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
Red Bull – Ricciardo
Mercedes – Rosberg
Ferrari – De La Rosa
McLaren – Vandoorne
Lotus – Maldonado
Force India – Perez
Sauber – Sutil
Toro Rosso – Vergne
Williams – Massa
Marussia – Bianchi
Caterham – Leal/Stevens
Red Bull – Vettel
Mercedes – Hamilton
Ferrari – Bianchi
McLaren – Magnussen
Lotus – Pic
Force India – Juncadella
Sauber – Van Der Garde
Toro Rosso – Kvyat
Williams – Bottas
Marussia – Chilton
Caterham – Haryanto
1. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.33.278 (70 laps)
2. Bottas, Williams, 1.33.987 (108 laps)
3. Alonso, Ferrari, 1.34.280 (74 laps)
4. Hulkenberg, Force India, 1.35.577 (74 laps)
5. Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1.35.701 (74 laps)
6. Sutil, Sauber, 1.36.467 (91 laps)
7. Chilton, Marussia, 1.36.835 (61 laps)
8. Gutierrez, Sauber, 1.37.303 (86 laps)
9. Vettel, Red Bull, 1.37.468 (77 laps)
10. Button, McLaren, 1.38.111 (22 laps)
11. Kobayashi, Caterham, 1.38.391 (106 laps)
12. Grosjean, Lotus, 1.39.302 (32 laps)
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)
1. Perez, Force India, 1.35.290 (105 laps)
2. Bottas, Williams, 1.36.184 (128 laps)
3. Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1.36.432 (54 laps)
4. Rosberg, Mercedes, 1.36.624 (89 laps)
5. Sutil, Sauber, 1.37.700 (89 laps)
6. Magnussen, McLaren, 1.37.825 (109 laps)
7. Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1.37.908 (39 laps)
8. Chilton, Marussia, 1.38.610 (44 laps)
9. Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1.39.242 (56 laps)
10. Maldonado, Lotus, 1.40.599 (31 laps)
11. Kobayashi, Caterham, 1.42.285 (19 laps)
Tomorrow sees the start of the final pre-season test in Bahrain, it is the last chance for the teams to get an idea of how they will shape up for the first race in Melbourne and for some of the teams it will be about sorting out reliability issues that have hampered their running so far this year, for others it is about trying to discover any hidden problems before the season starts properly in two weeks time. It may also provide an opportunity for teams that have looked good, such as Mercedes, to run at full power and show their real pace, the majority of teams will bring upgrades to the car in the hope that it unlocks that vital extra few tenths of a second in performance.
The main focus for this test is how the Renault powered teams get on and if they continue to suffer problems as they have done all season, Renault haven’t hidden the fact that they are weeks behind schedule and it is clear that they have a job on their hands, although it would seem that for Red Bull it isn’t just a struggle with the Renault technology but infact that the RB10 is nowhere near as competitive as its predecessors, if they don’t turn it round then 2014 will be a long year for them and it could be a repeat of what happened last year with McLaren where they failed to score a podium.
Another major talking point is how quick the Mercedes can go, it was clearly the fastest car in the previous test and it won’t be a surprise if that trend continues over the next few days, especially if they decide to run at full power and bring upgrades to the car.
The Mercedes powered teams will again look to top the timesheets as they have done throughout the entire pre-season but look out for Ferrari because they appear to be the closest challengers to Mercedes and McLaren and they will hope to close the gap during this test.
Testing is only testing so it is very hard to tell what way the grid is shaping up due to different fuel loads, tyres and how hard the drivers are pushing, the only thing we can do until the first race weekend is guess.
A decent test for Sauber although they haven’t offered any real surprises and have put in a decent performance, although they will be looking certainly for more in the way of reliability in time for the start of the season with Sutil and Gutierrez not putting in many laps
Laps completed – 240
Fastest lap – Gutierrez – 1.37.180
The problems for the Renault powered teams seem to be constant and Toro Rosso are just one of the teams that have been struck by reliability woes, they will hope to put things right in the final test in Bahrain.
Laps completed – 134
Fastest lap – Kvyat – 1.38.974
A disastrous test again for the champions after Jerez where they could only set 21 laps, although despite Bahrain giving them more laps, they were still dogged with problems and leading team figures Christian Horner and Adrian Newey left the circuit early to return to Milton Keynes to try and put things right.
Laps completed – 116
Fastest lap – Ricciardo – 1.39.837
Having only unveiled the E22 at Bahrain, they are a test behind and that was evident because of the lack of running from Grosjean and Maldonado, like Red Bull they are facing problems with the power train of Renault being very poor at the minute.
Laps completed – 111
Fastest lap – Maldonado – 1.38.707
Quite surprisingly the most reliable Renault powered team with more laps than any other team using the French engines. Also Marcus Ericsson was able to put in enough mileage with 98 laps on day 3 to gain his superlicense enabling him to drive this year.
Laps completed – 253
Fastest lap – Kobayashi – 1.39.855
Propping up the back of the grid as it stands this year, both quite low and unreliable with only a handful of laps throughout the test, will be looking for big improvements before the season starts.
Laps completed – 29
Fastest lap – Chilton – 1.42.511