Hulkenberg heads test as Renault struggle goes on

2014 F1 season

Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, Bahrain, 2014Force India led the way as testing resumed at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Mercedes-powered team headed the first day of the second test as driver Nico Hulkenberg lapped within a tenth of a second of last year’s fastest lap at the Sakhir track.

The test got off to a delayed start which led to its conclusion being postponed by half an hour so teams could have the full eight hours’ running.

Soon after it began Fernando Alonso came to a stop on the circuit in his Ferrari, which had trailed smoke in the pit lane.

Once the session got underway again proceedings continued uninterrupted until Adrian Sutil caused the second red flag of the day in his Sauber some three hours into the test.

Most of the cars had appeared on the track during that time with one significant exception – Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull, prompting further concern over the reliability of their new car. Vettel eventually did join the track but caused another of the day’s red flags, as did fellow Renault user Daniil Kvyat in his Toro Rosso.

Vettel managed just 14 laps by the chequered flag but four drivers did even fewer than that. Once of them was Kvyat, who managed only five. Romain Grosjean managed just eight laps in Lotus’s new E22 in its first run at a public session.

Caterham were again the only Renault-powered team to cover a significant mileage, Robin Frijns covering 68 laps during the day. Meanwhile two teams failed to set a time at all.

Felipe Massa, who ended the last test quickest for Williams, covered five laps before his day was curtailed by a fuel system problem. Marussia, meanwhile, blamed an IT problem for Jules Bianchi completing just three laps.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes VJM07 1’36.880 78
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari F14 T 1’37.879 64 0.999
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W05 1’37.908 74 1.028
4 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes MP4-29 1’38.295 81 1.415
5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault RB10 1’40.224 14 3.344
6 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari C33 1’40.443 82 3.563
7 Robin Frijns Caterham-Renault CT05 1’42.534 68 5.654
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault STR9 1’44.346 5 7.466
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault E22 1’44.832 8 7.952
Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes FW36 5
Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari MR03 3

2014 F1 season


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89 comments on Hulkenberg heads test as Renault struggle goes on

  1. WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 14:56

    I think the fact that Hulkenberg, in what is presumably a midfield car, set a 36.880 on the first day of testing in Bahrain, a whole 2.547 seconds faster than Fabio Leimer’s fabulous GP2 pole lap last year (which was a second quicker than anyone else and the fastest lap ever seen at Bahrain in GP2), and with a programme most likely tailored to bed the car into the new track conditions and not to pursue laptimes means we can really put the suggestion of F1 in 2014 being too slow to bed. F1 will remain head and shoulders above the rest in terms of speed in 2014, so I see no basis on which to suggest that it is too slow. And even though the slowest chassis on the grid will most likely be slower than Dallara’s new Japanese Super Formula chassis (which is faster than the current GP2/11 chassis and based on the findings from Dallara’s HRT F1 chassis – you read about it here if you have AUTOSPORT+), initially at least (the rate of development will be huge this year), I think it is frankly irrelevant. The MR03 is faster car than the hugely technologically innovative new R18 LMP1 car, and yet whilst one is created with the billions of pounds of revenue from one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, the other is made on an English industrial estate on a shoestring. Which car is the greater achievement?

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th February 2014, 14:59

      the fact that Hulkenberg … a whole 2.547 seconds faster than Fabio Leimer’s fabulous GP2 pole lap last year … means we can really put the suggestion of F1 in 2014 being too slow to bed

      Indeed. Already it shows they will most likely get close to last years pole times and maybe even beat them towards the end of the year.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 15:07

        @bascb – I don’t think there would be a finer example of just how awesome F1 teams are in terms of design if we saw a faster 2014 pole in Abu Dhabi or Texas (the Sao Paulo pole was wet) than in 2013 after loosing two cylinders and a whole heap of aerodynamic grip. Now, I switch over when they present the Academy Award for “Unsung Hero”, but the designers behind the scenes of F1, and not just Adrian Newey but all of them, deserve much more in the way of kudos than they get.

    • OOliver said on 19th February 2014, 14:59

      Times are irrelevant to be honest, but then again the pole time from last year’s race by Rosberg, was I believe in the 1:32s, so there is still a long way to go.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 15:17

        They’re not irrelevant if we’re trying to ascertain how much slower we will be in 2014 compared to 2013. Rosberg’s pole, in a 2013 chassis at full chat, is just over four seconds faster than Hulkenberg’s current lap, but we can assume that the Force India is a) not the fastest car out there and b) that it wasn’t doing qualifying laps. Couple that with the substantial development we’ll see between now and the Bahrain GP and the cooler nighttime temperatures, and I’d be very surprised if the 2014 pole is over a second slower than the 2013 pole.

        • BBC are stating that the time difference between the first day of testing at Bahrain from 2013 to 2014 was +2.4 seconds.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 20:56

            @sars – I think that gap can be cut by a further second owing to the fact that the teams are still at very premature stages with all of the new technology. In essence, by this stage in 2013 the teams were focusing on performance, however this year breaking in the new systems and installation is taking longer, so we are yet to see any real performance laps yet. And yet, already the horror stories of F1 not being much quicker than GP2 appear unfounded.

          • Oh I quite agree, if I were a betting girl, I would say that by the end of the season the time difference in lap times are going to be negligible

        • Richard said on 19th February 2014, 19:06

          Lest we not forget that this is also the first day of running on a dusty desert track. This test will definitely end with at least one car within a couple of seconds of Nicos 2013 pole.

      • Yes, but bear in mind that the cars are unlikely to be running at peak potential, nor are the drivers likely to be pushing them to their maximum performance capabilities. I also doubt anyone has done a truly low fuel run, so I genuinely expect the new cars to be faster than the outgoing ones after some development.

    • Baron (@baron) said on 19th February 2014, 15:02

      A comparison with the fastest F1 race lap from 2013 (1.36.9 Vettel) is more meaningful at this stage, and Hulk has already beaten that on what are effectively still shake-down runs. Against ALL predictions, this years cars, with less downforce, heavier, less powerful engines will be significantly faster than last year. How is that possible? Torque out of the corners. On high speed tracks, I would not be surprised if this years cars were slower to some degree.

      But very encouraging all the same with a lot more to come.

      I really hope Red Bull put it together for no other reason than it will be an empty championship if they cannot defend their crown for car/mechanical reasons.

      • Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 19th February 2014, 15:10

        Yes, the speed trap data will be interesting to compare with last year, at least for the Mercedes-powered cars – I guess they’re running closer to full power than the others at the moment.

      • Optimaximal (@optimaximal) said on 19th February 2014, 15:13

        Hardly… Were 1998, 2000, 2007, 2009 and 2010 completely damp squibs because the incumbent champions off the pace?

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 15:26

        @baron – What? You’ve completely over exaggerated what I was suggesting. There is over a four second gulf between Hulkenberg’s time and Rosberg’s 2013 pole, and yes, the Force India probably isn’t the fastest car out there or doing qualifying laps, but still, even the substantial development between now and the Bahrain GP and the cooler nighttime temperatures won’t fully make up that deficit; although I’d be surprised if the gap was over a second.

        Also, was 2009 an “empty championship” without McLaren and Ferrari defending their crown for you? Did 2005 disappoint because of the mediocre F2005? Is it not nice to see new faces at the sharp end for once…?

        • Baron (@baron) said on 19th February 2014, 16:03

          @ Mr William B OK, since you have fire in your belly, I will attempt to assuage your ire. Firstly, we would have to consider that 2013 represented the pinnacle of the V8 2.4 litre era., therefore a fastest race lap at the same track by that engine from 2013 does provide an interesting data point for comparison with these new power units. We will assume that Vettel was low on fuel, towards the end of the race and on good tyres. The reference to an “empty championship” was that so many people have been waiting a long time for Red Bull to be challenged, it would be a shame if they are not beaten fair and square on the track by better cars/drivers not a default win for another team by virtue of a Red Bull engine/car fail. I do not believe anyone would be truly satisfied that Red Bull has been beaten unless they had been trounced on the track while they were running at a similar level of performance.

          It is puzzling that some are adopting a gleeful schadenfreude attitude at Red Bull’s apparent woes, but I for one hope they can make it to Australia and able to challenge at the sharp end. Am I alone in this?

          • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 19th February 2014, 16:07

            No I fully agree. The more I see this kind of pathetic hand-rubbing the more I wonder why these people consider themselves F1 fans, and the more I want to see Vettel trounce the field by a whole lap.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 16:37

            @baron – Fire in my belly! Pah! I was merely disagreeing with you! Does that therein require my spirit be assuaged? Allow me to start off by pointing out that 2010 was in fact the peak, in terms of laptime, of V8 era, due to the then aerodynamic regulations (the regulations slowed the cars in 2011 and then further in 2012), although admittedly it is close with 2013. However Vettel in 2013 was on older tyres when he set that time on lap 15 whereas Hulkenberg was on fresh, soft compound tyres and only did a short run, suggesting a low fuel load. I, and other onlookers today, have seen a suggestion that 2014 might be as slow as some would suggest, but I would highly doubt that we see pole laps within half a second their 2013 equivalents before the summer break.

            Where was the “gleeful schadenfreude” in suggesting that a 2014 without Red Bull at the sharp end wouldn’t be an “empty championship”? (@mazdachris) I would love a litmus test of Vettel in a similar car than Alonso or Hamilton, but I would also find a season where the form book is ripped up, as in 2009, equally compelling. Would it be an “empty championship” if finally Hamilton got the out-and-out best car on the grid to test his championship quality? Would it be an “empty championship” if we saw McLaren or Williams make a return to glory in place of Red Bull? But of course, it would be an “empty championship” if your favourite team didn’t win…

          • Baron (@baron) said on 19th February 2014, 16:49

            Red Bull not my favourite team. Don’t have one. I am, like the website says an F1 fan. Was not suggesting for a moment that you personally engage in gleeful celebration of a Red Bull downfall, but I do not think it sportsmanlike to wish ill luck on the participants and it was a general comment. No, it wouldn’t be an empty championship if anybody else won it – but it wouldn’t (to me) be anything more than an empty victory IF Red Bull wasn’t able to get up to speed due to extraneous circumstances. The victory would be much the sweeter if it was head-to banging head. I hate to compare F1 to football, but would the term ‘open goal’ describe it better?

            Much better for someone like Hamilton, to lick them when they (RB) are firing on all cylinders.. Get me?

          • Redbull problems throughout the year would give us a glimpse of Vettel real personality.

            I’d personally love to see that.

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 19th February 2014, 18:33

            As much as I would love to see Vettel fight with others to gain positions than run away with every GP win, I would rather take Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, Williams, Lotus and any and all the other teams to up their game and bring Red Bull into the pack than them falling them into the mid pack because of such misfortunes.

          • evered7 (@evered7) said on 19th February 2014, 19:13

            I second you. I would also say it is not a empty win for any team winning the titles this year, if RB are somehow not competitive because of their choice of Engine. It simply means the winning team did a better job than RB this year.

            RB won the previous championships at a canter, does it mean they have 4 empty championship titles too? It was argued that RB did a better job than others for the previous years and so it is safe to apply the same logic here too, I suppose?

            I want to see them have a comparatively poor year, just to see the reactions of a few in that team :)

          • evered7 (@evered7) said on 19th February 2014, 19:32

            Not sure what happened. I was replying to Jason’s post a 18:16. Some how this ended up as a new comment.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 16:41

            *set that time on lap 55

          • Chris Pallis said on 19th February 2014, 16:42

            I agree with your point 100%. I am not a Redbull fan but I want them to be beaten by a better team rather than losing because of a factor outside of their direct control i.e. the Renault power unit. You could argue that prudence by the upper management should lead them to a change of powertrain supplier but to who? Do you think Ferrari or Mercedes would want to give them their engines? I do not.

          • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 19th February 2014, 16:45

            *have seen a suggestion that 2014 might not be as slow as some would suggest

          • BasCB (@bascb) said on 19th February 2014, 16:51

            we do not have to assume anything about that lap Vettel did last year in Bahrain, we know that

            Vettel clearly had a little something in reserve as he produced the race’s fastest lap on the 55th tour

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 19th February 2014, 16:53

            Well I for one would like to see RBR a little less dominant but not because the new PU/chassis combination runs out of development time, only 12 days of testing before development is frozen is ridiculous for such a huge change. It would be far more equitable to freeze the development of the front and rear wings than the PU for this year, or part thereof at least.

        • crr917 (@crr917) said on 19th February 2014, 16:42

          @william-brierty I don’t remember an engine manufacturer throwing a third of the grid out of the championship hunt before the season has started in any of those years :)

      • Steven (@steevkay) said on 19th February 2014, 15:57

        Yeah I’m really not too concerned about those who are complaining about the speed. We’re only a few seconds off the pace when teams are still not running 100% (I would think) and like you mentioned, we’re close to the race pace. Comparing to a pole lap isn’t quite fair since everything would be turned up to the max for such a lap (I would imagine, anyway).

        The deficit I see looks like something that will be made up by the end of this year, and should be surpassed next year once further development on the power units is done as well.

      • GeeMac (@geemac) said on 20th February 2014, 4:58

        “I really hope Red Bull put it together for no other reason than it will be an empty championship if they cannot defend their crown for car/mechanical reasons.”

        That is utter codswallop @baron. Was the 1980 world title an empty championship because Ferrari produced a dog that couldn’t defend the title? Or 2009 because McLaren floundered with the MP4-24? Or 1996 because Benetton fell off the pace?

        • Baron (@baron) said on 20th February 2014, 12:48

          Short answer. Yes. Long answer. Like an open goal or playing with 4 men short. A win is a win sure enough, but I’ll bet a pound to a wet fag end that the likes of Lewis Hamilton would want to beat red Bull when it is at it’s best, not worst. From a spectators perspective, if the ‘side-to-beat’ has got a broken wing, the spectacle is diminished isn’t it? How is that codswallop?

          If Red Bull present the opposition with a walkover this year, it will not have been a classic year. Oh, I’m quite sure the Constructors will be over the moon – that’s their bag, but not the Drivers, no way the Drivers.

    • The difference between F1 and GP2 is a second faster car development by fortnight.

  2. Mouse_Nightshirt (@mouse_nightshirt) said on 19th February 2014, 14:59

    Red Bull’s form is really getting quite concerning now. With Renault having said they’ve addressed their issues, combined with RBRs cooling issues, they really are going to struggle getting miles on the clock.

  3. OOliver said on 19th February 2014, 15:00

    Times are irrelevant to be honest, but then again the pole time from last year’s race by Rosberg, was I believe in the 1:32s, so there is still a long way to go.

    • This positive talk about hulk beating the 2013 race time is nonsense, and not only because it is cooler than usual. In 2013 the race pace from full tanks to fumes was astronomical as usual. In the start of the races, cars were 5sec off the ultimate pace this discrepancy is very noticeable and this shall be the case in 2014 but even more dramatic. This is what I’m upset about, watching them at snail’s pace after knowing how quick they can get.

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 19th February 2014, 15:53

        Given that most of the discrepancy was due to them starting the race with over 150kg of fuel on board, there should be less discrepancy this year, not more.

        Today’s time was set on the first day of the second pre-season test, while the cars are working nowhere near their peak potential, and we’re still seeing comparable times to the race pace from last year. If nothing else it shows us that predictions of the cars being 5-10s off the pace have been proven to be complete nonsense.

        • Chris Pallis said on 19th February 2014, 16:31

          The thing to remember is that last year the cars plus driver were weighing in at 625kg before fuel, last year they usually had 150kg of fuel at the race start so starting weight would be around 775kg. 2014 car and driver weight is approx 685kg plus 100kg of fuel they will have a starting weight of 785kg so effectivly the cars will be heavier at the beginning and the end of a race this year. Add the loss of downforce they will be at least 2-4 seconds slower and claw back approx 2 seconds over the 1st season of the new regulations.

    • Chris (@ukphillie) said on 19th February 2014, 17:35

      No they are not. Times are not irrelevant, I hear it year in year out and it’s rubbish.

      Times are relevant just as everyone said Renaults troubles at Jerez werent a big deal whilst I was screaming that it was…..And where are we now? Renaults problems DO matter just as they mattered at Jerez.

      Times are relevant, they may not be spot on, but they are relevant.

      If they’re not….then whats the point?

      ”Oh yeah we’re gonna spend millions hiring an international circuit, lugging ship loads of gear around the world and use tens of thousands of pounds of fuel and tyres….but none of it matters”

      It’s not like a pre-season friendly in football or rugby where you might not have a full team or you might try something a bit different…The teams are set, the cars are set to a degree barring a full re-design and what you are seeing is very close to what you will be seeing in Melbourne.

      I’ll say again what I said a fortnight ago..Red Bull are in trouble. Renault are in trouble….Or does it just not matter because testing means nothing…Pffft.

      • It’s not that times are irrelevant, it’s that we don’t know what they mean, only the teams do.

        It is promising that the times aren’t that far off from last years race pace, but without the inside information, we don’t know how close to the full performance these cars are running. I would assume the teams that ran up the miles in Jerez were running much closer to flat out today than the teams that are still trying to get baseline data (Red Bull), but that’s only an assumption.

      • No they are not. Times are not irrelevant, I hear it year in year out and it’s rubbish.

        Times are relevant just as everyone said Renaults troubles at Jerez werent a big deal whilst I was screaming that it was…..And where are we now? Renaults problems DO matter just as they mattered at Jerez.

        I think every soul on this planet who follows F1 knew Red Bull were in trouble when they couldn’t even get their car out of the garage. Also, their reliability issues have nothing to do with times being relevant or not.

        Times are relevant, they may not be spot on, but they are relevant.

        If they’re not….then whats the point?

        Simply, no. You have to understand that times are relevant only as long as you have something to compare them to. That makes this year especially special when it comes to testing times being irrelevant.

        ”Oh yeah we’re gonna spend millions hiring an international circuit, lugging ship loads of gear around the world and use tens of thousands of pounds of fuel and tyres….but none of it matters”

        Yes, because they get to test a million things. A million other things rather than wasting another million in time trying to set the fastest time just for the hell of it.

        Besides, 8 days of testing data are more than enough to help engineers simulate that potential fastest time.

        • Robbie said on 20th February 2014, 13:11

          I agree with those who say that the times are irrelevant due to us not knowing quite how to relate them since we don’t quite know what the teams are doing. Sure, they are a talking point, and of course we are going to compare the times to testing or race times from last year, but for now we don’t know if the times are realistic for race day reality. Will hot venues make a big difference to what teams can do? I think very likely. Was Hulkenburg’s time logged with fuel conservation in mind? I think we will have to see a few races to understand what realistically these new cars can do. I think for F1 to be the pinnacle we shouldn’t even be able to debate whether or not they are faster than GP2. For now it seems the times for day 1 of last year’s same test were 2.4 secs quicker than this year. That’s about all we can say for now. Personally I don’t mind at all if the cars are slower as long as the racing is close and not all about DRS passes only, and blatant delta time running. But I also think they should not be only a smidge faster than GP2.

  4. oliveiraz33 (@oliveiraz33) said on 19th February 2014, 15:02

    Renault used to be the weaker engine in the V8 era, but seems that is going to be a even greater handycap in the new turbo era…

  5. Thats it .. Force India .. will win 2014 championship !

  6. Mashiat (@) said on 19th February 2014, 15:03

    Red Bull and Renault still seem to be struggling. They are even further back than when they started this test. Competitive order seems more or less known except for the order they are in. Mercedes, Ferrari and McLaren seem to make up the leading pack. Red Bull maybe. Then come Force India and Williams as the leading midfield. Then Sauber and Toro Rosso and then Marussia and Caterham. More or less same as the first half of last year except with an improved McLaren and Williams.

  7. Verstappen GP (@verstappengp) said on 19th February 2014, 15:05

    Did they made some changes to the colours on that Force India? It looks amazing from this angle!

  8. i’m starting to wonder how caterham are getting this sort of mileage, while the current world champion team is doing way less than them. i really hope this is a sign of caterham becoming stronger this year!

    • Tango (@tango) said on 19th February 2014, 15:38

      Inelegantly put : she has a large backside, and it seems it is (litteraly) cooler.

    • I remember early on during the new car launches, the Caterham was criticized by several of us here for what appeared to be unnecessarily large sidepods… but now all the teams that went crazy with the packaging are running into all sorts of issues while Caterham just keeps clicking off the laps. I guess those sidepods weren’t “wrong” after all. Who’d have thought!? Lol

      • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 19th February 2014, 15:58

        I believe I can claim to have totally called this as soon as I saw them..

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 19th February 2014, 16:10

        They’ve got a decent amount of cooling because nothing is packaged that tightly but they’re clearly very slow for it. They look to be in good shape now but once Renault sort their engines out and the other teams solve their cooling problems, Caterham will be left spending their races trying not to get in the way whilst being overlapped again.

        • MazdaChris (@mazdachris) said on 19th February 2014, 16:17

          I think it’s more likely that this is simply a very conservative ‘launch spec’ car they’ve developed for testing, in order to get mileage under their belts. They have the option of creating a more aggressive aero package later on, but for the moment if you can’t do ten laps in testing then you’re hurting far worse than if you’re a few seconds off the pace.

          This weird idea that Caterham have suddenly forgotten the importance of having svelte bodywork is just ludicrous.

          • +1

          • I believe I read a comment from one of the Caterham engineers that said exactly that during the Jerez test. They want mileage on the car right now, and they’ll focus on aero once they know the engine’s cooling requirements (which seem to be pretty large).

  9. Chad (@chaddy) said on 19th February 2014, 15:22

    Ten bucks says either Caterham or Marussia scores their first point this year (because so many cars ahead of them fail).

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 20th February 2014, 2:57

      I was speculating the same thing a few weeks ago and I’m even more convinced of it after watching all the problems. There is SO little time to work out the kinks on these packages before Melbourne that it will be quite hard to get everyone to finish!

  10. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 19th February 2014, 15:25

    Good to see Caterham are having a fruitful test after their issues in Jerez.

  11. It maybe a bad angle but that Force India looks absolutely horrendous in the photo above

  12. SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 19th February 2014, 18:07

    The following are what I infer from the day’s test at the Sakhir Circuit:

    The mileage from the day’s test under the boot of each engine manufacturer stands at
    Mercedes —- 238 laps — average of 59.5 laps per engine
    Ferrari ——- 149 laps — average of 49.7 laps per engine
    Renault ——- 95 laps — average of 23.8 laps per engine

    The pattern from Jerez somewhat continues as for the mileage of Mercedes vs Ferrari engines is concerned. Excluding Williams and Marussia which did not run more than a few installation laps due to technical snag, the situation gets more close i.e. Mercedes leading Ferrari engines by 77.7 to 73.0 on laps per engine. That is really some good news to the teams powered by these two engines.

    On the other hand, but for Caterham the average lap count of Renault engines would be a mere 9 laps per engine (Caterham’s 68 laps vs the 27 laps combined total of Red Bull, another Red Bull and Lotus). One can only hope that Renault solve all their problems before the engine freeze deadline to give a competitive season to the fans from the season opener in Melbourne.

    Another pertinent point is that the fastest lap time of1:36.880 set by Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg though faster than the fastest lap time (1:36.961) of the 2013 Bahrain GP, is still adrift of pole time of the same race (1:32.230) by 4.650 seconds. It is still early though; it is only first day of the second test. So I expect the cars to improve considerably in terms of pace and get much closer to the last year’s pole laps than the 4.6s difference suggests. We might even see the last year times getting beaten, at least as the season progresses. But, even if the cars are likely to be slower by 4 seconds it is not going to take any more than an additional 4 minutes to cover the race distance.

  13. SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 19th February 2014, 18:09

    Btw, nothing related to the topic on hand, but where is number 27 on the Force India?

  14. jpowell (@jpowell) said on 19th February 2014, 18:14

    Do we know what tyres were being used and by whom, but more importantly is there any feedback from the teams as to the durability.I am keen to know if the drivers could put more load through the tyres for longer periods than last years offerings.

  15. AlexT (@alext) said on 19th February 2014, 19:07

    I guess people really need to calm down with this speculation about someone wanting Red Bull with their face in the dirt. If this situation continues for them it’s clear they did not design the best possible package and it has nothing to do with bad luck. After all they have been partners with Renault for years, lots of data has been exchanged between them, it’s a two year old project for crying out loud so they should of looked into every possible scenario. Hats off to Newey, he is a great designer but enough is enough. Aerodynamics are becoming increasingly important and this is the perfect example of where it’s leading to. If you want to compromise the well function of a car just for tight packaging, then it has been done deliberately. I guess sometimes is better to be a bit conservative. Allison stated before the preseason got underway that this year we have an engine formula and the most reliable will eventually win. They are 4 consecutive times WCC, don’t they know better?

    • @alext
      You can’t blame the problem on Red Bull entirely. It’s not like it is packaged in any way extreme from the looks of it. Seems pretty similar to Ferrari and Mercedes. Of cause they have to adapt if the quite obvious problems with the Renault engine isn’t going to get solved soon. But going for huge bodywork and loosing half a second a lap wouldn’t exactly be brilliant either.
      Lotus is also struggling massively and their car doesn’t look extremely packaged either..
      Bad luck? No. Wrong choice of supplier? Yes.
      Thus far anyway..

      • AlexT (@alext) said on 19th February 2014, 21:24

        I quote Newey on this one “What stopped us at Jerez, on our side as opposed to Renault’s side, was a problem where the bodywork local to the exhaust was catching fire”.

        Wrong choice of supplier? I guess a huge chunk of Red Bull’s success is owed to the Renault engine characteristics that allowed them to use such extreme blowing maps at good fuel consumption rates.

        Im not saying Renault didn’t screw up these turbo engines but i can’t help feeling sorry for them. First they don’t get too much credit for being a key element in Red Bull’s success then everyone is pointing fingers at them for doing a lousy job on this year’s power unit.

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