Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain, 2014

Perez leads times as Red Bull struggle goes on

2014 F1 season

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Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain, 2014Sergio Perez led the times as the final four-day pre-season test began in Bahrain.

The Force India driver’s best time of 1’35.290 was two seconds off the quickest lap set by Nico Rosberg last week.

A late run by Valtteri Bottas moved him up to second place at the end of a busy day in which he completed a mammoth 128 laps, more than two grand prix distances.

Ferrari had a quiet morning following the discovery of a technical problem but Kimi Raikkonen improved his time half an hour before the session finished to end the day third-quickest. His Ferrari stopped on track shortly before the chequered flag appeared.

In contrast, Red Bull made an encouraging start to the day as Daniel Ricciardo took to the track early on and improved on their best lap time from the week before. But the RB10’s teething troubles resurfaced and the car spent much of the afternoon in the garage before emerging for a brief run minutes before the end of the session.

It was a familiar story for the other Renault-powered teams, each of which was responsible for interruptions to the day’s activity. Kamui Kobayashi‘s Caterham stopped on track early in the day, then reappeared after lengthy repairs.

Pastor Maldonado caused another red flag shortly after rejoining the track following software changes on his Lotus. And Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso came to a stop at turn two, after which he did not return to the track again.

Marussia did not complete as many laps as Toro Rosso, but Max Chilton did complete the most running for the team in any day of testing so far this year.

Bahrain test two day one lap times

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes VJM071’35.290105
2Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes FW361’36.1841280.894
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari F14 T1’36.432541.142
4Nico RosbergMercedes W051’36.624891.334
5Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari C331’37.700892.410
6Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-291’37.8251092.535
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault RB101’37.908392.618
8Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari MR031’38.610443.320
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault STR91’39.242563.952
10Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault E221’40.599315.309
11Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault CT051’42.285196.995

Bahrain tests combined times so far

Quickest lap time by each team:

1MercedesNico Rosberg1’33.283
2McLarenKevin Magnussen1’34.9101.627
3Force IndiaSergio Perez1’35.2902.007
4WilliamsValtteri Bottas1’36.1842.901
5FerrariKimi Raikkonen1’36.4323.149
6SauberEsteban Gutierrez1’37.1803.897
7Red BullDaniel Ricciardo1’37.9084.625
8MarussiaMax Chilton1’38.6105.327
9LotusPastor Maldonado1’38.7075.424
10Toro RossoDaniil Kvyat1’38.9745.691
11CaterhamKamui Kobayashi1’39.8556.572

2014 F1 season

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Image © Force India

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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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  • 58 comments on “Perez leads times as Red Bull struggle goes on”

    1. “but Max Chilton did complete the most running for the team in any day of testing so far this year”

      Go Marussia!! Badly want them to score points this year, such a nice team.

      1. They’re a lovely team, I was lucky enough to talk to Graham Lowdon at the Silverstone YDT, and can confirm he’s a brilliant guy, and Marrussia definitely want F1 to be for the fans (He had a lovely story about the Goodwood FoS that I’ll save for another day).

        However, I can’t help but worry. That’s 44 laps. There’s a race in Bahrain in a few months time when they have a lot less time to do 57 consecutive laps with both cars. They seem to have a long way to go…

    2. The Bulls seems to have lost their horns :)

      1. that bull has asthma

      2. Their form is disastaurus.

        1. They need to take the Bull by the Horners. Red Bull gives you whinges.

          1. @Robbie

            hehe +1000

          2. Bull´s Eye

        2. These puns are terribull

          1. From the outside looking in I would say the old plan has failed and RedBull need a newey plan!

      3. They have been hanging out their bulls in the pool

      4. No more bull…. I just LOL with so many great posts!!

    3. Believe all of the Mercedes teams did race simulations. Are lap charts available?

      1. Last week McLaren looked like they had distanced themselves from the other Merc powered cars, but today Perez was only 3 tenths behind, with Bottas around 1 sec behind. There are gonna be great battles this year, even if Redbull can’t close the gap.

        1. Steph (@stephanief1990)
          27th February 2014, 19:42

          @Blackmamba I still think it’s too early to say anything definitive. Merc could blow the teams away or perhaps Ferrari are sandbagging. We thought last year was going to be close a few races into the season and then look what happened.

    4. 1992 Peugeot Talbot Sport (@peugeot-905-92-93-le-mans-winner)
      27th February 2014, 14:55

      2014 could be a clean sweep for Mercedes GP just like McLaren in ’88

      1. I highly doubt that they will have 2 seconds on the nearest car. McLaren in 89 seems more probable – the best car, but not super dominant.

      2. That’s ok if the product on the track is good, and it’s a see-saw battle between LH and NR.

      3. I doubt it… The other Merc-powered teams are all performing at a similar, if not exactly identical level.

        McLaren ’88 were just heads, shoulders (and knees, and toes) above the rest of the field!

        1. We’ll soon enough know, but I highly doubt the Merc powered cars are going to be performing at an exactly identical level to the works Mercedes GP team once they go racing. But who knows though, right? So much yet to be determined from so many aspects that won’t reveal themselves until the first Sunday afternoon.

        2. No team is performing at an identical level with Merc. If they are, they haven’t shown it yet. The closest is McLaren and on their quali sim they were 1.7sec behind Merc. I’m not saying they are not as good, just that they haven’t proved it yet!

          1. don’t go so blind on the times now, wait until the Melbourne q3 result to assume something like that, but anyway I hope Hamilton does better than 4th or 5th this yr, but seems Nico has earn same level if not number 1 status within the team

            1. Please explain the Nico number one status.

            2. @theo-hrp

              Please explain the Nico number one status.

              Please do explain it!! I also want to know what did I miss there! Last time I checked Lewis does have a WDC to his name and not his dad`s.

      4. I don’t think so.

        I reckon that provide nothing overly dramatic occurs, they will win, but I am expecting a battle between Ferrari and McLaren in with them too.

        And let’s not count Lotus out. Everybody is saying they won’t do well, but we could find ourselves in with a real surprise here!

    5. It is really sad to see the Renault teams struggle . I think a true motorsport fan would want a good competitive races than a walk over by one engine manufacturer. So I do hope they get their act together

      1. No question, but nobody is saying they hope one team dominates…just that it could happen and it could be Mercedes based on what we’ve seen so far and how much weight you can put to testing.

        Personally I would rather see a healthy RBR team get beat than an unhealthy one, but I certainly don’t feel sad for them. They’ve had a great run, and just as it was up to every other team to compete with them over the last 4 seasons, so it is now up to them to compete.

      2. They haven’t yet run a qualification simulation.

        1. Well that landed well out of position! In reply to “McLaren’s qualification sim.”

      3. You know, it’s not all about Vettel. These teams employ several hundred personnel and there is competition at every level. This also includes the engine area (Power Units) where an engineer would want to prove himself to be the best there is. To me it was ludicrous when this integral part of motor racing was made obsolete through the V8s era. If Redbull/Renault can not produce a functioning race car then its incumbent upon themselves to lift their performance to a level of competitiveness that allows them to defend their title. There are 10 other teams in the championship and RedBull are not entitled to win every single year. Like its said, what goes up must come down, it’s just the law of averages. They enjoyed success and it is bound to end at some point. If not this year, then at some point soon.

        1. What rubbish? if it were only Redbull struggling on the Renault powered engine what you are saying would even start to make sense but no Renault team is getting anything done without problems!

          1. @rockie – you seem to have missed my point completely, which is unsurprising since you are blinded by your loyalty to this team. You do know that the sport is called MOTOR racing right? Guess what a motor is! It’s not a blown floor. And if RedBull were happy with their marriage with Renault through the good years, then they oughtta be able to endure the bad. For better, for worse; in sickness and in health! Well, this is the sickness!

            1. @blackmamba Aero is still king in any object that move through air, if not Newey wont be wanted to design yatchs though it has no motor engines can only carry you thus far hence the in season development.
              But hey let me leave you to your understanding of F1 after all not everyone can agree on same thing!

      4. But the competition starts from the engine drawing board.
        When you also take in the fact that Renault were vociferous in their asking that F1 go for the turbos and a reduced number of cylinders engine route, one would expect them to have done their homework well. Inevitably, their partner teams will suffer initially but the same could easily have happened to any of the other engine manufacturers.

      5. but they are, I mean last year was a walk in the park this yr they will see what all other teams had to endure when building a dog for a change, wasn’t feeling bad for ferari or maclaren when they build their dogs, wasn’t fair but is formula 1, no room for hicups !!

      6. In a sense, I agree, since we want competition across the board. That being said, it looks like the Mercedes powered cars are going to be challenging each other (at the very least) creating some good fun there. Where and how Ferrari power fits into the mix, it’s difficult to tell. Even if Renault struggles continue, I think there’ll be enough competition.

        I actually like seeing the adversity RBR is facing, and it’s not because of any ill-will towards the team. What I wanted to see was Vettel face some adversity and still pull out wins. I still hate that some viewers will play down Vettel and four consecutive WDCs. Best of luck, but given the teams previous efforts, I’d be very surprised if they couldn’t pull off what McLaren did in 2009 (introduce a dog of a car and turn it into a race-winner).

    6. I don’t want any team to dominate, just like in 2010, so that we can have a really mixed and competitive championship battle all the way through the season. But if I knew one team were going to dominate in 2014, I wouldn’t want it to be Red Bull – purely because the inter team battle between Seb Vettel and Ricciardo would be very one sided. So even if Mercedes are way ahead of the others, it’ll still be very interesting seeing who will come out on top between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.. and likewise with McLaren and Ferrari who’s teammate battles will also be interesting to watch.

      I think what’s been lacking, especially in 2011 and 2013, is that Vettel hasn’t had a proper teammate to give him a run for his money. He deserves a huge amount of credit for how convincingly and consistently he’s beaten Webber over the last few years, but if he had a teammate of the likes of Hamilton or Alonso beside him at Red Bull, it would have been very interesting in those seasons where the Red Bull was dominant to see who would have emerged victorious between both drivers.

      I hope that Vettel is paired up with a proper teammate before his retires from F1 as it would make scintillating viewing.

      1. COTD!

      2. I genuinely think Alonso is the only driver who could compete with Vettel closely enough to have a chance of beating him over the course of a season. I simply don’t think Hamilton is up to his standard.

        1. Alonso can’t, as good as he his on Sunday, you have to beat him on Saturday as well i.e Vettel because he is as good as Alonso on Sunday!

          1. @rockie
            Really? I find it hard to believe. ALO has managed to take it down to the wire 2 times in the last 4 seasons in “inferior” machinery… I can only imagine what would´ve happened if he would´ve had a RBR under him. There is some food for thought for you!

            1. @karter22 He won’t have done anything, let me remind you of ’07 he had a dominant car and he failed to beat a rookie in it!
              So when you pose a hypothetical situation think deeply it sounds nice when you say what would Alonso do in the Redbull, as long as Alonso was getting out-qualified by Massa it tells me had Vettel been in a Ferrari he would qualify ahead of Alonso and we all know how fast starting that Ferrari is in either drivers hands!
              So please spare me the BS of what Alonso would do also when he has as much reliability problems as Vettel in a season and still be in contention then talk to me!

        2. Don’t worry Max Vettel will joining Lewis at Merc very soon.

          And it’ll be like the good old times for those two…. (wink).

        3. Yet Hamilton beat Alonso at McLaren!

        4. Alonso should retire asap if that believe to live long enough.

        5. i hope kimi sweeps the floor with alonso! and i really think kimi might beat his teammate…

      3. I can’t see Lewis or Fernando being rivals with Vettel. Vettel’s career rival is still coming, like the Hulk or Magnussen

    7. I’d take even money on neither RB finishing in Australia. I hope the race doesn’t turn into a general debacle with more failures than not (or the leaders slowing way down to conserve fuel)… that would make for two very annoying news weeks until Malaysia with everyone second-guessing all the changes and the ‘future of f1’. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.

    8. Judging by combined times it would be appropriate to change the name of the sport into Formula Mercedes. But I’m glad Williams is up there.

    9. It is final! Force-India for the constructor’s championship in 2014! You heard it here first

      1. Not a real qualy run and with extra fuel, didn’t saw DRS deployed, used tires….. definetely some room !

      2. yeah! and max mosley is coming back!!!

          1. Yeah. Didn’t you hear? And Paris Hilton is joining F1 under Hilton F1 Racing.

    10. Can Maldonado get his money back ? at least to Williams, he got some horrible luck !
      Always late testing show ups of the car, he is more fun crashing at the front than on the back,
      well at least he knows how to accelerate development of what is not working, just brake it.

      1. Your comment made me lmao. Maldonado should not be very happy.
        Maldonado to Williams: “Guys, I was just kidding when I said you suck, if I bring my 40 million would you take me back?”

    11. Williams’ reliability is very impressive – you would almost start thinking they build a car that is too reliable, i.e. not aggressive enough. I really hope that’s not the case, because I would love to see Massa and Bottas fighting for podiums..

      1. With all the problems teams seem to be having, being reliable might be the best way to reach the podium in the early parts of the season. Later on, who knows? What was that old adage – it’s easier to make a fast car reliable than a reliable car fast?

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