Yesterday in the comments to the testing times post, Haplo wondered how the lap times from this session compared with last year. I’m not sure how helpful a comparison would be because we are comparing two very different types of cars, plus the 2008 test that has just ended saw many different cars on the track. BMW ran an interim car, while many other teams ran with very few modifications. I feel the just-prior-to-season-start test comparison will provide much more juicy information, but as I can do it now, here’s the times from November 2007 and November 2008.
For both test sessions – each were three days and both at Circuit de Catalunya – I picked the fastest lap set by each team. In each case I subtracted the 2007 time from the 2008 time to get the difference. Here are the results…
Nelson Piquet Jr.
|Scuderia Toro Rosso STR2/STR3
|Red Bull Racing RB3/RB4
Pedro De La Rosa
|Force India F8-VII/VJM01
A few interesting points from the comparison…
- Renault were fastest last year with Heikki Kovalainen posting a great lap on the final day. They have lost 1.5s between cars, although they may have been running KERS and other equipment this year.
- Ferrari have also lost time (1.4s), but they were definitely running with KERS over the last three days.
- Red Bull’s times are probably the best to compare as in both tests, they were running close to their racing models, although the 2008 time was set with slick tyres, contributing to their 2.26s gain.
- BMW made an interesting gain between the regular F1.07 and the new 2009-spec car. Despite a loss of aerodynamic grip, the team made an improvement of almost 1 second, again helped by slick tyres.
I’ll post a similar comparison nearer to the start of the 2009 season after the final test to see if the slick-shod aero-clean cars have made any gains over their predecessors that raced during 2008.