Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014

Hamilton falls short of Massa’s top time as test ends

2014 F1 season

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014Lewis Hamilton was quickest on the final day of testing in Bahrain but narrowly failed to beat the best time seen during the eight days of running at the track.

The Mercedes driver set a best time of 1’33.278 in the final minutes of the session, falling short of beating Felipe Massa’s mark yesterday by two-hundredths of a second.

Valtteri Bottas was on driving duties today for Williams and was second-quickest, seven tenths of a second down on Hamilton.

The final day of pre-season testing was repeatedly interrupted by no fewer than eight red flags, though a 25-minute extension to the scheduled duration gave some of the teams a chance to conduct extra running.

However several other teams had already ended their participation by then. Among them were Lotus, who caused two of the red flags, the second when Romain Grosjean’s car came to a stop on track with flames licking from the rear.

Fernando Alonso also came to a stop before the end of the session having previously set the third-quickest time in his Ferrari, one second off Hamilton’s pace.

The Mercedes driver missed almost four hours of running as for the second day running the team began the session effecting a major repair on the W05. This time it was a gearbox glitch.

Following yesterday’s unproductive test Sebastian Vettel managed a healthy 77 laps in the Red Bull RB10. However he did cause one of the day’s red flags when a “front end mechanical problem” brought him to a stop at turn one, facing the wrong way down the track.

Sauber also had a poor day yesterday but bounced back in style/ With Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez sharing the C33 for the day they completed 177 laps between them – more than three race distances.

The team also caused the final red flag of the day as they conducted a “fuel system check”, which normally consists of running the car until it is completely out of fuel.

Caterham also logged over 100 laps but Marussia were badly delayed by a series of electrical problems which confined the team to their garage for much of the morning. Williams and McLaren were responsible for a red flag each as they logged high mileage on their Mercedes power units.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes W051’33.27869
2Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes FW361’33.9871080.709
3Fernando AlonsoFerrari F14 T1’34.280741.002
4Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes VJM071’35.577742.299
5Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault STR91’35.701742.423
6Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari C331’36.467913.189
7Max ChiltonMarussia-Ferrari MR031’36.835613.557
8Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari C331’37.303864.025
9Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault RB101’37.468774.190
10Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-291’38.111224.833
11Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault CT051’38.3911065.113
12Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault E221’39.302326.024

Bahrain tests combined times

Quickest lap time by each team:

1WilliamsFelipe Massa1’33.258
2MercedesLewis Hamilton1’33.2780.020
3FerrariFernando Alonso1’34.2801.022
4McLarenKevin Magnussen1’34.9101.652
5Force IndiaSergio Perez1’35.2902.032
6Toro RossoJean-Eric Vergne1’35.7012.443
7Red BullDaniel Ricciardo1’35.7432.485
8SauberAdrian Sutil1’36.4673.209
9MarussiaMax Chilton1’36.8353.577
10CaterhamMarcus Ericsson1’38.0834.825
11LotusPastor Maldonado1’38.7075.449

2014 F1 season

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Image © Mercedes/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
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48 comments on “Hamilton falls short of Massa’s top time as test ends”

  1. Noticable improvement in Sauber, Toro Rosso and Chilton.

    1. Thinking about, it’s more likely to be Marussia’s improvement…

      1. I was thinking the same. It would have been interesting to see what Bianchi would have done with it.

        1. @daved
          Marussia score points at Melbourne?
          Probably way too hopeful but…

          1. @jojobudgie
            They’re quick(er than Caterham), but they’ve had the worst reliability of the non-Renault teams so far

          2. @jojobudgie @george I’m thinking it’s a pretty good chance actually. Looking at testing, and projecting to Oz, I can easily see 4 Renault powered cars not finishing. I can even see 2-3 Ferarri and 2-3 Merc powered cars not finishing.

            Throw in Maldonado doing something stupid and taking himself and at least one other car out (mean, I know…but probably accurate) a simple mistake or two from drivers running the new high-torque cars in anger for the first time and making mistakes, mechanical failures, etc.

            I would be hard pressed not to see a Marussia or Caterham car in the points if they can just finish. And Marussia is faster but Caterham more reliable. Hmmm, reliable may be more important right now so maybe Caterham will score first??? But I’d still put my money on Bianchi. :-)

            But the point is, that one of them is bound to score with all this going on.

          3. Do you guys not realise how far fetched these guesses are? Marussias time could for all we know have been a quali simulation.. Not so impressive really… Testing times are hard to judge.

          4. Rambler, you should register so we can flag you for responses.

            Anyway, you have to realize we’re not saying Marussia has jumped so far up the grid they’d score points based on their own quickness, but rather through attrition of other teams. That of course assumes one of their cars manages to finish a race.

          5. I think they have pace to be in top 10, I’m not sure if they can finish the race.

            Quite frankly, I don’t know if we will have 10 cars finishing the race…

          6. @jcost I totally agree. I can see a scenario where only 8-9 cars finish. Maybe they’ll surprise me and get some reliability in before Melbourne, but based on the last three test sessions…that will be a big job.
            And now they are going to run in anger for the first time with the normal mistakes drivers make especially driving new cars with more torque where a simple mistake out of the corner brings the back end around much quicker. And adrenaline is a killer for causing those kinds of mistakes early in the season with relatively few miles under their belts in the new cars.
            It will be interesting.

  2. Following along live was almost like watching Qualifying! Really fun to feel involved as it was progressing.

  3. Mercedes for both championships! This is my final decision……..until FP1 in Melbourne!

    1. Based on what we’ve seen from testing, I have to agree with that.

    2. There he goes again! Lol!

    3. Haha I love it !

    4. I wonder how you chose your girlfriend/wife

  4. Apart from Williams, teams still encountering major problems.Almost got 7/8 red flag on the final day.Melbourne looks like it could be a triumph just to finish.

  5. Williams & Mercedes looking pretty good. I think Merc has the advantage on pace (late in the session, Lewis went quickest in the 1st sector & then aborted the lap, so there’s definitely more in it), but man, Williams have put together one solid car! No real reliability issues thus far certainly puts them in a position to score some good points in the early races. Looking forward to a resurgent Williams & a Felipe Massa fighting his own fight.

    1. if anything, Williams look better because of reliability and momentum, they have been setting fast times in the last couple days of testing. I think Massa is at the level of Hamiltons driving, not Alonso or vettels, but with a top 2 car will compete with Hamilton and Rosberg. I don’t see Bottas in the mix though.

  6. Nice to see Williams up near the top of the list…..maybe good things for them are not far away, especially with Massa at the helm!

  7. What it would mean to me if Massa won in Australia. I think I migh shed a tear then. Fow Williams and Massa’s sake.

    1. You might be shedding a tear I think, cuz Massa has the skill and the car so it seems…..plus he has a fresh breath of air in him….Go Massa Go!!!!

    2. Massa on the top step of the podium would be a dream result for me. God, I really am looking forward to the new season.

      1. @insilico

        Massa on the top step of the podium

        When was the last time that happened?

        1. Spiritually, Germany 2010. Officially, Brazil 2008.

          1. LMAO!!! Very funny…and very true.

    3. I’ve given him a lot of crap at Ferrari post-accident, but a Massa win? I can’t deny I’d really like that.

    4. A new Massa vs. Hamilton championship @ardenflo? Might be interesting!

      1. Now that would be something to see!

  8. Red Bull the 7th fastest team. What a turn in fortunes…

    So they should be able to make it out of Q1 on that basis – so the absolute worst case scenario predicted may be avoided – but Q3 looks to be a distant fantasy on this form. As does finishing the race.

    1. @vettel1 Red Bull has the pace as we have seen from daniel stint two days back so i wont be surprised if they made it to Q1 but the number of times RB10 broken down in testing finishing the race wont be easy for them

    2. Do you really think Red Bull have developed a slow car? No matter how much they have struggled reliability wise in testing, never discount them.

      1. No, I don’t think they have made a slow car, but the engine appears to be down on power and Red Bull have had little opprtunity to improve the car’s aerodynamics – look at the rear wing for example compared to the Mercedes @insilico.

      2. be realistic, in recent history in testing, when a car breaks down this much it has no chance of a great result. they have not been fast at any time either. if it was still the same v8s then yes you could not discount them for Melbourne, but seriously – they have no chance for Melbourne. after 4 or 5 races they will have the miles that were needed in testing and we will see an improvement, Ricciardo showed 2 days ago the car does have speed, and it is said to be the quickest through corners, so they will get there, but do not expect a miracle in the first few races.

    3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
      2nd March 2014, 23:28

      I don’t think the times they put in this test (or any of the test so far) have been indicative of their true pace.

      Seb may have covered 77 laps, but none of them were particularly fast. Which means he was obviously trying long runs. If that’s not it, then I don’t what else it could be, because I highly doubt that Red Bull have forgotten how to make a quick car.

  9. I think that we can’t read nothing from testing times this year. We saw that Mercedes can pump in very impressive quali-type times, but suddenly from nowhere Williams came and beat it, though by a very small margin. I think that any team can come from nowhere and claim pole position in Australia, because we know that some teams don’t like to empty their fuel tanks during testing. For example, it’s hard to guess, whether Ferrari will claim pole in first race or they will fight just to reach q3.

    What I would guess is backmarkers being backmarkers again this year (I’m talking about Marussia and Caterham).

    1. Merc and Ferrari drivers set their fastest times on soft tyres while Williams on super-soft.

  10. I know testing times are unreliable but there does appear to be such significant gaps between sections of the field. I suspect the first few GPs will be rather like an unofficial Le Mans line-up in the sense different teams are almost racing in different classes e.g:

    LMP1 = All the Mercedes powered cars
    LMP2 = Ferrari
    GTE Pro = Toro Rosso, Sauber, Marussia
    GTE Am = Caterham, Red Bull, Lotus (being bit mean there I know!)

    1. LOL Great analogy!

    2. Toro Rosso ahead of Red Bull? I don’t see that happening.

  11. I think the Mercedes is still the car to beat on raw pace over a lap. however in Australia, reliability will the key and it doesn’t matter if the RB10 breaks down on lap 12 and the W05 breaks down on lap 44. I’m going to call it now, only 5 cars will finish the race!

  12. I want to do a graph tomorrow of last years qualifying times at Bahrain vs this years best times at Bahrain testing. from that we can see who has done the best with new rules during testing this year. I cant remember marussias time, but they did well yesterday and today, much quicker then caterham – this shows me Ferraris power unit is much better then Renaults. also Williams has improved hugely since last year, their car is already quicker then last years car. Mercedes look fast, but their car is not faster then their 2013 car.

  13. Back markers will still be back markers when the season is over, but Marussia and Caterham will score points this year…just by finishing a race!

    1. look for a mark webber like result from 2001 Melbourne, where Minardi got a 5th place, because others crashed or retired.

  14. From the Pirelli website it sure looks that Mercedes still has a lot of speed in hand….:

    Day 4

    1. L Hamilton Mercedes 1m33.278s Soft Used
    2. V Bottas Williams 1m33.987s Soft New
    3. F Alonso Ferrari 1m34.280s Supersoft New
    4. N Hulkenberg Force India 1m35.577s Supersoft New
    5. J-E Vergne Toro Rosso 1m35.701s Supersoft New
    6. A Sutil Sauber 1m36.467s Supersoft New
    7. M Chilton Marussia 1m36.835s Supersoft New
    8. E Gutierrez Sauber 1m37.303s Supersoft New
    9. S Vettel Red Bull 1m37.468s Soft Used
    10. J Button McLaren 1m38.111s Medium New
    11. K Kobayashi Caterham 1m38.391s Soft New
    12. R Grosjean Lotus 1m39.302s Soft New

  15. “With Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez sharing the C33 for the day they completed 177 laps between them – more than three race distances.”

    That’s an astonishing number of laps… :o

  16. I think you guys should check this… http://www.pirelli.com/corporate/en/press/2014/03/02/review-%E2%80%93-2014-official-formula-one-test-bahrain-27-february-2-march/ Ham knocked those 1m33.278s on used softs… look at the end part of the page. A lil’ tickle to other temas specially Williams from Merc. Yeah?!

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