January 30, 2014

Mercedes flies, Renault boils on day 3 at Jerez

Lap times may be six seconds slower than last year at Jerez but at least Formula One cars are now lapping faster than GP2s, something they did not accomplish in the first two days of testing.

Leading the times is Mclaren's Kevin Magnussen.  You get the sense that, never having driven a previous generation F1 car and having to "un-learn",  can actually be an advantage.  I'm sure that was part of the math in Mclaren's decision with the rookie.

Mercedes engined cars had no major issues,  Renault powered ones did.  In particular, Red Bull had serious overheating issues and managed to turn exactly 3 laps.    
There are reports of, pardon the pun, heated words between Adrian Newey and Renault's Rob White in the paddock, just before all of Red Bull's top brass, Newey, Horner, Marko and Dieter Mateschitz left Jerez, presumably in a huff.

Heat management, as predicted,  is already a thread to follow in 2014.  Mclaren have more room under the bodywork for cooling, Red Bull at the other extreme have the tightest packaging possible.

Ferrari seems to be somewhat in the middle and I think we can now safely presume that LaFerrari test mule really was all about testing cooling solutions.   Even so, Alonso was 2 seconds off Mclaren and Williams' pace (cue "Fernando, Felipe is faster than you " jokes).

Red Bull and Renault have a busy night ahead of the last session tomorrow.   Certainly the Renault engine did not sound perfectly happy in the video clip below (thanks Mike Humphrey!).

Check out the warbling sound coming from the Toro Rosso as it accelerates down the main straight.

Pos Driver             Team                  Time        Gap     Laps
 1. Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m23.276s            52
 2. Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m23.700s   +0.424s  47
 3. Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m23.952s   +0.676s  62
 4. Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m25.030s   +1.754s  40
 5. Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m25.495s   +2.219s  58
 6. Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m26.096s   +2.820s  17
 7. Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m29.915s   +6.639s  30
 8. Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m30.161s   +6.885s  34
 9. Robin Frijns       Caterham-Renault      No time           -  10
10. Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      No time           -   3
11. Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      No time           -   5


  1. I'm not one to whine about the new engines but the comparison with 2013 cars is amusing

  2. Jeez. I have a feeling this is gonna be one of the wackiest seasons in F1 history. Right now I'm speed-dialing my Vegas bookie. I'm gonna just go ahead right now and double-down on Max Chilton being the 2014 World Drivers Champ!

  3. It's my understanding that they aren't running these cars at full capacity yet (this includes engine and ERS components). We'll likely see a difference in engine sounds once they are running at full speed. Obviously they won't sound like the V8s, but the V8's didn't sound like the V10s, the V10's didn't sound like the V12s, etc.

    I think the turbo cars sound awesome. There's a lot going on there. excited about this era of F1.

  4. Exactly… There *is* a lot going on there… Looking forward to hearing a full grid at full tilt… I certainly feel better now then I did with all the, "sound simulations".

  5. In some straight passes seams at full speed ... they don't sound that bad. Still I prefer the sound of the Audi e-tron cuatro.

    And those Miss fires of the toro rosso at then end..... the driver seems to be looking at the new amoled display.. thinking. WTF?

  6. It's so friggin cool hearing that turbo spool noise coming from a Formula car.

  7. I don't care what the haters say, I LOVE the sounds of a turbo popping off and spooling up. You really get the sense that there's a lot going on under the hood.


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