It was Lewis Hamilton who finished the day on top. His time of 1m34.263 was the fastest time of the test so far and was 0.7 seconds quicker than yesterdays pacesetter Magnussen and Jenson Button today. Whilst both the times set by McLaren were completed on the supersoft Pirelli tyre, Hamilton’s time today was done on the soft tyre. This would normally mean there is another few tenths still to come from just the tyre alone. The time will please Mercedes and worry their rivals somewhat. The W05 has looked imperious out on the circuit, out of all the cars it looks best suited to the track and creates little oversteer in comparison to its rivals. The day was not without fault however, the Mercedes team did come across a variety of issues throughout the day and decided to bring it to an early end in the afternoon. They managed 67 laps for the day.
Jenson Button finished up in second place in the McLaren MP4-29. The British driver had a slow start to the day but after the lunchtime period, the team focused on running what appeared to be a race simulation. By the end of the day, Button completed the most laps of anyone with 103 and didn’t suffer any mechanical issues in the desert heat. Button’s race simulation was interrupted by a red flag in the afternoon. However, the Woking team will most likely be looking towards completing another race run reliably for tomorrow with Jenson in the car. It was also announced in the afternoon that Jenson had also got engaged to long term girlfriend Jessica Michibata on February 14th.
Next up in third place was the Williams of Felipe Massa. The Brazilian took over from team mate Bottas in the afternoon. The Finn did not complete a lap time in the morning session, but did do 55 laps as he focused on pit stop practices for the Williams team. Massa managed to do a time of 1m37.066 in 60 laps after lunchtime and ran without fault. The biggest strength for Williams at the moment appears to be a very stable and reliable car. The car does look quick and with the help of the Mercedes power unit they are able to run around and complete laps without failure. Bottas completed the most laps at yesterdays test and today the two combined lap counts of the drivers would amount to 115, still the most out of the field. The FW36 looks a strong and reliable competitor.
Esteban Gutierrez completed 96 laps in the Sauber to finish the day in fourth place with a time of 1m37.180, almost three seconds down on Hamilton’s fastest. The Sauber ran without fault all day and the Mexican was able to complete a useful amount of laps and the most for a Ferrari-powered car. After struggling yesterday with electrical problems and on the first day with braking issues, it would appear Sauber are slowly getting to grips with the new car. Sutil takes over tomorrow, where the team will hope to run another reliable day.
Sergio Perez had a fairly uneventful day in the Force India, the driver did not go for the headline grabbing time that his team mate managed for the first two days of the test. The Mexican finished just a couple of tenths behind the Sauber of Gutierrez and completed 57 laps. He stays in the car for tomorrows test.
Kimi Raikkonen finished the day in sixth place having completed just 44 laps. It was not plain sailing for the Finn, his day was hampered by several telemetry issues in the F14T and he had to spend most of the day in the paddock, walking around in his jeans. Raikkonen is back in the car again tomorrow and the Ferrari team will be hoping for a much better run to understand the car and engine better in preparation for next weeks test.
Daniil Kvyat will be happy to finally get some productive running in the Toro Rosso. The Russian didn’t get many laps in the car in Jerez or on day 1 of the Bahrain test due to reliability problems. He managed 57 laps for the day as he gets to grips with the new machinery for 2014. He will be hoping for better reliability next week at the test. The running today would have been useful to the team however, as like most other Renault-powered outfits, they were forced to run with a significantly lower power map throughout the day.
Pastor Maldonado took over from Grosjean in the Lotus for the third day of the test. Unfortunately the teams wish to do more consistent laps with better reliability did not come to fruition. The car suffered various issues throughout the day, mainly stemming from the electrics and the telemetry sensors on the car. The E22 did manage to complete 26 laps and Maldonado’s quickest time of 1m39.642 put him in 8th and was at least quicker than the Red Bull on the same engine.
Daniel Ricciardo managed 28 laps in the Red Bull, who are still not able to get under the one minute 40 mark, the Australian set a time of 1m40.781. The team wrapped up their day early in the afternoon after they came across a mechanical issue they had not encountered before at set-up change around lunchtime. The team called an early end to their day, in order to get better running for the last day of this weeks test tomorrow. The Renault has been rumoured to be operating with a significant horsepower shortage, estimated to be between 100-150bhp down on the Ferrari’s and the Mercedes’. This is so the cars are able to actually get around the circuit for mileage. The main concern will be how long it will take Renault to ‘up-the-ante’ so their outfits can run competitively.
Max Chilton’s day was over in the first hour after he stopped out on track with an engine problem. The British driver had completed just four laps to finish bottom of the standings. The team needed to take the rear of the car off and decided that there would be no more running for the day. It will come as a blow, as the team desperately need to complete more competitive mileage, especially given that the Caterham’s are circulating the track more often, seemingly without the typical Renault problems. The Caterham pace has also not been too bad. Kobayashi finished high up in the times yesterday and team mate Ericsson took over today and finished the day in tenth, but with a creditable amount of laps, the Swede racked up a massive 98 laps. Ericsson has now completed enough laps to gain his FIA Superlicense.
Tomorrow is the last of the test for the week.
Lewis Hamilton ended Day 3 of the Bahrain test on top of the time sheets. The time of 1m34.263 is the quickest time of the test so far, it was a couple of tenths faster than Kevin Magnussen’s time set yesterday in the McLaren. Jenson Button finished the day in second place, with a time of 1m34.976, seven tenths down on the pace setter. Felipe Massa took over from team mate Bottas in the afternoon, the Finn spent the morning completing pit stop practices for his team, without setting a time. Massa was 2.8 seconds down the fastest time with a 1m37.066.
Next up in fourth was the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, the Mexican set a time of 1m37.180 and completed 96 laps. Countryman Perez was behind in fifth with a time of 1m37.367 in the Force India. The Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen took sixth place with a time 1m37.476, the Finn spent most of the day in the garage whilst the team resolved some issues with the F14T.
Daniil Kvyat managed to get some laps in the Toro Rosso, the Russian’s best time of 1m38.974 was enough for seventh place. Pastor Maldonado followed in eighth place with a 1m39.642. It was the Venezuelan’s first time in the E22 and he was unable to complete as many laps as he would have hoped after the team came across various telemetry issues throughout the day.
The Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo finished in ninth place with a time of 1m40.781. The Red Bull team called an end to their day in the afternoon after coming across a mechanical issue they had not dealt with before. The Australian will be hoping for more laps and better reliability tomorrow. Marcus Ericsson’s Caterham completed 98 laps, the most of any Renault-powered car. The Swede set a lap time of 1m42.130, which was almost 8 seconds off Hamilton’s pace. Finally Max Chilton finished the day in last place. The Marussia came to a halt with an engine problem an hour into the session and never made it back out again. The British driver only completed 4 laps for the day.
Day two of the Jerez test was all about the battle of the engines. It was not a productive day for any Renault powered car, their total laps for the day were 19 in comparison to Ferrari’s which was 100. But it was Mercedes who comprehensively racked up the most laps with 212.
The action on track for the first day of the Jerez test was somewhat a damp squib. The second day began on an much more artificially wet note. Pirelli decided to move its wet-weather running day from Friday to Wednesday in the anticipation that there would be actual precipitation in the afternoon, which there was not.
The cars got plenty of dry running in towards the end of the day and it was Jenson Button who set the fastest time with a 1m24.165. Compare that to last years quickest time on day 2 in Jerez. It was set by Lotus’ Romain Grosjean who managed a 1m18.218, so we are still some four seconds off of last years fastest time.
Red Bull were forced to call their day to a halt with a couple of hours of the test left. The RB10 was pictured with a lot of smoke coming from the back of the car in the garage. The team later confirmed that the issue was with energy storage. It has not been a productive two days for the champions, 8 laps were ran today 11 overall. Their time of 1m38.320 placed them at the bottom of the timing sheets and is not in any way representative, as it was taken in the morning when the track was wet. It’s very early days, but it is not the best of ways to begin your title defense. Sebastian Vettel traveled home early and will hope for better fortunes at next months test in Bahrain. Daniel Ricciardo will take over driving duties for the final two days.
McLaren finally got some mileage on the MP4-29 after not running at all on Tuesday. Jenson Button continued at the helm and successfully completed a few installation laps before setting a time early in the morning. His times gradually got quicker and quicker as the track dried out and he ended the morning session top of the time sheets. The McLaren was able to go quickest whenever it ventured onto the track, knocking off whoever would be perched on top spot. There was a period in the early afternoon where Jenson Button set his fastest lap time of the day at a 1m24.165 and then consistently ran to within a tenth of that time for three laps in a row. Button managed 43 laps and will hand the car over to rookie Kevin Magnussen for the last two days.
It was the rear end of the McLaren which was all the talk up and down the paddock. The Woking team have attached four vertical fairings on their rear suspension wishbone. These fairings seemingly are able to deflect air flow both down towards the diffuser and up towards the monkey seat in between the rear wing and diffuser. It could be an element which retains downforce in slow speed sections and minimises drag on the straights. The teams this year are looking for ways to replicate the downforce they had with exhaust-blown diffusers, given that this year the exhaust must exit from a central position out of the rear of the car. McLaren may just have found a small solution to the problem.
Kimi Raikkonen was in second place behind the McLaren and completed 47 for Ferrari. The Finn jumped up to second spot in the mid afternoon. Ferrari look like they are just getting to grips with the new engines for this year and Raikkonen was capable of setting some fairly consistent runs. Spaniard Fernando Alonso will get his first taste of the F14T chassis tomorrow and Friday.
Valtteri Bottas completed his last day at the test before Felipe Massa steps into the Williams car for the final two days. The Finnish driver had a productive day completing 35 laps and ending the day in third place with a 1m25.344, which was a little over a second slower than the fastest time of the day. Williams will be aiming to get more laps under their belt at the final two days, in order to better prepare themselves for the Bahrain test in February.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg came close to breaking into triple figures for the amount of laps the German completed, he did 97. The Mercedes car looks solid straight out of the box and the sheer amount of running will give the team and all Mercedes powered teams confidence in the reliability of the new power trains for 2014. Rosberg managed a time of 1m25.588, which was 1.4 seconds slower than the leader. The team brought a reinforced front wing to today’s test after Lewis Hamilton crashed off at Turn One after a front wing failure yesterday. Mercedes will be looking at maximum reliability for the last two days in order for them to break into triple figures for their lap count. Overall a wholesomely impressed day from the Brackley based team.
Force India had a very productive running schedule until Sergio Perez stopped at the first corner with smoke coming from the rear of the car. The team had run consecutively throughout the morning and early afternoon, completing a respectable 37 laps. There was a period in the late morning when Perez was battling former team mate Jenson Button for the top spot as they traded quickest times between them lap after lap. Force India will repair the car overnight in order to try and get some more running in tomorrow.
Sauber continued their running with Esteban Gutierrez once again in the cockpit of the C33. The Mexicans day was primarily devoted to slower installation and systems check runs. He ended the day in sixth place completing 53 laps with a time of 1m33.270. Gutierrez was responsible for one of the mornings red flags when the Mexican driver spun into the gravel at turn 5.
Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson was also responsible for one of the days three red flags when he ground to halt out the back of the circuit late on in the day. The Swede managed to beat Vettel’s time though and ended the day completing the most amount of Renault laps with 11 and a time of 1m37.975.
All three Renault cars, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Caterham all suffered Energy Recovery System failures throughout the day. It is allegedly an issue with a malfunctioning component in the ECU, a problem Renault aims to rectify for tomorrow by sending new parts to the track overnight.
Toro Rosso had a dreadful day. Seemingly dogged by Renault’s issues, the team spent all morning in the garage, hoping that they would make it out onto the track at the close of play, which they did not do. Daniil Kvyat was supposed to be running for the team today and will be hoping to get some laps in the Toro Rosso at Jerez.
Marussia have managed to get their MR03 car to the circuit and they have set up their garage. The team hope to run the car tomorrow morning, although almost certainly not immediately. Lotus are absent from the test.
Jenson Button has finished top of the timesheets on the second day of running at the 2014 tests in Jerez. The British driver completed his first laps of the week after not being able to do any running on Tuesday. His time of 1m24.165 was significantly quicker than Kimi Raikkonen’s time of 1m27.104 from Day 1.
Kimi Raikkonen ended the day in second place in his Ferrari with a time of 1m24.812, some 0.6 off Buttons time. Bottas’ Williams was in third place behind his countryman with a time of 1m25.344.
Nico Rosberg came home in fourth place with a time of 1m25.588. The German also set the most amount of laps. He completed a very impressive 97 laps of the Jerez circuit. The mileage should be able to give his Mercedes team some much needed information for both car and engine development.
Sergio Perez finished the day on the side of the circuit at turn one after the back of his Force India car was smoking. The Mexican managed a time of 1m28.376 which was enough to place him into fifth place.
Esteban Gutierrez was sixth with a time of 1m33.270. The Swiss team chose to dedicate its day to systems operation and installation running. A spin into the gravel from the Sauber driver brought out the red flags in the morning.
Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson managed to beat a lap time set by Red Bull on what was a tough day for the Renault powered teams. The Swede managed a time of 1m37.975 and completed 11 laps.
World champion Sebastian Vettel only managed 8 laps throughout the day and 11 for the whole test. His day was curtailed mid-afternoon by an ERS fault and the German decided to head back home. The Red Bull managed a time in the early morning of 1m38.320.
Toro Rosso did not leave the garage after they too had issues with their Renault power unit. They will be hoping to get some running in tomorrow.
Marussia’s car arrived at the circuit late in the day and they will be hoping to get their 2014 testing up and running later tomorrow morning. Lotus are absent from this test.
Sahara Force India have announced Sergio Perez as their second driver for the 2014 season and beyond.
The 23-year-old Mexican completes Sahara Force India’s 2014 line-up alongside Nico Hulkenberg and helps create one of the most exciting pairings on the grid.
The move means a whole new line up for the Silverstone team. Scottish driver Paul di Resta is now certain to join the Indy Car series in America, possibly taking his cousin Dario Franchitti’s seat at Gannasi. Whilst Adrian Sutil is looking to stay in the sport with another team, probably Sauber.
Sergio Perez faced stern criticism at the end of the Chinese Grand Prix from journalists, fans and his team bosses for his lack of “fight” when dicing with other drivers for position.
The young Mexican yielded position to several drivers with ease, and something that is unbefitting for a Mclaren driver to do. Quickly after the race was complete, Martin Whitmarsh took Sergio aside and told him to “toughen up”, the Team Principal said: “I think he’s been very polite so far this year; I think he needs to toughen up, I think he’s been generous in allowing people to get past him.”
In Bahrain the 23 year old Mexican talent repayed his boss handsomely with a storming drive from 12th on the grid to finish well above his team mate in 6th come race day. His duel with Jenson Button was controversial, despite earning plaudits from press and public alike. The two touched cars no more than five times during Sunday’s race, with Perez eventually blasting past his more experienced team mate.
Later in the race, Sergio came to battle with two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso, after making it past the Spaniard he remained ahead by placing his Mclaren on the racing line at Turn 4 and ruthlessly forcing Alonso wide off the circuit warranting a call of distress from Fernando to his team. On the final lap ‘Checo’ also made it past Red Bulls Mark Webber to claim 6th position.
If ever there was a time to respond, Sergio Perez mastered it perfectly stepping up to the plate come the race. He not only robustly held off drivers from overtaking him, but he went wheel-to-wheel with two megatrons of Formula One, the two adversaries he needed to overtake to prove is worth to the world, his World Champion team mate and the most fruitful and wisest driver Fernando Alonso.
He will now have to keep up this top form not just for the next race in Spain, but for the rest of his Mclaren career to prove his many doubters wrong and to assert his worthiness of a seat for the Woking based team.
Sergio Perez has been struggling for pace in Shanghai. His first two practice sessions were blighted by incidents, in Practice 1 he ran straight on at the pit lane entry and broke his front wing, whilst in Free Practice 2 he found himself sliding off backwards around the fast Turn 7 Turn 8 complex, flat-spotting his tyres and lightly touching the barrier with the right rear of his Mclaren.
The young Mexican conceded that the two Friday sessions were not perfect preparation for Sundays race and that his incidents have left him lacking in confidence and feeling uneasy “Today was a difficult day for me, but an important one for the team. Still, I’m sure we will improve tomorrow.”
Perez is pining his hopes on changing the cars balance before Free Practice 3 on Saturday, “I’ll effectively be starting from zero because I’ll adopt a completely new set-up.”
Gary Paffett had begun work back in the Mclaren simulator in Woking straight after the sessions in China, to find a different set up which may help Sergio get back up to speed and on the right track for the rest of the weekend. The pair even had a conversation on Twitter to complement each others work: