After the first four days of running the eight quickest cars were covered by less than one second over a 4.4km lap of Jerez.
Of course these times should be treated with caution because we don’t know how much fuel was in the cars when they were set. After all, Ferrari had the second-quickest new car in the same test last year, which was clearly not the case once the season began.
However, making the assumption that each team will have used a range of fuel loads over the four days, they can give us a guide to how close the field is.
Fastest times by team
Most of the teams set their quickest times on the last day of the test when the track was at its cleanest and had the most rubber laid down. Mercedes and Ferrari achieved their best times on Thursday.
McLaren were a significant exception: Jenson Button’s time on Pirelli’s hard tyres on the first day of the test, when the track was still quite slippery, stood as their best of the test.
This indicates there is more pace in the MP4-28 than the headline time suggests. The significance of the time was not lost on his rivals: “Doing [that] on hard tyres on the first day on the dirty track and everything I still believe it was a quick lap time,” said Massa
Sebastian Vettel also turned the RB9’s quickest lap on hards. Pirelli have aimed for a 0.5 second difference in performance between each of their compounds this year, but the hard tyre was especially well-suited to the abrasive Jerez track.
|3||Force India||Jules Bianchi||1’18.175||0.296||Soft|
|4||Red Bull||Sebastian Vettel||1’18.565||0.686||Hard|
|6||Toro Rosso||Jean-Eric Vergne||1’18.760||0.881||Soft|
Fastest times by driver
Jules Bianchi did his chances of landing the second Force India seat no harm by posting the quickest time by one of their drivers in the VJM06.
However F1’s two smallest teams are yet to show that they are able to bridge the gap to the other runners – they were over a second off the rest despite using the soft tyres.
|3||Jules Bianchi||Force India||1’18.175||0.296||Soft|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1’18.565||0.686||Hard|
|7||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1’18.760||0.881||Soft|
|12||Paul di Resta||Force India||1’19.003||1.124||Soft|
|13||Daniel Ricciardo||Toro Rosso||1’19.134||1.255||Medium|
|14||James Rossiter||Force India||1’19.303||1.424||Soft|
|15||Mark Webber||Red Bull||1’19.338||1.459||Medium|
|18||Pedro de la Rosa||Ferrari||1’20.316||2.437||Medium|
|23||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham||1’21.311||3.432||Soft|
Distance by car
Sauber are leading the mileage table at the moment and Red Bull had a busy first week with the RB9.
After completing just 29 laps on the first two days of the test Mercedes bounced back, covering over four Grand Prix distances in the remaining running which leaves them on a par with most of their rivals.
|Team||Model||Total laps||Total distance (km)|
Distance by driver
Esteban Gutierrez had a grueling introduction to life as an F1 driver, racking up 252 laps in two days.
That’s more than Massa managed in three – though it was clear from the Ferrari driver’s words afterwards he had wanted to spend more time working on set-ups and less time doing aero runs.
|Driver||Total laps||Total distance (km)|
|Paul di Resta||240||1,062.720|
|Giedo van der Garde||152||673.056|
|Pedro de la Rosa||51||225.828|
NB. Does not take filming days such as Mercedes’ on Monday 4th February into account.
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