Pre-season test at Jerez offers a glimpse of new F1 era

  Formula One’s pre-season test at the Jerez de la Frontera Circuit yielded mixed results for the participating Teams. The purpose was obviously for the teams to get the hang of their new cars that conform to the new season’s regulations. The teams combined for a total of 2,116.584 kilometers in the four-day session. Ex-Ferrari driver Felipe Massa topped the final day’s wet session in his Williams FW36 with 1:28.229, followed by Fernando Alonso and Daniel Juncadella. (Click to enlarge)

Four-time Formula 1 Champions Red Bull Racing had a challenging four-day session where Sebastien Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo struggled for overall pace. On the fourth and final day, Ricciardo ended his session earlier than expected when the RB10 developed mechanical issues. RBR (Red Bull Racing) then decided to throw in the towel prior to the second part of the session. Interim reports revealed that the RB10 had numerous Renault engine issues as well as chassis cooling issues throughout the four days.

Massa tops final day’s test session at Jerez

Massa put up a quick ‘wet weather’ pace on his second day in the FW36. The Brazilian had finished behind McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen on the third day which was dry, with a second best time of 1:23.700. “It wasn’t a great day because it was raining, but we completed some laps in the wet conditions which was interesting to understand how the car behaves in wet, with the tyres and new power unit. We managed to do many more laps today than we have in the last three days which is important,” Massa commented on the final day’s run. “We now need to concentrate and prepare with an aim to do more laps per day in Bahrain. Overall, I’m happy with my first days with Williams and I’m pleased with what I have seen in the team this week.”

Mercedes AMG F1 team concluded their first pre-season test with an accumulated mileage of 1,368 km. Both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were in action at the wheel of the F1 W05 through the four-day session. Rosberg’s best time of 1:36.951 from 91 laps on the final day saw him take eighth, while Hamilton’s best time of 1:30.822 from 41 laps was good enough for fifth.

Fernando Alonso improved from fifth to second position on final day at Jerez. Alonso, at the wheel of the F14 T, went with the tyre evaluation program in the first half of the final day’s session. The double F1 champion then switched to setup adjustments on the F14 T at the later part of the session. In total, car number 14 covered 115 laps, the quickest in a time of 1.29.145. Over the four days, the F14 T did 252 laps, equivalent to 1116 km.

Magnussen took over from Jenson Button for the last two days at Jerez where he topped the third day’s timesheets. However, on the final day, the rookie went off the track at turn 10 with ten minutes to go and wrecked his MP4-29. Nonetheless, Magnussen racked up 110 laps and gave the team and himself further insight into the behavior of the power unit and chassis across a range of conditions.

Force India wrapped up its first test with Daniel Juncadella at the helm of the VJM07 for the first time. Juncadella took things rather cautiously as the rookie has not had an experience in an F1 car in the wets. “It was a great experience and I made sure to make the most of it. We covered a lot of laps, which was abig improvement after quite a frustrating day yesterday.”

Adrian Sutil completed 69 laps at the wheel of the Sauber C33 on the final day’s proceedings. In the four days, Esteban Gutiérrez and Sutil completed a total of 163 laps or 721.764 km. The team was able to gain experience with the vastly different systems that are being introduced for the new season.

Over at Toro Rosso and Caterham, Daniil Kvyat got his first run on the STR9 and Kamui Kobayashi put the CT05 to good use. Toro Rosso had a tough four-day session, while Caterham also faced a rough session with Renault power unit issues.

The teams now head back to their respective bases to analyze and evaluate the data in preparation for the second pre-season test, to be held in just over two weeks’ time at the Bahrain International circuit.

2014 Formula One test at Jerez quickest times

Day four
1 Felipe Massa Williams 1:28.229 86 laps
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:29.145 115 laps
3 Daniel Juncadella Force India 1:29.457 81 laps
4 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:30.806 110 laps
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:30.822 41 laps
6 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:32.222 25 laps
7 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:36.571 69 laps
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1:36.951 92 laps
9 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:43.193 54 laps
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:44.016 9 laps

Day three
1 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:23.276 52 laps
2 Felipe Massa Williams 1:23.700 47 laps
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:23.952 62 laps
4 Jenson Button McLaren 1:25.030 40 laps
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:25.495 58 laps
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:26.096 17 laps
7 Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:29.915 30 laps
8 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:30.161 24 laps
9 Robin Frijns Caterham NA 10 laps
10 Max Chilton Marussia Na 5 laps