Tag Archive | Vettel

Bahrain: Magnussen leads the way

Kevin Magnussen finished the second day of the Bahrain test on top of the time sheets, by a massive 1.5 seconds. The McLaren set the time late in the day on the softer Pirelli rubber. His time of 1m34.910 was two seconds quicker than Sebastian Vettel’s fastest lap at last years Bahrain Grand Prix. Nico Hulkenberg finished the day in second place in his Force India. The German had finished on top on day 1 and had looked to have set today’s fastest time until Magnussen’s lap at the end of the day. Hulkenbergs time of 1m36.445 was a tenth ahead of Fernando Alonso who finished third in his Ferrari, completing 97 laps.

Nico Rosberg ended the day in fourth place with a time of 1m36.965 after setting 85 laps in the Mercedes. Valtteri Bottas managed to complete the most laps out of the entire field with a mammoth 116. The Finn finished the day in fifth with a time of 1m37.328. Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham set a time of 1m39.855 over the course of 66 laps and finished the day half a second clear of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull in sixth.

Red Bull had a much more productive day, with Vettel racking up 59 laps. His time of 1m40.340 was almost five and a half seconds slower than pace setter Magnussen. Ricciardo takes over for the last two days of this weeks test. Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso finished in eighth with a time of 1m40.609. The Frenchman completed 58 laps for the day. Esteban Gutierrez was a tenth down in his Sauber, the Mexican managed to complete 55 laps as the Swiss team focused on car management and understanding the brakes. Romain Grosjean’s Lotus completed 18 laps in a time of 1m41.670. Max Chilton’s Marussia brought up the rear with a time of 1m42.511 having completed just 17 laps for the day.

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Bahrain: Day 1 Analysis

The first day of testing in two weeks commenced and many questions posed in Jerez were to be answered in the hot desert of Bahrain. Would the new Lotus work? Would the Mercedes powered teams continue their excellent mileage record? And crucially, have Red Bull and Renault’s problems been resolved?

For Red Bull the answer seemingly is no. They spent the majority of the morning in the garage, with Sebastian Vettel waiting and chatting to team members in the team hospitality units in the paddock. When the RB10 finally made its way on to the track, it was only to complete some installation runs to make sure that the car was to run smoothly. It was in the middle of the afternoon that the car brought out the red flag. Sebastian Vettel jumped out from the cockpit and took a fire extinguisher to hand to the rear of the over heating Red Bull. The German even escorted the car back to the garage on the back of the tow truck it was placed on. There was a distinct smell of scorching in the pit lane when the car returned to the garage.  Vettel managed to complete just 14 laps for the day with a lap time of 1m40.224, over three seconds off pacesetter Hulkenburg’s time. Prior to the breakdown Vettel was setting personal best times and slowly making his way up the time sheet, albeit over 3 seconds off the pace. The worry now is whether the problem is still with the overheating at the tightly packaged rear end of the RB10 or whether it is a Renault fault. It is more than likely that both factors will still be an issue. The Renault on the Red Bull does not spool up during the engine start up quite like that of the Ferrari’s or the Mercedes’. It is likely to be a long night for the Red Bull mechanics as they seek to improve the car before Vettel takes the reins again tomorrow.

Hulkenberg sets the pace

Hulkenberg sets the pace

Nico Hulkenberg finished the day top of the time sheets with a time which was quicker than the fastest race lap at last years Bahrain Grand Prix. The time puts to bed the argument from many members of the paddock who believe that this years cars are too slow. The time was set on the harder Pirelli rubber as well as the smaller 1.6 V6 power units. Hulkenberg’s time was 1m36.880 and he completed 78 laps for the day. The German took over the top of the times mid way through the afternoon from Lewis Hamilton. The pace will give hope to Force India, who do look to have a solid base for a car and a reliable power unit.

Ferrari had Fernando Alonso in the car for this first day of testing. The morning did not start so well when the Spaniard brought the first of the red flags out after a couple of minutes. The back of the F14T was smoking even on the way out of the pit lane. Alonso did manage to finish the day in second place to Nico Hulkenburg with a time set late in the afternoon which was 0.999 tenths off the Force India’s pace. Ferrari had managed to run reliably throughout the rest of the day and their car does appear to be genuinely quick. The Ferrari has yet to set long run lap times like its Mercedes-powered rivals, so it is unclear to see where they stand in the pecking order at the moment.

Alonso's Ferrari smoking

Alonso’s Ferrari smoking

Adrian Sutil managed to complete the most amount of laps for the day with 82. The German only managed to set the sixth fastest time of the day and was some 3.5 seconds off the pace. The problems Sutil faced in Jerez, with the new brake-by-wire systems the teams run for 2014, have apparently cropped up once more. Sutil brought out a red flag earlier in the day for spinning off the circuit and it would appear he is still having trouble adapting to the new rear braking feel in his Sauber.

Lewis Hamilton’s day came to an end with over an hour of the session remaining. The British driver was out of the car and talking to his team mate and other members of the team before the end of the day. Hamilton had also suffered with some rear braking issues. The brake by wire electronics in the Mercedes were not working correctly and will be changed overnight ready for tomorrows session. The Mercedes was on top of the time sheets for the early morning and again in the early afternoon, before Hulkenberg bettered Lewis’ time of 1m37.908. The car once again as in Jerez looks very quick, reliable and consistent.

Kevin Magnussen was running in the McLaren today and set the pace for the morning session. The Danish driver has been impressing members of the paddock with his raw pace straight out of the box. The McLaren was still running with its rear wishbone blockers. Magnussen was doing shorter aero runs in the morning and focused on longer consistent runs in the afternoon. The MP4-29 ran reliably throughout the day with no issues and completed one less lap than Sutil with 81 laps. Out on the circuit the McLaren still does appear to be a very stiff chassis, it noticeably oscillates more than most other cars on track.

Robin Frijns was running in the Caterham today and managed to complete the most amount of laps by a Renault-powered car, with a mammoth 68. The Caterham team will be impressed by their reliability and will hope to complete more running for the rest of the test without the issues suffered by their Renault-powered counterparts. The time of 1m42.534 by Frijns was still some way off the pace, a whole 5.6 seconds to be precise, and they will be looking to find some more performance in order to close that gap by the end of the testing at the weekend.

It was another lowly day for the Toro Rosso team, Daniil Kvyat has barely had any running in the 2014-spec car so far, having run into various issues back in Jerez and today the Russian only managed a total of 5 laps. His lap time of a 1m44.346 put him slightly quicker than Grosjean’s Lotus in 8th place. The Italian squad, much like their sister team Red Bull, need to get more running under their belt soon if they are to get any useful information and set-up work complete on their car.

Lotus E22

Lotus E22

The Lotus E22 made its public debut at the hands of Romain Grosjean. The French driver completed just 8 laps and set the slowest lap time of the day with a 1m44.832, almost 8 seconds off the pace. The Enstone-based team are going through their installation runs for the first time since their shakedown as they did not complete any running at the Jerez test. The team will be hoping for maximum reliability from the Renault power unit and more laps for tomorrow.

Williams’ Felipe Massa and Marussia’s Jules Bianchi did not manage to get a lap time on the board at the close of the day. The Williams had a fuel system issue for the majority of the day and Massa only just manged to get onto the track at the close of play, setting just 5 laps. Jules Bianchi completed one installation lap early on before a problem revealed itself and then only managed a couple more laps right at the end of the days running.

Bahrain: Hulkenburg leads Day 1

Nico Hulkenburg has finished the first day of the 4 day Bahrain test on top of the time sheets at the Sakhir circuit. His time of 1m36.880 was quicker than the fastest lap time at the Bahrain race last year, where teams had softer Pirelli tyres and larger 2.4 V8 engines. Fernando Alonso finished second, the Spaniard put his best time on the board later in the afternoon. He set a time of 1m37.879, just under a second slower than the Force India. Lewis Hamilton completed his day early and set a time of 1m.37.908 to finish third, the Brit had been fastest for most of the morning in the Mercedes. Next was Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren setting a time of 1m38.295. Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull finally managed some running and set a 1m40.224 to go fifth fastest before the German’s running was cut short mid afternoon, with what seems to be an overheating issue. Adrian Sutil’s Sauber finished in sixth with a time of 1m40.443. Next up was Robin Frijns in the Caterham with a time of 1m42.534. Daniil Kvyat followed up in his Toro Rosso with a time of 1m44.346 and the last person to set a laptime was Romain Grosjean in the new Lotus, with a time of 1m44.832, some 7.9 seconds off pacesetter Hulkenburg. Jules Bianchi’s Marussia and Felipe Massa’s Williams did not set a laptime.

Jerez: Day 2 Analysis

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.

Morning began with a tractor wetting the track

The morning began with a tractor wetting the track

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.

Red Bull suffered ERS problems

Red Bull suffered ERS problems

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.

Jenson Button

Jenson Button

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.

The rear of the McLaren MP4-29

The rear of the McLaren MP4-29

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.

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas

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.

Rosberg ran the most laps

Rosberg ran the most laps

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.

Perez's smoking Force India

Perez’s smoking Force India

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.

Marcus Ericsson

Marcus Ericsson

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.

Jerez: Button leads on Day 2

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.

Jerez: Raikkonen tops Day 1

Kimi Raikkonen has gone quickest at the first day of testing in Jerez. The F14T 2014 car lapped the circuit in 1m27.104 on a quiet day where teams were struggling to get their cars prepared in order to do laps at the test.

The Finn had stopped on track earlier in the morning on its first run, but later in the afternoon managed to lap the circuit 31 times and go quicker than the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton was the first on track and subsequently was one of the only runners to consistently lap up some mileage. The Englishman managed to get his laptime down to a 1m27.820 before suffering a front wing failure on the start-finish straight. The front wing dislodged itself underneath the car and caused Hamilton to lock-up late and put his Mercedes W05 into the barrier, bringing his day to an abrupt end. Hamilton was the most active driver, conducting 18 laps, up until his crash. Bottas came third in the Williams late in the day with a time of 1m30.161, with Perez’s Force India slotting in 4th place with a laptime of 1m33.161.The Toro Rosso of Jean Eric Vergne had conducted plenty of running around the southern Spanish circuit in the morning. The Frenchman clocked a 1m36.530 to end the day in fifth, followed by Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber, which rounded off the actual lap times with a 1m42.257.

The Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel finally got running in the last 15 minutes of the day, after suffering from a rear suspension issue all day. The Caterham was due to be released this morning but had suffered an issue managed to get just one installation lap completed by the end of the day, whilst the Williams team also had some problems throughout the day but managed to get Bottas out late on to get some running in before the chequered flag.

Jenson Button’s McLaren was unable to leave the garage after the team had discovered electrical and hydraulic problems with the new MP4-29. They are hoping to fix the issues and be up and running for tomorrows session.

The Marussia had not made it down to the test, however the car in now in transit and they are hoping to get some mileage in later on Wednesday.

Vettel wins BBC award

Sebastian Vettel has added another trophy to his cabinet after winning the Overseas Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday night. The award is part of the BBC’s annual ‘Sports Personality of the Year’ ceremony.

The four-time Formula One world champion said: “The Sports Personality of the Year is something that is obviously special.

“It’s a very special award as I like to collect trophies. I think I have a special place to put this one. It’s been a special year.”