driver to set a time in 2014 Winter testing setting a time 1m 33.305s.

(Mercedes AMGF1 via Twitter)

Marussia send new car to Jerez

Following the news last night that the Marussia F1 Team had found a technical glitch with their car, the team have confirmed this morning that they have fixed the problem and have sent their new car the MR03 out to Jerez and will be in action on the remaining three day's of the opening test in Jerez.

(Ben Johnston 2014 - Marussia back on track with 2014 preparations)

Red Bull launch the RB10

Red Bull Racing launched their new car, the RB10 in the Jerez pit-lane this morning as the Winter testing got underway.

The new car features the 'ant eater front nose' but it is not as severe as their rivals. The car was launched by the team's reigning world championship Sebastian Vettel and his new team mate Daniel Ricciardo.

The team are hoping that the RB10 will bring them a fifth consecutive world driver's and constructor's championship after winning the titles for the past four season's in a row.

The new car looks absolutely great and it will be interesting to see how the team get on this season.
(Red Bull Racing via Twitter)

Monday, 27 January 2014

BREAKING: Marussia to miss Jerez Test

On the eve of the opening test of Winter testing, Marussia have announced that due to technical reasons they will miss this weeks test in Jerez.

More information when I hear it.

UPDATE 20.35

The Marussia F1 Team have confirmed that they are set up in Jerez and are hopeful of getting the MR03 out to Jerez

Red Bull, Mercedes, and Caterham all set to reveal cars in the morning

Tomorrow is set to be an extremely busy day in Formula One as not only does Winter testing get underway in Jerez but we will see at least three team's reveal their 2014 challengers.

Mercedes AMG F1 will launch their new car at 7.20AM UK, 8.20 (CET)

(Ben Johnston 2014)

Next up, Red Bull Racing will reveal their RB10 at 8.30 (CET) 7.30UK Time

(Ben Johnston 2014)

Caterham will reveal their car, the CT04 for the first time 8.45AM (CET) 7:45 UK time.

(Ben Johnston 2014)

The Marussia F1 Team are also expected to reveal their new car tomorrow but have yet to confirm a time.

Toro Rosso launch their new STR9 in Jerez

The Toro Rosso Formula One team have become the latest outfit to launch their new car. Ahead of the start Winter testing in Jerez tomorrow the teams driver's Jean Eric Vergne and new driver Daniil Kvyat were on hand in the Jerez pit-lane to take the cover off the new STR9.

The new car features the new low front nose and front wing like their rivals and is striking just like the Ferrari F14T but is somewhat more stream lined without the ant eater slope at the front of the car.

This year, for the first time since the team became Toro Rosso they will use the same Renault engines that their sister team Red Bull Racing use. It will be interesting to see how the Italian team get this season with the new Renault engine.

Daniil Kvyat, the Russian rookie driver has made the step up to the team from GP3 to replace Australian Daniel Ricciardo who in turn replaced his fellow Australian driver Mark Webber alongside reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel at Red Bull Racing for this season. The Milton Keynes based squad will themselves reveal their new car the RB10 tomorrow morning.

(Scuderia Toro Rosso via Twitter)

Red Bull to unveil their new car at 8:30CET in Jerez tomorrow morning

(Ben Johnston 2014)

Red Bull Racing have become the latest F1 team to come their launch plans. The reigning world champions will present their car, the RB10 to the media in the Jerez pit-lane tomorrow morning at 8.30(CET) 7.30 UK time just ahead of the start of winter testing.

Both Sebastian Vettel and the team's new driver Daniel Ricciardo will be present at the unveiling. The team have confirmed that Sebatian will drive the car tomorrow and on Wednesday before Daniel takes over on Thursday and Friday.

Tomorrow is the BIG day as Jerez test gets underway

(Ferrari via Twitter)

Formula One 2014 officially gets underway tomorrow morning as the talking stops and the drivers and the teams get their first taste of the new era of F1 when they take to the track for the first time with their 1.6 litre V6 Turbo charged engines.

Ten team's will be present at Jerez this week with the Lotus F1 Team the only outfit electing to skip the first test to concentrate on completing their new car. The Enstone squad will announce a management reshuffle in February ahead of the start of the second test in Bahrain following the shock departure of team boss Eric Boullier on Friday.

Red Bull Racing have confirmed that reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel will drive the RB 10 tomorrow and on Wednesday before Daniel Ricciardo takes over on Thursday and Friday.

Mercedes will launch their car in Jerez in the morning before Lewis Hamilton takes to the wheel of the new W05 he will test the car on Tuesday and Wednesday before Nico Rosberg takes over for the final two days on Thursday and Friday.

Over at Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen will get his first taste of the new era of F1 as he will drive the F14T for the opening two days before Fernando Alonso drives the final two day's.

The Lotus F1 Team will launch their car, the E22 ahead of the second test in Bahrain. 

McLaren's drivers programme will be split between Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, Button will drive on the the opening two days while Magnussen will drive on Thursday and Friday.

Force India have just confirmed that Sergio Perez will drive the VJM07 tomorrow, Nico Hulkenberg will drive the car on Wednesday before the Silverstone squad's new test driver Daniel Juncadella will drive the car on Thursday while they have yet to confirm who will drive the car on Friday, however I would not be at all surprised if they split Friday's running between their two race drivers.

The Sauber F1 Team who launched their new car, the C33 yesterday have announced that Esteban Gutierrez will drive the new car tomorrow and on Wednesday, while Adrian Sutil will drive the car on Thursday and Friday.

Toro Rosso have divided the running of the STR09 with Jean Eric Vergne driving tomorrow and Thursday while their new driver Daniel Kvyat will drive on Wednesday and Friday.

And so to Williams,  Valtteri Bottas Bottas will drive the FW36 on Wednesday and Thursday before handing over to new signing Felipe Massa who will test on Thursday and Friday.

Marussia have split their running with Max Chilton driving tomorrow and Friday while Jules Bianchi will drive on Wednesday and Thursday

And finally, after confirming last week that Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson will drive for them this season Caterham have confirmed that Kamui will drive the new car on the final day of testing while Marcus will drive the car on the opening two days of the test while the teams new test driver Robin Frijns will take to the wheel on Thursday.

I will of course be keeping you up to date with what is happening in Jerez throughout the week as Formula One returns

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Sauber F1 Team unveil C33

(Sauber F1 Team Official website)

The Sauber F1 Team have become the latest outfit to to reveal their 2014 car. The C33 features a sloped front nose similar to the one on the Williams FW36.

This season the Swiss based team will once again use Ferrari  power as the sport switches to 1.6 litre V6 power units. The Italian team revealed their new car, the F14T yesterday. The new Sauber features an 8 speed Ferrari gearbox and they will also use a Ferrari Kinetic Energy Recovery System unit. 

This season, Germany's Adrian Sutil joins the Swiss team in what can be seen as a direct swap with Nico Hulkenberg who has returned to Force India after a year at the Sauber F1 Team while Sutil joins from Force India.

He will be joined at the team by Esteban Gutierrez who enters his second full season in Formula One with the team.

Former Caterham F1 Team driver, Giedo Van Der Garde joins the team as their official test and reserve driver and will share the duties with the teams Russian driver Sergey Siroktin, who it had been thought would drive for the team this season but it didn't happen.

Van Der Garde will get his first taste of the new era of Fromula One when he takes part in Friday Practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Both race drivers will be in attendance at Jerez this week as testing gets underway on Tuesday.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ferrari launch new car

The Ferrari Formula One team have become the latest outfit to unveil their 2014 car. The F14T was unveiled at the team's factory in Marenello by drivers Kimi Raikkonen who returns to the team following two years at the Lotus F1 Team and Fernando Alonso.

(Ferrari SpA via Twitter)

The new car is absolutely lovely looking and features a very interesting low front nose and wing. Speaking about the new season Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali said 'it is a long season and it is important that the team start the season with a reliable car'

Meanwhile Fernando Alonso has said that both he and Kimi Raikkonen need to deliver for the Italian team who go into 2014 having not won the driver's championship since 2007 when Kimi Raikkonen was first with the team.

(Ferrari SpA via Twitter)

Fernando Alonso is aiming to do what Michael Schumacher did and that is to win the championship for Ferrari in his fifth season with the team.

(Ferrari SpA via Twitter)

Kimi Raikkonen stated that "It is nice to come back to Ferrari, the place where I won my championship in 2007, we want to do the best we can, the goal is the same' said the Finn.

When asked about the back operation that meant he missed the final two races of the season for Lotus Raikkonen said "I had no choice, I wanted to be 100 percent for this year'.

Kimi will get his first chance to drive the new car on Tuesday morning before Fernando Alonso takes over later in the week.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Mixed morning for Lotus as they release image of the E22

(Lotus F1 Team via Twitter)

Just hours after announcing the departure of their team principal the Lotus F1 Team took to Twitter to release an image of their 2014 car the E22.

News broke this morning that the Frenchman had left the team and just moments after McLaren unveiled their new car Lotus followed the lead of Force India and Williams by revealing the new Lotus. The colour scheme of the Lotus means that it is actually a very nice looking car however it is what will happen on track and not what the car looks like that matters most.

Lotus have decided to show an image of their new car despite the fact that they will miss the opening test of the new season which gets underway on Tuesday in Jerez they are the only team on the grid who will miss the opening test.

Since last season, the Enstone based squad has b has been raided by other teams starting with the departure of technical director James Allison who moved to Ferrari. Kimi Raikkonen was next to go as he left the team to rejoin Ferrari from this season. The team's Head of Aerodynamics Dirk De Beer left the team to join Ferrari. Earlier this week the team lost their chief engineer, Ciaron Pilbeam to McLaren and now by far the biggest blow to the team team is the departure of team principal Eric Boullier.

McLaren launch their new car

(McLaren Mercedes Via Twitter)

McLaren Mercedes have become the first team to unveil their 2014 car, the MP4 29 after presenting their new car to the media at the McLaren Technology Centre in Woking this morning.

The team's two drivers Jenson Button and new signing Kevin Magnussen were on hand to take the wraps off the new car. For the first time since 2007, their new car does not feature the Vodafone logo after the Telecommunications giant ended its long term sponsorship deal with the team at the end of last season.

The team have yet to confirm who will be their new title sponsor for 2014 so we'll just have to wait and see what happens. 

Speaking about 2014 Jenson Button said that following a difficult season last year it would be good for change in 2014 which is a strong indication that Martin Whitmarsh will be replaced as team principal ahead of the start of the new season. Whitmarsh was not in attendance at the the launch. 

There is speculation in the F1 paddock today that Eric Boullier will replace Whitmarsh at McLaren after it t was confirmed this morning that the Frenchman has left the Lotus F1 Team.

Ferrari fans have spoken..The new car will be called the F14T

(Ben Johnston)

Ferrari have confirmed that their 2014 F1 car will be called the F14T after fans were given the opportunity to name the new car. Five names were shortlisted and with 369,711 F14T was chosen.

The new name marks the beginning of an new era in Formula One as the sport switches to 1.6 litre V6 turbo charged power plants and the name shows that Ferrari, 2014 Turbo.

The team also confirmed via their official Twitter account this morning that their new car will be presented to the media at 2.30PM CET tomorrow with both Fernando Alonso and new signing Kimi Raikkonen both in attendance at the presentation.

BREAKING: Boullier leaves Lotus

(Ben Johnston 2013)

Wow!! Things have just gone from bad to worse for the Lotus F1 Team as it has emerged that their team principal Eric Boullier has left the Enstone based squad with immediate affect. The Frenchman, who led the team to fourth in the Constructors championship last year will be replaced by time CEO Gerard Lopez who will continue in his role on the team board of management.

The news comes just days after it was announced that the team's chief engineer Ciaron Pilbeam have left after just a year at the team and has joined McLaren.

Sky Sports are reporting this morning that in a sensational move they are expecting Boullier to be announced as Martin Whitmarsh's replacement as McLaren team boss but we will have to wait and see what happens. The Woking based squad will launch their new car the MP4-29 later today.

I will have more on this developing story later.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Whitmarsh not expected at the launch of the new McLaren

(Ben Johnston 2014)

The Daily Mail newspaper in the UK are reporting that McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh will be a no show at the presentation of the team's new MP4-29 at the factory in Woking tomorrow.

The paper has reported that Whitmarsh has not been at the McLaren Technology Centre since McLaren Group chairman Ron Dennis was reappointed to the role of CEO at the F1 team fueling speculation that Whitmarsh will make his exit from the F1 team.

McLaren have announced that they have renewed their sponsorship deal with Spanish banking giant Santander for the 2014 season and tellingly when the statement was released by the team there was no word from Whitmarsh and instead it was the teams Marketing managing director, Ekrem Sami who confirmed that the team were pleased to be renewing their deal with the bank.

As for Martin Whitmarsh, the Englishman has been team boss at Woking since 2009 and in five yeard at the help the team have failed to win a championship. There last driver's championship came in 2008 when Lewis Hamilton won the title and their last Constructors championship win was in 1998.

Meanwhile, the Woking based squad also confirmed that Stoffel Vandoorne has been promoted from the teams young driver programme and will be their reserve driver for 2014 replacing Kevin Magnussen who in turn replacing Sergio Perez as Jenson Button's team mate for this season. 

The team principal would usually be the one to comment on a new driver appointments however it was the team's sporting director Sam Michael who has said that Stoffel is a very popular member of the McLaren team and is great at providing technical feedback.

It is believed that if Whitmarsh does indeed move on from his position of team principal that Ron Dennis would look to Ross Brawn as Whitmarsh's successor having admitted that the pair held talks at the end of last year. It is certainly a case of watch this space but things should become a lot clearer at midday tomorrow when McLaren launch their new car.

Pilbeam joins McLaren

(Ben Johnston 2014)

The Lotus F1 Team have suffered a set back following the news that their chief engineer Ciaron Pilbeam has left the team after just a year.

He joined the Lotus F1 Team at the start of last season where he spent a number of season's as Mark Webber's race engineer. Pilbeam joins McLaren in a senior technical role although position within the Woking based outfit has yet to be announced.

It is a further blow to the Lotus F1 Team who have lost a number of senior personnel in recent times. First James Allison left the team to join Ferrari. He was followed to the Italian team by Dirk De Beer and now Pilbeam has left.

It is the latest in a long list of technical personnel changes up and down the pit-lane. So it is going to be extremely interesting to see what happens this season.

The news of Pilbeam's arrival at McLaren comes just a week after Ron Dennis was re appointed CEO of the McLaren Group. The Englishman has stated that he will announce a number of changes within the Formula One team next month. 

The team will launch their new car, the MP4-29 tomorrow, however they have already announced that they will be confirming their new title sponsor tomorrow. Their is plenty of anticipation for tomorrow's launch as the Woking team are the first to launch their new car although both Williams and Force India have issued picture's of their new cars.

Williams the latest team to reveal images of their new car

(Williams F1 Team via Twitter)

The Williams F1 Team have become the latest outfit to show off images of their 2014 F1 car. I have to admit that the new front wing is extremely ugly.

However, from the side, the car actually looks very nice. The team have confirmed that the new FW36 that they revealed today is their traditional dark blue and this is the colour that they will use for Winter testing.

The team have a new sponsor in Brazilian oil giant Petrobas, they have a new driver in Felipe Massa and they also have a new engine supplier with Mercedes taking over from Renault. So in the case of the Grove based squad it REALLY is the start of a new era.

In relation to the new car, it doesn't matter what it looks like it is how it performs on track that counts the most.

(Williams F1 Team via Twitter)

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

New race engineer for Massa following his move to Williams

(Ben Johnston 2014)

The Williams F1 Team have confirmed that Pastor Maldonado's former race engineer Andrew Murdoch will be Felipe Massa's race engineer for the 2014 season. The team also announced that Jonathan Eddolls will remain as Valtteri Bottas' race engineer.

The news means that the future of Massa's former Ferrari race engineer Rob Smedley is unclear as it had been expected that the Englishman would follow Massa to the Williams team. 

There is still the possibility that Smedley could be announced in a senior engineering role at Williams but we'll have to wait and see what happens. I am sure we will find out in the coming day's and week's what Rob Smedley's plans are as Winter testing gets underway on Tuesday in Jerez.

Force India become the first team to reveal images of their 2014 car

(Sahara Force India via Twitter)

The Sahara Force India F1 Team have become the first outfit to reveal an image of their new 2014 car. The VJM07 features the new lower front wing. The front wing means that the cars will be slightly slower as it reduces the airflow under the the car.

The new car also features a striking black and orange livery. It is actually a very nice looking machine. Once again, Force India will be powered by Mercedes engine's as the sport switches to 1.6 litre V6 Turbo charged power units. 

The team also have an all new line-up with Nico Hulkenberg returning to the team following a year at Sauber. He will be joined at the team by former McLaren driver Sergio Perez.

The new car will get its first run out on Tuesday morning when the waiting ends as Winter testing gets underway in Jerez.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Paul Di Resta in line for Mercedes reserve role

Ben Johnston 2014

The Mercedes AMG F1 team are hopeful that they will be able to keep former Force India driver Paul Di Resta involved in F1 after the Scot announced today that he will drive for Mercedes in the German Touring Car Championship.

It is very possible that this will work as Di Resta did the same in 2010 when he won the DTM championship he drove for Force India as a reserve driver and was promoted to race driver in 2011. Mercedes currently have GP2 driver Sam Bird and former F1 driver Anthony Davidson as their reserve drivers.

Di Resta has had a great relationship with Mercedes in the past as prior to his arrival into F1 he drove for them in DTM and then of course their engine's powered the Force India team and now he is back with them for this season.

We'll just have to wait and see whether Mercedes can work out a deal for the Scot as it would be shame if he was no longer involved in F1.

Sauber sign Van Der Garde as their new test and reserve driver

(Ben Johnston 2014)

It has been a very busy day on the driver front in Formula One today. First we had the announcement that Paul Di Resta will return to the German Touring Car Championship with Mercedes this year and then the Sauber F1 Team announced that former Caterham driver Giedo Van Der Garde has joined the Swiss team as their test and reserve driver.

Van Der Garde made his Formula One debut with the Leafield based squad last season and despite being hopeful that he would be retained by the team for this season they have decided to do a clear out. First it was announced that Charles Pic had left the team and today we had confirmation that the team has signed Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson for the 2014 campaign.

In his new role at the Sauber F1 Team, Van Der Garde will take part in a number of Friday practice sessions aswell as testing for the team during the designated in season testing days.