Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 -  What we've learned from the first week of testing

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 - What we've learned from the first week of testing

21.02.2020: "You can't learn anything from laptimes during testing". This phrase is often heard during the winter and repeated so often that it has become more or less accepted as fact. But is it true? Try telling it to the Team Strategists and see their response.

"You can't learn anything from laptimes during testing". This phrase is often heard during the winter and repeated so often that it has become more or less accepted as fact. But is it true? Try telling it to the Team Strategists and see their response.
 


Far from discounting testing time analysis as meaningless, every team in the pitlane pores over the data as it emerges in order to build up a picture of the competitive pecking order. Using techniques that have been built up over a number of seasons it is possible to figure out, with surprising accuracy, what lies beneath the headline laptimes that we see during winter testing.
 


It is true, of course, that the strategists face a considerable string of unknowns. Fuel load, engine mode, tyre performance and driver pushing level play havoc with the laptimes and all of them are either unknown, or partially known. However, testing times are far from meaningless. If you look at them long enough, they gradually give up their secrets.
 


We start from things we do know. We know the lap time. We know the number of laps. We know (with good accuracy) the fuel that will be burnt in every lap. We know (from our simulations) how much faster a car will go with each lap of fuel that it burns. We also know (with adequate accuracy) how much slower a tyre will get with every racing lap that it is subjected to. We have estimates of the laptime difference between all the tyre compounds which gradually get more and more accurate as the test proceeds. With this in our hands, we can start to calculate things.
 


Although it might seem strange, the habits of teams are quite sticky. They tend to do similar things each year. Most people will run three fuel levels: a lower fuel load for performance, a medium fuel load for the bulk of their work, and full tanks for their race simulations. For each team, these three levels are different, but, weirdly, they don't vary much from year to year. Our opening guesses will assume that each team will do the same as they did the year before.
 


If you have a set of test times for the grid, and you have a set of opening assumptions (guesses) for which one of these three fuel loads each car has run, then you can convert the raw leaderboard into a pecking order. Of course, this first estimate is very inaccurate. The resulting pecking order is largely a reflection of the quality of the opening round of guesses - If you thought a team was on, say, 50kg, when, in reality they were on 100kg, then you will seriously underestimate their pace.
 


However, as the runs keep coming and the days unfold, this estimate is progressively refined using a simple method to keep adjusting the lower bound of the fuel that must be in the car. We do this by counting the laps. If a car does a 10 lap run, then we know that a lap consumes (say) 1.7kg, then there must have been at least 17kg of fuel in the car to do that run.




In reality, teams do not like to run down to fumes in normal testing, so it is more likely that there was at least 27kg of fuel in the car. If our prior assumption was that this team normally runs 50kg for general testing, then we will adjust our initial guess to say that the car was likely to have somewhere between 27kg and 50kg of fuel in the car. Once a team has done a load of running, this estimate gets surprisingly accurate.
 


If we see a car jump up or down in pace by meaningful amount, then we will tentatively conclude that this was a jump to one of the other fuel loads. For example, if it gets a chunk faster, we can assume that this was an adjustment to the "performance" level for a run that will be nearer to a qualifying effort.
 


The real insight comes when a team attempts a race distance. Doing a full race distance with pit-stop style tyre changes implies that the team must have its tanks near to full. This narrows the error in our estimates dramatically, allowing race times to be compared more or less directly.
 


Alongside the gradual capture of the testing fuel levels, the strategists are watching the speed and acceleration traces that come from the GPS system to look for changes in PU power. As the teams cycle through the power modes, we can get estimates of what power levels are available to each type of PU, and when they have been employed. This allows us to refine the pace estimates for each team, correcting for the mode usage in each run.
 


At the end of the first day, a hazy pattern is present. By the end of the first test, that pattern comes into better focus.
 


What, then, can we say about the leaderboard after three days? This is where life gets tricky because all these estimates are lower bound estimates. You can say with some confidence that your competitors are "at least as fast as X", but you do not know for sure how much faster they could have gone.



No-one wants the egg on their face of claiming that they are faster than another team, because they can never know for certain what was hidden or what is coming next. For example, will Red Bull bring a significant upgrade package to the second test? Why have Ferrari spent this test running their PU consistently at much lower levels than their partner teams?
 


What we can say is that we predict the battle in Melbourne at the front is going to be tight. We can also see that the midfield have closed on the front and that there is some considerable midfield swing compared to last year's competitive order. Testing times are not meaningless, they are a goldmine, if you're prepared to sift through them with care and caution until a clear picture begins to emerge...
 

 
 
Pos.     Driver     Team     Time     Laps



1     Valtteri Bottas (77)     Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team     1:15.732     65
2     Lewis Hamilton (44)     Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team     1:16.516     73
3     Esteban Ocon (31)     Renault     1:17.102     76
4     Lance Stroll (18)     Racing Point     1:17.338     116
5     Daniil Kvyat (26)     AlphaTauri     1:17.427     62
6     Antonio Giovinazzi (99)     Alfa Romeo     1:17.469     152
7     Daniel Ricciardo (3)     Renault     1:17.574     93
8     Max Verstappen (33)     Red Bull     1:17.636     86
9     Pierre Gasly (10)     AlphaTauri     1:17.783     59
10     Alex Albon (23)     Red Bull     1:18.154     83
11     Carlos Sainz (55)     McLaren     1:18.274     76
12     Romain Grosjean (8)     Haas     1:18.380     48
13     Sebastian Vettel (5)     Ferrari     1:18.384     100
14     Lando Norris (4)     McLaren     1:18.454     49
15     Nicholas Latifi (6)     Williams     1:19.004     72
16     Kevin Magnussen (20)     Haas     1:19.709     4




 
Bradley Lord- photos Mercedes

 
 

Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/mercedes-amg-petronas-f1-what-learned-first-week-testing---204197.html

21.02.2020 / MaP

More News

Honda F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3 review
21.02.2020
The first pre-season test of 2020 came to a close at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya with a busy day of running for the two Honda teams. Both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Scuderia AlphaTauri opted to split running between their drivers on Fr more >>
McLaren F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3 with both drivers
21.02.2020
"Thanks to the entire team here at the track and back home in Woking"DAY THREE OVERVIEW Date     Friday 21 February 2020Driver     Carlos Sainz, Lando NorrisLocation     Circuit de Barcelona more >>
Scuderia Ferrari -Barcelona Test 1 Day 3: Vettel brings the first test to an end
21.02.2020
The final day of the first pre-season test at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit turned out to be more demanding than expected for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow. Sebastian Vettel completed a total of 100 laps, equivalent to 465.5 kilometres, which was less than planned, because of a problem with the power unit on the SF1000, midway through the morning. more >>
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3
21.02.2020
BARCELONA TEST 1 – DAY 3 Driver: Max Verstappen / Alex AlbonCar: RB16                                            Laps: Max 86, Alex 83 more >>
Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN F1 Barcelona test 1 - day 3 with Antonio Giovinazzi
21.02.2020
Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya / 4.655 kmDriver: Antonio GiovinazziWeather: sunny and dry; air 6-20°C, track 13-27°CChassis / engine: Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39-02 / FerrariLaps: 152 laps, 707.56 kmFastest lap: 1:17.469  more >>
ROKiT Williams F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3 - Latifi on track
21.02.2020
21/02/2020Barcelona Test One – Day Three Drivers: Nicholas LatifiChassis / Engine: FW43-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M11 EQ PerformanceLocation: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655 kmWeather: Moderate and dry more >>
Pirelli - How to tell the five compounds apart in testing
21.02.2020
MARIO ISOLA - HEAD OF F1 AND CAR RACING "We had good weather conditions and a low number of red flags, which enabled plenty of running, thanks also to an impressive level of reliability from all the cars. The fastest times were considerab more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3 - 138 laps done
21.02.2020
 F1: Pre-Season Testing  2020 Pre-Season Test 1, Day 3  First pre-season test of 2020 F1 season concludes with 138 laps for Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team on day three  Date:    Friday, 21 February 20 more >>
BWT Racing Point F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3 with Lance Stroll
21.02.2020
2020 FORMULA 1 PRE-SEASON TESTINGTEST 1, DAY 3Friday, February 21st 2020Lance Stroll advances RP20 understanding despite stop-start day in Barcelona IN NUMBERSLance StrollLaps Comple more >>
Scuderia AlphaTauri F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3 review
21.02.2020
BARCELONA TEST 01 – DAY 3 Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya Driver: Daniil Kvyat - Car: AT01-02Best time: 1:17.427 - Laps: 62                                    &n more >>
Haas F1 Barcelona test 1, day 3 - both drivers on the track
21.02.2020
Date: Friday, February 21Location: Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, SpainLayout: 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn circuitDriver: Romain Grosjean (AM) / Kevin Magnussen (PM)Laps: GRO 48 laps / MAG 4 lapsDistance: GRO 223.44 kilometers (138.816 miles) / MAG 18.62 kilometers (11.568 miles) Best Lap Time: GRO 1:18.380 (12th overall) / MA more >>
Barcelona F1 test week 1 final day afternoon notes, result - Bottas unbeatable
21.02.2020
F1 Barcelona test week 1 - final dayCircuit Barcelona CatalunyaFriday, February 21st  2020       Just a reminder that the F1 circus returns here next week for three more days of testing, then more >>
Barcelona F1 test 1, day 3 morning notes, classification - Bottas fastest
21.02.2020
F1 pre-season test week 1Circuit Barcelona-CatalunyaFriday, February 21st 2020Bottas goes even fasterThe Finn has lowered his benchmark even further, after bolting on a set of the C4 soft tyres down to a 1m 1 more >>
Scuderia Ferrari - Charles Leclerc passes the SF1000 baton to Sebastian Vettel
20.02.2020
Barcelona Test 1 – Day 2The second day of pre-season testing at the Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit saw both Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel behind the wheel of the SF1000. The car completed a total of 122 laps, more >>
McLaren F1 Barcelona test 1 day 2 with Lando Norris
20.02.2020
Barcelona Test: Day 2   "Another productive day today with Lando covering 137 laps"DAY TWO OVERVIEW Date     Thursday 20 February 2020Driver     Lando Norris more >>
BWT Racing Point F1 Barcelona test 1, day 2 - Sergio Perez great performance
20.02.2020
2020 FORMULA 1 PRE-SEASON TESTINGTEST 1, DAY 2Sergio Perez extends test mileage on RP20IN NUMBERSSergio PerezLaps Completed: 145Distance Covered: 674.975 kilometres more >>
Honda F1 Barcelona test 1 day 2 review
20.02.2020
2020 Barcelona F1 Test 1 – Day 2  There was a sense of deja vu on the second day of 2020 pre-season testing as the two Honda-powered teams again ended up closely-matched in fourth and fifth. Another warm more >>
Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Barcelona test 1 day 2 review
20.02.2020
 2020 Pre-Season Test 1, Day 2  Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team concludes day two of pre-season testing in Spain with 183 laps on the board  Date:    Thursday, 20 February 2020 Driver:  &nb more >>
Haas F1 Barcelona test 1 day 2 - Romain Grosjean at the wheel
20.02.2020
Date: Thursday, February 20Location: Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, SpainLayout: 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn circuitDriver: Romain GrosjeanLaps: 158 lapsDistance: 735.49 kilometers (456.936 miles)Best Lap Time: 1:18.496 (11th overall)Fastest Lap: 1:17.091 by Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo RacingMost Laps: 158 laps by Romai more >>
Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen F1 test Barcelona day 2 - Raikkonen on top
20.02.2020
2020 Pre-Season Testing – Week 1, Day 2Kimi Räikkönen topped the timesheets on the second day of testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Finn taking the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39 for the first time since the car&rsq more >>
ROKiT Williams F1 Barcelona test 1 day 2 review
20.02.2020
Barcelona Test One – Day Two Drivers: George RussellChassis / Engine: FW43-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M11 EQ PerformanceLocation: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655 kmWeather: Moderate and dryDave Robson, Hea more >>
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Barcelona test 1, day 2 with Alex Albon
20.02.2020
BARCELONA TEST 1 – DAY 2Driver: Alex AlbonCar: RB16Laps: 134Best time: 1.77.912Circuit length: 4.655km    Day two of the first pre-season test of 2020 saw Alex get his first taste of the RB16 with more >>
Scuderia AlphaTauri Barcelona test 1, day 2 with Pierre Gasly
20.02.2020
BARCELONA TEST 01 – DAY 2 Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya Driver: Pierre Gasly - Car: AT01-02Best time: 1:18.121 - Laps: 147            Pierre Gasly (Car 10): more >>
Barcelona test 1, day 2 afternoon classification - Kimi Raikkonen on top
20.02.2020
 F1 Pre-season test 01Circuit Barcelona-CatalunyaThursday, February 20th 2020    full results, photos, livetiming on www.formula1.com  photo Sa more >>
Sergio Perez on top in Barcelona Thursday morning test session - standings
20.02.2020
F1 Pre-season test week 1Circuit Barcelona CatalunyaThursday, February 20th  2020So it is the Mexican who leads at the halfway stage today, setting a 1m 17.347s to be clear at the top by three tenths from Riccia more >>
Scuderia Ferrari - Two race distances for Charles Leclerc and the SF1000
19.02.2020
Barcelona Test 1 – Day 1:The first day of the first Formula 1 pre-season test went according to plan for Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow, apart from the fact that Charles Leclerc ended up giving the SF1000 its official track debut and more >>
Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen Barcelona F1 test 1, day 1 review
19.02.2020
2020 Pre-Season Testing – Week 1, Day 1Circuit: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya / 4.655 kmDriver: Robert Kubica (AM); Antonio Giovinazzi (PM)Weather: sunny and dry; air 11-17°C, track 13-29°CChassis / engine: Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN C39-02 / FerrariLaps: 138 laps (59 KUB; 79 GIO), 642.39 kmFastest lap: 1:18.386 (KUB); 1:20.096 (GIO)  more >>
BWT Racing Point F1 Team Barcelona test 1, day 1 review
19.02.2020
2020 FORMULA 1 PRE-SEASON TESTINGTEST 01 - DAY 01Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll conclude a positive opening day for the RP20IN NUMBERSSergio Perez [AM]Laps Completed: 58Distance Covered: 269.9 more >>
Haas F1 Barcelona test 1, day 1 review
19.02.2020
Date: Wednesday, February 19Location: Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya, SpainLayout: 4.655-kilometer (2.892-mile), 16-turn circuitDriver: Kevin MagnussenLaps: 106 lapsDistance: 493.43 kilometers (306.552 miles)Best Lap Time: 1:18.466 (14th overall)Fastest Lap: 1:16.976 by Lewis Hamilton of MercedesMost Laps: 168 laps by Max Verstappe more >>
ROKiT Williams F1 Barcelona test 1, day 1
19.02.2020
Barcelona Test One – Day One Drivers: George Russell, Nicholas LatifiChassis / Engine: FW43-01 / Mercedes-AMG F1 M11 EQ PerformanceLocation: Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, 4.655 kmWeather: Moderate and dryClaire more >>
Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team completes 173 laps on the first day of pre-season testing
19.02.2020
Date:    Wednesday, 19 February 2020 Driver:    Valtteri Bottas (AM), Lewis Hamilton (PM) Circuit:    Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Circuit Length:    4.655 km Laps Completed:    Valtteri 79, Lewis 94, Total 173 Distance Covered:    Valtteri 368 km, Lewis 438 km, Tota more >>
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Barcelona test 1, day 1 review
19.02.2020
BARCELONA TEST 1 – DAY 1Driver: Max VerstappenCar: RB16Laps: 168Best time: 1:17.516Circuit length: 4.655km Max got Aston Martin Red Bull Racing’s 2020 Formula 1 Championship charge off to a succe more >>
Renault F1 Team Barcelona F1 test week 1, day 1
19.02.2020
2020 FORMULA 1 BARCELONA TEST, Wednesday, February 19th  2020Renault F1 Team officially started its 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season preparations today on Day 1 of Formula 1 winter testing at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catal more >>
Scuderia AlphaTauri Barcelona test 01- day 1 review
19.02.2020
BARCELONA TEST 01 – DAY 1 Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya Driver: Daniil Kvyat - Car: AT01-02Best time: 1:17.698 - Laps: 116             Daniil Kvyat (Ca more >>
Lewis Hamilton on top in Barcelona afternoon test session
19.02.2020
F1 Pre-season test 01Circuit Barcelona CatalunyaWednesday, February 19th 2020 Lewis Hamilton on top in Barcelona afternoon test session more >>
Barcelona test day 1 classification morning session, half way
19.02.2020
F1 Pre-season test 01Circuit Barcelona CatalunyaWednesday, February 19th 2020 halfway at 16.00h   Morning session   more >>
Barcelona test 1 - Vettel goes first
18.02.2020
  The honour of giving the SF1000 its track debut in the first pre-season test at the Barcelona-Catalunya circuit will fall to Sebastian Vettel. The German will drive throughout Wednesday 19th February, handing over to Charles Leclerc for the Thursday 20th more >>
Aston Martin Red Bull Racing F1 Barcelona test 1 driver line-up
18.02.2020
BARCELONA TEST 1 Circuit Barcelona Catalunya(19 February – 21 February)  DRIVER LINE-UP*Wednesday 19 February: Max VerstappenThursday 20 February: Alex Albon more >>
Haas F1 Barcelona test 01 - driver line-up
18.02.2020
Barcelona Test No.1 Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya19-21 February 2020   Driver Line-Up:Wednesday, Feb. 19: Kevin MagnussenThursday, Feb. 20: Romain Grosjean Friday, Feb. 21: more >>

Kategorien

2001-2022 automobilsport.com full copyright