Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2014

Alonso quickest as Hamilton fails to complete a lap

2014 Australian Grand Prix first practice

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, Albert Park, 2014Fernando Alonso ended the first practice session of 2014 quickest for Ferrari as several of his rivals failed to set times at all.

Neither Lotus nor Caterham managed to get a time on the board as the two Renault-powered teams continued to experience difficulties. And Lewis Hamilton only made it halfway around his first lap when his engine shut-down following an oil pressure sensor warning.

Alonso’s best time of 1’31.840 was 4.6 seconds off the best time seen in the same session last year as teams continue to adjust to their new cars.

Jenson Button was second-quickest for McLaren despite a problem with his engine early in the session which was quickly resolved. The two Williams drivers were next, Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa.

There was some encouragement for Red Bull as Daniel Ricciardo managed 26 laps in front of his home crowd and set the fifth-fastest time. Sebastian Vettel joined the track later in the session and ended up seventh, with the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg separating the pair.

As was widely expected many teams suffered problems during the first practice session of the year. Besides the drivers who did not set times others to suffer setbacks included Kimi Raikkonen, who had an MGU-K problem on his Ferrari.

The Marussia drivers covered just ten laps between them. Max Chilton had to abort one run on his way out of the pits due to a throttle problem. Another run ended badly as he knocked over a trolley as he returned to the pits.

The Toro Rosso drivers completed more running than any other team but were visibly struggling with their brakes, Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne sliding into the Albert Park gravel traps on several occasions.

But that was better than Lotus managed. Pastor Maldonado left the pits once and returned soon afterwards, a fault having put him off the track. And Romain Grosjean never even made it out of his garage.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’31.840 20
2 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’32.357 0.517 23
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’32.403 0.563 27
4 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’32.431 0.591 19
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’32.599 0.759 26
6 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’32.604 0.764 17
7 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.793 0.953 10
8 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’32.847 1.007 28
9 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’32.977 1.137 19
10 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’33.446 1.606 30
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’33.533 1.693 23
12 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’33.855 2.015 24
13 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’34.272 2.432 27
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’35.578 3.738 7
15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.445 4.605 13
16 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’40.859 9.019 6
17 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’46.922 15.082 4
18 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1
19 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1
21 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 2
22 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 0

Image © Ferrari/Ercole Colombo

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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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57 comments on “Alonso quickest as Hamilton fails to complete a lap”

  1. The new cars sound absolutely beautiful, especially in the cockpit cams. I was also glad that most teams didn’t have on-track problems like we saw during testing, but then again this was a pretty short session. I’m on my edge for P2 in two hours time!

    1. As a former CART/Champcar fan, I too really enjoy the sound. Its not as deep as the V8’s but still sounds great, to me. Can’t wait to hear a full field of them!

    2. One question are the onboard cameras in HD now? Wouldn’t be surprised if they weren’t…

      1. I think they were – or so they looked. I didn’t pay much attention to the video as much as the glorious sound though.

    3. Along the nice new, quieter engine sounds I really liked that we could clearly hear the tyre squeals after blocking. I thought after that it will be interesting to hear the noises during crashes (though I hope there won’t be many of them) and great to hear the crowds cheering!
      If it weren’t for the DRS and double points, F1 would pretty much be perfect now with all these new stuff going on!

    4. @reiter

      One thing I personally like, is that the sound of the radio is much more clearer due to the quieter PU.

    5. You are in a minority if you like the new sound.

      Alan Jones is on commentary duty for Australian TV: “To me that sounds horrible”.

      Twitter was awash with revulsion.

      The supporting V8 Supercar drivers are now claiming they have the loudest category.

      1. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        14th March 2014, 4:45

        I really dont like Alan Jones’s commentary. On most of the subjects he talks about, he’s ill-informed and generally wrong. Not to mention he can barely pronounce half the drivers names correctly.

        I think the new engines sounds good. They’re not as loud as the old V8’s, but if you expected them to be as loud, then you’re expectations are flawed.

        It’s different. You lot will come around eventually.

      2. From what I saw most people like the rich sound and the character of new power units. Those who complain, only do it because it’s not as loud. I think that volume and the quality of the sound are two completely different things. To me the new engines sound way better than V8’s, just not as loud.

      3. @kazinho

        Not according to this.

    6. After watching FP1 the sound is really horrible IMHO. I thought it will be more of a deeper tone like the sport cars. Go listen to the 2014 SuperGT, it’s got so much more balls. I’m truly disappointed. But just hope for close racing even if the times are much slower.

      Did you watch the press conference yesterday? Gosh the drivers sounded kinda apprehensive and dejected especially Lewis.

      1. yes it sounds ok but nothing compared to v8

    7. I can’t believe that people are liking the new sound. Those who actually attend GPs will understand how much adrenalin the v8s or v10s brought with their shrill. I may as well go and watch Porsche Cup.

    8. graham221228
      14th March 2014, 8:22

      I think FOM have got the levels slightly off – they sounded great on the onboard footage, but too quiet off-board. Some small tweaks and the TV footage will sound awesome. Love the tyre squeals.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if V8 supercars or NASCAR have louder engines, but then again I don’t care.

  2. Love how the cars looked on track, they are snaking around and visibly slower in cornering speed, the red Bull looks very low beautiful at speed and quick, even the 1:37 onboard of Ricciardo showed how incredible quickly this cars get to 300! The volume the atmospheric sound is missing but what I found more disconcerting is how little of the drivers was expressed amidst all the chaos of driving a 2014 car, I could spot Massa’s driving style but apart from him everything felt refrained. As of now the pecking order isn’t much changed, I think Alonso’s time is clearly a reflection of Ferrari’s tradition of running light on FPs.

    1. I forgot to mention that in my opinion RedBull’s supposed camera solution is elegant but not a good idea and not to my liking. After years with mandatory cameras, there are reasons why people hadn’t incorporated them before, first you need very high engineering and development and costs secondly it makes me wonder if the camera stands to the same rules as the others, size shape and weight, according to the book it should retain all those aspects even if it is enclosed which is not mentioned therefore a loophole because the camera’s properties are clearly changed in that scenario, good thinking though it also looks better that way.

  3. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    14th March 2014, 3:23

    Pretty interesting session. All the cars looked very slow, but I suspect they’re not running anywhere near full power just yet.

    The Williams is looking good, and so is the Mclaren, however the latter looks very understeery from the onboard shots.

  4. Found some pics of the red bull with its covers off

  5. Tough start of the 2014 season. Onboard sound is terrible, “new” FOM graphics are crap and the life timing on f1.com is useless.

    1. @crr917 Hated the FOM graphics aswell. At home the onboard sounds more like a normal detuned F1 engine simply put lower revving, but with with the McLaren I could listen to the turbo on lift off, as for the redbull I couldn’t catch the turbo sound much it sounded to me more like any other Renault F1 engine perhaps a 96 or 97 Williams-Renault.

      1. @peartree The turbo is always up to speed, that’s the theory at least, that no matter what the engine is doing the ERS always keeps the turbo pressure constant, that gives no lag and the engine behaves just like before.

    2. “new” FOM graphics are crap

      There the same graphics as last year & I really like the new tweaks that have been made incorporating the drivers numbers. only negative is the unnecessarily large rolex graphic.

    3. The onboard sound is spoiled a little bit by the turbo, it’s like a vacuum cleaner constantly on but from the outside it’s much better.

      You’re right I feel cheated by the “new” graphics, it really is a step backwards, the only good news for me is that my broadcaster finally decided to use FOMs NTSC signal, instead of PAL and everything is clear as day now :)

  6. Seems like Button could have been much quicker if the Mclaren wasn’t understeering through every corner

  7. If these times are representative, things have changed considerably since the pre-season. But I don’t think anyone was really going all-out, so we’ll have to wait until qualifying.

  8. Weird not being able to hear the cars through the city in Melbourne. Loved watching the on-board of Ricciardo (not so much of the sound) you could tell when he got on the gas the amount of torque the car has, its like he was getting catapulted out of the corner. love it. looking forward to FP2

    1. Indeed it is very weird to not hear the sound. I live around 10k fro the track and could hear the cars last year. Now it’s nothing. But at least you don’t need earplugs anymore. I still haven’t hear the sound in real but I’ll be there on Sunday so can’t wait. I am very curious if the Gearboxes are as loud as last year.

  9. Finally, F1 2014 had begun, and thank you Keith for keeping us up to date throughout the winter.
    The main thing I noticed during the first on-board lap on a Renault-powered car (I think it was Ricciardo), I said wow what a weird sound (personally I did not like it at all) and I was somewhat disappointed. Then, after hearing a Mercedes-powered car I said thanks God, that sounded awesome. I also liked the sound Ferrari-powered cars, they sound pretty smooth and quiter than the others.
    Another thing that I have liked is that with the new formula, it is the first season I can hear the tyres squeak throughout the corners and during lockups.
    Additionally, with all the big talks about the new noses during pre-season, they certainly did not have much of my attention as there are so much other things to focus on while watching.
    I cant wait for Sunday.

    1. *has begun

    2. That Merc sounded awsome. I listened through some fairly decent headphones so I didn’t wake the wife. The Merc works car sounds the absolute business, plus the cars look a handful on track too. These are exciting times for F1, I’m already hooked on the new ‘era’………..what funny shaped noses???? Can’t say I noticed, the rest of the cars are so aesthetically pleasing along with some good use of colour, the only noses i really was Caterham and Toro Roso, others than that I didn’t give it another though.

      1. *really noticed was……

        Stupid phone and tired eyes, but worth staying up.

  10. Love the attitude on these new cars.

    Did RBR use DR as guinea pig? 16laps more than Seb…

  11. Pinak Ghosh
    14th March 2014, 3:46

    The RBR is in the mix..they have a fast car for sure

  12. What happened to the atmosphere.
    The cars sound like mine on a drive to the supermarket, I keep thinking they are just coasting, yet they are setting reasonable times.

  13. I am really glad to see the 2014 cars in action live. Some interesting outings happened because of drivers literally testing the brake by wire system. The Caterhams had no run while the Red Bulls managed a reasonable number of laps and the Mercedes hitting some trouble. Change of fortunes?

  14. I know we aren´t suposed to think much about P1 times but it seems that Ferrari might have just gotten it right this time!
    I feel so relieved now that I have actually seen the F14-t run!! And so much for Kimi beating ALO!

    1. It says in the article that Kimi had MGU-k problems, he didn’t get too much running in

    2. alonso is a beast

    3. @karter22
      I think that you might be getting a little bit too excited from FP1 alone, though Ferrari did look good today, and Fernando appeared more comfortable than Kimi in the car.

      Nonetheless, with Ferrari’s advanced cooling and fuel consumption system, I think that the race will be their biggest strength (as always).

      1. @kingshark
        totally agree with you. I did get excited seeing that right after Button took ALO off the top, ALO just stood up and geared up to go set the fastest time one more time. It was a good feeling! I think Ferrari do have something up their sleeves and they do have a quick car!

        I must say, the R-B-10 did look painfully slow. Not something I particularly enjoyed. It was quite surprising to see Ricciardo up there though.

        Williams did look quick, especialy in Massa´s hands! I think Bottas is going to get his bum served on a platter this season!

        Maldonado seemed he wanted to jump into the lake and never surface! hahahahaa

        Also, the McLaren seemed quicker to me than the MERC! interesting!

        All in all, a good P1 session, can´t wait for P2 and see if they set quicker times. They surely weren´t running full boost it seems. I just hope Ferrari keep moving forward, it seems this is the most promising season I´ve seen so far in a looooooong time.

        1. @karter22

          I must say, the R-B-10 did look painfully slow. Not something I particularly enjoyed.

          Wait, what? I’m confused.

          1. @kingshark
            It´s just to be fair…. I loathe RBR with a passion but I just don´t want ALO to stomp them without a fight.
            All I saw in P1 and P2 indicates to me that Ferrari is quick, maybe as quick, if not quicker than MERC but I guess we have to wait for tomorrow and find out who is on top.
            If ALO manages to start 3rd, it´s a done deal!

    4. Ferrari will not be on Pole.

      This was probably a low fuel qualifying sim..I cant believe that they are 0.5 secs ahead of the competition all of a sudden. Kimi’s time is probably more representative.

  15. Right now we’ve FP1 it’s time to panic and change all those predictions.

    1. SEEN FP1

    2. Hahahaha.. :) I will wait till FP3 to change mine ;)

    3. I assume you meant to say: ” change al those bets ” !! hahaaha

  16. Xabi Alonso
    14th March 2014, 4:14

    The best is yet to come from Ferrari. Thats not their best and Alonso clearly demonstrates why he is the best driver in f1. Compare his result to iceman.

  17. Tega Enajekpo
    14th March 2014, 4:57

    Hey Lewis ‘all things happen for a reason’. It was he’s divine will that your car couldn’t work. Idiot

  18. I’m trackside and the F1 cars are quieter than the V8s now.
    When the speed comparison was run with David Coultard in an old Red Bull just that one F1 car shows how much the sound has changed

  19. I would love to see a “do you like the new sound of F1?” (or something like that) vote here.

  20. Can someone tell me why is the DRS detection point three corners ahead of the first zone, and then still pretty much in contact with the next zone which is further two corners away?

  21. Are they even hitting 8th gear? From what I can count they seem to only be hitting 7th…

    I think VJ got it right. Way too quite for F1.

  22. Forza Ferrari

  23. What an odd point in time to start makingassumptions and prpredictions. The preseason testing is so limited and at the first run after the tweaks from the last test and especially entering a very different track each driver will set out with a long task list of things to try. This is most likely even further from being indicative than latest tests have been.

    But it’s great to get the season started.

    1. @poul, well it’s not an assumption when we observe the Red Bull not only getting out of the garage but putting pretty decent runs and times on the board.

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