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Bianchi and Ferrari close out Silverstone test fastest

Jul 9, 2014, 11:52 AM EDT

F1 Testing At Silverstone - Day Two Getty Images

Jules Bianchi has finished fastest on the second and final day of testing at Silverstone after jumping into the Ferrari F14 T for today’s session.

Full-time driver Kimi Raikkonen was due to take part, but the team instead chose to rest him and allow him to fully recover from a 47g impact at the British Grand Prix last weekend. Bianchi drives for Marussia, and ran for the Anglo-Russian team yesterday at Silverstone, but is also a member of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

His lap of 1:35.252 went unbeaten at the top of the standings, finishing ahead of Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen. Kvyat led for much of the day before being toppled by the Frenchman.

Giedo van der Garde finished fourth for Sauber, while Lewis Hamilton bounced back from a spin in the first 30 minutes of the day to finish fifth ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas. Max Chilton continued Marussia’s good form to finish seventh, with Force India’s Daniel Juncadella in P8. Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel finished ninth for Red Bull.

Charles Pic may only have finished tenth fastest, but his laps were important. For the first time, Pirelli’s concept 18-inch rimmed tires were tested, and gained widespread approval in the paddock.

Caterham’s day did not go to plan as Julian Leal’s car came to a halt just one lap into his run. It was later diagnosed as being an electrical problem which took the team several hours to fix. The team had planned to run GP2 driver Rio Haryanto in the afternoon, but instead kept Leal behind the wheel to make up for his lost running in the morning.

The test came to an end with 20 minutes left in the day after Giedo van der Garde crashed hard, damaging the barrier. The teams will now turn their attention to the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in eleven days’ time.

  1. actuatormz3 - Jul 9, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Luke, from everything I’ve read, the formula 1 teams are very against switching from the current 13 inch wheel. Of course anything is possible, but do you think that going to an 18 inch wheel has even a slightest chance of getting approved?

    • Luke Smith - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      From the people I’ve spoken to, it’s still very early days. Pirelli are really excited about it, but unless the teams are happy with the uptake, then no, it won’t go ahead.

      We’ll be talking to the drivers at Hockenheim next week about it all, so I’ll get back to you then with more.

      • testover6370 - Jul 10, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        I would also be very interested in updates on how other potential tire suppliers would see this move. While I’m opposed to the change as it stands now, I would be much more eager to embrace the change if it brought a tire war back into play.

  2. techmeister1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    I would not read anything into the test times as it’s clear Mercedes and Red B.S. Racing were not running at full pace. I also doubt Williams is a second per lap behind Ferrari.

    As far as the 18″ wheels Ferrari fans like them and they certainly look more current. I wonder what the weight diff is? My guess is the F1 teams don’t want to change because the 18″ wheel is very open and completely changes the aerodynamics of the car as a result.

    What is of note is the FIA sent out a special memo indicating that the rules may be changed soon regarding the FRIC systems as some folks have stepped outside the box.

    • actuatormz3 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      I believe the reason is that the current huge profile tires are more flexible than a lower profile tire. And that flexibility in the tire has been built into the suspension setup. If you change the tire the teams will have to make major adjustments to compensate and their years of data with these tires will be lost.

      • techmeister1 - Jul 10, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        There are many reasons why the teams would be hesitant including the spring rate of the tires themselves. Don’t assume however that the high profile sidewall F1 tires are soft as they can be built however the tire maker desires such as with very stiff sidewalls. Most high down force cars require very stiff suspensions and tires to maintain a specific ground clearance. This is why the FRIC systems have been employed to aid in maintaining a level platform. As little as a 1/16″ change in ride height under braking or in high speed turns can have a drastic effect on grip for these cars.

        The original intent of the small diameter wheel and large tire sidewall was to reduce wheel weight and provide a tire that had the torque capacity necessary for acceleration with high HP. With advances in tire technology a large sidewall profile is no longer required to deal with high power in most race applications other than perhaps drag racing where they require the tire to distort on launch.

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