Formula 1 rookie Kevin Magnussen has kept McLaren atop the pre-season testing timesheets on the penultimate day of the first test session at Jerez.
While the Mercedes-powered outfits enjoyed another solid day on track, those equipped with Renault engines once again had a shocker, as the French engine builder’s new powerplant continued to cause headaches.
Conditions were extremely chilly when the Spanish circuit opened for business at 9:00am local time, but temperatures steadily rose under the winter sunshine, providing decent conditions for the teams to evaluate their radical new machines and iron out any niggles.
But that’s only possible if the car will fire up and keep going for long enough, as the reigning champions, Red Bull Racing, once again found out to their peril.
He was forced to park his car a few turns into his first out lap when it started smoking from the rear end, and the Australian only managed to complete a further two solitary laps before the Milton Keynes squad called it a day.
Their sister team, Toro Rosso, had a rather more promising day, although theirs wasn’t without issue either. Jean-Éric Vergne had his first outing in the team’s STR9, completing 30 laps in a very stop-start day as technical glitches plagued the car.
Caterham – Renault’s third team on track this week – once again had more problems with its CT05 challenger, with rookie driver Marcus Ericsson not setting a timed lap.
Up at the pointy end of the timesheets, McLaren opted to split its running between Jenson Button and Magnussen, the former proving to be the initial pacesetter in his morning stint. His best time – a 1:25.030 – stood until the last few hours of the afternoon when Lewis Hamilton took his Mercedes a full second quicker.
Hamilton’s time was the fastest of the three days of testing until that point, and he remained on top of the timing screens until the final forty minutes, when Magnussen put in a swift run on the Medium-compound Pirelli tyres to claim top spot.
Hamilton was displaced to third-quickest following a late surge from Felipe Massa, who had his first outing in Williams’ FW36. The Brazilian ensured a 1-2-3-4 on the timesheets for Mercedes-powered drivers.
Force India’s Nico Hülkenberg made it five Mercedes-propelled runners in the top six spots, finishing six-tenths of a second slower than Fernando Alonso, who lost some on-track time with an early stoppage.
Adrian Sutil rounded out the slowest of the timed runners, replicating the effort of teammate Esteban Gutiérrez the day before by crashing his Sauber and ending his day prematurely.
2014 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Jerez Day 3 Results:
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result||Laps|
|1.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:23.276||52|
|2.||Felipe Massa||Williams F1 Team Mercedes FW36||+ 0.424||47|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team F1W05||+ 0.676||52|
|4.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||+ 1.754||40|
|5.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||+ 2.219||58|
|6.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM07||+ 2.820||17|
|7.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||+ 3.019||30|
|8.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||+ 6.885||34|
|9.||Robin Frijns||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||no time||10|
|10.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||no time||5|
|11.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||no time||3|
Images via LAT and Motorsport.com