Mercedes pass Bahrain test with flying colours

2014 F1 season

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014The heat of Bahrain was expected to prove more of a challenge for the teams as they adjust to their new 2014 cars and engines.

But it didn’t put the four Mercedes-powered teams off their stride. Together they have now covered over 10,000 kilometres in testing – more than their seven rival teams combined.

And the early indications are they’ve been able to translate that extra running into extracting more performance from their cars. The top five quickest drivers in this weeks test at Bahrain were all using Mercedes power.

Although the Ferrari team has covered a decent amount of mileage, their smaller engine customer team line-up has contributed much less to their total. Marussia have covered less than a full grand prix distance in six days of running after a series of problems.

And while Renault appeared to be making incremental progress earlier in the test, the final day was a disappointment as their four teams averaged less than 30 laps each.

Here are the total mileages by engine manufacturer and by team, as well as the fastest times for the first Bahrain test by driver.

Engine manufacturers’ test mileages

Engine Total laps Total distance (km)
Mercedes 2022 10,082.064
Ferrari 1000 4,975.104
Renault 770 4,018.656

Teams’ test mileages

Team Model Total laps Total distance (km)
Mercedes W05 624 3,073.03
McLaren MP4-29 541 2,686.81
Ferrari F14 T 538 2,664.67
Williams FW36 498 2,522.98
Sauber C33 403 2,020.64
Force India VJM07 359 1,799.24
Caterham CT05 329 1,705.76
Toro Rosso STR9 193 991.38
Red Bull RB10 137 720.78
Lotus E22 111 600.73
Marussia MR03 59 289.79

Drivers’ lap times

Pos. Driver Team Engine Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 1’33.283
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1’34.263 0.980
3 Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes 1’34.910 1.627
4 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1’34.957 1.674
5 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 1’36.445 3.162
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari Ferrari 1’36.516 3.233
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari 1’36.718 3.435
8 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1’37.066 3.783
9 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 1’37.180 3.897
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 1’37.328 4.045
11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1’37.367 4.084
12 Felipe Nasr Williams Mercedes 1’37.569 4.286
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus Renault 1’38.707 5.424
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Renault 1’38.974 5.691
15 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault 1’39.837 6.554
16 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Renault 1’39.855 6.572
17 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1’40.224 6.941
18 Adrian Sutil Sauber Ferrari 1’40.443 7.160
19 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Renault 1’40.472 7.189
20 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 1’41.670 8.387
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham Renault 1’42.130 8.847
22 Max Chilton Marussia Ferrari 1’42.511 9.228
23 Robin Frijns Caterham Renault 1’42.534 9.251
Jules Bianchi Marussia Ferrari

Over to you

Four more days of testing in Bahrain remain before the first race of the 2014 season. Ferrari have already indicated they will make a push for performance at that last test.

Are Mercedes really as far ahead as they look? Do you expect Ferrari to close the gap at the final test? And just how bad will things be for Red Bull and the other renault teams in Melburne?

Have your say in the comments.

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53 comments on Mercedes pass Bahrain test with flying colours

  1. Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:14

    I know that this is a bit out of date but didn’t Button say the first test would be hilarious due to drivers spinning and sliding all over the place? Well it most certainly wasn’t.

    • Pjams (@jack-burton) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:22

      I think that was after his simulator testing and a lot of speculation.

    • gwenouille (@gwenouille) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:24

      Well, they are better than he thought they were.

      If i understand it correctly, more torque means possibly more wheelspin and/or more acceleration, right ?
      So we may see quite dramatic getaways from the start line I guess…

      • Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:27

        Yeah, maybe it’s best that Webber isn’t it the sport anymore. He still seemed to have terrible starts even with considerably less torque and switches.

      • socksolid (@socksolid) said on 22nd February 2014, 17:01

        Generally peakier engines means it is trickier to drive. If you add turbo lag then it becomes even harder. The V6 turbos have more torque on the lower revs than the V8s but at the same time the V8s were more peakier. The V6 turbos don’t really have turbo lag though. I don’t really see how the less powerful V6s could make the cars more difficult to drive.

        • These new V6 engines certainly are not less powerful than the V8′s – at lower rpms.
          The dyno graph by Cosworth’s test engine shows that the turbo engines are at lower rev ranges sometimes two times more powerful than the NA V8 engines.

        • Pie Pants said on 23rd February 2014, 7:59

          These engines don’t suffer from turbo lag because as part of the new energy recovery system (ERS), an electric motor spools up the turbo at low revs. It’s more of a hybrid turbo/supercharger.

      • JCost (@jcost) said on 22nd February 2014, 19:04

        In 2015 without tyre blankets the warm-up lap will be very important but I’m expecting very interesting first laps.

    • Pedro Sobota said on 22nd February 2014, 18:53

      In the beginning (Jerez) they were actually.

    • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 22nd February 2014, 19:41

      @mashiat
      Testing is something, racing is something else. I don’t expect professional racing drivers who has already done hundreds of laps in the simulators to be spinning all over the place even if the cars are difficult to drive, they should already figured out how to drive these cars. As for Jenson who i respect his opinion i think that we will see what he predicted in races especially in the fights between the drivers.

      • Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 23rd February 2014, 2:51

        He said that the first test would be hilarious and that by the time the first race comes, we shall see spinning and sliding but not to the degree of the first test.

        • Jeanrien (@jeanrien) said on 23rd February 2014, 8:08

          @mashiat But we don’t know how cars were handling and if drivers regulary missed some corners or were zigzagging at the exit because of the extra wheelspin.
          I believe tunning the car could help and they did a fantastic job this year with the cars, for handling and performance, quite astonishing from everything we heard during pre test

    • hutch (@hutch) said on 27th February 2014, 3:16

      In order to slide and spin all over the place, you first have to leave the garage. :)

  2. UltimateUzair (@ultimateuzair) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:15

    Slightly off topic, but the livery looks better at this test!

  3. Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:22

    Mercedes seem to have the edge on other teams but it will be interesting to see how it’ll play out as we have many talented drivers. Hamilton must be favourite so far but one does have to question his consistency against the likes of Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen. He just arrives in different moods for every race and sometimes he will be unbeatable (e.g Hungary and Silverstone 2013) and at other times, he just seems to be driving to nowhere (e.g Spain, Germany and India 2013). Which is why I am going to put my money on Alonso for this year’s title. He is quick, consistent and just extremely complete. Rosberg and Raikkonen are also in the picture but you also have to question his consistency and Raikkonen will be quick, but Alonso, Imo, just has that extra motivational edge. Especially in a year when Vettel is already starting on the back foot and with (supposedly) a worse car.

    P.S. Is it just me or did the Ferrari just look more nervous with Kimi at the wheel? Maybe it was just the programme, or he is still trying to adapt and just took longer? Maybe…

    • @mashiat I’m not sure I agree with Hamilton arriving in different moods for every race. Maybe in 2011 and a little in ’12, but last year he seemed to be in a good place every race weekend to me, even when they went badly there was no moody Hamilton of old.
      I’d attribute his ups and downs last year to the fact it was his first year at Mercedes, and he claimed he never got comfortable with the brakes.

      The mood thing is way overplayed. “People only remember the victor” is an adequate quote here, because in 2012 Hamilton was one of the most consistent drivers with a seemingly consistent mood, and were it not for a number of team errors as well as car failures, Seb might only be a triple WDC today.

      I think it will be an incredibly close-fought season between Mercedes and McLaren (all four drivers. At least for the first 6 or 7 races..

      As with any major regulation overhaul, massive amounts of speed will be found by teams, so even though Merc and McL will start ahead imo, that could change drastically and almost overnight if team X or Y find a nifty downforce solution.

      I can’t contain my excitement for this season! It’s the most excited I’ve been since the 2010 season.

    • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 22nd February 2014, 16:20

      @mashiat – The only bad year Lewis has had in F1 is 2011 in which he came out with a few wins and podiums so this myth about mood is clearly a way for his critics to just bash Hamilton for whatever reason. He has already gone head to head with both Alonso and Raikkonen in more or less equal machinery and come out on top and last year he beat Rosberg so I don’t know what more proof you need to see that he can do the job. We should be more concerned about the competitiveness of different cars coz I’m not so sure that Ferrari are even ahead of McLaren at this point so making Alonso your favourite might be coming from the heart rather than the head and the evidence.

      • Mashiat (@mashiat) said on 23rd February 2014, 2:48

        I agree that he has matured over the years but his mood does seem to vary depending on whether he’s happy with the car or not. Like in several races this season, he looked a bit downbeat on Friday bcuz they couldn’t get the right setup then he was super jokey and seemed in a happy mood but if the race doesn’t go his way he will leave the GP with a downbeat face again. And on me bashing Hamilton? I am just merely stating what I have observed and I really like Hamilton mostly because of his driving and how became so successful after being the first “black” F1 driver. I do support Alonso yes, I’ll admit to that, but it is coming from both the head and the heart.

      • How could you say that Hamilton has come out on top of kimmi and Alonso. The fact is in 2007 both of them finished with the same number of points even though Hamilton had all the support from the mclaren team and a fact is that if Alonso wouldn’t have been discriminated by the English team ,Alonso would have won the championship. Also in the last 4 years Alonso has finished. In the second spot in the drivers championshipand he fought for the championship in the last race in two of those years.even button beat him and finished ahead of him in the championship and kimmi finished in front of Hamilton in the last two years and kimmi and Alonso have had slower cars than Hamilton who has had the best and the second best car in all those years. I know you are a Hamilton fan but let get real! You are writing lies! Hamilton is overrated and he hasn’t delivered in any of those years when he had a good car in at least 5 seasons.last but not least, you all should know that to me Ferrari seems to be one of the best cars out there . They haven’t look for fast times yet unlike mercedez and mclaren.and Ferrari hasn’t had any engine problems,brake problems or anything like that. They only have had electric problems.

    • JCost (@jcost) said on 22nd February 2014, 19:10

      I think this thing of Hamilton lacking focus is a bit of myth. He was terrific in his debut season and if the W05 confirms what most people expect I think Lewis is the main candidate to win it. by order, early as it is, my candidates are:

      1. Hamilton
      2. Alonso
      3. Rosberg
      4. Raikkonnen
      5. Button

      I wish Red Bull and Renault solve their problems as soon as possible because Seb should have the chance to defend his title in a decent car.

      • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 23rd February 2014, 11:52

        @jcost

        As a raving Lewis fan I really hope this is the year he can assert some dominance over everyone, especially that German guy ;) hehe.

        If I’m honest, I’d like to see Vettel struggle a bit this season. lol, I know it sounds a bit blunt, but he’s been so dominant in the V8 era, I really want someone else to have a crack at this V6 era. Lewis primarily.

      • Mircea84 said on 23rd February 2014, 14:50

        Get out Alonso from the second place. The Ferrari is inferiour to Mercedes and Mclaren.

  4. The fastest Renault time was only good enough for 13th, and below that only 3/10 were non-Renault (2/9 if we discount Bianchi’s “not time”).

    That needs to improve in the third test.

    • A 5.7s deficit to the fastest Mercedes runner and a 2.4s deficit to the fastest Ferrari runner is a lot to recover. Of course, that can be partially explained by the lack of performance running but Mercedes looked to have the first few races in their pocket on a reliability and performance basis.

      • Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 22nd February 2014, 18:08

        @vettel1 Rumor has it that Renault engines were running with several restricrions, so I don’t think that the performance is their biggest problem.

        I’d be more worried about their lack of reliability and the lack of running. The Mercedes powered teams have already done set up work, they have done race simulations, qualifying sims, Renault has done nothing.

        • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 22nd February 2014, 19:32

          @yobo1 Regarding the restrictions – what if those limiters are in place to stop the engine exploding into a million shiny pieces? Then Renault have a real problem – an engine severely down on power is still about as reliable as the McLaren MP4-18, so at full power it won’t even run.

          • PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 22nd February 2014, 19:32

            @yobo01 Regarding the restrictions – what if those limiters are in place to stop the engine exploding into a million shiny pieces? Then Renault have a real problem – an engine severely down on power is still about as reliable as the McLaren MP4-18, so at full power it won’t even run.

    • Breno (@austus) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:47

      The deficits are so big, they arent representative at all. Maybe if it was 20 years ago, but nowadays gaps are much closer. On top of that, tests arent great for figuring out who is fast and who isnt (like McLaren last year). I say we all wait for Melbourne FP1.

      • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 22nd February 2014, 16:30

        Over time the gaps will narrow as teams begin to nick ideas off each other and people move between teams but right at the start of rule changes we might have to concede that the gaps are as severe as they first appear to be. We only have to go back to 2009 when the Brawn appeared in testing that it was 1 second faster than everybody else and was indeed proved right at the first race.

  5. Robbie said on 22nd February 2014, 15:28

    Are Mercedes really as far ahead as they look? I think so. Most have been predicting for a while now that Merc would likely be the team to beat in 2014. And when Merc scooped LH from Mac, Brawn said at the time that where you want to be as a driver in 2014 is with a manufacturer based team. And if at this point Merc discovers they still have some issues that come up unexpectedly, one gets the feeling they can handle it such is the control they seem to have on their program.

    Do you expect Ferrari to close the gap at the last test? Yes.

    How bad will it be for Red Bull and Renault teams come Melbourne? Relatively pretty bad compared especially to their last 4 years, but the season is long and there’s a reason why they run all the races to decide on a WCC and WDC. If they get their technical issues sorted they’ll still be on their hind feet setup wise, but that would be the least of their worries and can be tackled by the venue and they’d soon be caught up in that aspect.

  6. Force Maikel (@force-maikel) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:30

    These laps are both tests right Jerez + Bahrain 1?

  7. hunocsi (@hunocsi) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:31

    @keithcollantine The Lotus drivers’ times are missing from the table!

  8. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 22nd February 2014, 15:36

    Regardless of the amount of km run by Renault, one has to wonder, who were those kms completed? with all the continuos problems, it’s probably not very easy to pick up on something and test it, while the powerplant is struggling so much. Except for Caterham at least.

    Mercedes have the clear advantage in every field here.

  9. Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 22nd February 2014, 20:40

    I found this link guys, enjoy !!!!!!!

  10. Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 22nd February 2014, 20:42

    I bet Williams are relieved they switched to Mercedes!

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 22nd February 2014, 21:01

      Yeah and what about Toro Rosso’s engine switch? When we speak about TR, I never understood the reason of heaving two teams in F1. I thought that it could be an F1 talent incubator, but since the begging it was “only” Vettel who came from TR to RB and now Ricciardo. OK Vettel was obviously the biggest talent who managed to use all the given tools to the maximum, and I have all the faith regarding Daniel, but isn’t one of the purposes of the lower categories finding the future champions?

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 22nd February 2014, 22:21

        Yes, like you I never really understood the marketing logic of funding two two teams in the same sport. But given that they have two teams, I would have thought that the overall company of Red Bull would have wanted to have two different engines in this revolutionary season just in case – to hedge their bets. They must have been so certain that Renault could carry their V8 success forward to V6 . . . I wonder what convinced them, and if something really has gone wrong, or if Renault will appear with an all-conquering, race dominating engine in Australia.

  11. danieru said on 22nd February 2014, 20:56

    I hate to say it but I have a horrible, sinking feeling that after all the excitement of the new rules that actually Mercedes in 2014 are going to demonstrate the utter domination we saw in 1978 (Lotus), 1988 (McLaren), 1992-3 (Williams) and 2004 (Ferrari) – their car seems to be so strong in every single area right now (although did I read somewhere the Ferrari has been fastest on the straights? so they could at least beast it in Montreal and Monza etc).

    Fair play to them for getting the new rules right and at least their will be no de facto number 1 in the team (like all but the McLaren example I gave above) even if I suspect Lewis will own Nico this year.

    • nidzovski (@nidzovski) said on 22nd February 2014, 21:05

      I agree with you but you haven’t mentioned Red Bull’s serials. Is it because it’s so fresh example or you think that Red Bull wasn’t dominant? Just curious.

      • danieru said on 22nd February 2014, 21:19

        Good Question!

        I guess I think 2011 was quite a good season to watch and at least there were occasions when Red Bull were genuinely beaten on pace that year. But you are right, the second half of 2013 probably deserves to be bracketed with the seasons I mentioned above too. I think the point I was trying to make was that in 78, 88, 92 & 04 (and half of last year!) – nobody was going to beat the dominant car on pace except when they broke down/had issues or the weather got involved and levelled the playing field.

  12. Who cares if Mercedes (or another team) completely dominate the championship? It’ll still be fascinating to see who comes out on top between Alonso vs Raikkonen, Hamilton vs Rosberg, Button vs Magnusson and so on over the course of the season.

    It might bore the casual F1 “fans” of the instant gratification playstation generation who just want to tune in for 10 minutes and see a hundred ridiculously easy overtakes, but frankly F1 is better off without them.

  13. schooner (@schooner) said on 23rd February 2014, 3:14

    Even given the obligatory “early days yet”, and “it’s only testing”, Mercedes and McLaren have to be the favorites when the lights turn green in Melbourne. I’d think that at least one of those two will have a car finish the race.

  14. Luke (@lukes) said on 24th February 2014, 10:57

    So as it stands applying the 107% rule cut off would be 1:39.813 and Vettel wouldn’t qualify!!

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