Button leads first test of 2013

2013 F1 season

Jenson Button, McLaren, Jerez, 2013McLaren started 2013 the way they ended 2012, with a mixture of performance and unreliability.

Jenson Button was sidelined with a fuel pump problem early on, missing a significant part of the test, but returned to the track to set a best time of 1’18.861.

Mark Webber was second fastest for Red Bull, having taken the quickest time of the day from Romain Grosjean with half an hour to go.

Fourth quickest was Paul di Resta, who also set the most laps of any driver in the session.

At the other end of the scale was Nico Rosberg, who stopped after 14 laps after a wiring loom fault caused a fire on his W04.

Following Rosberg and Button, the final red flag of the day appeared when Max Chilton spun at Curva Dry Sack with two hours remaining. He will be in the car again tomorrow but Marussia are yet to confirm who will drive the car on the remaining days or who his team mate will be.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference Tyres
1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-28 1’18.861 37 Hard
2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault RB9 1’19.709 73 0.848 Medium
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault E21 1’19.796 54 0.935 Hard
4 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes VJM06 1’20.343 89 1.482 Medium
5 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari STR8 1’20.401 70 1.540 Hard
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari F138 1’20.536 64 1.675 Medium
7 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari C32 1’20.699 79 1.838 Hard
8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W04 1’20.846 14 1.985 Medium
9 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault FW34 1’20.864 84 2.003 Medium
14 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault CT03 1’21.915 64 3.054 Soft
23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth MR02 1’24.176 29 5.315 Medium

2013 F1 season

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70 comments on Button leads first test of 2013

  1. Cyclops_PL (@cyclops_pl) said on 5th February 2013, 16:14

    @keithcollantine Model names of Sauber and Ferrari are mixed up

  2. Sikander said on 5th February 2013, 16:17

    Looks like Mercedes are continuing their 2012 form….

  3. frow14 said on 5th February 2013, 16:21

    so 1st test and no real change at the top, Mclaren, Red Bull & Lotus …not sure if it tells us anything so early in but it does point the usual suspects being up there at the top at the 1st race. I do think Mercedes might just have a challenge to keep up and expect Ferrari to improve

  4. frow14 said on 5th February 2013, 16:23

    also it does seem that the cars with the vanity panels on the nose do look much better than the stepped noses

  5. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 5th February 2013, 16:28

    Not much can be said about the first day really. What I will say is that Caterham were 1.2 seconds faster than their first day in testing last year, and four tenths down on their fastest overall, and McLaren were faster in this session than at any point during last season’s Jerez test (by them). Obviously this was going to happen with the softer tyres and the upgrades, but still interesting.

  6. Jake (@jleigh) said on 5th February 2013, 16:29

    Very early days, but McLaren’s speed an consistency can’t be a bad thing. Mercedes time wasn’t bad considering the lack of laps and how early it was set in the session, but its impossible to gain anything at all from such a short amount of laps. Lotus put in some good times, but didn’t quite have the consistency over a run that the Red Bulls and McLarens had, perhaps meaning its not so easy to drive, but again, it’s too early to tell really.

    Good to see all the midfield teams putting in similar times, so hopefully we’ll see a tight midfield this season.

    Nothing else of much significance learnt today, but a hint to trying to read the testing times: completely ignore the fastest laps, compare the slowest consistent stints of each team, particularly the top teams like McLaren and Red Bull. I say this as I’m astounded at the number of serious Button WDC predictions I’ve heard already just because of one lap time!

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 5th February 2013, 17:56

      I say this as I’m astounded at the number of serious Button WDC predictions I’ve heard already just because of one lap time!

      He also set the second fastest time, and his multi-lap runs in the low 1m20s were equalled by none. I’d say the signs of McLaren being quick are quite strong.

    • Skett (@skett) said on 5th February 2013, 20:43

      Or its just the first test and not everybody has their setups quite there yet

  7. schooner (@schooner) said on 5th February 2013, 16:32

    Good on McLaren for hitting the top of the sheets after spending most of the day in the garage. Even though it doesn’t really mean a whole lot in terms ultimate performance, I’m sure they’re happier there than they would be lower down, or still stuck in the garage.

  8. Deepak (@ideepak) said on 5th February 2013, 16:32

    I never really understood testing. Can someone please explain to me what the purpose of testing is and what teams strive to do during this period ? Apart from the obvious like they are trying to correlate expectations and tweak things…

    • LoreMipsumdOtmElor said on 5th February 2013, 16:43

      Well, first of all you have a new car and might just check if it actually works before going to the first race ;)

    • It allows the teams to gather as much on-track data as they can before Melbourne such as lap times, tyre wear, fuel consumption, downforce levels, car setups etc. It’s also the only chance the drivers have to get to grips with the new cars before the season starts.

      • Skett (@skett) said on 5th February 2013, 20:45

        Oh man, how awesome would it be if the teams were required to use separate race and test drivers so the first time the racers drove it was australia quali!

    • Nickpkr21 said on 5th February 2013, 17:09

      Tires, team building and getting use to are also addressed, bu more important than anything giving us fans a season mouth watering experience

    • Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 5th February 2013, 17:38

      I suspect the first test is mostly mechanical checks, looking for obvious faults such as “wiring loom faults”. Also at some point they all run out of fuel to check the gauges are working correctly.

      Lots of laps like Force India & Williams is a good sign.
      Going home early or staying in the garage are the signs to look for not speed at this point.
      (Lotus last year with a carbon fiber chassis issue), staying in the garage a lot (Ferrari 2012 burning car & aero issues) & (McLaren 2011 with the malfunctioning octopus)

      Setup and speed come later.

    • Gary Anderson has a good explanation here:

    • claudioff (@claudioff) said on 6th February 2013, 11:18

      To give f1 fanatics something to talk about until the season starts?

  9. AlokIn (@) said on 5th February 2013, 16:33

    McLaren started 2013 the way they ended 2013 ? or ended 2012 ?

  10. xjr15jaaag (@xjr15jaaag) said on 5th February 2013, 16:34

    That’s a great name for a corner: Curva Dry Sack

  11. Spawinte (@spawinte) said on 5th February 2013, 16:34

    Be right back just heading out to put €100 on Button for the title :P

    • Nickpkr21 said on 5th February 2013, 17:12

      Ehem ehem Perez I would say !

      • smudgersmith1 (@smudgersmith1) said on 5th February 2013, 17:25

        No chance, he wont be within 25 points of JB at the end of the season

      • Carl Craven said on 5th February 2013, 20:04

        Considering how close Button ran Hamilton and given the fact that Button is hugely respected F1 racing driver and WDC, you must have an incredibly high opinion of someone who has only raced in F1 for a couple of seasons.

        • Nickpkr21 said on 6th February 2013, 2:01

          Well if you remember hamilton run pretty tight to a former double champ, so I see Perez much better position, specially as mclaren done it before and Perez is fast you’ll see. This could be very well Button last season in Mclaren actually

  12. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 5th February 2013, 16:38

    McLaren to dominate the season, confirmed.

  13. Bobby Balboa (@bobby-balboa) said on 5th February 2013, 16:58

    I love the start of a new season. We all know you can’t read much from the first test day & times but it doesn’t stop people getting excited & throwing all their predictions at the fastest driver. In this case Button. So maybe people have already dubbed him WDC 2013 but there is more to come & we haven’t even seen what the BIG 3 can do in Hamilton, Alonso & Vettel.

    Place your bets now but be careful as tomorrow you may have changed your mind

    • Luke (@lukes) said on 5th February 2013, 17:31

      Yes but come on, we’re all so excited and have missed it so much, we’re like a bunch of addicts that have had to wait 3 months for a fix. Roll on tomorrow for the next fix. and the next set of rampant speculation. Love it. :)
      BTW not a good idea to bet when you’re high!

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 5th February 2013, 18:45

      That’s exactly it, I would like to see what the top drivers can do in their respective cars. Shame that Rosberg couldn’t run the majority of the session, the Mercedes is the car I’m most curious about (mainly due to Hamilton driving for them now).

      Hopefully we’ll see some fault-free running tomorrow for the top teams to get a better comparison of the cars.

  14. Paulocreed (@paulocreed) said on 5th February 2013, 17:01

    McLaren started 2013 the way they ended 2013, with a mixture of performance and unreliability.

    how did they end 2013? :P

  15. mylo (@mylo) said on 5th February 2013, 17:14

    Hmmm Mercedes does look quick though 2 seconds slower than button on only 14 laps that barely enough laps for installation and to get a feel for the car …..

  16. Beto (@chebeto0) said on 5th February 2013, 17:31

    I’m kinda disappointed the Marussia was so much slower. I wanted them to surprise me and be as fast as Caterham. Both of the drivers today are new, so maybe the comparison is fair.

    Seeing Red Bull perform good again makes me afraid of them winning this year aswell, really really afraid. But well, it’s just the first test and usually doesn’t mean much, lets see what happens.

  17. D (@f190) said on 5th February 2013, 17:50

    Really there’s no point in looking at the times. Even comparing them to last year’s pre season testing is rather pointless due to tyre changes, track conditions etc.

    Anyone pointing to Mclaren domination should think twice. As shown last year, speed is nothing unless backed up with great teamwork and reliability. Mclaren fans will be happy to see button at the top of the time sheets, but had today been a race day, Button would be coming away with no points.

    Its so hard not to get excited seeing the times and jumping to conclusion but its just so early into 2013 testing that I’m not at all worried for merc nor putting a bet on Mclaren domination.

    The only thing today did prove for me is that I’m a huge F1 fan ! I did very little work and will be playing f1 2012 when I get home :) I really can’t wait to get to Australia and get the season started !!

    • He Yue (@tknocry) said on 5th February 2013, 19:13

      Neverthless, 1m18.8 is an impressive lap time at Jerez for recent F1 cars.The lap record is just 1m15.6 made by F2004 if my memorization is right

      • D (@f190) said on 5th February 2013, 19:59

        I don’t think a 1m18.8 is that impressive for a modern f1 car. Looking at last year’s times the Ferrari managed that exact time and that was a dog of a car this time last year. Also Rosbergs 2012 time was over 1.2 seconds faster on a 1m17.6. For sure it’s quite a good start for Mclaren but still I feel it’s way too soon to jump on a Mclaren domination.

  18. BasCB (@bascb) said on 5th February 2013, 17:55

    I hope Mercedes manage to get a new floor and brake ducting etc to the track for tomorrow, because it looked like the fire might have damaged all of that. But we must remember that before that Rosberg had been setting a string of fast laps that kept standing for a long time.

  19. AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 5th February 2013, 18:09

    An interesting first day of testing, with most drivers getting straight to business rather than dawdling with endless in- and outlaps. McLaren showed good speed already, especially considering they usually don’t go for quick laps early in testing, if at all.

    Rosberg’s early laps in the Mercedes were promising, but losing almost the entire first day of testing is disappointing.

    The pace of the new Caterham is slightly encouraging, although I found it worrying that besides the handful of quick laps, there were hardly any decent laps. Certainly I didn’t see any long, consistent runs.

    I think Marussia could have gone a bit quicker, only Chilton went off just as it looked like they were building some speed. Also, it wasn’t clear to me whether he went off because of a suspension failure, or whether the suspension had broken after he had gone off and the team was being nice to him in public.

    Finally, I also found Toro Rosso’s day encouraging. Unlike the Caterham, they could produce quick laps with some consistency, although I suspect the midfield will be too tight to infer much from winter testing.

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