Interlagos, 2014

Mercedes on top as Toro Rosso show potential

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix first practice

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Interlagos, 2014The Mercedes drivers were comfortably fastest as usual in first practice at Interlagos where drivers found the resurfaced track offered a lot of grip.

Nico Rosberg’s session-topping lap of 1’12.764 was just three-tenths of a second slower than the last pole position time set in dry weather at the track in 2012.

The Toro Rosso drivers put on a good showing during the session, though both Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat had lurid oversteering moments. Verstappen later reported his balance was much improved, and Kvyat ended the session as the only driver to get within a second of Rosberg, besides Hamilton.

Fernando Alonso set the fourth-quickest time but team mate Kimi Raikkonen was another driver to be caught out by the track, suffering two spins during the session.

Daniel Juncadella had a more significant problem, crashing at the Laranjinha corner, which caused the session to be stopped. The Force India test driver was unhurt, but the team are left with a significant repair job to get Sergio Perez’s car ready for second practice.

Two drivers failed to set times: Jenson Button’s car cut out completely when he returned to the pits after his installation lap. He was pushed back to the garage where his car was isolated as the team investigated an electrical problem.

Esteban Gutierrez also didn’t get a time on the board. The Sauber driver reported a problem with his car on his first run, then headed for the pits.

The session ended with a test of the new Virtual Safety Car system.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’12.764 30
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’12.985 0.221 32
3 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’13.723 0.959 39
4 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’13.742 0.978 30
5 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’13.811 1.047 28
6 38 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault 1’13.827 1.063 26
7 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’14.034 1.270 31
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’14.114 1.350 32
9 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’14.136 1.372 30
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’14.197 1.433 27
11 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’14.434 1.670 31
12 40 Felipe Nasr Williams-Mercedes 1’14.522 1.758 22
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’14.678 1.914 33
14 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’14.902 2.138 24
15 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’15.109 2.345 23
16 34 Daniel Juncadella Force India-Mercedes 1’16.030 3.266 17
17 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1
18 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 6

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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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22 comments on “Mercedes on top as Toro Rosso show potential”

  1. “Kvyat ended the session as the only driver to get within a second of Rosberg, besides Hamilton.”… and Alonso.

  2. Getting harder to ignore Verstappen

    1. One tenth off Kyvat bodes very well.

    2. Before you know it Kvyat stays in STR and Verstappen goes straight into the RB11.

  3. Verstappen is ridiculously quick. Will Buxton was going crazy about him on twitter too. Shame he made mistakes by locking up and almost spinning when the track evolved. He’s still learning, but he’s shown his potential in a Formula 1 car now, splitting the Mercedes drivers in the first half of the session.

    1. I’m still blown away that a guy who was just 16 years old two months ago is able to have the maturity (both physical and mental) to drive an F1 car around a track, let alone be putting in such times. Very impressive!

      1. petebaldwin (@)
        7th November 2014, 16:31

        F1 doesn’t really seem to present a physical challenge these days other than the heat/humidity at some races.

        Very impressive though as you say that he was mentally ready to jump in an F1 car and do that straight away with the world watching.

        1. Agreed, anyone can cope with a full race with 5g under braking and 3g through corners and under acceleration. No sweat…………..

  4. Go Maldonado! Go!

  5. I’m so looking forward to seeing this kid in F1 next year. The doubters should give him a chance. I’m going by the phrase – if you’re good enough you’re old enough.

    1. @deej92 All’s well when he is quick. But when he makes a rookie mistake, people should not toe the line that he is a youngster blah blah etc.

      He was deemed fit and ready to race in F1 and that includes all aspects of racing. If he is to learn the trickery in F1, it will end badly for him and other drivers too. We don’t want him crashing into Championship contenders and putting himself in the spotlight for the wrong reasons.

      That said, All the best to him. With Sutil and Guti gone, I hope the places are occupied by drivers who are worthy of the limited seats in the pinnacle of Motorsports.

      1. @evered7 That’s what I fear. People will jump on his age when he makes mistakes, which will happen. All drivers make them. And as a rookie, it’s normal to expect he’ll make a few rookie errors. I hope people show some patience when the mistakes happen. Obviously if he starts to make an abnormal amount of mistakes then perhaps the age debate will return.

        Hopefully it doesn’t come to that and he shows he is worthy of being in F1.

  6. Wow that timesheet looks awfully small.

    1. That struck me too !

  7. Verstappen seems quick. Hope he has the decision making skills as well. We already have a lot of fast drivers but the racing craft is missing (ex:Maldonado).

  8. Did something go wrong for Vettel?

    1. @timothykatz
      Usual Procedure for Sebastian
      Brakes issue in middle of FP1

  9. So just three tenth off the 2012 pole in FP1? The track resurface has improved the surface grip exponentially…

  10. That Daniel Juncadella crash is an interesting one. Some really nice HQ video footage with multiple camera angles and awesome audio at this link.

    1. Seems like he could have avoided the wall had he not jammed on the brakes so hard… easy for me to say of course.

  11. “Kimi Raikkonen was another driver to be caught out by the track, suffering two spins during the session.”

    Glad to see Ferrari straightened out his under steer problem.

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