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. Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 28th February 2014, 18:29

    I for one will be happy if Perez beats the McLarens with any sort of regularity. I think that will be a Karmic response to being treated so shabbily by McLaren in 2013 and scapegoated for their lack of performance. I rate Perez as a pretty good driver. Hopefully in 2014 he can show the world that McLaren made a mistake.

    On the other side of the coin, I’m a bit concerned that Max Chilton will be unfairly ahead of some better teams/drivers just because the Ferrari power unit is more reliable. Imagine if Chilton actually won a race due to attrition… That would not be good.

    • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 28th February 2014, 18:38

      McLaren got rid of Perez because they think Magnussen is better. I trust their judgement.

      In regards to Chilton winning due to attrition: “To finish first, first you must finish.”

      @mortyvicar

      • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 28th February 2014, 18:52

        @craig-o Magnussen probably is better than Perez. But the decision to bring him in supposedly wasn’t made until after the decision was made to jettison Perez. I think Perez did a credible job and didn’t deserve to be so unceremoniously dumped. Hence I’ll be happy if he beats the McLarens a couple of times this season. I’m not pulling for either driver, just looking for justice!

        In regards to Chilton winning due to attrition: “To finish first, first you must finish.”

        And who set a minor record for finishing all 19 races last season? Maybe that was your point and I missed the irony? Irony: Max Chilton winning an F1 race.

        • craig-o (@craig-o) said on 28th February 2014, 19:00

          @mortyvicar He done okay, but he failed to beat Jenson, with only 49 points to JB’s 73. It’s not as if Jenson had one of his best seasons either. As Martin Whitmarsh said, the only reason why Perez was axed was because “Kevin Magnussen exists”. I never felt Perez should have been with a top team in the first place anyway. I don’t feel he showed the consistency at Sauber required to perform week in, week out.

          There’s no irony at all. If Chilton finishes a race in first place and all the other drivers fail to finish due to either reliability of the car or the driver or team being unable to look after their fuel consumption or whatever, then that’s how it is. The fastest car isn’t always necessarily the best car, as McLaren found out in 2005, and again in 2012.

          • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 28th February 2014, 19:58

            @craig-o he was axed because McLaren were having an abysmal season which – more irony – fomented the palace coup by Ron and the subsequent axing of Whitmarsh (presumably as he hasn’t been seen since). Maybe that alone is poetic justice. If the MP4-28 wasn’t so bad Perez would have gotten a second year. They were happy to leave Magnussen in WSbR getting more experience. He was shoe-horned in at the last minute, regardless of what Whitmarsh politically said. The only thing I’m saying here is that I think Perez was hard done by, that he’s better than it looks from being dumped after one season and that I hope he can prove this by beating the McLarens and having a respectable showing in 2014.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th February 2014, 21:11

      @mortyvicar, was it also “not good” when Olivier Panis won at Monaco? If tyre management can be defended as a crucial driver skill ever since F1 began, then surely car management must also be a virtue.

      • Morty Vicar (@mortyvicar) said on 28th February 2014, 21:21

        @hohum What? That was completely different and irrelevant. Panis was a contender, not in F1 because of his father’s fortune. We all know that all things being equal, Max’s rightful place has been finishing every race he entered. At the back. But maybe this is what F1 has come to, no longer a contest of man and machine pushing themselves to the limit, unless the limit is one of tyre tread or fuel in the tank.

    • David not Coulthard (@) said on 1st March 2014, 4:09

      I think that will be a Karmic response to being treated so shabbily by McLaren in 2013 and scapegoated for their lack of performance.

      Errrr…didn’t McLaren help Perez find his seat for this year, as far as I know?

      About Chilton winning a race: I haven’t got any problem with that, nor Hungaroring 2008, Nuerburgring 2007.

  2. DaveD (@daved) said on 28th February 2014, 19:24

    Based on test runs from all the teams and problems they’ve encountered, it would be easy to see some back marker teams scoring some points. For example:
    -24 vehicles on the starting grid.
    – 8 Merc powered cars….could easily have 2 failures over race distance. => 5 finishers
    – 6 Ferrari powered cars….2 failures due => 4 finishers
    – 8 Renault powered cars…4 failures due to heating problems/fires => 4 finishers
    So we’re down to 13 cars. Out of those
    - One lost to gearbox issues
    - One three lost to wrecks
    - One other lost to mechanical failure

    Suddenly your down to 8 cars completing the race. This may sound crazy, but looking at what we’re seeing from on track problems even in these last testing days, I could easily see a scenario like this coming to pass.

    I would throw in a car not finishing due to fuel limit issues, but at this point I think they’d know they were in trouble and go 80% just to finish the race and score points…so I doubt anyone will fail to finish for that reason.

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 28th February 2014, 19:27

      Oops, had a typo. Meant to predict 3 failures in the first race for the Merc powered cars, not 2 :-)

      They’re good, but even Merc is having failures right now. Anyway, the point is that it would be easy to see a back marker like Marussia or Caterham score points by simply managing to finish a race early on. Throw in a classic Grosjean or Maldenado overly aggressive move with more torque now and taking out 3-4 cars in one wreck….yeah, I think it’s going to be the year the backmarkers finally score points.

  3. macrob said on 28th February 2014, 19:35

    Interesting, fastest two days in a row and no one here is talking about Perez…I guess no matter what he will always be “slow”…no further comments…

  4. Andrei (@crandreico) said on 28th February 2014, 19:50

    Seems that Button is surprised with RBR corner speed: http://www.auto-motor-und-sport.de/formel-1/jenson-button-beeindruckt-interessantes-strecken-duell-mit-red-bull-8163888.html

    We are faster on the straight. They know (Red Bull) for sure. He (Ricciardo) then passed me in turn 11, a high-speed left-hander. That was interesting. Something I have never experienced before. Therefore they also have their strong areas.

    (rough translation thanks to google)

  5. joc_the_man said on 28th February 2014, 20:20

    big big risk for a farce like race in Melbourne. I think you Dave are not far off.
    add the silly looks, the short-shift and eco-drive-crap and then the NOT-loud-at-all cars.
    I feel sorry for the teams and engine-people struggling, as for the drivers trying their best.
    the responsible FIA heads still hide in their ivory towers. pathetic.
    the BIG BIG losers are us fans..
    Sorry to say. sad times.

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th February 2014, 21:22

      Gee Jock, I see it completely differently, I see automotive engineering playing a major part in F1 after a long absense due to engine de-rating and power equalisation, for me that is what makes F1 so much more interesting than spec series, which like sugar, are good in small doses but sickening in excess.

      • joc_the_man said on 28th February 2014, 22:14

        Well Hum, difference of opinion. I like quick, cool and loud cars and drivers putting it to the edge. I like the magic of F1 knowing that we have had the best of the best.
        Creating excitement the new FIA way is the wrong way, I think. Slower cars, less noise, efficiency-eco-drive crap is not F1 to me. There are other series for that – formula Prius or something. We will see what happens. I think lots of fans will find it boring with 5 cars finishing and the winner is the best eco-driving one. Time will tell.

        • HoHum (@hohum) said on 28th February 2014, 23:06

          Ah yes, I too want to see “drivers putting it to the edge” and I won’t stand for any “fuel conservation” parades, but I do like to see the engineers hard at work engineering.

          • Genk said on 1st March 2014, 0:34

            Me too, I have not been this excited before the start of a New season in years!

        • Minardi (@gitanes) said on 1st March 2014, 0:45

          What is a farce to me is the same driver/team combo winning 9 races in a row with no chance of a mechanical breakdown. I think a lot of us here think that the rule changes couldn’t have come at a better time.

          And I am happy there are still engines making noise – you know there will come a day when everything is electronic and they won’t make a sound!

    • DaveD (@daved) said on 1st March 2014, 2:45

      I said I could see a small number of cars finishing in an early race like Melbourne because there is still so much work to do and they’ve limited the testing too much. I didn’t say that was bad. In fact, I think it’s good for the sport that a mid field team has a shot at a podium and a back marker can score some points. At least it won’t be totally predictable.

      I’m sorry this seems to be so bleak for you, but the vast majority of the fans commenting on the forums/blogs seem to be excited to see how the teams will deal with the new regs. I think it’s awesome, and I will judge “quick” by how fast their lap times are after they’ve had some time to learn these cars and pull some performance back. Judging by Rosberg’s time last week, they are not far from being “quick” in the least. I think on some tracks, this may end up being the fastest setup in nearly a decade.

      As for how loud they are, well, they may not be as loud…but I like the sound of turbo engines.

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st March 2014, 3:22

        The sound may be different but the volume is going to be the same in my living room.

        • DaveD (@daved) said on 1st March 2014, 17:33

          @HoHum I always wonder about that! I only get the American NBC feed over here, although I have been known to pirate a SKY feed now and then when I can’t get info I want :-), but I can’t really tell how the cars sound very much and I certainly can’t tell how loud they are unless they stomp on an interview for Will Buxton in the pits.
          It’s clearly a factor for people at the race, but for me on TV, I can’t tell how loud they are anyway so it’s just not an issue.
          And the one or possibly two races I could even see in a year make my ears bleed anyway so I’m kind of relieved when it tones down a few decibels.

  6. 2 gearbox issues for Mercedes. We’ve been talking about how good their engines have been but we’ve also got that Singapore Lewis gearbox failure on our minds, why have Mercedes been the only ones at fault with their gearboxes in the last 5 years or so Red Bull has problems but they never seem to affect their championship and Ferrari miraculously never ever destroy their gearboxes. I think for 2014 there must be a real focus on monitoring the power-trains so no team or manufacturer cheats. Replacing the seals and gearboxes to Webber is over, there’s no more webber and I hope they can end this problem.

  7. Todfod (@todfod) said on 1st March 2014, 0:17

    Got to hand it to Ferrari.

    There is no team on the grid that is consistent enough to make the 3rd quickest car every year in a row.

    (Meanwhile, I pray that Red Bull or Force India aren’t quick enough to push Ferrari to 4th quickest on the grid)

  8. kpcart said on 1st March 2014, 3:55

    I predict redbull will do some setup work now and a few low fuel runs by vettel in next 2 days might show their pace. Hopefully they get at least one race simulation in.

  9. Carlos Furtado das Neves said on 1st March 2014, 18:59

    We’ll see, we’ll see…
    Today another disaster, just like I expected, but SB is hopefull for Melbourne!
    And I believe tomorrow the problem is solved, and Vettel will run trouble free.
    This is a game of millions…

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