Massa on top as Vettel fails to complete a lap

2014 F1 season

Felipe Massa, Williams, Bahrain, 2014Felipe Massa set the quickest time on the penultimate day of testing in Bahrain but the lack of running by other teams was the main talking point of the day.

Red Bull began the day hoping to be able to move on to performance testing with their RB10 but Sebastian Vettel failed to complete a single lap during the entire session.

Although he was officially credited with having done a lap, when the RB10 made its sole venture out of the pits two-and-a-half hours into the test it got no further than turn four before grinding to a halt. A subsequent attempt to get the car running again saw the reigning world champion fail to make it out of the pits.

It was another major setback for the team with the first race of the season just over two weeks away. And they weren’t the only ones still struggling with reliability problems.

Sauber also failed to get a lap time on the board during today’s test. Adrian Sutil did a single installation lap before an engine problem manifested itself.

The team initially tried to get the car back on track before the end of the session. When they realised that wasn’t possible they focused instead on getting ready for the final day of running tomorrow, when Sutil and Esteban Gutierrez will share the running in the C33.

Romain Grosjean covered 33 laps before a problem struck his Lotus, causing one of the day’s three red flags and forcing an early end to his session.

Mercedes weren’t immune from problems either as Nico Rosberg spent much of the morning in the pits while an engine was changed. But he later joined in the running and racked up over a hundred laps.

A late run on super-soft tyres saw him briefly head the time sheets with a 1’33.484. But Massa took the the track shortly afterwards and beat the mark and Rosberg’s previous best from earlier in the test with a 1’33.258.

Kimi Raikkonen put his Ferrari third with another late lap, albeit over two seconds off the pace of the Mercedes-powered cars. He also performed a race simulation during the test.

A super-soft tyre run for Marussia saw Jules Bianchi improved their quickest time of the test so far by a full second. He ended the day seventh on 1’37.087 having brought the red flags out earlier in the day when he stopped on track.

Driver Car Best time Laps Difference Tyres
1 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes FW36 1’33.258 99
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes W05 1’33.484 103 0.226
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari F14 T 1’35.426 87 2.168
4 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes MP4-29 1’35.894 88 2.636
5 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault STR9 1’36.113 81 2.855
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes VJM07 1’36.205 115 2.947
7 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari MR03 1’37.087 78 3.829
8 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault CT05 1’38.083 117 4.825
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault E22 1’42.166 33 8.908
10 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari C33 1
11 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault RB10 1

Bahrain tests combined times so far

Quickest lap time by each team:

Team Driver Time Gap
1 Williams Felipe Massa 1’33.258
2 Mercedes Nico Rosberg 1’33.283 0.025
3 McLaren Kevin Magnussen 1’34.910 1.652
4 Force India Sergio Perez 1’35.290 2.032
5 Ferrari Kimi Raikkonen 1’35.426 2.168
6 Red Bull Daniel Ricciardo 1’35.743 2.485
7 Toro Rosso Daniil Kvyat 1’36.113 2.855
8 Marussia Jules Bianchi 1’37.087 3.829
9 Sauber Esteban Gutierrez 1’37.180 3.922
10 Caterham Marcus Ericsson 1’38.083 4.825
11 Lotus Pastor Maldonado 1’38.707 5.449

2014 F1 season


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126 comments on Massa on top as Vettel fails to complete a lap

  1. R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 1st March 2014, 14:46

    And once again, Red Bull and Lotus are looking up on the timesheets at a car that’s been described as “slower than a GP2 car”.

    • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 1st March 2014, 15:01

      It all looked so promising yesterday and its now become apparent that its more the cooling capabilities of Newey’s packaging rather than the PU overheating. Well I mean its overheating because of insufficient cooling.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2014, 15:42

        @blackmamba although you could argue that the cooling demands placed by the PU are too drastic and as a result Red Bull are having to compromise on packaging.

        • PhilEReid (@philereid) said on 1st March 2014, 16:53

          @vettel1 I imagine it’s 50/50 given that Renault are having problems, but then at the same time, Red Bull are having the biggest on the overheating issue. As a result, Red Bull packed too tightly for the PU. Maybe the PU wouldn’t be overheating as much if RB had more cooling.

          You can look at it either way, but I think it’s more likely to be a bit of both.

          • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st March 2014, 17:45

            @philereid I tend to concur with this opinion as we have seen even the Lotus and Caterham stop with flames at their rears. So it is not entirely down to Red Bull design. Even when a Caterham with such conservative design could catch fire due to insufficient cooling, then the Red Bull’s skinny design is too risky. So yes it is a 50/50 I guess.

          • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2014, 20:24

            I agree with you @philereid, just proposing the opposing argument!

            However, the overruling consensus on the engine front I imagine has to be that the Mercedes and Ferrari are definitely superior in terms of engine cooling.

    • Saints (@saints) said on 1st March 2014, 15:34

      Yeah, but overall Ricciardo’s best time is just one tenth off Alonso’s best. Speed is not their biggest problem.

      • avl0 said on 1st March 2014, 15:55

        But both of those times are so far off the fastest times that they’re pretty much irrelevant. Even massa and rosberg you cant be sure what fuel levels they actually had.

  2. svarun said on 1st March 2014, 14:46

    That William is quick!

  3. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 1st March 2014, 14:47

    Marussia’s fastest lap is better than a Sauber!!!!!!!!!

  4. Peter Cotterill (@stigrennfahrer) said on 1st March 2014, 14:48

    I am really interested as to how the first few races of the season pan out – I can’t imagine that the teams will be ‘baby-ing’ the cars, but at the same time, with the reliability we have seen, I do wonder how many finishers we will see – particularly from the Renault-powered runners…

  5. Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 1st March 2014, 14:50

    Well that first race in Melbourne is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing affairs in recent history. Williams ultra reliable and fast, and honestly I don’t think the Ferrari has got the pace. Does anybody know what tyres those times were set on?

  6. Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 1st March 2014, 14:51

    So after all the off-season complaining about the 2014 cars being as slow as GP2 machines, Massa’s lap is a second off Rosberg’s pole position time from Bahrain 2013 – and this is just testing, I’m pretty sure that they can go even faster.

    • ME4ME (@me4me) said on 1st March 2014, 15:04

      But then again, they’re 7 seconds slower in race-trim. I do agree with you, those 1:33′s are impessive, but qualifying runs don’t tell the whole story.

      • Rainman (@rainman) said on 1st March 2014, 15:32

        superb Williams! Wow! amongst all the teams, Williams was the only car which was faster than the 2013 car and by a mile. 2013 Bahrain q2 time of the best Williams of bottas was 1.34.1!!!! the 2014 car is almost 1 sec faster than the 2013 car…thats just brilliant..! they definitely are in for the podium finishes along with mercedes and mclaren. Go Massa…

        • matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st March 2014, 15:38

          I suppose it isn’t as surprising seeing as their use of EBD was apparently actually damaging them then. As they managed to improve during last year by losing the EBD, I’m not shocked that despite the other aero changes they are still doing better than a year ago.

        • chris411 said on 1st March 2014, 19:47

          then again, it was set on super-softs while last year’s Bahrain GP was driven on hard and medium compounds. we don’t quite know how much more conservative (e.g. harder) this year’s tyres are though.

      • Mike (@mike) said on 2nd March 2014, 13:47

        Well, given that the rules are changing to reward those who conserve the most energy, it’s to be expected.

        I think this year is going to be fantastic. The reliability being a problem can only be a good thing, like the old days. And even if it’s not your cup of tea, the teams will be back on top of things in no time.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 1st March 2014, 15:40

      @ciaran – Exactly. Is being nearly seven seconds faster than last year’s GP2 pole not enough?

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 2nd March 2014, 5:43

        It might be more accurate to compare this year’s race times for each series, which we’ll soon know. It might be more accurate to detail what the conditions were when each of the times that are being used for comparison were set, and different tracks should be taken into account too, and how they treat each series. The difference in times likely varies by the day throughout both series’ seasons. Seven seconds is not a given, at least not consistently. But yeah if they are consistently that far apart then that’s plenty for me.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 2nd March 2014, 13:50

          I think if your asking how fast are the cars then qualifying is a perfectly acceptable way to measure it.

          You have to remember energy conservation is a huge focus this year, so naturally in the race the F1 cars won’t be as fast as last year, however they will be using much less energy to do it.

          I’m really excited about the prospect of qually and the race requiring totally different skill sets. It’ll be interesting to watch which teams and drivers come to the fore in each.

  7. smokinjoe (@smokinjoe) said on 1st March 2014, 14:52

    Looks like RB10 hates vettel,not even a single lap while caterham with the same renault engine completed 117 laps.Things looking gloomy for red bull

    • davey said on 1st March 2014, 15:08

      while caterham with the same renault engine completed 117 laps.

      caterham have not been running the engine anywhere close to full power, hence why they have been so much slower than others.
      other renault teams have tried pushing the engine to its full performance & have been having trouble as a result of that.

      The Ferrari is said to require less cooling, The mercedes is next while the Renault runs a lot hotter than the other 2.
      on sky last night it was noted that ferrari have not needed to open up there cooling vents at all while the others have.

      • avl0 said on 1st March 2014, 16:01

        That isn’t really true, their fastest time is a 1:38 compared to what is probably a 1:33 of the top teams, putting them about 5 seconds behind which is more or less where they were last year. I think their car is just so unoptimised that they haven’t had an issue with cooling in the same way.

      • Jason (@jason12) said on 1st March 2014, 18:58

        caterham have not been running the engine anywhere close to full power

        Are you basing this solely on their pace or do you have source for this?

      • Joshua Mesh (@joshua-mesh) said on 1st March 2014, 19:02

        @davey :
        “Ferrari has been introducing more parts of its update package. On Thursday, we saw the new front wing and yesterday came the revised engine cover.

        “This creates a larger outlet around the exhaust. There is also a variation in the size of Coke bottle outlets and the inlet duct on the spine of the cover feeding cool air into the turbo.”

      • Timothy Katz (@timothykatz) said on 1st March 2014, 20:31

        on sky last night it was noted that ferrari have not needed to open up there cooling vents at all while the others have.

        But then on Ted kravitz’s report he noted that McLaren had closed up some of their cooling vanes.

    • Mashiat (@) said on 1st March 2014, 15:09

      And the F14T hates Raikkonen!

    • Maciek (@maciek) said on 1st March 2014, 15:28

      Maybe his cars have finally grown tired of being saddled with cheesy wanna-be sexy names.

    • Nothing lasts forever and the era of Vettel dominance has to end somehow. In F1 history only Schumacher before him has had a similarly competitive car for equally long. It is not to take anything away from Seb but he will not be the first champion to get dethroned by new regulations if that is indeed how the season turns out.

      Personally I will greatly appreciate the change but I certainly hope it will not be another “Brawn-ish” year, with Mercedes 1.5 seconds ahead for the first half of the season. I hold nothing against any of the drivers, but boy it would boring to behold!

      I am already starting to look forward to 2015 with a more even field, no double points and…. let’s just say no DRS as well! :-)

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st March 2014, 17:54

      Looks like RB10 hates vettel,not even a single lap while caterham with the same renault engine completed 117 laps.Things looking gloomy for red bull

      @smokinjoe Don’t think I am nitpicking here. I guess you meant Renault engine and not RB10. Otherwise, you should be comparing him with Ricciardo, right?

  8. matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st March 2014, 14:53

    If race pace is considerably fuel limited and tyres and their strategy are less pivotal, then pole position- or at least leading after the first corner- could be even more important than normal. I expect qualifying performance to shape the outcome of in-team competition more than it has recently.

    • Blackmamba (@blackmamba) said on 1st March 2014, 15:07

      That’s why I’m backing Hamilton whereas most people feel Rosberg has the advantage. Of all those looking to be in contention the best qualifiers are Hamilton and Hulkenberg so it’s btwn these 2 for me, at least in Melbourne. The Ferrari doesn’t seem to have the pace so I don’t think they will even be challenging for a podium.

      • Jeff said on 1st March 2014, 15:13

        Ferrari will do their 1st quali sim tomorrow. @blackmamba Just hold your horses.

      • matt90 (@matt90) said on 1st March 2014, 15:42

        I think a lot of people took Rosberg’s 3 consecutive poles to mean that he was really a challenger to Hamilton. And over the course of the season Rosberg was fairly close in qualifying, with Hamilton only beating him 11-8. But Hamilton was supposedly not happy with the car for the majority of the season. Maybe that was smoke and mirrors, but I reckon Hamilton will prove the stronger qualifier by a greater margin this year.

      • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 1st March 2014, 15:44

        Rosberg is a very good qualifier also though: did he not have a streak of 4 pole positions last year?

        And he was the only driver capable of challenging Vettel in Singapore.

    • LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge) said on 1st March 2014, 19:32

      You got it all wrong. If the race pace is limited by fuel, pole position or leading into the first corner will be considerably marginalised.
      1985 and 1986 seasons spring to mind.

      • avl0 said on 1st March 2014, 19:48

        from what has been reported by the mercedes teams after their race sims fuel saving isn’t that big a deal. Apparently they’re only having to do a fuel saving lap every now and again and that’s in bahrain the worst track for fuel consumption. At a number of other races they don’t anticipate having to use it at all.

        • LotsOfControl (@for-unlawful-carnal-knowledge) said on 1st March 2014, 19:55

          I am not talking about Mercedes or any team specifically. I am just saying if race pace is fuel limited, the race will go to the team with least fuel saving problems.
          That means it doesn’t really matter whether you’re on pole or not. It sure does help, but not really an issue. Of course in Monaco pole always helps :)

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 1st March 2014, 20:20

      @matt90, I’ve been wondering about that, whether it is an advantage to lead. In previous seasons it obviously was. The dirty air ruined the tyres of the following driver, and even last year we heard several radio messages along the lines of “drop back, cool the car”. With cooling being much more critical this season, it might be even more of an advantage to lead.

      On the other hand, I’ve also heard the suggestion that it might be an advantage to follow instead of to lead, if you can save fuel by staying in the slipstream of the car in front. I suppose how the equation balances out depends on how warm it is on a particular day, and whether the following driver can keep his tyres in reasonable shape.

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 2nd March 2014, 5:52

        But only one car can lead and I’m trying to envision sitting in a car’s slipstream to save fuel and not shortly blowing by him via DRS at the next available opportunity. Wouldn’t that be a surprising new phenomenon…drivers electing not to open their DRS. Perhaps it would be more like a see-saw battle, swapping leads by the lap, with the aid of DRS.

        • Mike (@mike) said on 2nd March 2014, 13:56

          Well, they would open DRS, instead reducing throttle if they were just trying to follow.

          I doubt it’ll end up like that though. On an oval, for sure, but road courses don’t really allow it.

          Maybe in Italy or Belgium?

  9. Alex McFarlane said on 1st March 2014, 15:01

    Early days but I have a sneaky feeling this could be Massa’s year. The Williams seems reliable and quick when pushed, and free from Ferrari politics he’ll be free to run his own races.

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st March 2014, 18:05

      I am actually caught in a dilemma here. I want Massa to become Champion before he retires; but at the same time I do not want to see Alonso with just two WDCs against his name.

      • dave said on 2nd March 2014, 23:42

        I think 2 wdc are enough for alonso’s talent, given the fact that more talented drivers won less than he did.
        not the most talented driver out there. would be strange to have him and senna with the same number of wdc, since he’s nowhere near senna as far as talent is concerned.
        even the fact that he has one more than raikk and ham sounds strange to me.

        • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 12th March 2014, 4:45

          not the most talented driver out there. would be strange to have him and senna with the same number of wdc, since he’s nowhere near senna as far as talent is concerned.

          @ dave The claim that Alonso is not the most talented driver out there is a lot of speculative opinion and cannot be proved by factual supporting.

          Do you understand your logic suggests that Senna is inferior to Prost and Vettel?

  10. Jeff said on 1st March 2014, 15:07

    In before all the change of heart who’s winning this years titles and the ever continuous “looking bad for RBR” “looking good for “

  11. Spencer White (@jojobudgie) said on 1st March 2014, 15:10

    Encouraging for Marussia. A second quicker than Caterham.
    But I’ve gone and cursed it now haven’t I…

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st March 2014, 18:10

      If praising a team for them being ahead in terms of lap time is considered to be jinxing/cursing then perhaps Mercedes, McLaren and Williams are the most jinxed/cursed ones out there right now. :P

  12. Fsoud (@udm7) said on 1st March 2014, 15:11

    Mercedes engines occupy the top 4 times overall. It looks pretty unlikely to change tomorrow, IMHO.
    Things look bleak for Ferrari, they may have a good car Aero wise but the engine has let them down.

    • Mashiat (@) said on 1st March 2014, 15:23

      In fact, it is probably a mixture of the Power Unit and their Aerodynamics. Listening to people like Gary Anderson, Craig Scarborough etc. the Ferrari is pretty conservative and also produces much less downforce than the Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull.

      • Fsoud (@udm7) said on 1st March 2014, 15:36

        Their Aero is definitely better than last year, thats what I mean. It doesnt match McLaren or Mercedes by the least nor Williams

      • Mashiat (@) said on 1st March 2014, 15:41

        *McLaren

      • HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st March 2014, 15:58

        Dont forget, less downforce equals less drag equals lower fuel consumption.
        A 1.32 might get you pole but if you can only finish the race doing 1.39s maybe it’s better to start on the 3rd.row and do 1.36s all race long.

        • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 1st March 2014, 16:10

          I didn’t follow yesterday or today much @hohum, but there were no impressively quick (or consistent) race simulations from Ferrari, were there?

          I do think that it might be a good choice for Ferrari, given that they had trouble getting the ultimate in downforce over last few years, and with the small amount of cooling they apparently need, but so far sounds coming from them have been muted.

          Of course, the last time they ended the winter feeling favourites, they started the year well but then got overtaken by McLaren and Red Bull, so being conservative might indeed be a good choice, if only to manage expectations!

          • HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st March 2014, 16:19

            @bosyber, all I know is what I read here. I’m not saying I know any facts, just saying we have another unknown factor to consider this year when we try to evaluate the relative performance of the cars.

        • anon said on 1st March 2014, 21:27

          I wouldn’t necessarily say that less downforce automatically equals less drag, otherwise you would have expected teams like Caterham and Marussia to have dominated the speed traps in recent years. Usually, in fact, it is the opposite situation and Caterham and Marussia have been towards the lower half or at the bottom of the speed traps.
          Equally, over the course of the 2013 season we saw that, although the RB9 appeared to produce the most downforce, in the latter half of the season their straight line speed was also relatively good – Webber even topped the speed trap in the Japanese GP, so the car wasn’t short on straight line speed.

          In reality, it is not just a question of total downforce but of aerodynamic efficiency – in the case of Marussia and Caterham in recent years, their overall aerodynamic efficiency was lower than their rivals, such that they had lower peak downforce and higher drag than their rivals. Similarly, many drivers pointed out that Sauber had a car that, towards the latter part of the season, probably produced similar downforce figures to their rivals but, because of the design of their cooling systems, produced slightly less drag and was therefore still fairly quick in a straight line.

      • Tomsk (@tomsk) said on 1st March 2014, 16:06

        You could say Ferrari are playing to their strengths. If it’s a bit of a handful to drive, and the drivers have to rely on their skill, reflexes and relentless pace – can you think of two better drivers to have in the team?

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 1st March 2014, 19:57

        @mashiat

        Listening to people like Gary Anderson, Craig Scarborough etc. the Ferrari is pretty conservative and also produces much less downforce than the Mercedes,

        I’ll rather listen to James Allison who is one of the most respected engineers in the business, he said the car meet the team’s expectations BTW the Lotus E20 features the same concept of reducing drag it didn’t even has the coanda exhausts until the end of the season and it was genuinely quick especially in race conditions. @hohum explained it very well otherwise what’s the point of having the most powerful engine if you’re only to use that power in qualifying and in one third of the race ?

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 1st March 2014, 16:29

      I hardly believe that is down to the engine, mostly. Last years we had Renault engines, now Mercedes (because Renault has problems)…
      Ferrari has the most expensive engines, so now wonder the “engines fight” is not over their engines. Next year McLaren will have Honda engines, but I still expect them to be in top 5… as usual.

      • Tifoso1989 (@tifoso1989) said on 1st March 2014, 20:00

        Ferrari has the most expensive engines

        Renault has the most expensive engine, Williams switched to Mercedes for that reason (thanks to Toto) the Ferrari is the cheapest engine but the problem for teams who want to buy it is the strong closes in the contract just look at Marussia, they got the Ferrari engine but they give Bianchi a race seat which is a good thing BTW

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st March 2014, 18:16

      Things look bleak for Ferrari, they may have a good car Aero wise but the engine has let them down.

      I suppose you have ignored the fact that Ferrari have not run a genuine quali sim all along. Ferrari’s priorities for these tests have been validating their wind tunnel findings with correlation from the track running, performing race setups and doing long runs.

  13. Mashiat (@) said on 1st March 2014, 15:11

    Yesterday I said that it is as clear as day that Force India will win both the WDC and the WCC. But today, I had to eat my words. Massa and Williams for both Championships!

    • Jeff said on 1st March 2014, 15:14

      And tomorrow you will change your mind again, like so many have over the past 11 testing days.

    • Neel Jani (@neelv27) said on 1st March 2014, 15:52

      Dude (You make my day!). At this rate, you may have to eat your words every single day. I mean you are changing your prediction for the WDC and WCC based on every single test day? Common…you can’t be serious!

    • SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st March 2014, 18:21

      @mashiat Interesting to see that you keep on changing your predictions based on the test data. It is not like the winner of Australian GP is going to be awarded the WDC and WCC. So, you must have had some valid assumptions to back up your prediction of Force India winning both WDC and WCC. I am interested to know what additional information you have or assumptions you have made which has compelled you to abandon that prediction and hop on to another one? Or are you being very close to Andrew Benson? ;)

  14. Shomir Das said on 1st March 2014, 15:12

    I really hope Williams are fast this year, perhaps even Massa getting the WDC? That would be the most feel good story ever!

  15. johnny stick said on 1st March 2014, 15:13

    It seems all that running Ferrari did with their power unit in that test mule payed off. I wonder if Renault should protest and have the homogolation rules rescinded till the end of the season?

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