Hamilton quickest as Red Bull stop early on day three

2014 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton headed the times on the third day of testing in Bahrain as Mercedes-engined cars filled the top three places.

The 2008 world champion took seven tenths of a second out of the quickest time of the test so far, posting a 1’34.263 in his W05. Fellow champion Jenson Button was second for McLaren ahead of Felipe Massa’s Williams.

Button was the busiest driver on the track, completing over 100 laps. The two Williams drivers shared the FW37 as the team performed live pit stop practice, leading to Valtteri Bottas covering 55 laps without setting a time.

But Red Bull’s running came to an early end after 28 laps when they discovered a mechanical problem with the RB10 at lunchtime. “Because of its nature it means we have to take the car apart,” explained race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum.

“As everyone in the pit lane is finding out this is a long process, so we decided to suspend running in the afternoon so that we can be ready for the final day.”

It was another frustrating day for Marussia, who have completed the fewest laps of all the teams in testing so far apart from Lotus. Max Chilton came to a stop soon after leaving the pits early in the day, causing the first of three red flags.

The other two were caused by Pastor Maldonado, whose Lotus broke down twice on his first full day in the car.

Among the other teams to suffer problems were Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen’s car experiencing a telemetry problem – and Force India, who had battery trouble on their VJM07.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes W051’34.26367
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-291’34.9761030.713
3Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes FW361’37.066602.803
4Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari C331’37.180962.917
5Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes VJM071’37.367573.104
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari F14 T1’37.467443.204
7Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault STR91’38.974574.711
8Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault E221’39.642265.379
9Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault RB101’40.781286.518
10Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault CT051’42.130987.867
11Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari MR031’46.672412.409
12Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes FW36No time55

2014 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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65 comments on “Hamilton quickest as Red Bull stop early on day three”

  1. RBR is really going from one problem straight to another problem with the RB10..

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      21st February 2014, 15:05

      5 days left…. If they don’t get this sorted fast, their first race “sim” might be on Sunday in Australia!

      1. Indeed. It’s quite odd to see the Caterham pounding around while the Redbull can’t even carry a program to the end of the day. Even Torri Rosso are doing a decent job. Wouldn’t it be tragic if Ricciardo’s dream move turned out to be a move to a slower car?

        1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
          21st February 2014, 15:32

          @blackmamba and Kvyat winning a rainy Italian GP while RB can’t win a sole race in all the year?

          1. highly unlikely, but would be extremely funny ))

      2. which Vettel will still win…

    2. Everybody is having problems not just Red Bull even Mercedez It is just not highlighted as much

      1. Keep telling yourself that ;-)

    3. Red Bull RB10

      Red Bull R B Ten

      Red Bull are beaten indeed…

      1. Lol…are beaten…love it. My kind of humour. You’d think they’d always call their car RB4…everyone else.

  2. McLaren are looking fast as well as reliable so far.

    1. It’s going to be facinating how the two drivers measure up against each other. The set almost identical times on their fastest laps respectively. Would it be a bad year for JB if he got beaten by Kevin? Possibly in so far as the fact that JB is kore Whitmarsh’s man rather than Dennis who is just ruthless enough to give him the Perez treatment.

      1. Button has repeatedly commented that he doesn’t think F1 is a place for a family man.

        He got engaged to Jessica Michibata on Valentines’ Day this year.

        I think this is Button’s final season whether or not he beats Magnussen.

        1. Yeah, that and that fact that his Dad isn’t around anymore. He’s often talked about his “bubble”… it’s definitely popped now, so F1 might be extremely unattractive to him @ the moment. Not to mention that of the two team principals who’ve sung his highest praise, one quit & the other effectively got sacked. Put it all together and I wouldn’t be surprised if he bows out too.

          1. …all leading to Hamilton making the switch back to mclaren to build another Honda / Mclaren empire a la Senna… leaving the door open for a Hulk to slot into Merc to help them cement their german stronghold

        2. I think there’s a lot of life left in JB yet. He’s only 34, and while I’m sure losing his dad was a blow it looks like he’s very well integrated into the team that the ‘bubble’ Franz mentioned could still be intact. He’s still got his core team of personnel around him. Maybe if JB had a child then things would be different and I could see him leaving a la Mika Hakkinen.

          I really like JB and rate him highly, just not in the very top tier. I think he’s done a very good, understated job at McLaren especially last year. The question would be whether he’d take being beaten by Magnussen. Say hypothetically Kevin turned out to be the next Lewis, how would Jenson react? That would be telling in how fast he’d leave in my view.

          However if he was happy doing the same job that he was with Hamilton for three seasons then I see no reason why he’d be forced out or would leave. Jenson’s got a wealth of experience, he can bring in solid and often brilliant results, he’s a PR dream and he knows the team. Why would Ron get rid of him?

          1. The money he gets I guess would work against him, but fair play to him for still earning the big bucks. I am wondering if Honda would/would not insist on him being part of the team in their first year?

  3. After seening all the cars in these tests I can say just one thing, till the 1st race, all cars are as fast and reliable. But some testing the cars better and some are doing it bad. And all will envail after the 1st qualifing session :)

  4. Keith, is it possible to include speed trap numbers (either at the start/finish line or end of straight) along with the times? Might be more indicative of how the new power units are performing in comparison to each other.

  5. I am in a (wicked) way happy to see RebBull having problems :)

    For the 7 continuous testing days, cars with Mercedes engines are leading and seems like the most reliable ones. But these lap times are not really to be taken seriously for us fans, though the whole of paddock would be discussing them in details. I am guessing that RedBull would pick up their pace and would be among the front runners by the time they reach Melbourne.

    1. Maybe in qualifying they are going to be there or thereabouts, but the problem is can they finish a race? Unless there’s a crazy race in Australia I really don’t see how they can win or even get a podium, but then again a crazy first race is very, very likely so who knows :)

  6. Ferrari are an enigma. You can not gauge the progress in that garage besides reliability. Race sim and pace seem to be low down on the to do list. They haven’t topped the time sheets at any point this winter and I got the feeling they really went for it yesterday on the soft tyres and low fuel but the result was nothing to write home about. Who knows, maybe they are sandbagging.

    1. They already said that they were testing reliability not performance. They were supposed to start working on set up work/performance today but due to the telemetry issues they had today they couldn’t and kimmi worked testing the car just to make sure that everything was ok and he did pit stops. I don’t get it why all this English fans think that mercedez is the best engine when Ferrari had been mixing it up with of those Mercedes engines and unlike the other cars Ferrari only had problems until today while all the other cars have had more problems with theirs and this including mercedez and mclaren. Ferrari has done just as many laps as the cars which the highest number of laps.

    2. I really debate in these recent years with such limited testing, that team’s can afford to sandbag. I think it is far more likely that Ferrari are simply running through programs to ensure that once they race in anger they will be ok power unit wise in terms of both heat, and fuel needs. For all we know, they went for it and the time they put in was actually very good if placed in the middle of a race at a hot venue.

  7. Anyone know where to find the times for the same test last year? Too many miss-hits on Google! :/

        1. Thanks! Thought they must be somewhere here, but couldn’t find a link to the archives.

    1. They didn’t test at Bahrain last year

    2. Last year the test were held in Jerez and Barcelona not in Bahrain.

    3. They are already within two seconds of last year’s Bahrain pole time, which is very promising that the cars will not be anywhere near as slow as some were prophecising.

      I seriously expect them to be beating 2013 times by the end of the year, at least in qualifying (but perhaps not the races).

  8. I still stand by what I said yesterday. These issues are now costing Red Bull points. Yes, it is early and yes, this is speculation, but we do know that this year the preseason is so much more important than in previous years, with the teams having to acclimatize to so much more than simply the conventional alterations to the aerodynamic regulations. We also know that therein mileage is crucial to stabilize the reliability, and that Red Bull are subsequently now at least five days behind the likes of Mercedes, McLaren, Ferrari and Williams in terms of installation. I would be surprised if this doesn’t have an effect of the first few rounds of the season…

  9. Times are starting to look very respectable considering the reduced areas to generate downforce and the rumoured harder tyre compounds, but of course we only know that last years tyres were very sticky but frail, we no nothing about these tyres, are they sticky and strong or are the teams testing a super-soft with limited durability when they set these times?

    1. Know, know, know, not no.

      1. I don’t think anyone is concerned about tyres right now. Finishing the first few races is paramount, leaving most teams concerned including Mercedes who are beginning to have a few niggly issues of their own.

        1. I’m only curious to gain more perspective on the lap times being set compared to those set at last years race/Q.

          But surely no-one doesn’t care how the tyres might affect this years racing, the PU might be our primary concern but there is much more to F1 than that.

  10. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    21st February 2014, 15:35

    Looks scary to see how slow the Red Bull lap times are. I mean, they are selling out that story of “lap times aren’t important” but 6 seconds behind is worrying.

    1. BBC said the Renault Cut down 100-150 BHP of their power

    2. Yeah, I’m sure they are just trying to get around the track at this point. In Rosberg’s interview he said he was only just able to start working on setup and driving the car in anger, and the Mercs have tons of laps under their belt.

    3. petebaldwin (@)
      21st February 2014, 15:56

      I suppose they are referring to the fact that they have a bunch of issues and that once they are fixed, we don’t know how fast they will be. They might have the fastest car and the fastest engine but are held back by technical issues that, in theory, will be fixed eventually!

      Where the testing times do start to matter though is when you realise that teams are starting to set their cars up and are improving performance. Red Bull aren’t improving performance – they are just trying to get their car to work. In effect, Red bull are currently still in a worse position than Mercedes were at lunchtime on the 2nd day in Jerez.

      Obviously we don’t know how they will go once they fix their issues though so I guess in that respect, the times aren’t important.

    4. Red Bull are still struggling to keep the car running though. I’m more worried about Caterham who managed 98 laps but only just got inside 8 seconds…

      1. Just did a quick calculation, if my maths are correct then the 107% rule would be around a 1:41.5, so Red Bull would be inside that even by their current form, Caterham about half a second outside.

    5. @omarr-pepper, It is possibly a deliberate response to the impending development freeze, designing the most extreme PU knowing that they will be able to continue to work on reliability but not power, it’s a gamble that may pay off in the long run, especially with double points in the last (or 3) race(s).

    6. Why you people are being so naive about lap times? These tests are completely different from last years ones: now they only want to stress the cars and raise issues on the cars to try and resolve them. I could bet a gazilion dollars no team principal, engineer, designer or mechanic cares about lap times because it doesn’t matter now. Even Mercedes are having troubles with their car (not as big as Renault teams) every time Nico and Hamilton are pushing a little further. It’s a “good thing” having the PU “explode” right now and not during the season.

      And about your six seconds and the 100-150bhp that @harsha refers to, are possibly because they are running without the ERS or with a very limited ERS (recomendation from Renault). It’s have been speculated. And from the 4 tenths that the KERS (80bhp, 6.6 seconds) from last year could worth, to the ERS of this year (160bhp, 33 seconds more or less) one could guessestimate that that could value between 4 and 8 seconds of laptime.

      1. Still, not being able to test your car properly even with a ERS handicap is not a position you want to be in. Finally giving the car its full power in Melbourne will only create new problems at the worst possible time = the start of the season!

      2. I think that the teams start out testing not too concerned about lap times, and not too concerned about their competitors times, but with a few caveats. If one team came out of the box super fast and reliable, others would be paying close attention. And once teams like Mercedes are at the stage they are at where they are cranking things up with race simulations, and now setup work, then of course they are going to be paying very close attention to what any changes they make to the car does to the lap times. The closer we get to the end of pre-season, the more real and relevant the times become, even if we don’t entirely know how to relate them to each other.

  11. Button has stated that he “knows” McLaren aren’t the fastest. Presumably the he “knows” Mercedes is?

    1. petebaldwin (@)
      21st February 2014, 16:11

      I’d say it’s too early to count Ferrari out of it. They’ve openly said they’re not chasing performance yet. It’s got to be between the 3 so far with Mercedes the obvious choice on what we’ve seen.

  12. Out of interest, here is a summary of the three days for each car.
    Ferrari, Force India, Red Bull, and maybe Caterham seem to be very consistent. Whereas Toro Rosso, McLaren and Mercedes have more or less improved from day to day.

    Day1 Day2 Day3
    McLaren 98.295 94.91 94.979
    Force India 96.88 96.445 97.367
    Ferrari 97.879 96.516 97.467
    Mercedes 97.908 96.965 94.263
    Williams — 97.328 97.066
    Caterham 102.534 99.855 102.13
    Red Bull 100.224 100.34 100.781
    Toro Rosso 104.346 100.609 98.974
    Sauber 100.443 100.717 97.18
    Lotus — 101.67 99.642
    Maurussia — 102.511 106.672

  13. According to the latest rumors from the paddock Mercedes and Renault are ready to challenge Ferrari’s result after the Australian GP because of the lack of the turbo protection which is actually a huge advantage in terms of weight(a gain of 3 to 4 kg) and lowering the car’s center of gravity
    I think if this will sound true, it will demonstrate how difficult this solution is (if it isn’t impossible) to copy before the 28th February, well i’m just wondering what will be Mercedes and Renault reaction if the solution will be judged legal by the FIA? Will they push for special reliability permission to copy it after they were saying it was dangerous ?

    1. I thought the FIA looked at what Ferrari were doing and declared it legal?

      1. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think the FIA can declare it legal or not until Australia. Same with McLarens butterfly suspension.

        1. @aced The problem with legality lies in the fact that most people rely on Charlies word, whereas he is nothing more than a clerk.

        2. The FIA can make a declaration, but it has no actual force – any team is free to protest to the stewards in Melbourne regardless.

      2. @colossal-squid
        Renault and Mercedes asked the FIA for clarification and the reply was that the engine is legal but that will not stop them from protesting in Australia

        1. @tifoso1989 Ah right, thank you. I suppose it’s a bit comforting to see that the FIA don’t have a problem with it immediately, like with the innovative suspension Ferrari and Lotus were trying before 2013.

          Hopefully this goes away. If a team has done something clever then they should be rewarded for their innovation. I’ve had enough of rules that stifle creativity in this sport.

          1. It is about the interpretation of what constitutes a “housing”. Most teams have interpreted the rules as requiring a heat proof housing or shield around the turbo, where as Ferrari have opted to make their actual turbo housing sufficiently heat proof. I think it saves only a kilo or less, but it is quite (relatively) high up in the car which can (does) affect C of G. Like everything else, if Ferrari romps away with good points, it probably will be protested. If they turn out to be also rans, I’m quite sure nobody will bother.

          2. Never mind whether or not other teams might protest. If I was Ferrari I would have already asked for a very sound clarification as to their legality so that they could proceed accordingly. They will not be wanting to have to add potentially 3 or 4 kg of weight that high up, on the cusp of the season, or even after Australia, so I’m thinking Ferrari is already quite confident in what they have based on being told they’re good to go.

  14. At the end of the day the times are relevant as they are not far off pole postion lap times from last year with harder during tyres meaning less grippy than last year similar power and 50% less downforce at the rear from last year! So they arnt doing too bad but it means they are pushing but which are pushing harder than others is the question!!?? If were honest even saying have to wait till Melbourne to see whos fastest isnt representative as all the years before cars that performed at Melbourne didnt go on to win! Were going to have to wait a few months into the season to get a proper grasp on peoples pace!! Think

    1. For sure we have to see them race in anger, and given all the talk of cooling issues I think we have to see how they do over a race distance in that regard, especially at the hot venues. But I doubt they only have 50% of the downforce in the rear that they had last year. That would be great IMHO, but I don’t think that is the case or we’d be hearing way more about lack of downforce than we are, and there would be no talk of the cars coming near last year’s times.

  15. RBR are in a bad way. But on the bright side, at least that will boost F1 viewing figures!

  16. As I said today during the test session, yellow & red flag sessions during the sessions are going to be long, due to the danger of ERS. In Bahrain, the marshalls are not allowed to touch the car when it stops on track. This image of Max Chilton (it literally made me ROFL) would explain the dangers…

  17. What a boring day Bottas must have had to get 55 laps on the board but not a single timed lap.

  18. Wow…its shaping up to be quite a season.
    Would be fantastic to see the big four really fighting for every win. Add to that some good results from Force India, Williams and Lotus and i’ll consider myself properly entertained ;-)
    The shift away from pure aero towards more classic mechanical engineering is a good thing.

    I just hope the FIA drop the double points nonsense. Yes, Bernie can make his friends in Abu Dhabi happy but the long term damage of alienating fans clearly outweighs that. + It’s just wrong from a sporting point of view.
    While we’re at it:
    Loose the DRS, up the Fuel limit a bit and get rid of the flow limit. Let the teams decide how to use fuel and give us some fireworks in Qualifying. (By the way, (i know this might be a stupid question) do they have air-intake restrictors?)
    Just do all you can to make overtaking less of a risk. “Should I race XYZ…?” isn’t a question anybody likes to hear.

    Well i hope Mercedes do well this year (not too well though) and give Seb a run for his money. Can’t wait!!

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