Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain, 2014

Perez leads times as Red Bull struggle goes on

2014 F1 season

Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain, 2014Sergio Perez led the times as the final four-day pre-season test began in Bahrain.

The Force India driver’s best time of 1’35.290 was two seconds off the quickest lap set by Nico Rosberg last week.

A late run by Valtteri Bottas moved him up to second place at the end of a busy day in which he completed a mammoth 128 laps, more than two grand prix distances.

Ferrari had a quiet morning following the discovery of a technical problem but Kimi Raikkonen improved his time half an hour before the session finished to end the day third-quickest. His Ferrari stopped on track shortly before the chequered flag appeared.

In contrast, Red Bull made an encouraging start to the day as Daniel Ricciardo took to the track early on and improved on their best lap time from the week before. But the RB10’s teething troubles resurfaced and the car spent much of the afternoon in the garage before emerging for a brief run minutes before the end of the session.

It was a familiar story for the other Renault-powered teams, each of which was responsible for interruptions to the day’s activity. Kamui Kobayashi‘s Caterham stopped on track early in the day, then reappeared after lengthy repairs.

Pastor Maldonado caused another red flag shortly after rejoining the track following software changes on his Lotus. And Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso came to a stop at turn two, after which he did not return to the track again.

Marussia did not complete as many laps as Toro Rosso, but Max Chilton did complete the most running for the team in any day of testing so far this year.

Bahrain test two day one lap times

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes VJM07 1’35.290 105
2 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes FW36 1’36.184 128 0.894
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari F14 T 1’36.432 54 1.142
4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W05 1’36.624 89 1.334
5 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari C33 1’37.700 89 2.410
6 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes MP4-29 1’37.825 109 2.535
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault RB10 1’37.908 39 2.618
8 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari MR03 1’38.610 44 3.320
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault STR9 1’39.242 56 3.952
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault E22 1’40.599 31 5.309
11 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault CT05 1’42.285 19 6.995

Bahrain tests combined times so far

Quickest lap time by each team:

Team Driver Time Gap
1 Mercedes Nico Rosberg 1’33.283
2 McLaren Kevin Magnussen 1’34.910 1.627
3 Force India Sergio Perez 1’35.290 2.007
4 Williams Valtteri Bottas 1’36.184 2.901
5 Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen 1’36.432 3.149
6 Sauber Esteban Gutierrez 1’37.180 3.897
7 Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo 1’37.908 4.625
8 Marussia Max Chilton 1’38.610 5.327
9 Lotus Pastor Maldonado 1’38.707 5.424
10 Toro Rosso Daniil Kvyat 1’38.974 5.691
11 Caterham Kamui Kobayashi 1’39.855 6.572

2014 F1 season

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Image © Force India

58 comments on “Perez leads times as Red Bull struggle goes on”

    1. They’re a lovely team, I was lucky enough to talk to Graham Lowdon at the Silverstone YDT, and can confirm he’s a brilliant guy, and Marrussia definitely want F1 to be for the fans (He had a lovely story about the Goodwood FoS that I’ll save for another day).

      However, I can’t help but worry. That’s 44 laps. There’s a race in Bahrain in a few months time when they have a lot less time to do 57 consecutive laps with both cars. They seem to have a long way to go…

    1. Last week McLaren looked like they had distanced themselves from the other Merc powered cars, but today Perez was only 3 tenths behind, with Bottas around 1 sec behind. There are gonna be great battles this year, even if Redbull can’t close the gap.

      1. We’ll soon enough know, but I highly doubt the Merc powered cars are going to be performing at an exactly identical level to the works Mercedes GP team once they go racing. But who knows though, right? So much yet to be determined from so many aspects that won’t reveal themselves until the first Sunday afternoon.

      2. No team is performing at an identical level with Merc. If they are, they haven’t shown it yet. The closest is McLaren and on their quali sim they were 1.7sec behind Merc. I’m not saying they are not as good, just that they haven’t proved it yet!

        1. don’t go so blind on the times now, wait until the Melbourne q3 result to assume something like that, but anyway I hope Hamilton does better than 4th or 5th this yr, but seems Nico has earn same level if not number 1 status within the team

    1. I don’t think so.

      I reckon that provide nothing overly dramatic occurs, they will win, but I am expecting a battle between Ferrari and McLaren in with them too.

      And let’s not count Lotus out. Everybody is saying they won’t do well, but we could find ourselves in with a real surprise here!

  1. It is really sad to see the Renault teams struggle . I think a true motorsport fan would want a good competitive races than a walk over by one engine manufacturer. So I do hope they get their act together

    1. No question, but nobody is saying they hope one team dominates…just that it could happen and it could be Mercedes based on what we’ve seen so far and how much weight you can put to testing.

      Personally I would rather see a healthy RBR team get beat than an unhealthy one, but I certainly don’t feel sad for them. They’ve had a great run, and just as it was up to every other team to compete with them over the last 4 seasons, so it is now up to them to compete.

    2. You know, it’s not all about Vettel. These teams employ several hundred personnel and there is competition at every level. This also includes the engine area (Power Units) where an engineer would want to prove himself to be the best there is. To me it was ludicrous when this integral part of motor racing was made obsolete through the V8s era. If Redbull/Renault can not produce a functioning race car then its incumbent upon themselves to lift their performance to a level of competitiveness that allows them to defend their title. There are 10 other teams in the championship and RedBull are not entitled to win every single year. Like its said, what goes up must come down, it’s just the law of averages. They enjoyed success and it is bound to end at some point. If not this year, then at some point soon.

      1. What rubbish? if it were only Redbull struggling on the Renault powered engine what you are saying would even start to make sense but no Renault team is getting anything done without problems!

        1. @rockie – you seem to have missed my point completely, which is unsurprising since you are blinded by your loyalty to this team. You do know that the sport is called MOTOR racing right? Guess what a motor is! It’s not a blown floor. And if RedBull were happy with their marriage with Renault through the good years, then they oughtta be able to endure the bad. For better, for worse; in sickness and in health! Well, this is the sickness!

          1. @blackmamba Aero is still king in any object that move through air, if not Newey wont be wanted to design yatchs though it has no motor engines can only carry you thus far hence the in season development.
            But hey let me leave you to your understanding of F1 after all not everyone can agree on same thing!

    3. But the competition starts from the engine drawing board.
      When you also take in the fact that Renault were vociferous in their asking that F1 go for the turbos and a reduced number of cylinders engine route, one would expect them to have done their homework well. Inevitably, their partner teams will suffer initially but the same could easily have happened to any of the other engine manufacturers.

    4. but they are, I mean last year was a walk in the park this yr they will see what all other teams had to endure when building a dog for a change, wasn’t feeling bad for ferari or maclaren when they build their dogs, wasn’t fair but is formula 1, no room for hicups !!

    5. In a sense, I agree, since we want competition across the board. That being said, it looks like the Mercedes powered cars are going to be challenging each other (at the very least) creating some good fun there. Where and how Ferrari power fits into the mix, it’s difficult to tell. Even if Renault struggles continue, I think there’ll be enough competition.

      I actually like seeing the adversity RBR is facing, and it’s not because of any ill-will towards the team. What I wanted to see was Vettel face some adversity and still pull out wins. I still hate that some viewers will play down Vettel and four consecutive WDCs. Best of luck, but given the teams previous efforts, I’d be very surprised if they couldn’t pull off what McLaren did in 2009 (introduce a dog of a car and turn it into a race-winner).

  2. I don’t want any team to dominate, just like in 2010, so that we can have a really mixed and competitive championship battle all the way through the season. But if I knew one team were going to dominate in 2014, I wouldn’t want it to be Red Bull – purely because the inter team battle between Seb Vettel and Ricciardo would be very one sided. So even if Mercedes are way ahead of the others, it’ll still be very interesting seeing who will come out on top between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton.. and likewise with McLaren and Ferrari who’s teammate battles will also be interesting to watch.

    I think what’s been lacking, especially in 2011 and 2013, is that Vettel hasn’t had a proper teammate to give him a run for his money. He deserves a huge amount of credit for how convincingly and consistently he’s beaten Webber over the last few years, but if he had a teammate of the likes of Hamilton or Alonso beside him at Red Bull, it would have been very interesting in those seasons where the Red Bull was dominant to see who would have emerged victorious between both drivers.

    I hope that Vettel is paired up with a proper teammate before his retires from F1 as it would make scintillating viewing.

        1. @rockie
          Really? I find it hard to believe. ALO has managed to take it down to the wire 2 times in the last 4 seasons in “inferior” machinery… I can only imagine what would´ve happened if he would´ve had a RBR under him. There is some food for thought for you!

          1. @karter22 He won’t have done anything, let me remind you of ’07 he had a dominant car and he failed to beat a rookie in it!
            So when you pose a hypothetical situation think deeply it sounds nice when you say what would Alonso do in the Redbull, as long as Alonso was getting out-qualified by Massa it tells me had Vettel been in a Ferrari he would qualify ahead of Alonso and we all know how fast starting that Ferrari is in either drivers hands!
            So please spare me the BS of what Alonso would do also when he has as much reliability problems as Vettel in a season and still be in contention then talk to me!

  3. I’d take even money on neither RB finishing in Australia. I hope the race doesn’t turn into a general debacle with more failures than not (or the leaders slowing way down to conserve fuel)… that would make for two very annoying news weeks until Malaysia with everyone second-guessing all the changes and the ‘future of f1′. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen.

  4. Can Maldonado get his money back ? at least to Williams, he got some horrible luck !
    Always late testing show ups of the car, he is more fun crashing at the front than on the back,
    well at least he knows how to accelerate development of what is not working, just brake it.

    1. Your comment made me lmao. Maldonado should not be very happy.
      Maldonado to Williams: “Guys, I was just kidding when I said you suck, if I bring my 40 million would you take me back?”

  5. Williams’ reliability is very impressive – you would almost start thinking they build a car that is too reliable, i.e. not aggressive enough. I really hope that’s not the case, because I would love to see Massa and Bottas fighting for podiums..

    1. With all the problems teams seem to be having, being reliable might be the best way to reach the podium in the early parts of the season. Later on, who knows? What was that old adage – it’s easier to make a fast car reliable than a reliable car fast?

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