Silverstone testing times: Day 1

Felipe Massa topped the first day of F1 testing at Silverstone, the Brazilian was 0.006 quicker than Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo with championship leader Nico Rosberg third fastest three tenths slower than the front duo.

Adrian Sutil would manage 73 laps with his fastest good enough for 4th place, Marussia completed the most mileage today with Jules Bianchi setting 108 laps and posting the 5th quickest time.

Stoffel Vandoorne took up his role as test driver for McLaren and produced 71 laps and would end the day in 6th ahead of regular race drivers, Force India’s Sergio Perez, Jean Eric Vergne who in his Toro Rosso was only able to lap the track 28 times and the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado.

Pedro de La Rosa filled in for Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari and it took a long time to get up to speed, he would be second slowest but just in front of young British hopeful Will Stevens in his Caterham.

Testing continues tomorrow.

Day 1 Times

1. Massa – Williams – 1:35.242 – 42 laps
2. Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:35.248 – 72 laps
3. Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:35.573 – 90 laps
4. Sutil – Sauber – 1:35.674 – 73 laps
5. Bianchi – Marussia – 1:36.148 – 108 laps
6. Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:36.148 – 71 laps
7. Perez – Force India – 1:36.583 – 79 laps
8. Vergne – Toro Rosso – 1:36.688 – 28 laps
9. Maldonado – Lotus, 1:37.131 – 97 laps
10. De La Rosa – Ferrari, 1:37.988 – 49 laps
11. Stevens – Caterham, 1:40.627 – 95 laps


2nd Bahrain Test – Day Two Times

1. Perez, Force India, 1.35.570 (108 laps)
2. Alonso, Ferrari, 1.35.634 (122 laps)
3. Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1.35.743 (66 laps)
4. Massa, Williams, 1.36.507 (103 laps)
5. Button, McLaren, 1.36.901 (52 laps)
6. Bianchi, Marussia, 1.38.092 (75 laps)
7. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.39.041 (89 laps)
8. Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1.39.636 (61 laps)
9. Gutierrez, Sauber, 1.39.976 (106 laps)
10. Maldonado, Lotus, 1.41.613 (31 laps)
11. Ericsson, Caterham, 1.42.516 (55 laps)

Testing Review – Part 1

A great test for Mercedes in Bahrain, they were both very quick and reasonably reliable throughout the four days finishing in and around the front for the first half of the test and then with the fastest laps of the final two days with Lewis Hamilton on Friday and with Nico Rosberg today, things are looking very good for them and so far they are the team that the rest of the field will be trying to beat come Melbourne.
Key stats
Hamilton fastest lap – 1.34.263 (Day 3)
Rosberg fastest lap – 1.33.283 (Day 4)
Laps completed – 315

Compared to this time last year, McLaren are in a far better situation and look as if they are the closest challengers to Mercedes and have been there or thereabouts throughout the test in terms of lap times, also as Jenson Button showed on Day 3, they are looking very good for reliability as he set 103 laps. Magnussen has quickly adapted to F1 and topped the times on Day 2.
Key stats
Button fastest lap – 1.34.957 (Day 4)
Magnussen fastest lap – 1.34.910 (Day 2)
Laps completed – 296

Ferrari are making steady progress and are the only team not using Mercedes engines to be in and around the top end, although it is clear they haven’t got the speed at the moment to beat the Mercedes and McLaren, they no doubt will improve throughout the season and will be challenging for wins at some point, they may need to get on top of reliability problems first though.
Key stats
Alonso fastest lap – 1.36.516 (Day 2)
Raikkonen fastest lap – 1.36.718 (Day 4)
Laps completed – 287

Force India
Another team with the Mercedes power that are looking good this season with their new pairing of Hulkenberg and Perez, Hulkenberg went quickest on Day 1 and since then have remained somewhat close to the top, as things are they could be looking at their best season so far although they may be slightly disappointed with the number of laps they set over the course of the test.
Key stats
Hulkenberg fastest lap – 1.36.455 (Day 2)
Perez fastest lap – 1.37.367 (Day 3)
Laps completed – 213

Williams will be very pleased with their switch from Renault to Mercedes engines and from what we have seen in testing, they are on course for a good season and certainly a far better one than in recent years, They will be aiming for a decent haul of points this year.
Key stats
Massa fastest lap – 1.37.066 (Day 3)
Bottas fastest lap – 1.37.328 (Day 2)
Nasr fastest lap – 1.37.569 (Day 4)
Laps completed – 323

The Class of 2014 – Part 2

With the front four teams sorted out we now move on to the midfield teams looking to make a step up from where they found themselves last season and be fighting for points and podiums. The teams at the focus of part 2 are McLaren, Force India, Sauber, Toro Rosso and Williams.

McLaren endured a torrid 2013 finishing 5th in the constructors championship, as a result of their poor performance, new signing Sergio Perez was axed only a year since joining the team, He is being replaced by FR3.5 champion and McLaren young driver Kevin Magnussen, He has shown on a number of occasions his raw pace and McLaren will hope that he can have a similar rookie season to that of Lewis Hamilton in 2007, the Dane will be partnered by 2009 World Champion Jenson Button.

Force India have named a complete new line up for 2014 although it is perhaps one of the most exciting pairings on the grid, McLaren exile Sergio Perez will hope that the form he showed in 2012 for Sauber can return and allow him to challenge for points and a possible podium this year, driving alongside him is returning Force India star Nico Hulkenberg, the young German has been touted as a future world champion but has seen his career go sideways for the past few years with moves from Williams to Force India as well as last seasons spell with Sauber, the time for Hulkenberg to prove his credentials is now and he needs to do so if he wants to put himself in contention for a drive at one of the leading teams.

Sauber retain the young Mexican Esteban Gutierrez for a second season although their plan to promote Sergey Sirotkin has been put on hold for another year at least, therefore they decided to go for the experienced head of now ex-Force India driver Adrian Sutil to replace Hulkenberg.

Toro Rosso lost their smiling assassin in Daniel Ricciardo to the senior team of Red Bull which meant that they had a decision to make, many people expected them to go with Antonio Felix da Costa or even Carlos Sainz Jr but instead the Faenza team opted for young Russian driver Daniil Kvyat, he showed good pace during practice sessions for the last two Grand Prix of 2013 and looks to be a solid racer. Kvyat partners Jean-Eric Vergne at Toro Rosso this year.

Williams saw their number one driver and their number one sponsor leave last year as Pastor Maldonado and his PDVSA money moved to Lotus, they replaced one South American with another as Felipe Massa joined after his Ferrari time finally came to a close at the end of last season. Massa will be partnered not for the first time in his career by a Finn, this time it is Valtteri Bottas who after a solid first year will be looking to improve and become a more regular points scorer,

Moving on to the two teams hoping they can claim their first points, Marussia and Caterham, Marussia have kept their line-up from 2013 and hope that Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton can deliver the Anglo-Russian team their first ever F1 point, in a complete opposite style, Caterham have replaced both of their 2013 drivers as Pic and Van Der Garde leave and are replaced by GP2 driver Marcus Ericsson for his first season in F1 and Kamui Kobayashi, making his return after a year out to the joy of many F1 fan with his aggressive style and overtakes proving popular amongst many.