iotar__ wrote:Since the beginning of the tests we hear that Jerez is an unusual track, high degradation, temperatures and layout unlike any track they use during the season. In short: not very useful. So forgive me for asking the obvious: why test there at all?!
Because testing can still tell you a lot of things – like whether air is flowing to the places you expect it to flow, whether suspension is reacting the way you expect it to, whether the gearbox blows up 3 laps short of a race distance, ...
It's an interesting issue really. Teams have also sometimes opt out of the Jerez test, in terms of bringing their new car, citing an extra week of design time as being more beneficial than having the Jerez test. Brawn in 09 (though to be fair - that wasn't exactly how they planned things) - RBR in 2010 - McLaren in 2011 - Mercedes in 2012 and Williams in 2013.
Here's an excerpt from an article on Autosport Plus:
There has been a lot of talk about Williams opting to mess the Jerez test, but technical director Mike Coughlan left no doubt as to his feelings on that venue.
He was damning in his evaluation of the relevance, or lack thereof, of running at Jerez, making you wonder why F1 doesn't just go with his suggestion of taking up permanent pre-season residence in Catalunya.
"To begin with, we didn't plan to do Jerez at all," admitted Coughlan. "We only did Jerez because Pirelli was bringing its new tyres and we felt it would be better to run with the old car so that we had a known platform.
"I'm sure that a lot of people went to Jerez with a new car, new driver and new tyres and got lost. We didn't.
"If it was Barcelona, then we'd have gone, but it was Jerez. Jerez is unique; very high degradation, very aggressive, very rear-limited. You have to ask yourself is there really a track we go to that is even a similar type? And with weather conditions, you have to say 'do we learn a lot?'
"Barcelona is very good. We all have lots of simulations of the track. It's easy to get to, cheap flights, nice hotels. I'd rather see three tests at Barcelona."
Source: http://plus.autosport.com/premium/featu ... -pitstops/