Perez on top again for Force India

2014 F1 season

Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain, 2014Sergio Perez was quickest again for Force India as the Mexican driver completed his pre-season testing. However his quickest time was no faster than his best effort from yesterday, when he also headed the times at the Bahrain track.

Fernando Alonso headed the times for part of the session before Perez edged out his best effort by less than a tenth of a second.

Technical problems continued to take their toll on the cars, forcing several drivers to first their tests early.

Among them was Lewis Hamilton, who went off at turn three in his Mercedes early in the session, bringing the red flags out. A gearbox fault later ended his running prematurely.

Pastor Maldonado’s day came to an early end three hours before the session concluded when his Lotus caught fire during a run.

A similar fate befell Marcus Ericsson in the Caterham, though by then there was less than an hour of the test left to go.

Jenson Button was sidelined with a technical problem early in the test and spent five hours stuck in the garage while the McLaren team rectified the fault.

However Marussia enjoyed another improvement to their pre-season preparations. For the first time this year Jules Bianchi covered more than a race distance during a test day, managing 75 laps.

Most teams swapped drivers today with the exception of Perez, Daniel Ricciardo and Pastor Maldonado. Their next spell in the cockpit will come at the first practice session for the Australian Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference
1 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes VJM07 1’35.570 108
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari F14 T 1’35.634 122 0.064
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault RB10 1’35.743 66 0.173
4 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes FW36 1’36.507 103 0.937
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes MP4-29 1’36.901 52 1.331
6 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari MR03 1’38.092 75 2.522
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W05 1’39.041 89 3.471
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault STR9 1’39.636 61 4.066
9 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari C33 1’39.976 106 4.406
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault E22 1’41.613 31 6.043
11 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault CT05 1’42.516 55 6.946

Bahrain tests combined times so far

Quickest lap time by each team:

Team Driver Time Gap
1 Mercedes Nico Rosberg 1’33.283 0.000
2 McLaren Kevin Magnussen 1’34.910 1.627
3 Force India Sergio Perez 1’35.290 2.007
4 Ferrari Fernando Alonso 1’35.634 2.351
5 Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo 1’35.743 2.460
6 Williams Valtteri Bottas 1’36.184 2.901
7 Sauber Esteban Gutierrez 1’37.180 3.897
8 Marussia Jules Bianchi 1’38.092 4.809
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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88 comments on Perez on top again for Force India

  1. Red Bull appear to be making some progress. I’d love to know how hard Ferrari were pushing; think we’ll see qualifying simulation from them before the test is out?

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th February 2014, 14:52

      Yes that lap time from DanR suggests that the car will be competitive IF they can keep it going.

      • Ivan B (@njoydesign) said on 28th February 2014, 15:01

        At this rate I have a fear no Renault powered cars will make it to the finish line in Melbourne…

      • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 28th February 2014, 15:29

        I’m not convinced. It appeared to be a low fuel run and it didn’t even get him within 2 seconds of Rosberg’s lap..

        Obviously we don’t know the full circumstances surrounding the lap but as it was Riccardio’s last session in the car before FP1 in Melbourne, I think it’d be safe to assume that it was as fast as he could go…

        • With 165 BHP less compared to what Merc has i think the lap was good
          But its not enough RBR still need more.

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 28th February 2014, 15:49

            Someone was saying Renault were running their engines at 100% today… I haven’t seen it confirmed by anyone but apparently, that is the case.

            Also, according to the Autosport feed, it was the 2nd sector in which Mercedes were mighty and that sector is the technical twisty part of the lap….

          • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 28th February 2014, 18:23

            @harsha 165BHP is just over the amount that the MGU-K adds to the output. This indicates Renault are still having trouble with their KERS which has always been their Achilles heel. Unfortunately it’s an even larger part of the power system for 2014 and beyond…

        • iAltair (@ialtair) said on 28th February 2014, 16:36

          How do you even know that it was on a low fuel?

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th February 2014, 17:46

          @petebaldwin, where is all this information coming from? I’m relying on Keith to keep me updated but some of you seem to have much more access to what’s happening.
          Comedy spot: I followed the links in the NBC-S article to see if there is going to be any pre-AustraliaGP coverage at all and discovered that NBC-S would have over 200 hours of F1 coverage this year, unfortunately this year is still 2013 at NBC-S.
          Q: Why don’t more people watch F1.?

          • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 28th February 2014, 18:26

            @hohum @ialtair – info came from the Autosport live feed today. Obviously no-one other than the Red Bull team know exactly how much fuel was in the car but Ricciardo set his time one a one lap run. It may have been on high fuel but it wouldn’t really have made much sense to because races and qualifying will be run very differently (ie fuel saving & protecting tyres vs full power & getting tyres up to temperature for a flying lap)

            There was a distinct difference between those on race sims (1:39s – 1:41s) who I assume were fuel saving etc and those who weren’t (1:35s – 1:36s).

            Overall, no-one knows for certain what each of the teams are doing – it’s just educated guesswork!

          • @Petebaldwin I was following autosport live too but in the past couple days they don’t update the time-sheets they only update the lap count, but that’s not the reason why I’m most definitely going to stop following them. They are somewhat incompetent, but they are in Bahrain and they are the premier publication of F1!
            Edd Straw replying to a fan question about fuel limit etc said and I quote

            “It also helps that Melbourne isn’t one of the most fuel-heavy tracks on the calendar.”

            This is obviously not true as the Albert park track is one of the most demanding on fuel as you may have heard since 1996 and recently when Pat Fry pointed that out.
            When an F1 journalist makes this statement as it is promptly replying to fan question posing for an engineer, it makes me doubt everything they know about F1 and obviously everything they have printed as inside info about F1 testing in 2014. Perhaps they should hire people that are really into F1 have the passion to work and get to know what’s inside F1, rather than transitory journalist that aim something else, if that is the case indeed. I’m being a bit harsh with autosport and everyone on the F1 segment, I should emphasize that it’s Straw that has been making some claims and printing some of the stories that make them look like as if they have superior knowledge of what’s about in Bahrain where autosport is staying.

    • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 28th February 2014, 14:55

      I should think so. It doesn’t make any sense arriving in Melbourne without having put the cars under their maximum stresses. That way if any issues come up you have 2 weeks to find solutions as opposed to just the race weekend to fix them especially if they are big issues.

    • Jarv F150 (@jarvf150) said on 28th February 2014, 17:19

      Only after some DIY air ducting that looks like someone has run a hose pipe through both sides of the car.

      But still its progress.

      • Red bull always test with high fuel, to be truth ricciardo’s pace is good, even without considering Renault struggles, but mind that ricciardo was in and out so I believe they should have been able to run the electrical gizmos at a high rate for the qualy sims.

  2. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 28th February 2014, 14:45

    Not too shabby, Force India.

  3. Looks like sometimes all goes upside down. The favorites Mercedes and McLaren with halts? Of course they can be trying to get the edge in some areas and the problems are in the planned scenario, to see how far they caqn try solutions.

    • petebaldwin (@petebaldwin) said on 28th February 2014, 15:20

      We discussed this earlier in the live thread.

      Mercedes may have encountered more issues but in the same breath, they have run a lot more laps and have put a lot more stress through the car.

      They have had various issues but crucially, very few repeat faliures. Unlike Red Bull who have repeated overheating problems or Sauber who are struggling with their break by wire system, Mercedes have had lots of niggly problems which have been solved and have not failed again.

      In theory, Red Bull (and the others struggling for laps) all still have these issues that Mercedes have solved but have just not put enough stress through their cars yet to experience them.

      Testing is all about finding issues and solving them. Red Bull (& co) haven’t had the chance to do that yet and will have to address it during the season. Considering it takes hours to fix minor problems with these cars, they are going to struggle in the early part of the season!

  4. lewis fan said on 28th February 2014, 14:52

    I really hope that Force India does well this year. They have been improving for a long time and have always been my favorite “under dog” team

  5. obviously said on 28th February 2014, 14:52

    122 laps!!! O_O

    But on a second thought, you’d think that they should actually be able to complete a lot more than that without breaking a sweat. They’ve been at the track for 8 hours and 30 minutes, minus the lunch break of course. If they can complete 60 laps in 1:30 hours, how can’t they regularly complete at least two times that in 8 hours, even with all the tweaking in the garages between runs. I really think they are all underutilizing the testing sessions, but then again, they are highly professional, and there must be a reason why 80 laps per day are more common than 150 laps.

  6. Ivan B (@njoydesign) said on 28th February 2014, 14:52

    “Technical problems continued to take their troll…”
    that’s how I first read it )))

  7. HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th February 2014, 14:55

    Maldonados Lotus catching fire, the ultimate overheating problem.

  8. In_Silico (@insilico) said on 28th February 2014, 14:56

    Force India and Williams are looking really solid. If we think back to 2009 where it was the first year of substantial rule changes, I wouldn’t be surprised if they deliver similar surprising performances like the Toyota one-two in Bahrain or the Force India Pole in Spa. If 2009 is anything to go by, then I wouldn’t be surprised if this year we see loads of different drivers on the podium throughout the year. I know this is just speculation but I hope this is the case.

  9. Mashiat (@) said on 28th February 2014, 15:01

    Yesterday I said it was final. Now it is as clear as day. Force India for the WCC and WDC! The only question is…which of their drivers?

  10. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 28th February 2014, 15:12

    Marussia appear to have really upped their game this year. Good on them!

  11. Asanator (@asanator) said on 28th February 2014, 15:12

    Keith your ‘Bahrain tests combined times so far’ table appears to have Williams above Ferrari although the time shown was slower :S

  12. HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th February 2014, 15:18

    LewisH reminds us that they are all running brand new gearboxes as well, history has shown us that gearboxes are a prime source of reliability problems, it’s going to be interesting times for the teams (and fans) this year.

  13. Wasn’t Lotus the team with the least testing kilometres last year? And they had a good season despite that.
    Mercedes was the quickest in testing in 2013, yet they had a pretty miserable season (at least in the beginning).

    I know it’s different, because of all the changes this year, but I think it’s too early to tell what’s going to happen when the real racing begins. It could all change when Melbourne arrives.

    • @merioksa

      Mercedes was the quickest in testing in 2013, yet they had a pretty miserable season (at least in the beginning).

      Do you mean the end? If memory serves me correctly they got off to a solid start, in the mix with Ferrari and Lotus’ vying for second and third places.. It was after the summer break where they lost ground.

  14. Jason (@jason12) said on 28th February 2014, 15:51

    Looks like RBR is gonna be very competitive once the reliability issues have been sorted.

  15. I’ve had enough of testing now. I’m just looking forward to Australia :), I love the short turnaround between seasons. Much needed in today’s faster pace of life, it keeps F1 relevant and on people’s lips

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