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2012 Testing Preview: Mugello

By Mav | 27 Apr 2012 | 5 Comments | 3,114 views

After calls for the return of in-season testing, Formula One takes a break from the excitement of a tight World Championship and heads to Italy and the Mugello Circuit for some quiet testing and development. With the field so closely packed, this test could prove to be even more valuable than originally planned as gains here may reap big rewards when racing returns.

As well as the usual faces (well helmet designs) behind the wheel, the test will also be an opportunity for reserve drivers to put in some track time. Jerome d’Ambrosio (Lotus F1), Jules Bianchi (Force India), Valtteri Bottas (Williams) and Rodolfo Gonzalez (Caterham) will hit the track on the first day before handing over the reigns to the regular drivers. At McLaren, meanwhile, Gary Paffett and Olivier Turvey are set to conduct the entire test themselves although Lewis Hamilton hinted that he may gatecrash the party. However, Paffett is notable as having previously raced on the Mugello circuit in the DTM series, as has Force India’s Paul di Resta.

  Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
Red Bull Webber Webber/Vettel Vettel
McLaren Turvey/Paffett Paffett Turvey
Ferrari Alonso Massa Alonso
Mercedes Rosberg/Schumacher Schumacher Rosberg
Lotus d’Ambrosio Grosjean Grosjean
Force India Bianchi di Resta Hulkenberg
Sauber Kobayashi Kobayashi Perez
Toro Rosso Vergne Vergne/Ricciardo Ricciardo
Williams Bottas Senna Maldonado
Caterham Gonzalez Petrov Kovalainen
Marussia Pic Pic/Glock Glock

*Subject to changes

Not present at all will be HRT who say they will be busy moving into their new headquarters – presumably that means Pedro de la Rosa will be driving the van while Narain Karthikeyan does the unpacking. The reality is more likely to be that the team simply doesn’t have any updates to test and that attendance will be of limited value.
Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello
While the Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello near Florence is a staple of the MotoGP calendar, and hosted Formula Two events in the 1970s and 80s, it is something of an unknown to the Formula One crowd – with one notable exception: The circuit is owned by Ferrari. Toro Rosso tested on the circuit back in 2007 but you have to go back to 2005 for the last British outfit – BAR alongside Ferrari and Minardi. However, with its long straight and a mix of relatively quick chicanes, medium and high-speed corners, the undulating circuit makes an ideal, and picturesque, location for testing.

Tuesday Starting overcast with increasing probability of showers, some thundery, as the day progresses. Temperatures reaching 18°C.
Wednesday Scattered cloud with the possibility of a light shower. Quite cool with maximum temperatures of 18°C.
Thursday Dry and sunny periods but south-westerly breezes strengthening. Temperatures reaching 17°C.

 
Related Links
Testing Statistics
Weather including hourly track conditions

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5 Comments »

  • saltire

    Do the teams get an extra engine to take part in the test or must it come out of the eight?

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  • Pitmonster

    Not 100% certain, but because this is effectively a ‘delayed’ pre-season test* I would expect that any engines used would be from the testing allocation rather than the 8 used for actual racing. Likewise gearboxes should not affect the usage stats for the season.

    * Last year there were 4 pre-season tests, this year there were 3 plus Mugello.

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  • saltire

    I’ve been having a mooch round to see if there is an official-ish asnswer to the question of engines and found this quote from Edd Straw (Autosport) on a previous live test report.

    “Each car entered has an allocation of eight engines to last the race season, with a 10-place grid penalty applied for each powerplant used beyond that number.

    However, testing is not restricted in terms of either engines or gearboxes. There was previously a rule allocating four engines per team for testing, but that’s no longer in the regulations.

    But although it’s unrestricted, such is the reliability of both gearboxes and engines that they won’t be getting through many here.

    So it looks like they have to use one of their eight if I read that correctly.

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  • Mav (author)

    Do the teams get an extra engine to take part in the test or must it come out of the eight?

    The teams do have extra engines as they are not governed by any formal rules (ie. testing is not restricted by engine usage). However, the teams are understood to have agreed a limit of 8 engines and 5 gearboxes for testing for economic reasons.

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  • Kimster

    Mugello is a bit like a narrower Nurburgring. You’d think with the long corners it would be good for Barca but the corners aren’t quick enough. I do love the first sector though.

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