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. Mashiat (@) said on 1st March 2014, 15:20

    Wow, this year is shaping up to be great! Williams, Mercedes and Force India, in fact, seem like the top 3 teams. I am rather worried through about the pace of that Ferrari, as today being Raikkonen’s final day before FP1 in OZ, he was probably going for a qualifying simulation and he was still 2 seconds off the pace! I am still pretty curious about the strange case of Raikkonen having much less running than Alonso, as well as looking much less balanced in that Ferrari based on footage from Bahrain on YouTube, as well as not being comfortable without his preferred Steering Feedback. I might be wrong, but based on the Pre-Season Tests, Alonso might have a comfortable enough edge on the Ice Man.

  2. Lance (@lancelot) said on 1st March 2014, 15:20

    Felipe is faster than you.

    It would be funny if it turns out that Williams is faster than Ferrari, and Massa ends up higher in WDC standings than Alonso.

    • R.J. O'Connell (@rjoconnell) said on 1st March 2014, 15:32

      I don’t see it happening but Williams can definitely threaten for a T5 berth in the WCC while Massa and Bottas could win one race each.

      Then again, I said this exact same thing last year with Maldonado and Bottas. But the overall feeling is that Williams’ pace is much more genuine this time around than in last year’s tests.

      • JKorz said on 1st March 2014, 18:00

        Plus all the recently acquired personal bolstering and evolving the team as a whole, they are starting to look really good and I am really pleased Massa looks like he has landed with his feet firmly on the ground at Williams, lets hope they continue to evolve and progress during the season.
        It will give me great pleasure to see Massa and Bottas leaving the likes of Alonso and Maldonado in their wake.

      • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 1st March 2014, 20:28

        @rjoconnell, actually, last year I did not recall any impressive testing times from Williams, and I think the sentiment that they would do well was more based on the positive comments from the drivers and the general feeling (hope?) that they would build on their occasionally strong form in 2012.

        This year, I have not seen that many testing times (I follow the tests, but there is no longer any overview of lap times done per car) other than Massa’s quick lap today, which is certainly impressive enough.

  3. Maciek (@maciek) said on 1st March 2014, 15:22

    The futility of Red Bull’s pre-season so far is mind-boggling. The higher you climb, the harder you fall I guess.

  4. Lucas Wilson (@full-throttle-f1) said on 1st March 2014, 15:22

    Two thoughts I would like to mention:

    1. Am I the only person who thinks that this will be Caterhams last season in F1?

    2. Its not looking good for Ferrari, I feel bad for Alonso as I feel he deserved another championship and Ferrari have let him down badly, knocking on McLarens door for 2015?

    • Fsoud (@udm7) said on 1st March 2014, 15:43

      Agreed on 1 and 2.
      Though now that McLaren is back on track (atleast is testing, pun unintended) and Alonso has not displayed any interest in the last few months publicly Macca may not take him.
      Too bad, Nando.

      • avl0 said on 1st March 2014, 16:04

        Yeah agreed, they just havent made any progress whatsoever since they joined, they’re just as far behind as the ever were.

        And i think ferrari might have done a 2013 mclaren and built a car that should be fast but handles poorly and can’t be pushed.

      • JKorz said on 1st March 2014, 18:12

        “Alonso has not displayed any interest in the last few months publicly”

        What !? You think if he was considering or interested in signing for McLaren from 2015 that he would announce or talk about it publicly?!
        The only thing that gave us a sniff of this happening last year was after Webber announced his retirement and Alonso started to show his frustration for Ferraris failings… I think there were rumours of Alonso’s management having been seen talking to Whitmarsh but nothing was ever confirmed or collaborated as far as i remember.
        If and when Alonso decides to move on i doubt we will know or have any inclination before he has signed on the dotted line.
        It remains to be seen if the new power structure at McLaren would be interested in such a move anyway, i think Whitmarsh said he would welcome Alonso back, but where is he now!?
        Ferrari better come good this year if they want to keep one of the best drivers they have ever had.

  5. Rainman (@rainman) said on 1st March 2014, 15:28

    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…

    • avl0 said on 1st March 2014, 16:08

      Makes sense, they were scoring points last year when they took off their coanda exhausts. If you think this year there’s 30% less downforce from narrower wings, no exhaust blowing and skinny rear wing then williams were actually only 20% down because their exhaust blowing never worked anyway.

      Having said that, rosberg was 2-3 tenths slower than his overall fastest time today, and he did that time on softs whereas today he was on supersofts, so I think that mercedes probably had quite a bit of fuel in it. I’d honestly expect the merc to hit a 1:32 flat with supersofts on fumes and everything turned up.

  6. ching ho (@chingh) said on 1st March 2014, 15:30

    Given what I know about Red Bull at the moment, I have four plausible names for Vettel’s Car:
    1) Nosey Natasha
    2) Lazy Lara
    3) Unreliable Eugenia
    4) Slow Sarah

    Any other suggestions?

  7. Yoshisune (@yobo01) said on 1st March 2014, 15:36

    I know it’s early days and you shouldn’t read too much into testing times, but that Williams looks fast. I mean, it’s testing, but last year Mercedes and Ferrari shared the top in the last test, and they were both race winners.

  8. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall) said on 1st March 2014, 15:55

    What is up with the Renault? I thought they were supposed to be quite pleased with the effects of their nose.

  9. HoHum (@hohum) said on 1st March 2014, 16:11

    I will be very happy if the above times are representative of the grid for at least the 1st. half of the season. Every dog deserves it’s day, and no team is more deserving of a change in fortune than Williams, FI also deserve encouragement, hopefully Sauber can regain form and the tail-end teams can luck into some points.

  10. Swindle94 said on 1st March 2014, 16:40

    It looks pretty obvious that qualifying is gonna be dominatdmed by mercedes powered cars, but I still believe Ferrari will be there on Sunday. With its low drag and small cooling requirements, the Ferrari looks to be designed just for Sundays. And who better to come storming through the field on Sundays than Alonso and kimi?

  11. danieru said on 1st March 2014, 17:01

    Would love it if the Force India and Williams rubbed in the noses of the works Merc team at the first race – definitely be an interesting dog fight for podium places at the start of the year even if I suspect the Mercs are going to take the top steps.

    2 seconds off the pace for Ferrari though on supersofts at the end of the session is bit of a shocker though – the Marussia was closer to Ferrari than Ferrari were to Williams and Merc in qualifying trim. Ouch.

  12. SeaHorse (@seahorse) said on 1st March 2014, 17:38

    The more I think that tomorrow is the last day of preseason tests, the more I feel the teams and FIA could have done something to squeeze in one more round of testing before the first GP in Australia especially considering the massive step into the unknown in terms of the new powertrains and reliability and cooling requirements of them. The teams have unearthed a lot of reliability issues during these tests. But whether they will be able to mitigate or eliminate those issues come Australia? A few teams may be; but definitely not all I suppose. I think we may happen to witness some unpredictable racing and results in the initial few races like we had in 2012 (albeit due to different reasons).

    More than the lap times I am interested to know more about the gear ratios that the teams would use. I am really fascinated by the potential impact the ‘fixed gear ratios’ for the season is going to throw at the teams’ preparations for each grand prix. With the freeze on gear ratios, the teams are losing one of their valuable variables using which they would otherwise mitigate the effects of impact of rain etc. Would any team/driver optimize the gear ratios for the entire season? Or for a majority of grands prix? Or focus on a few/single grand prix like Abu Dhabi? Interesting days ahead.

  13. lubhz (@lubhz) said on 1st March 2014, 18:00

    It must be quite hard to be in the garage trying to make your car fit enough to at least leave the pits, whilst you hear Nico passing the main straight 100 times.

  14. DaveW (@dmw) said on 1st March 2014, 19:02

    These sad tales highlight another unsavory counsequence of a double-points final race: teams who dont get their stuff together in time for the first race are essentially getting a break. The first race should be double-points too if we want to fair about things.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 2nd March 2014, 14:10

      Good point, in both of your sentences. Not that I think they want to be fair about things. I think that if they MUST have hateful awful double points, having it at more than just the last race at least takes some of the lottery out of it, and gives drivers a chance to answer back if they get robbed in one race through no fault of their own other than a points scheme. I ‘like’ your idea of double points in the first and last race, and failing that I ‘like’ the idea of having the last 3 races doubled, at least compared to one lottery race at the end where I envision the WDC having a huge asterisk beside his name.

  15. Buzzzz12 (@buzzzz12) said on 2nd March 2014, 0:55

    Does anyone have info on why day 2 times are a lot less than day 1…..what have they done or was it just track conditions?

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