Kimi Räikkönen has marked his return to Ferrari colours by posting the fastest time on the opening day of pre-season testing at Jerez.
In a day marked by barely any on-track running, the Finn posted a best time of 1:27.104 to finished quickest, some 0.7 seconds clear of Lewis Hamilton, who crashed out at high speed midway through the day.
As was largely expected, the first day of proper running saw those in attendance struck by a multitude of gremlins as the teams sought to get to grips with their radically new cars.
While Marussia’s arrival at the circuit was delayed, McLaren couldn’t get its MP4-29 fired up at all after it was hit with serious electrical issues.
The Caterham team spent its day assembling its CT05 challenger, only managing to send F1 rookie Marcus Ericsson out for a single lap.
The story was similar at Red Bull Racing, with reigning champion Sebastian Vettel only getting on track in the final 15 minutes, during which the circuit was hit by a brief rain shower.
First out on track was Lewis Hamilton, and after some lengthy delays following his installation lap, he got down to business with some timed laps, steadily chipping away with progressively quicker times.
His quickest time of 1:27.820 came shortly before an unspecified failure on the car – believed to be a front wing mounting – which saw him spear into the tyre wall at Turn 1, mangling the F1W05’s very elegantly designed nose and front suspension to put an end to his day and leave his mechanics with a lengthy front-end rebuild overnight.
Hamilton’s accident left Räikkönen to have a relatively untroubled run to the top of the timesheets, although he caused the day’s first red flag when he ground to a halt on his installation lap.
Williams’ FW36 was also delayed in getting out of the garage, but Valtteri Bottas was still able to put the Mercedes car through a few laps to finish a nominal third-fastest, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Pérez and Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne, who both caused separate red flags with stoppages on the Spanish circuit.
Slowest of the timed runners was Sauber’s Esteban Gutiérrez, who clocked up seven laps in the C33.
Day 2 of pre-season testing at the Jerez circuit kicks off at 9:00am local time (GMT+1) on Wednesday.
2014 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Jerez Day 1 Results:
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result||Laps|
|1.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:27.104||31|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team F1W05||+ 0.716||18|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams F1 Team Mercedes FW36||+ 2.978||7|
|4.||Sergio Pérez||Force India F1 Team Mercedes VJM07||+ 6.057||11|
|5.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||+ 9.426||15|
|6.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||+ 15.150||7|
|7.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||no time||3|
|8.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||no time||1|
Images via LAT and Motorsport.com