Felipe Massa has rounded out the last day of the first pre-season Formula 1 test atop the timesheets. The Brazilian finished almost a second quicker than former Ferrari teammate Fernando Alonso as the test session was brought to a close at Jerez.
With more overnight showers hitting the Spanish circuit, the morning’s running was spent on Pirelli’s Wet and Intermediate rubber while thick cloud cover kept the temperatures chilly and slowed the drying of the circuit.
Nico Rosberg was the pacesetter during this phase of the day, with he and his Mercedes team knocking over an important milestone with the first proper race simulation of the pre-season before the lunch break.
With Rosberg having completed the team’s planned programme, the decision was made to put Lewis Hamilton back in the car for part of the afternoon in order to make up for the mileage lost on the first day of testing when his front wing failed.
As the conditions moved into a completely dry track in the afternoon, it was the turn of Massa, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Force India reserve Daniel Juncadella to trade fastest lap times. Massa ultimately took top spot, with his best time coming in the final quarter-hour.
Alonso finished the day second-quickest, three-tenths clear of Juncadella, who amassed 81 laps in his first hit-out in F1 machinery since last year’s ‘Young Drivers’ test at Silverstone.
Day 3 pace-setter Kevin Magnussen was fourth-quickest in his McLaren, despite two spins during his 110 laps behind the wheel – the second of which brought the day’s running to a permanent end in the final ten minutes of the day.
Hamilton was fifth-quickest, while Jules Bianchi had limited running in Marussia’s new MR03, with the sixth-fastest time in Pirelli’s Super Soft rubber perhaps flattering the car’s pace somewhat.
Adrian Sutil was seventh-fastest in the Sauber C33, which continues to hide its true pace while the Swiss team concentrates on getting a reliable platform and gathering data with the multitude of new systems in place for this year’s regulations. The German had another trip through the gravel, triggered by the damp track.
Like Rosberg, Kamui Kobayashi was another runner only able to drive in the less-desirable track conditions in his first outing in the Caterham CT05. Despite running some 15 seconds off the final leading pace, the Japanese driver amassed over 50 laps as the team worked through different engine and torque map settings.
The green machine’s afternoon was cut short by yet another Renault powerplant problem, but the Leafield could take some consolation in getting more mileage than their counterparts from Toro Rosso or Red Bull Racing.
Both teams’ disastrous test sessions continued into a fourth day as reliability problems struck once again. Daniil Kvyat couldn’t even break into double figures on the lap counter before his Toro Rosso broke down, while Daniel Ricciardo’s day came to an end after seven tours – making it 21 laps for the entire week for the RB10 – which will give the team plenty of homework before the next test in Bahrain, starting on February 19.
2014 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Jerez Day 4 Results:
|Driver||Entry / Team||Result||Laps|
|1.||Felipe Massa||Williams F1 Team Mercedes FW36||1:28.229||86|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||+ 0.916||115|
|3.||Daniel Juncadella||Force India Mercedes VJM07||+ 1.228||81|
|4.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||+ 2.577||110|
|5.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team F1W05||+ 2.593||41|
|6.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||+ 3.993||25|
|7.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||+ 8.342||69|
|8.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team F1W05||+ 8.722||91|
|9.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||+ 14.964||54|
|10.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||+ 15.787||9|
|11.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||+ 17.145||7|
Images via LAT, Motorsport.com and XPB