Hamilton crashes on quiet first day of F1 test

2014 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W05, Jerez, 2014The 2014 F1 season got off to a subdued start on the first day of testing at Jerez as most teams completed only a handful of laps, if any at all.

With Lotus absent from the test, McLaren’s MP4-29 failed to emerge from the garage all day and Marussia revealed their MR03 had only recently left their factory.

World champion Sebastian Vettel only took to the track for the final few minutes of the test after Red Bull hurried to complete his RB10. Williams and Caterham’s cars were also not seen until the afternoon.

Mercedes seemed to be in the best shape as the test began. Lewis Hamilton joined the track shortly after 9am and began piling up installation laps.

Kimi Raikkonen’s first run for Ferrari since returning to the team did not go so well as his F14 T stopped halfway around the lap.

But their fortunes reversed over the remainder of the session. Raikkonen logged the most laps of any driver – 31 – and topped the times with a 1’27.104, though at this stage they are far from representative.

Hamilton, meanwhile, suffered a crash at turn one after the front wing failed on his Mercedes on the start/finish straight. He climbed from the car uninjured but the car did not run again for the rest of the day.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari F14 T 1’27.104 31
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W05 1’27.820 18 0.716
3 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes FW36 1’30.082 7 2.978
4 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes VJM07 1’33.161 11 6.057
5 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault STR9 1’36.530 15 9.426
6 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari C33 1’42.257 7 15.153
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault RB10 3
8 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault CT05 1

2014 F1 season

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45 comments on Hamilton crashes on quiet first day of F1 test

  1. Kingshark (@kingshark) said on 28th January 2014, 16:12

    Lewis crashing on the first day of testing seems to be a ritual for him.

  2. jpowell (@jpowell) said on 28th January 2014, 16:13

    Did you mean far from representative of a F1 car or an Horseless Carriage.

  3. JamieFranklinF1 (@jamiefranklinf1) said on 28th January 2014, 16:16

    In a year when reliability is supposed to be more important, I’m really surprised that some teams didn’t even venture out. Did McLaren have an issue of some sort, which stopped them running?

  4. fleik (@fleik) said on 28th January 2014, 16:17

    How many laps did others do? Did RBR only complete the installation lap?

  5. sean s (@notnotsean) said on 28th January 2014, 16:36

    Will Raikkonen be used more for car setup? He has said, in his usual Kimi style that the workload this year isn’t very different. Can he just take more of the surprises? I had read that he had also been doing time in the simulator for Ferrari but he hadn’t done much with Lotus. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks

  6. jpowell (@jpowell) said on 28th January 2014, 16:41

    Today’s performance reminded me a bit of the film Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, everyone raring to go , but a lot seemed to be lacking in the preparation.Of course that was supposed to be a comedy !!

  7. Calum (@calum) said on 28th January 2014, 16:50

    Of all the cars to crash and smash it’s nosecone into 1000 pieces it would have to be the only one which was aesthetically pleasing in the nosecone department. Poor Merc.

    • Palle (@palle) said on 28th January 2014, 19:11

      The Caterham surely needs the nose job urgently. We need to see how these cars fare against the all time worst F1 noses ever made. I can only think of a few looking worse from the front than the Caterham.

    • @calum – my thoughts exactly.

      truly ironic.

      I stayed up late last night to see the launch pics of the W05, then to wake up this morning to the news that it had a wing failure and smashed up the nose… d’oh!!

  8. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 28th January 2014, 16:54

    I know times are irrelevant really when it’s only the first test, but I wonder why the quickest time today was around 10 seconds slower than the quickest time last year? That’s a pretty big gap, but I’m sure I shouldn’t read too much into it. However I really hope that the overall laptimes this season aren’t too much slower than previous years.

    • Cristian (@theseeker) said on 28th January 2014, 17:00

      Well, the cars are heavier, have less power and lower downforce. What did you expect?

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 28th January 2014, 17:05

      I think it comes down to teams not really pushing today; there’s other testing in the future where teams can eventuallly do proper flying laps. I think today was just a matter of sorting out any mechanical/electrical gremlins in the car designs. I don’t think any driver would say they even came close to pushing to the limit today.

      I would only be concerned about the pace of the cars if we were 10 seconds off by the end of the final test. As it stands now, fastest lap today was some 8 to 9 seconds off last year’s fastest lap on the opening day (from Button). Keep in mind in recent years, the V8 was bulletproof for all intents and purposes, and teams were busy gathering data on tyres/aero. This season, it’s all of that plus a brand new, complex power unit.

    • KeeleyObsessed (@keeleyobsessed) said on 28th January 2014, 17:09

      Warmer track, different tyres, Hardly any rubber on the track (93 laps done today in total, whereas in the article you link to, 2 cars completed over 80 laps each)

      I’d expect the true lap time difference to be around 3-4 seconds at worst..

    • Baron (@baron) said on 28th January 2014, 17:42

      You answered your own question there, but Wolff did say they were “only using 10’000 rpm” which would explain a lot for you.

  9. BasCB (@bascb) said on 28th January 2014, 16:56

    So all in all the cars combined did only a handful of laps more than the car that was on track the most last year on the first day of testing alone!

  10. HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th January 2014, 16:57

    A front wing failure suggests a lot of downforce and maybe an attempt to have it flex to lower it closer to the tarmac. I wonder how many of these they have available for testing?

    • Steven (@steevkay) said on 28th January 2014, 17:08

      If you take a look at the Mercedes launch photos, the front wing supports appear to be quite small (if that’s the wing that Hamilton had on his car). Strange for a wing to just “fail” without bumping into something, like Alonso in Malaysia (or was it China?) this year.

      • Unusual, but not unknown – remember that the front wing of the VR-01 collapsed during testing (and that is a car that certainly wasn’t producing a lot of front downforce) due to a manufacturing defect.
        Similarly, remember that Hamilton’s nosecone collapsed during the Korean GP last year due to mounting issues? For the moment, I would be inclined to suggest that it was a manufacturing defect – maybe, should it happen again, it could be a design flaw, but for the moment I would say that manufacturing issues are more likely.

        • Steven (@steevkay) said on 28th January 2014, 19:34

          I was thinking about that, too. F1 can have some deceptively flimsy looking pieces, so if it’s not manufactured right then such failures shouldn’t be a surprise.

          This is probably the most reasonable explanation, since I can’t imagine a top-tier engineering team not taking into account the fact that the front wing produces downforce, therefore needing adequate mounting to the car =)

        • Breno (@austus) said on 28th January 2014, 21:48

          But you’re comparing a Virgin to a Mercedes. Didnt Virgin have problems to just finish the first race, due to fuel?

    • Patrick (@paeschli) said on 28th January 2014, 18:13

      Yep, and he wasn’t running at maximal speed. I heard he was going at 260 kph when the wing failed.

  11. graham221228 said on 28th January 2014, 17:27

    So the new driver numbers don’t even have to be visible from the side of the car?! I was hoping they’d have to be included on the rear wing endplates or sidepods.

    Seems a bit pointless…

    • Bullfrog (@bullfrog) said on 28th January 2014, 19:38

      Yes, no rules about numbers, but they must have a stupid ugly fin thing on the back, and the rear wing endplates seem to be getting bigger and bigger.
      That’s where you instinctively look for a number, if you’re used to Indycar or 80s/90s F1.

  12. antonyob (@antonyob) said on 28th January 2014, 17:28

    something with a blackberry logo crashes and this is news !

  13. Rally Man (@rally-man) said on 28th January 2014, 17:53

    Hamilton’s crash was caught on video, here’s the Youtube link:

  14. Even with the crash the Mercedes was still the best looking car.

  15. Dj xo2 (@dj-xo2) said on 28th January 2014, 20:13

    Speaking of quiet……what do the new cars sound like!???

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