Felipe Massa, Williams, Bahrain, 2014

Massa on top as Vettel fails to complete a lap

2014 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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

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Image © Williams/LAT

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

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  1. 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?

      1. Hahah +1
        I was thinking of Ugly Ursula :)

      2. Butt-ugly Bertha

    1. Fiery/Flaming Fiona? Or maybe Stationary Stephanie?

    2. My friends have made plenty of suggestions:
      Smoldering Sally
      Smoking Samantha
      Burning Bettie…

      1. Miss Piggy.

    3. Overheating Olga.

    4. “Horny Veta” !

    5. Haunted Hedda :P

    6. “Completely-cack-Cynthia”
      At least, I think that’s what Seb shouted today.

    7. Hung Harry

  2. 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.

    1. Well, I hope so. It’s about time Williams had some good days.

  3. Daniel (@collettdumbletonhall)
    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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?

    1. And who better to come storming through the field on Sundays than Alonso and kimi?


  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. 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.

  10. 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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