Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014

Hamilton on top as Vettel hits trouble in practice

2014 Spanish Grand Prix first practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2014Lewis Hamilton put Mercedes in their customary position on top of the timing screens in the first practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The winner of the last three races reeled off a pair of flying laps in the final minutes of the session to end up quickest on a 1’27.023.

But team mate Nico Rosberg only did nine laps after the team discovered a problem with his energy recovery system.

Jenson Button was second-fastest having headed much of the session in his McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso made it four different cars in the top four. But there were problems for the other Red Bull.

The session was only a few minutes old when Sebastian Vettel’s RB10 came to a stop at turn six. He kept a close eye on the rear of his car, fire extinguisher at the ready, before it was returned to the pits. But he took no further part in practice.

Giedo van der Garde had a scare when he suffered a suspected brake failure at turn one. He hurtled across the gravel trap and came close to hitting the barrier before recovering to the pits.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’27.023 17
2 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’27.891 0.868 26
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’27.973 0.950 21
4 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’28.128 1.105 23
5 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’28.168 1.145 9
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’28.337 1.314 19
7 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’28.423 1.400 27
8 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’28.744 1.721 34
9 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’28.779 1.756 18
10 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’28.791 1.768 13
11 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’28.792 1.769 24
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’28.828 1.805 17
13 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’28.859 1.836 24
14 40 Felipe Nasr Williams-Mercedes 1’29.272 2.249 15
15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’29.688 2.665 16
16 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’29.820 2.797 22
17 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’29.944 2.921 21
18 36 Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.440 3.417 22
19 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’30.748 3.725 19
20 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’30.942 3.919 4
21 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’30.997 3.974 22
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’31.421 4.398 22

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

39 comments on “Hamilton on top as Vettel hits trouble in practice”

  1. The redbull of Vettel with a new chassis (used in winter testing) was not the best choice at the time. it will give Riccardo the chance to keep beating his teammate, Lets hope P2 will show a much better result for vettel.

    1. @sigwa And also the revised more aerodynamic rear package for Vettel. Clearly the new chassis is not an update.

  2. if you replace an PU component during practice, do you get a penalty?

    1. I think I read somewhere that it is the case. And that in most cases all PU are replaced at the same time.
      Can somebody confirm?

    2. If it is during a Friday practise session, I believe that you can change a power unit component without a penalty provided that the replacement part comes from your allocated pool of replacements. If it is on Saturday, the parc ferme restrictions start kicking in then and you would then start picking up penalties for replacing components.

  3. Two seconds slower in a practice session versus last year isn’t too bad. Looking forward to seeing if the gap will be closed in qualifying.

    1. That is on the hard tire too

    2. Especially when you consider harder tires, less downforce and harder to drive car in a downforce circuit !

  4. No excuses, but Vettel really does get hit by trouble often this year, doesn’t he…

    1. DR has had the bad pit stop though

    2. After how good last year was @me4me, he is owed some bad luck ;)

    3. altitude2k
      9th May 2014, 11:22

      The balance of karma, re his luck compared to Webber’s?

        1. Fantastic stuff. People tend to root for the underdog for no good reason and often are cheering for the bad luck of the one who is better…

          1. Sick, isn’t it?

        2. It’s funny how often you’re forced to link that… Ridiculous how scewed peoples view on the matter is

        3. Keith, the stats showed Vettel had less problems than Webber in 2011, 2012, and 2013 and overall and Webber almost 4 times as many major pit stops issues as Vettel. Webber also had many more qualifying-effecting issues than Vettel which I argue is a bigger issue than having to manage a KERS issue from pole…

          1. In all those years Vettel had 8 issues leading to a DNF compared to Webber’s 3, which I argue is a bigger issue than having a few problems in qualy…

          2. At least 5 of those DNFs where from the lead, and two other technical issues caused him to lose the lead. That’s 7 wins Vettel lost due to technical issues. And without those technical issues, he would have won the WDC in 2010 in a walk over, losing at least 63 points. You could say that barring the fueling fiasco in Abu Dhabi in 2012, considering Hamilton retired from the lead, Vettel most likely would have won that race as well.

            Webber on the other hand, didn’t have one technical issue that cost him a victory.

          3. A major pitstop issue is effectively a DNF – race ruined as Ricciardo has shown this year, as Massa famously showed in 2008 (championship ruined), and has been shown dozens of times over the last decade. A qualifying problem, causing you to start 10-20 places lower than you should, is also a much bigger issue than you admit, and is also effectively a DNF because you will are likely to score 20-25 points less than you could have.

            I will not argue Vettel is a superior driver to Webber, particularly since 2011, but I will argue Webber had the second best parts in manufacturing and second best resources (engineers, mechanics) as well as obviously second best support from management which have caused the 4 times as many pitstop issues, many more mechanical/electrical issues in qualifying than Vettel.

            This view agrees with David Coulthard’s view when he was driving a Red Bull Ferrari and said he knew Schumacher would get the best engine, Massa the 2nd best, and Red Bull’s engines would be fourth and fifth best.

    4. Some people would call it Karma…

      1. I call it Christian Horner and co…

  5. Lewis claims the rears are going off. Then goes nearly a second faster than the field. Doesn’t look good for the chasing pack

    1. Gran Jobbe
      9th May 2014, 22:03

      I think when he said rears are going off he meant Jenson’s.

  6. Sam Andrew
    9th May 2014, 11:20

    Marussia setting some reasonable times! looks like they’ve firmly closed up to the rest of the grid.

  7. 22nd only 4.4 s behind. Not bad.

  8. GP2 best time would be 18th in FP1. Bit of a joke in my opinion

  9. Maldonado 8th, that Lotus does seem to have decent pace when it’s not breaking down.

    1. Grosjean was struggling to get either of his noses into the corners though.
      Pastor found a quick way through the last sector in 2012 – maybe he’s using that.

  10. Corrado (@)
    9th May 2014, 12:00

    Maaaaan, Ricciardo dominates Vettel TOTALY, with or w/o luck ! Who’d have thought this ?!? Vettel is like in a free fall. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think his RBR days are numbered if things don’t change ’til the end of the season. I don’t see him at RBR in 2016.

    LOL, Ferrari is praised now for being 4th and 6th, but that did not happen when Alonso was 2nd/3rd in all FPs so far. If things continue the same way/pattern, this race shouldn’t be good for Ferrari. Their performance fell a lot in Quali and Race compared to the FPs, so should we expect them to qualify around 10th position ??!?

    1. Yeah, those 4 laps Vettel did today before his car hit electrical problems were certainly an indicator of how much slower he is than Ricciardo. Good job in noticing…

    2. Ron (@rcorporon)
      9th May 2014, 14:27

      @corrado-dub The guy wins 4 WDC’s (and had a huge part in RBR winning four WCC’s) and after a few bad races (and some bad luck) his days are numbered?

      Give your head a shake.

      1. Corrado (@)
        9th May 2014, 14:37

        Not needed. Maybe you should try… tho ! Everybody has an… end ! Senna had, Schumacher had…. so, what’s that you don’t get ?!?! Then, I said: Vettel’s days are numbered as a RBR driver if things don’t improve ’til the end of the year !!!!!! Please, carefully my post(s), and not just what you want to read ! Vettel’s been with RBR for quite some years now, so I take in consideration a team switch between him and Alonso, for example. Again, I may be wrong, but I think Kimi will retire from F1 after the 2nd Ferrari “experience”, HAM and ROS seem pretty happy at Mercedes, and if things don’t improve in 2015 for Alonso or Vettel inside their teams… this is the most probably switch in my opinion. That’s because Alonso will be tired of these years with Ferrari w/o the winning he wanted, while Vettel will want to “run” from Ricciardo.

  11. Bianchi is the real deal.

  12. looks like McLaren & JB have made a decent step forward, interesting to see if they can dial in to the circuit in FP2 and stay ahead of the “others”

  13. Jochenrindt78
    9th May 2014, 12:48

    Do I smell a McLaren improvement? GO Jenson!!

  14. I remember so many comments from last year going like this: “The days of Lewis Hamilton are numbered, he shall be lucky if he wins another GP…” There you have it! The same guy is on the winning streak now. We’ll be very lucky if he doesn’t win every race…

  15. Why Rosberg did just 9 laps??? Im sure he would have been higher if he had put in more laps…

    1. Reading is good… try it!

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