Bahrain 2nd Test Day 3 Massa at the front - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-01-2014, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Bahrain 2nd Test Day 3 Massa at the front

joeblogsf1 | The real stories from inside the F1 paddock

March 1, 2014 by Joe Saward
Felipe Massa set the fastest time of the penultimate day of winter testing in Bahrain, lapping the track in 1m33.258s, after 99 laps of running. The team spent the day working on performance running and then a full qualifying simulation. The lap time is the best so far recorded this year, beating Nico Rosberg’s 1m33.283s on the final day of the first Bahrain test. Rosberg was not far behind Massa, recording a 1m33.484s lap, but completing 103 laps, a good effort after a late start to the day because of a precautionary engine change. Kimi Raikkonen was third for Ferrari, but the Finn’s best lap time was nearly two seconds slower than Rosberg, although Kimi managed to record 87 laps. He lost part of the day because the mechanics had to dismantle the back of the car to fix “a connector”.
Kevin Magnussen was was next in his McLaren, a few tenths slower than Kimi (his lap time was a 1m35.894s). He did 88 laps, losing time as the result of an electrical problem in the morning.

Scuderia Toro Rosso managed to get more laps done with Daniil Kvyat fifth quickest with a 1m36.113s after 81 laps, while Nico Hulkenberg completed 115 laps with his Force India for a best time of 1m36.205s and Jules Bianchi did a solid 78 laps in the Marussia with a best of 1m37.087s. Marcus Ericsson was the last of those who managed to run a lot of laps, completing 117 laps with a best of 1m38.083s.

Lotus was in some difficulties with Romain Grosjean doing just 33 laps and recording a best of 1m42.166s, as a result wiring trouble followed by a power unit problem, while neither Adrian Sutil (Sauber), nor Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) were able to record any lap times. Sutil suffered “an anomaly on the engine” which needed to be changed. The replacement took longer than anticipated and so he did no further running. Vettel suffered an electrical problem on his first lap out of the pits. The problem was solved and he went for a second run but the car stopped in the pit lane. The team then discovered a leak but there was not enough time to fix before the test ended.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2014, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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An in-depth look at pre-season testing

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March 2, 2014 by Joe Saward
Lap times do not tell the whole story, but the final Bahrain test ended on Sunday with Felipe Massa having set the fastest overall lap of the four-days, with a 1m33.258s, recorded on the Saturday. The Brazilian did 202 laps during the test in his Williams-Mercedes and with Valtteri Bottas fourth fastest in the second Williams (1m33.987s) the team ended up with an impressive total of 438 laps run, well clear of the nearest challenger.

In terms of lap times, Lewis Hamilton came closest to Massa in his Mercedes, with a 1m33.278s on the final day, but he completed only 159 laps, while Nico Rosberg was third fastest with a best of 1m33.484s. The two factory Mercedes drivers clocked a total of 351 laps over the four days. Overall, the Mercedes teams completed 4,916 miles of running in the second Bahrain test, taking the engine manufacturer’s total for the three winter tests to 11,181 miles.

This is significant when compared to rivals Ferrari and Renault. They totalled 6,244 and 5,437 miles respectively. This means that the Stuttgart company has almost twice as much data as its rivals. We may not be absolutely sure about who has the quickest car, but it is clear that Mercedes has a big advantage in terms of reliability and information to aid development of the cars.

Ferrari finished the test with the fifth fastest overall lap time, thanks to Fernando Alonso. He recorded a 1m34.280s, while Kimi Raikkonen was seventh with a 1m35.426s. The two men completed a total of 337 laps. In the overall lap times the two Ferraris were split by the Force India-Mercedes of Sergio Perez (1m35.290s) with his team-mate Nico Hulkenberg just behind Raikkonen, having lapped the track in 1m35.577s. The two Force India drivers completed 402 laps between them, the second highest mileage for a team behind Williams.

The fastest of the Renault-engined cars by the end of the test was Jean-Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso with a best lap of 1m35.710s. His team-mate Daniil Kvyat was 12th overall with a fastest lap of 1m36.113s. The two managed to complete 271 laps in total.

Sister team Red Bull Racing had a poor test by Dan Ricciardo ended up 10th overall, just behind Vergne, with a 1m35.743s lap. He did a total of 105 laps while World Champion Sebastian Vettel had a troubled time and did only 78 laps in total, recording a best of 1m37.468s, the 18th fastest time of the test.

McLaren also had a difficult time with Kevin Magnussen only 11th fastest and Jenson Button down in 15th with best laps of 1m35.894s and 1m36.901s respectively. The two managed 271 laps between them.

Sauber’s Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez were 13th and 17th respectively with laps of 1m36.467s and 1m37.303s, but the pair completed 373 laps, the highest number for a Ferrari-powered team.

Marussia had reasons to be cheerful with Max Chilton setting a best of 1m36.835s, which put him 14th overall, while Jules Bianchi was 16th with a 1m37.087s. The two completed 258 laps.

Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi were 19th and 20th with lap times of 1m38.083s and 1m38.391s, but the pair completed the most laps of the Renault teams.

At the bottom of the timesheets were the Lotus-Renault drivers, who completed only 127 laps between them. Romain Grosjean recorded a 1m39.302s laps with Pastor Maldonado clocking 1m40.599s. This means that the Venezuelan was the only driver not to be under the 107 percent limit.

It is not really clear from all this what to expect in qualifying in Melbourne because fuel loads can make a huge difference to the lap times, but it is clear that in racing conditions, the Mercedes-powered teams are looking very good indeed.
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