Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014

Rosberg quickest as Raikkonen crashes in Bahrain

2014 F1 season

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2014Nico Rosberg underlined Mercedes’ growing status as pre-season favourites by putting the W05 on top of the times sheets for the second day in a row on the final day of the second test in Bahrain.

Rosberg’s lap of 1’33.283, set just over two hours into the session, was the quickest time of the day to the tune of well over a second and a half. Second-placed Jenson Button had a similar margin over Kimi Raikkonen’s third-placed Ferrari.

The Mercedes driver was also responsible for two of the seven red flags which interrupted running during the day. The first occurred when he stalled the car during a practice start. Nonetheless he still managed to cover more laps than any other driver.

Williams’ newly-signed test and reserve driver Felipe Nasr had his first day at the wheel of the FW36 and set the fourth-quickest time of the day.

Reliability remained a theme as the second test came to an end. Daniel Ricciardo made a few appearances on-track for Red Bull before the troublesome RB10 returned to the garage for a lengthy stay. Sister team also Toro Rosso also suffered another unproductive day.

Caterham chose to give Marcus Ericsson some additional running but no sooner had he set his first lap time of the day did his CT05 stop due to an electrical problem. After a lengthy delay to their programme it was time for Ericsson to hand the car back to team mate Kamui Kobayashi.

The second test came to a low-key end as Kimi Raikkonen and Adrian Sutil both stopped on track during the final half-hour, causing the final two red flags of the day. While the Sauber driver, who failed to set a time all day, broke down on track, Raikkonen lost control of his Ferrari at the exit of turn four, making contact with the barriers on the inside of the corner.

This was a particular disappointment for Marussia, who had sent Jules Bianchi onto the track after a “massive effort by the team” to fit new parts to the MR03 following a string of reliability problems during the week.

DriverCarBest timeLapsDifference
1Nico RosbergMercedes W051’33.28389
2Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes MP4-291’34.957661.674
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari F14 T1’36.718823.435
4Felipe NasrWilliams-Mercedes FW361’37.569874.286
5Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault E221’38.707595.424
6Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes VJM071’39.258195.975
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault RB101’39.837156.554
8Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault STR91’40.472197.189
9Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault CT051’43.027179.744
10Marcus EricssonCaterham-Renault CT051’45.094411.811
11Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari C337
12Jules BianchiMarussia-Ferrari MR035

2014 F1 season

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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89 comments on “Rosberg quickest as Raikkonen crashes in Bahrain”

  1. You can’t help but consider the idea that McLaren and Mercedes are on a different level at this stage. It’s only testing but they’ve put in the most mileage, and have set the quickest times.

    1. Jenson sounded a bit persimistic though saying Merc were ahead of McLaren, or was that just mind games and Macca have an ace up their sleeve. However I think Ferrari will be at the sharp end battling for wins and it will be these 3 teams that will fight it out for the Championships. But to win first you have to beat your teammate! Can you imagine the inter team battles we could witness with a championship on the line? Jenson v Kevin; Fernando v Kimi and Nico v Lewis. Oh the suspense and anticipation! Bring on Melbourne.

      1. I can’t wait!!

        1. i say this every year, but this year i truly can not wait!!!

          1. Same here, but I can’t escape from this feeling that maybe we are fooled by this testing results. I mean it seams that we all forgot the fuel limit part of the 2014 rules story. Maybe Mercedes has the fastest car over a single lap and the most reliable, but if it’s not “fuel efficient”….? If Ferrari has a some kind of ace in the sleeve than I guess that fuel consumption could be the one. Regarding the McLaren, I still believe that rear suspension/spoiler could bring down force advantage especially on the twisty tracks.

  2. So Rosberg did a 33.283 – a whole 6.144 seconds faster than Leimer’s 2013 GP2 pole and the fastest lap ever seen at Bahrain in anything other than an F1 car – still think F1 in 2014 is too slow?

    1. and there not even running full boost and revs for the most part, they say the top speed on the back straight is 10kmph faster then the highest top speed this time last year, so says alot, the torque is going to allow for higher downforce applied as the engine has now got the physical grunt to push the car though the air

      1. Higher downforce equals less fuel economy, so it is my hope that the teams are forced into less downforce than last year, which has been stated is the case. They aren’t using EBD anymore and they don’t have the lower beam wing and the front wing is narrower, so for me it will be a travesty if they haven’t actually reduced downforce in spite of all that, and in other words haven’t done anything to curtail the dirty air effect.

        1. The dirty air bit is what I’m really concerned about going forward. If that is still a problem we’ll be seeing even more DRS gimmicks to allow over taking in the future.

          1. Actually, thinking about it – less rear downforce overall surely means DRS will have less effect!

          2. @strontium yes, and the rear wing itself is smaller and shallower so the DRS should have even less effect than the overall reduction in downforce would account for.

          3. @daved if you had been following the testing, the “flap” for the drs will open wider which will compensate for the shallower angle of the rear wing.
            that said it may not make much difference on tracks like spa

        2. @mat-k You’re right, I forgot that the flap was opening wider this year. Still wonder if it will make as much of a difference this year, relatively speaking, with the overall shallower wing??? Will be interesting to see.

          1. yes, i know i say it every year but i REALLY cant wait for it to start.
            i think with the cars having less downforce and the way the noses are i reckon dirty air and thus getting up behind and over taking is going to be a hell of alot easier.

            im also investing in a full hd 600hz 3d tv. so this season sound be awesome even if the racing isn’t lol

    2. Depends on several things based on an individuals outlook…are the lap times we are seeing sustainable once they race in anger at hot venues and have to watch power unit temps, and conserve fuel? Are you satisfied with whatever the gap in times might be between F1 and GP2 once they race in anger? Are you satisfied with the speed of F1 relative to what they had going on say 20 years ago? ‘Too slow’ is subjective and will be up to the individual to decide. And pace is only one aspect. Too slow, or very fast is for me irrelevant if either way we have processions and DRS passes only. Whatever the pace is, I just hope it is not a pace that is for the majority of the time dictated by what the drivers are told to do from the pits.

      1. Well, owing the fact that F1 cars in 2013 were almost always slower in the first few laps than GP2 cars were in the first few laps, and owing to the fact tyre degradation has a more detrimental effect, most of the time, on lap times than fuel conservation, so I expect better race pace in 2014 (at some tracks). Am I satisfied with the speed of F1 relative to what they had 20 years ago? Yes, I am. Do I know that they could build cars that are fifteen seconds a lap faster? Yes, do I like the idea of drivers blacking out and having inevitably fatal accidents? No. To suggest F1 in 2014 is too slow is essentially suggesting that F1 in recent years is too slow, but I fail to see a way of unleashing the designers and having ballistic laptimes whilst maintaining safety and excellent racing. I also fail to see how we get cars side-by-side and avoid processional races if there is no pace variable other than simply the faster cars and drivers that qualified at the front disappearing over the horizon…

        p.s. Because you are a regular and merited contributor you should think about signing up, that way I can tag you in my comments.

        1. @william-brierty Fair comment. I wasn’t so much as grilling you as making the point that, with the JV inference in mind, it was just his opinion and it comes from a very valid place, as does your opinion.

          I’m personally not bent out of shape about the pace of today’s cars, but I do take JV’s point that there should be a bigger difference to the GP2 cars, and I get as a purist and a dare-devil why he thinks the cars by now should be faster, and I think he is saying it in a big way because he knows how safe the cars and tracks are now.

          There’s no way anybody, including JV, would even consider cars so fast that you could black out, nor going back to an era of fatal crashes, and I think we are far from that and there’s room for more.

          I think you can have impressive speed on the straights and with more emphasis on mechanical grip and much less downforce, invite close racing due to less negative effect from dirty air. That would not take an unleashing of the engineers, and would put more of the show back in the drivers’ hands.

          1. @robbie Agreed, especially on the dirty air comments. I’m still hoping to see them remove the dependence on wings and go more to the body work itself to provide more of the down force. For example, letting them remove the requirement for the flat bottom and allow ground effects.

            I think that would allow for much cleaner air vs the large front and rear wings and bring us the competitive racing and overtakingwe’re all looking for.

          2. @robbie – I get the general notion of JV’s comment, a remonstrance of Formula Gimmick, and the whole “things were better in my day”, but I don’t think the way it was expressed made it especially relevant to the modern configuration of F1. I just think that asking for a wider gap between GP2/FR3.5 is a highly flawed notion if we’re asking young drivers to jump into something twenty seconds a lap faster – it just wouldn’t be safe. And just how faster do we want these cars to go? In 2004 going through Copse in Q1, Barrichello experienced lateral 6G which is right on the edge of the blackout zone (we still get 6G under breaking but lateral G is more dangerous than longitudinal G due to the cranial location of the optical lobe). Personally, I think it would irresponsible to return to 2004 levels of downforce, although you’d hear no arguments from me about returning to the V10s and making up the laptime deficit on the straights.

            With that in mind, I would certainly agree that a return to mechanical grip, which would a) give us great racing and b) make the step up from junior divisions remotely achievable. As chair of FOFA (Formula One Fans Association) I vote we implement a return to V10s and mechanical grip for 2014!

          3. @william-brierty I take your point about safety, but the time difference to F1 from GP2 doesn’t have to be 20 sec. nor does there have to be the pitifully small amount of time new drivers get in a F1 car before they are racing it.

            And I don’t think JV was saying everything was better in his day. He got hauled up on the FIA carpet in Paris for for calling the grooved tires ‘a joke.’ His opinion at the time…give us back the big slicks of the 70’s that gave you mechanical grip while forcing you into smaller wings for acceptable straight-line speeds due to their drag. Mechanical grip, less negative effect from dirty air due to less wing…kill two birds with one stone.

            Not sure but is it fair to say a more favorable mechanical grip to aero grip ratio is safer due to slower cornering speeds due to less downforce or perhaps less on/off effect?…you either have your downforce or you don’t and then you might as well be on ice, whereas you can always have grip from the tires if they’re the right ones.

            Interestingly, they’ve gone toward that a bit this year. As to a return to V10’s? I think these turbos and their torque could be really exciting. They’re the new reality for quite a time yet. So I guess they better be.

            My best case scenario would be that they see that the racing is close in the non-DRS zones such that they get rid of DRS for 2015.

          4. I’m not really nostalgic about the v10s, I think v6 turbos are cool and more representative of the current motoring situation on the road. That being said, the fuel limit bothers me because this is a race. Fuel quantity + fuel flow rate limits a lot the car and the power figures it can deliver. We are dealing with road cars with huge figures in power to weight ratios. It’s very hard for me to believe we couldn’t make F1 faster without making it dangerous (namely lateral G loads.).

      2. @Robbie I’m pretty much sure that we will see a lot more overtakes in the corner than on the straits. This cars are so slippery in the corner that one should be a real champion to manage overtaking in the corner or , for that matter, defend ones position.

        1. @nidzovski That would be great. That would go a long way to improving the product, imho.

    3. Fair point. I think by the end of the year F1 is even going to be slightly faster than 2013. Wrong statement about Bahrain: Rosberg pulled out 1:32.330 in Q3 in 2013. I don´t know if that is the fastest time ever set in the circuit though

      1. @pinkpantherf1 – I was not talking about Rosberg’s lap (which was 2.8 seconds slower than the fastest ever lap at Bahrain set by Webber in 2005), I was talking about Leimer’s 2013 GP2 pole, which was the fastest lap ever set at Bahrain in anything other than an F1 car.

        Yes, I agree, I think we might be faster at the end of this season. Wouldn’t that just illustrate the sheer brilliance of these teams if, by the end of the season, and after losing two cylinders and a heap of aerodynamic grip, we could actually see faster laptimes.

        1. Sorry, my mistake, didn´t quite get the “other than an f1 car”. Thanks for the 2005 data, 2.8 seconds off the pace from an v10 seems pretty amazing, doesn´t it? Definitely looking forward to seeing how this season unfolds!

    4. @william-brierty – I think people were too quick to judge. The new formula is so different that we have to wait a few races before we can really say if it improves F1 or not.

      on another note – now I’m starting share your sentiment that RBR and especially Renault are loosing ground. I still think it’s too early to write them off but the start of the season can only be described with – disaster.

      1. @tmf42 – My line is, in essence, there is absolutely no reason why Vettel won’t win the championship, but Red Bull will certainly be less than optimal in the first few rounds. As far as I’m concerned, the lack of progress this week has effectively cost them points.

        1. Vettel 2014 champion.

        2. RB will probably be in a position similar to 2012, needing the first part of the season to get things sorted out. If you go with the hypothesis that they have effectively lost points due to their lack of progress, the real question is how many points. Minimizing the number of points lost in the early season will be key to their season.

          1. Look how 2012 ended…

          2. yet 2012 was the same as 2011.. same engine evolution the the car before it
            the lady on the test program said the same,
            im like this is a WHOLE new game,

          3. Yes, Red Bull will fight to the bitter end. I think of 2012 as a bad dream . But fair play to Sebastian.He has been supreme .I think the Double points will keep the championship alive even if it is a brawn gp type scenario.

        3. @william-brierty I think the difference this year is that many of the variables are out of the control of Newey and RB and under control of the R :-)
          They have to overcome their chassis issues, go without any type of blown exhaust AND deal with the issues Renault are having.

          Unless something changes drastically before next week, Renault could be supplying them with an engine that is quite underpowered for this season due to the engine freeze next week. Sure, they’ll sneak in some changes for “cost” or “safety”, but it could be a very rough ride getting up to the speed compared to the power that seems to be coming from the Merc engines.

          1. what im trying to say is it wont be like 2012, or infact 2013 or any other year before for that matter. these are completely and utterly toattly different cars in all but the sense of the word,
            now chassis,nose,engine,braking,engery recovery and downforce, fuel regs, tyre compound changed, then all the software and hardware issues on top.
            a mean feat none the less. thus why red bull have some way to go, like a fat kid running a race trying to catch up. they will get there but how quickly will be how much weight they have carrying forward in to the races

  3. Button already admitted that Mercedes were definitely faster than them, and then they go another second quicker today. Mercs are looking seriously fast

    1. It’s always said not to read too much into the times and pecking order during testing as the start of the season always throws up some surprises… but a few of the consistently fast teams during pre season testing are generally up there as well.

      If I had to choose a packing order right now, I would have to go with mercedes followed by mclaren and maybe Ferrari in 3rd

      1. as just said tho. there 10 kmph faster then they was this time last year

        1. It must be frustrating for Ferrari when they thought this year was going to bring them glory they find they may have to go through a tough battle to win it against another team, although a different one, maybe 2. Ferrari have only ever been able to win the title when they had absolutely no competition but against Renault they were trounced, beaten into a pulp by RedBull before that it was Williams and McLaren. The only exception to the rule was 2007 when the two McLaren drivers shot themselves in the foot.

          1. The only exception to the rule was 2007 when the two McLaren drivers shot themselves each other in the foot.

            Fixed :)

          2. 2000 wasn’t exactly a walkover either. You could make the argument that Red Bull haven’t won with any real competition either (not that I am).

            Just because Ferrari were the best team in the early 00’s and Red Bull have been the best in recent years doesn’t detract from either team’s achievements. Stating that they simply had no competition is a fallacy and an unfairly reductive statement. Both teams did the best job. It was up to other teams to beat them and they all failed.

          3. @blackmamba

            Ferrari have only ever been able to win the title when they had absolutely no competition


            Oh, no competition at all during those seasons, huh?

          4. @kingshark
            I barely recognized you but still Nice Avatar mate!!!!

  4. not only that, merc apart from Ferrari are the only teams to really have a car molded and desgined around there own chassis/ car, i dont even believe redbull have a engine desgied for them, rather a general power unit

    i have very strong belief that with no blown floor, the redbull is no a nobody just like they were before the genius mr newey came up with the idea and perfected
    merc, ferrari and mclaren are going to be the front runners this year.

    1. It’s truly alarming for all concerned at RedBull when Horner and Newey have had to go back to the drawing board again especially with the rumours that its not the Renault engine this time but the chassis. They are not just falling behind but they are stood still still in the same position they were in Jerez. Time is running out and some are suggestin they may have to go to a B-spec which would require crash testing which equates to time they do not have. Horrible for Ricciardo, but Vettel still has his four trophies to sustain him until he gets a competitive car.

      1. i trulley believe its the non-blown floor part that killin them

        1. I tend to agree with you on this one. I think they’re in big trouble without that blown floor.

      2. Great news for the vast majority of fans though.

        Although I’m a Ferrari fan, I really don’t mind who wins this year as long as it’s somebody other than Vettel!

    2. @mat-k

      you do realize that Newey was building very fast, championship winning cars without blown floors? They weren’t always the most reliable cars, but they were usually fast.

      1. yes im fully aware of this
        but, the whole basis of the 2010 car was built around and off the back of 2009 car, and they got so wrapped up on the blown diffuser that when the rules changed they struggled for a while, but came back, they have also had there eye on last years championship so much so that i think this years car will suffer
        the problem is the blown floor has completely gone now, and the fact there totally different chassis and engine basically hits the rest button for every one, so what they had last year they certainly dont have this year!
        which has shown.
        so those that may not have been so close are now very close and may even be on the other side of things,
        like any year and any rule change, only time will tell

  5. Just one second slower than last year’s pole position, these engines are a lot more powerful than anyone expected. 336kmh through the speedtraps yesterday, I’m starting to like these new regulations!

    1. Yes, if they’re already within a second of last years pole and they don’t even have qualifying type setups or time to find speed in the cars yet? And a speed trap of 336kmh? Yeah, I really think I’m going to like these new regs.

      1. 336 for ferrari, with merc engines cars similar, but 30kmh slower for all renault cars unfortunantly. looks like Renault have really stuffed up this year, i believe their engine is there abouts, but seems like the Energy system is an utter disaster. redbull and lotus are likely to be lapped in Melbourne.

        1. OK, you heard it here first: Bianchi will lap Riciarrdo in Melbourne! And Chilton will still be trying to finish while they’re standing on the podium :-)

  6. At least if it comes down to a championship fight btwn the 2 Merc drivers we will get an exciting battle as opposed to the less than stellar efforts of Mark Webber at RedBull. These new rules will suit Rosberg better over a race distance but first he will have to beat Hamilton in qualifying regularly to improve his chances of winning the title. Either way I make Mercedes overwhelming favourites for the constructors’ championship.

  7. Ten car grid in Australia Ferrari Mercedez McLaren Force India and Williams . The rest not qualifying being to slow or mechanical problems . Race four cars finishing after a boring race . Maybe I am just a pessimist

    1. I think you’re being too pessimistic by a long shot. You’re leaving off Sauber and Marussia. I expect all of the Mercedes and Ferrari engined teams to be within 107%. And their reliability is not too bad either considering this early stage with plenty of time, testing and practice sessions to go before race day.
      Caterham have proven even the Renault engines can run race distances right now if you give them enough air to cool off. But I do worry about their speed when you have to open up the side pods that massively. But I wouldn’t count Adrian Newey out until you see him actually fail. The guy’s “kind of good” LOL

      1. im sure redbull have a great car, and if fitted with merc or ferrari engine, and merc ERS, then they would be doing the same well as mercedes in these tests. looks like renault have utterly ballsed it. 4 more days of testing wont turn it around.

  8. At this rate

    1) At season opener Can Red Bull qualify within 108% of the Pole position time ?

    2) Even if they manage to do that can they complete the entire race distance ?

    3) Even if they manage to complete the race distance can they be ahead of Maurissia & Caterham ?

    1. I’m telling you guys, Marussia and/or Caterham will get their first points this year! :-)

    2. well isnt it sad that redbull cant compete with out there blown diffuser design i swear this is what has carried them and truly believe adrian found something no one else managed too.
      remember how much they struggles for the first part when the throttle on downshift was banned.

  9. Hi all,

    I thought I’d post my quick calculations of testing mileage for Bahrain, and 2014 testing overall (please note these are rough calculations, so while they should be representative, they may not be completely accurate). I’m impressed that Williams clocked up the most distance despite missing almost the entire first day of Bahrain.

    Bahrain Test
    Williams 1748
    Mercedes 1705
    McLaren 1602
    Ferrari 1553
    Caterham 1369
    Sauber 1288
    Force India 1153
    Toro Rosso 752
    Red Bull 628
    Lotus 601
    Marussia 157

    2014 Testing Overall
    Mercedes 3073
    McLaren 2686
    Ferrari 2664
    Williams 2522
    Sauber 2009
    Force India 1799
    Caterham 1705
    Toro Rosso 991
    Red Bull 720
    Lotus 601
    Marussia 289

  10. Can we please have what tyres Rosberg did his time on? Some say it is the Softs…others say the Super Softs. This is important info….

    1. And I believe Rosberg did a 1:34.8 on medium tyres as well (about 1.5hrs in), beating all other cars for the week.

    2. It definitely was the Soft. I got it from Autosport who are usually reliable on info.

      1. Thanks, I was looking for that as well. :-)

    3. i know they were running super softs at end of day 3. so i presume super softs. i know button was doing race pace/distance while others were doing quality times, then others like williams literally just doing pitstops lap after lap

  11. The Kimi crash is something I look forward to seeing more of this season. Not that I particularly like crashes.. But with the added torque and reduced downforce we’re more likely to see drivers squirming during close-battles. Get a bit keen, lose your edge and squeeze the accelerator too much.. you’ll spin up your tyres maybe even spin off!

    This is the pinnacle of motorsport. Finally rid of the Scalextric cars! Let’s see these drivers drive

    1. watching the cars give it beans, altho there not at full boost or revs, there squirming out of slow corners or tight bends while in low gears and on the throttle.
      gonna take f1 right back to the 80′s when we saw senna and prost show us how to really drive,
      i hear that button has really come in to his own with the increased tourqe,
      its funny, watching pr meets with the drivers,
      ferrari are really struggling with technical issues.
      redbull well… vettal gave it away, he couldnt keep his eye at the camrea, just kept looking around while talking, so serious issues going on there, i mean newey and horner fly back to base! must be bad!,
      then there’s poor perez he’s really down in the dumps. he had it good were he was then now a mclaren reject, which i think has and will hamper he cararer
      looking at the rest of them well they seem to be really finding it hard.

  12. I think what we’re seeing is going to be an overall faster car on most circuits by the time they get some development time under their belts…say mid-season? More power, better acceleration and higher top speeds. They’ll be behind in high speed corners, but faster everywhere else on the track.

    Of course, I’m talking qualifying times and perhaps fastest lap during a race. But overall race pace? That could be a problem as you balance conserving fuel this year vs. trying to save your tires last year. Will be interesting to see.

    1. I agree, I think they will likely struggle on the Silverstone and Suzuka style circuits but anywhere with low speed exits and long straights they will be all over 2013 times. Monza I expect we are looking at a new lap record, something we haven’t seen on established circuit for almost 10 years.

      1. i cant wait to see monaco. now thatll be fun!!!

        i also agree, this isnt just a one year battle, this is going to be a massive battle swapping race wins and titles over the next 5 years, then maybe there go bigger on the hybrid side of things, were the engine will only be used on the start, out of tight corners and power to pass, the rest will be by electric motors hooked up inside the hubs,

  13. whats with all the no.2 drivers at ferrari ?? last year massa crashed lot of times, now kimi started, wonder if its the pressure to match alonso makes these no.2 drivers to crack. Wing or brake failure is one thing, but lost control really ??

    1. but alonso aint nothing special. yes a good driver but hes no better then the rest lol!

      ive never been one to understand the ferrari hype.

    2. Zain Siddiqui (@powerslidepowerslide)
      22nd February 2014, 20:48

      I think you underestimate Kimi, alonso_fan. He’s certainly not a number two driver. He was WDC in a year where Hamilton and Alonso were driving pretty competitive cars (and McLaren were stealing data from Ferrari that year, too). And Kimi crashing is not a new thing; he’s made a mistake or two over the last couple of years.

  14. I wonder whether Red Bull are considering switching to Mercedes power this season already. I realize there are all sorts of problems with such a move, both contractual and practical, but there is some sort of precedent in the shape of the Lotus engine being completely rubbish in Indycar a few years back.

    I’m pretty confident Renault have already lost Red Bull their title defences this year (even Caterham are complaining about the engine), while the Mercedes power unit has proven to be fast and reliable.

    1. that contract swap is
      a, waaaaay to late to even think of, i mean the car would have to be redesigned
      b. i doubt it very much merc would put a engine in there car,
      c. i would suspect torro rosso would then also have to be supplied by merc making that 2 chassis to remake.

      just not possible, at least not this year,

      ive been saying since middle of last season, merc will have the turbo units down to a T, they have come from a long way back and done everything properly.
      not sayin renault are bad or not done things right, just look at renault production cars and renault turbos as a whole. they as a company have never grasped how these things work.

      in short renault are waaay out of there depth with this one

      1. Disagree totally. Ever heard of a little hatchback called the Megane Rs? Renault have a long history of turbo road cars and were the turbo pioneers in F1.

        However the idea of RBR switching to Mercedes will NEVER happen. They tried a few years ago and it got vetoed by McLaren I believe! and after four years of dominance there is no way the Mercedes factory would give the reigning champion team access to the best engines. No, I fear that for RBR 2014 will be a bit like 2008 – great chassis (possibly) hampered by an underpowered engine package. Add in the poor reliability and as someone has already said it will be a shame for Ricciardo to have switched this year.

      2. @mat-k, I think it’s a bit early to totally think it’s a turbo problem. Everything I can see indicates it’s more of an energy recovery issue which they are not dealing with very well. As @clay said, it will probably be more like 2008 but Renault will have more latitude to try and fix these engines.

        Having said that…Mercedes have clearly put some resources and high priority on these new Power-Units and I wouldn’t be surprised to see those wily Germans stay on top. They are freakishly good engineers when they put their minds to it :-)

        1. i never said it was a turbo problem, i was referring to road going vehicles
          yes @clay, but thats one car in a long line of other production cars,
          never the less i was just making a short point about renaults poor grasp on these engines
          the problem is both software and hardware for renault, being they bought 2 updates so far to temporarily fix the issues they were having but also having mechanical issues like batteries and ers etc

          im not sure how anyone can reference any previous years, that like me saying remember 1997 when xx team didn’t do this well they still won the title. it must mean this year will be the same,you all cant be further from the truth, this is a new era with nothing that has gone before being the same, even drivers in different teams
          you’re talking different chassis, noses, tyres engines, ers from kers and even braking to the rear, if there was any thing further away from the 2013 car there couldn’t be

          if we was to ignore the engine reg change, then this would be any other day at the testing, throw in a very very complicated power unit, ers and drive by wire on top of the reduced downforce and no blown floor, well thats a mad witches brew which is going to make for a awesome season and going to turn a lot of things on its head, ie williams making a comeback, and maybe witnessing the fall of red bull (for the most part of this season at least) a lot of people i talk to about this think itll be boring with drivers pussy footing around each other trying not to spin there wheels. i feel total opposite to their opinion, guys like kimi lewis button(maybe hes not as sharp as he used to be, maybe hes smooth touch is the key) and then guys like alonso maybe vettal and other i forget will be like duck to water,
          then you have the other not so experineced drivers who will struggle alot and if there running merc engines will make for a very mixed field with underpowered renault engines dabbling round the guys that cant quite get to grips with the mercs
          but the main point to that is these regs and certainly the engine has now made these cars like giant gokarts, for those that have raced them as i have will know they have to much power for their small tyres to cope if your not carefull, and as above guy like lewis and others that have a strong go karting background will enjoy flicking these.

          any way
          many may not realize the colossal amount of work involved,
          its all well and good having these power units on a dyno, but when there in the real world they need basically in short ‘live mapping’, a rolling remap if you will
          which basically will mean tweaking and changing the maps to suit and find a balance between boost,temps,ignition advance, fuel consumption, and many other things that im not 100% on
          this is why up until now teams have not been using full revs or boost.
          and this is where renault fall flat on there face, (collectively) they literally have not had enough run time to start ticking of boxes on their programme,

          i just believe renault need to come up with something fast, theres just one more day before testing is over and the engines become homoingnated so that freezes power. so if you havent got the best from your engine mechanical wise well thats tough

          and has nothing to do with germans and putting there minds to it, redbull have been using some tricks that were not picked up on, like the use of the diff for traction control and also the heavily blown floor..
          which is also why i believe brake by wire was introduced, not only to act along side ers but to prevent any traction control because boy are they gonna with they were back in the v10 days when they had every driver aid!

  15. I don’t know is it Kimi or the F14T but he had spun already with LaFerrari

    1. @tifoso1989 – Not exactly surprising owing to the fact it is putting over 900bhp on to the road all through the rear tyres. Even Alonso struggled with it. I wonder why Porsche opted for four-wheel drive with the 918…

  16. The other day Ferrari claimed they were not yet looking for pace.
    Now Kimi goes off.
    I guess he was lighting a ciggie and his concentration lapsed!
    Enough excuses, Ferrari!

    1. I guess he was lighting a ciggie

      Nah. Hip flask.

  17. After following these last tests I really don’t know how much the drivers really know about the cars and the speed. Take for example Jensons comments the other week. . Or maybe I have missed something.

    1. Seems to support what JV was saying. I don’t know…maybe JB is speaking to the reality once they race in anger. Maybe we haven’t really seen a fuel conserving run, nor how well the power units can handle racing in anger, heat wise. Maybe there will be the delta time running we’ve heard will occur this year akin to that which was tire related, and fuel too sometimes, last year. I know they’ve done some race simulations by now so maybe they know more now than they did in early Feb when JB was interviewed.

      1. @mattf1f, I think you’re taking Jenson’s comments out of context. He was talking about early running during testing. If you read further and look at his comments about later in the season:

        By the end of the year we might not be that far off [the pace of 2013 cars], maybe a couple of seconds, which will be pretty good when we get a real handle on where we are.

        And I think they’re surprised already as the cars have shown they’re faster than that already…at least on a one lap basis. We’ll see how fuel conservation might affect that and how it plays vs. last year’s tyre conservation slowing things down during the race. Interesting to see.

        And @robbie, I shouldn’t have been so harsh in my comments against JV as “just a guy who used to be in F1”. He was clearly a great driver. But that doesn’t make him an expert in the technical aspects of today’s engines nor the somewhat exaggerated power claims of his era.
        Electric motors and combustion engines have very different curves for torque and the electrics clearly contribute to these things today. So my real problem is that he was being so negative without balancing it out in anything I’ve seen him say since he has popped back up in the scene. I’d expect more balance.

        I’ve seen past greats in many sports and they don’t always become great ambassadors of the sport going forward. I’m not saying he has to be blindly, cloyingly sweet when he says things, but I’d like to see some balance and some positive contributions to the discussion as well.

        1. @daved Fair comment about JV’s negativity, but I think he was asked about the direction F1 has gone and seems to be going. I’m sure he would be full of good suggestions too as to what he would do to improve the product as he sees it but I think some of what he would say can be inferred from what he has been quoted as saying for now.

          Also, JV hasn’t just returned on the scene. He’s been doing TV commentary and has been a regular contributor to F1 Racing magazine. He also has very close friends in F1, like his race engineer from Williams Jock Clear for example, who I believe is at Mercedes still, having followed JV to BAR with Honda, then BrawnGP, then Merc. JV truly has the inside scoop when it comes to what is going on in F1.

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