Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014

Mercedes a second faster than us – Button

F1 Fanatic Round-upPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Jenson Button, McLaren, Albert Park, 2014In the round-up: Jenson Button says McLaren are a second per lap off Mercedes pace ahead of the first qualifying session of the year.


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Mercedes a second faster than the rest, says Button (Reuters)

“We were two seconds off them (Mercedes) in the test, we’re over a second off them in the long runs.”

Grosjean: We need mileage (Sky)

“We have never done more than ten laps in a row, I believe. There are a lot of unknowns and we cannot be confident. But we can certainly hope for that.”

Vettel relieved at improved Red Bull (BBC)

Vettel: “The biggest difference is we got new parts, not necessarily performance parts but we didn’t have the spares at the testing and you end up with a fix here and there.”

Brake-by-wire hurting Toro Rosso (Autosport)

“Sometimes it doesn’t want to recharge and the brake goes all forward and you have no brakes on the rear and you lock the front and just go straight in the gravel.”

Exclusive: Ecclestone: I’m surprised teams haven’t quit F1 (City AM)

“‘It isn’t good for Formula One to have a team which isn’t paying its drivers,’ Ecclestone added, before defending Lotus. ‘Is it better not to pay the driver that isn’t starving?'”

Who’s got the new formula figured out? (MotorSport)

“Ferrari looks more competitive in qualifying – where there’s no 100kg fuel limit to worry about – than in race day trim when it seemingly has to run less power to remain within the instantaneous fuel flow limit of 100kg/hour.”

Formula One turns back time and looks to revitalised future (The Guardian)

“Formula One is not short of technical brainpower and within months, perhaps only weeks, Newey and his rivals will have their troublesome new cars running sweetly. Until then there is likely to be a rare chance to enjoy grand prix racing as it used to be before the computers, with their hatred of the unpredictable and inefficient, took control.”

The words of a winner (McLaren)

Ron Dennis: “This sport doesn’t take prisoners and it isn’t easy if you’re on the receiving end. It was extremely difficult for Ayrton [Senna], but I’d like to feel that I helped him a great deal.”

1964 Daily Mirror Trophy at Snetterton (True Racing)

“Arguably the most significant performance that day came from one of the support races: a young Scotsman named Jackie Stewart had won the Formula Three race in a Cooper (entered by Ken Tyrrell), after he had pulled a 48-second gap… in three laps’ time.”


Comment of the day

@Petebaldwin has misgivings about how much fuel-saving we’re going to see on Sunday:

I don’t care what settings the car is in and whether the engine is turned down – F1 should be about drivers pushing 100%.

If they’re having to coast around for 90% of the race, what’s the point in watching? I could sit outside my house and watch cars cruise around.

I’m really excited about this season but I am also really nervous about Sunday! I know tomorrow is going to be great but I’m worried that Sunday will simply be cars cruising around slowly afraid to race each other.

From the forum

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If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

1994 F1 seasonAlain Prost confirmed he would not be returning to F1 20 years ago today. He announced on French television that despite having tested McLaren’s MP4-9 a few days earlier, he would not be returning to defend his world championship title.

With practice for the first race of the season just ten days away, McLaren quickly announced Martin Brundle would drive for them. This was initially on a race-by-race basis, with Philippe Alliot also on-hand to drive if needed.

Meanwhile JJ Lehto returned to the cockpit to test for Benetton as he continued to recover from neck injuries sustained in January.

Image © McLaren/Hoch Zwei

20 comments on “Mercedes a second faster than us – Button”

  1. 1 Second!! Are McLaren sure Mercedes gave them all the parts to the engine?!!?

  2. Regarding the new rule: why would anyone serve the 5 seconds in the pits instead of having it added on to end time? Is it just a matter of whether another pit is needed before the race is over? Five seconds in a pit could really be 5.25 seconds, for example, and with a time penalty you will be 5 seconds ahead in the race and so have more control over the race.

    1. Maybe you expect to come out behind another car, so sitting back for 5 seconds keeps you away from the dirty air. Or maybe it puts you in the path of another faster car which you can hinder and try to keep behind, whereas waiting for the penalty might allow the other car to easily coast up behind, within the seconds.

    2. Imagine car A is 28 seconds in front of Car B. Car B is significantly faster with 8 laps remaining. Car A’s tires are dead and has to take a 5 second penalty. If the pit takes 20 seconds plus the additional 5/6 seconds for the penalty he’ll be 3/2 seconds in front. He then might have a chance to defend his position and still be ahead compared to Driver A’s 8 second lead after the pit stop whittled down under 5 seconds by the end of the race. Very situational but there are reasons for it.

    3. Because, having those post-race penalties are the worst thing ever. I can’t really believe someone is asking for a post-race penalties instead of the in-race ones.

      1. I’m not asking for the penalties, I’m saying given that they exist, why would anyone prefer it during a pit stop if there is a choice? Only in very special circumstances would it seem to be preferable to the driver or his team

    4. The way I read it was that the driver can take the 5 second penalty during his pitstop, if he needs to make one still.

      So, he’d pull in, they’d wait 5 seconds, then work on the car.

      But, if you don’t need to pit, it’s just added to your time at the end.

      That’s how I read it, anyway!

  3. Vettel seems to suggest he can dial in the power/economy that he wants, do the other cars have this ?

    1. Engine settings, yeah, everyone has it.

  4. I wonder if this is gonna be another 1988….

    1. @wsrgo can you enlighten my mind please? you mean McLaren domination? (in this case Mercedes?) nahhh

      1. @omarr-pepper Yeah I meant that Mercedes might be as far ahead of the rest as McLaren were in 1988. Of course, average gaps have gone down, but this gap is huge. Again, we need to watch the whole first weekend to have any idea of how the season might pan out, and even that is not exactly representative of how things are.
        I’ve just got a feeling that other teams need to come up with something special in order to stop Mercedes, and that’s not happening anytime soon. Probably not this year.

        1. @wsrgo Did the qualifying today made you change your mind? :P

          1. @paeschli Not really, all that it showed was that Mercedes are strong in a range of conditions. The wet is a great leveller, and we don’t have an exact indication of the pecking order yet. And of course, it is the Sunday performance that matters, if Merc’s long run pace in FP2 is anything to go by, we won’t have a fight on our hands if the race is dry tomorrow..

  5. While nicely worded, I think the COTD is nicely worded, I would think that the teams learnt from 2010 when they were all overly cautious in the first race instead of really pushing only to find out that they hadn’t even gotten close to the tyre limit.

    Now off course they do know far more how much fuel they are using, but I doubt they are going to be just coasting. And off course Melbourne is about the second most fuel heavy tracks on the calendar, its going to be more easy next race already even without teams managing to optimize it more and more.

  6. Mashiat (@)
    15th March 2014, 4:01

    Does anyone else realize the fact that Red Bull still don’t have the mandatory cameras in the front of their car?

      Apparently, Newey found a loophole.

  7. To be able to hear the tires squishing and the crown cheering is so cool, I’m glad the engines are quieter. WOOO!

    1. crowd*

  8. As my 14year old son pointed out, the radio messages sound like they are from one office to another..

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