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Who’ll be quickest in Bahrain test?
Posted By: Justin Hynes  |  14 Feb 2014   |  6:54 pm GMT  |  487 comments

The first pre-season test in Jerez was a revelation in terms of who went well and who did not. One of the talking points to emerge was the gap in lap times set by this year’s cars and those set at the Spanish circuit last year.

This year, McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen set the week’s fastest time with a lap of 1:23.276. In 2013, however, Felipe Massa went quickest, recording a lap time of 1:17.789 on third day of the four-day test.

The more than five-second gap raised a few eyebrows but teams were quick to point out this year’s opening test focused almost entirely on getting the complex new cars up and running reliably, with performance hardly figuring in their run plans. Indeed, it was confidently predicted by many that times will drop as more test miles are completed.

“In Bahrain, I think we can start to work on the performance of the car,” said Adrian Sutil in the wake of the week in Jerez. “The temperature will be close to race conditions and we will have a different package on the car.”

Nico Rosberg, too, confirmed that lap time hadn’t been a concern in Jerez. “Nothing was all-out, not even the driver,” he said. “It was just important to do a lot of kilometres.”

So, the big question is by how much the lap times drop next week and who’ll make the most progress in terms of performance? Some teams say that it will only be at the sec on Bahrain test at the end of the month that we will see the real performance parts coming onto the cars ready for the first race of the new season.

So who will set the pace in Bahrain #1?

And that’s the puzzle we want you to partly solve. We’ve got five copies of James Allen on F1 – 2013: Winning at all Costs to give away to five people who correctly predict which driver will set the fastest lap of the Bahrain test from February 19-22. Prizewinners will be chosen randomly from among those who make the correct prediction. 

No need to give us lap times, though your predictions are welcome. Just tell us which driver will set the week’s quickest lap and once the test is over we’ll get the books on their way to the winners. Naturally enough, entries close on the evening of February 18.

For those not lucky enough to win, we do still have a handful of copies of JA on F1– 2013  available to order. It’s a limited edition collectable, so once this run has sold out, that’s it. Copies will be despatched to most countries around the world. To order yours and to be sure of getting one of the final copies click on this link: http://shop.jamesallenonf1.com/Info/Book.html

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  1. Colin B says:

    My guess: Jenson Button

    1. ptfjd says:

      No. Jenson Button will win Australian GP. Guess who of all active drivers and which team has the most wins there? Button – 3. McLaren – 11.

      1. Mocho_Pikuain says:

        One thanks to that unvincible Brawn and another because Vettel had a brake failure and Alonso spun out due to a contact with Jenson. And the McLaren in 2012 was a bullet, he only beat Lewis at the start and then let the car do the job. As long as the cars are on par, both Ferrari and Merc drivers are ahead of him for the win.

      2. Tealeaf says:

        Really?!?! 2010 was a masterclass of dry/wet weather driving a Jenson strong point, who’s to say even if Seb’s brakes didnt seize up he would have won? From what I saw Jenson won that race fair and square with better thinking and a good consistent pace, also 2012 the car done the job??? He beat Hamilton in a straight fight! If Merc and Mclaren are evenly matched Jenson could easily win the race.

      3. JT says:

        Yeah… he still actually won 3 times.

      4. ptfjd says:

        And if Mercedes tears tyres and Ferrari laps fuel and Red Bull burns…? To many unknown things. Relax, I have only pointed out the statistics.

      5. Richard says:

        Tealeaf: You should understand in recent F1 that there is no such thing as a straight fight. – Pirelli tyres and set up required to achieve good balanced running is fraught with difficulty depending on the car, and engineers. In todays formula comparisons between drivers are pointless and inaccurate. Only when we have a much simpler formula with High deg.tyres, DRS, ERS, and all the other crap can such comparisons have any sort of validity. – It’s an artifice!!!!!!!!!!

      6. Tealeaf says:

        Yes Richard of course even Chilton could win the title in a Redbull…
        Also yes only when Hamilton wins a race its down to driver brilliance no one else…

      7. hero_was_senna says:

        @ tealeaf, no it wasn’t a master class, Button had destroyed his intermediates some laps before the others, he lucked into the tyre change before anyone else. thats it.

      8. Agent Orange says:

        Show me a driver that has won a WDC in the least competitive car. That said Jenson only had the most competitive car for the first half of that season.

        Which driver has won the most GPs in the last 5 years (ie. since 2009)?
        Vettel obviously.

        Who’s second…?

      9. NickH says:

        I honestly think Button will spend a lot of next season trying to explain why he is getting beat by Magnussen

      10. Gaz Boy says:

        What????? Don’t forget in 2009 at Oz Rubens was also driving that “invincible” Brawn and he was outqualified and outraced by Jenson. Also, in 2010 and 2012 Lewis was driving the same car and was comprehensibly beaten by Jenson. Let the car do the job? Er, what about steering, accelerating and braking? I’m sure the driver has some sort of input into that!
        Even if you don’t like Jenson personally, trying to denude his achievements in Australia smacks of sour grapes.

      11. forzaminardi says:

        Indeed, I’m not especially a fan of Button but the same criticism – he either won because the car was good or because other drivers were disadvantaged – could be applied to any driver winning any race.

        The fact is he’s won the Australian GP 3 times, a good record. That has no relevance to whether he’ll win this time out though…

      12. Tealeaf says:

        Exactly, glad some of the british fans agree with me here instead of their head buried so far up Hamilton to see anything, when Jenson is on form and working well with the car he’s a match for anyone and in fact to much for Hamilton to handle as Oz 2012 proved, so far Mclaren seems strong even though its too early to tell, Bahrain test will reveal if Renault are in big trouble or not so yes Jenson can win Melbourne especially if its variable weather during the race, the death of late John Button will surely toughen up Jenson further, roll on Bahrain.

      13. Rodrigo Martins says:

        in 2009 Rubens car had that problem in the starts that make the car stall, and that cost him a lot!. Second in the beginning of the championship JB used different brakes than RB, look at australia gp that JB had that cover on the wheel and RB don’t. That cover made the car slightly quicker.

      14. Gaz Boy says:

        Re Rodrigo: The point is Jenson won 2009 Oz and WDC, Rubens didn’t. As Martin Brundle correctly says, no excuses in F1.

      15. Nick says:

        Are you sure about that?

        Jenson was beaten by Hamilton in 2010 and 2012

        If not for unreliability, Hamilton would have been over 100 points ahead of him in 2012

      16. kieran says:

        I seem to remember the Mclaren pit crew making stupid errors during Hamilton’s pitstops. Had his pitstop been successful he would have come out behind Button, but instead he was behind Alonso which prevented him from attacking Button. Looks like people have short memories regarding Hamilton’s races…

      17. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Nick and Kieran: at the end of the day, the history books show that Jenson won Oz in 2009, 2010 and 2012. As Frank told EJ when Mr Jordan started out in F1 back in 1991: “Who cares how you win a race, as long as you WIN. All history records is WINNERS.”
        Well said Frank.

      18. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Nick: with regards to points in 2012, don’t forget Jenson had mechanical failures at Bahrain and Italy. Also in 2011 Jenson finished an impressive 43 points ahead of Lewis, and remember, Jenson retirements that year were mechanically induced – Lewis retirements at Canada and Belgium were his own crass stupidity.
        Even if you don’t like Jenson personally that’s fine, but at the end of the day going into 2014 he is still the only team-mate who has beaten Lewis over a full season, and for that he has my respect and admiration.
        Having said that, what chance Nico Ros takes Lewis to the cleaners in 2014?

      19. kieran says:

        History books don’t paint the whole picture. I’d rather watch the races and decide for myself, who’s the better driver and who’s more likely to win races. In this case I’d place Hamilton above Jenson. 2011 was a great year for Jenson though, he actually drove even better than in his championship winning year. But let’s not forget, Lewis had to completely alter his driving style to accommadate the new rules and schizophrenic tyres. For Button’s smooth driving style, this was right up his alley. If the formula went back to old school flat out racing (which it should be) Hamilton would annihilate him.

      20. Gaz Boy says:

        RE Keiran: At the end of the day, the rules and regulations are the same for all cars, teams and drivers, and if Lewis couldn’t adapt as well as Jenson then he’s obviously missed a trick – don’t forget Sebastian and Fernando coped pretty well with the switch to Pirelli’s.
        I agree Lewis has raw speed, no doubt about that, but he is inclined to barge into other drivers which is a bit misplaced from a driver of his talent and ability. I think I’m correct in saying Lewis, out of all the top drivers – Lewis, Jenson, Sebastian, Nico Ros, Mark and Fernando – has had more collisions with his colleagues in the last five years.
        Lewis is at his best in leading from the front, no doubt about that, he is sublime at controlling the race from the front. Jenson meanwhile, is superb at coming through the pack: witness Hungary 2006 and Canada 2011.
        Let’s just say the two Brits get their results from different techniques.

      21. martin burrow says:

        yea JB he has something to prove this year he will be lighting

    2. Gudien says:

      You’ve got to be kidding.

    3. Scott Printup says:


    4. Doug says:

      I’d agree.

      Jenson Button

  2. Sandy says:

    I’m going to go with Kevin Magnussen (spelling?)

    Why? Because the Mercedes engines are strong and both Merc and Ferrari will not be chasing the headlines, Ferrari rumoured to be sandbagging. Renault teams catching up, reliability checks i.e. what everyone else did in Jerez. Furthermore, McLaren are supposedly competing for sponsors with Lotus? Why wouldn’t they want to set the quickest time with their wunderkid, causing the media to submit to a pre-season lull and try and liken the new boy to Lewis Hamilton and his debut season

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Good post. While we’re on the subject of Macca, is it possible for you James or anyone else in the British media to go to Woking and give Macca a couple of tins of orange paint. Why? Well we’ve got three teams in silver/grey livery and it looks pretty dull. Six bloody cars in silver/grey! Macca were founded by the Bruce the Kiwi, and orange is the national racing colour of New Zealand (Bruce and Denny raced in orange coloured cars during late 60s/early 70s), so why not a return to tangerine for McLaren? Any Swiss viewers of this post, is it also possible to go to Hinwill and give Sauber a couple tins of, hmm, I dunno, yellow? Come on Sauber and Macca, literally put some colour back into F1!
      Apologise for the rant, but I think it should be mandatory for every team to have a different colour.

      1. W Johnson says:

        McLaren merged with Ron Dennis’s team so McLaren is at best only 50% kiwi… Perhaps orange might not be appropriate!

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        You’re right about Ronspeak’s Project 4 merger…….still, orange would be OK on heritage terms I guess. Come on Macca, lets have tangerine McLaren’s back in F1! Won’t happen though, Ronspeak’s favourite colour is grey…………….

      3. Peter Scandlyn says:

        Well compromise then. How about orange primer?

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        How about half orange, half silver? Silver half to keep Ronspeak happy, and the orange half to pay tribute to Bruce.
        Go on Wokings lads and lasses, be bold………go orange!

    2. Pete says:

      Why do you think Ferrari are sandbagging?

    3. Yngwie Malmsteen says:

      Me too: Kevin Magnussen! :-) But I hope Kimi or Fernando finish ahead

      1. Quercus says:

        Yes. I’ll go for Kevin Magnussen, too. However, it’s not a puzzle and nor is that a solution. It’s just a wild guess, which is frankly the best anyone will be able to do with the information we have at our disposal.

        So the winners will be lucky, not necessarily clever. Best of luck everyone!

  3. Jason E says:


    1. Mark Fulford says:

      Agree hamilton

  4. Andyc_f1 says:

    Jenson button

  5. Jose Sanchez kowalsky says:


  6. Lee says:

    I think Ferrari will step up to the plate at this test and really show their pace. For me the story on 2014 will be Ferrari having the fastest car but failing to land the drivers title because of a meltdown between drivers. Alonso to leave at the end if the season and Rosberg champion. You heard it here first.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I think the driver will get on OK, they’re both, ahem (cough) mature adults. I fear it could be the Prancing Horse turbo system that could have a few meltdowns………………

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Fascinating that in 1977 Renault introduced turbo technology and were christened the ‘yellow teapot’ because it kept breaking down.
        It took the best part of two years before they won a race and this with technology thy had run at Le Mans successfully for some years.
        Ferrari introduced their first turbo engine for 1981 after a run during practice for the 1980 Italian GP.
        By it’s sixth race it was a winner.

        In 1982 and 1983, Ferrari won both Constructor titles, something that eluded Renault technology until the engines returned to naturally aspirated in 1989.

        All last season, I have been told by every journalist and media outlet that Ferrari were the worst of the engines out there, despite no-one having seen them at all.
        Renault seem to have dropped the biggest clanger and I’m yet to be convinced by the differences between the Ferrari and Mercedes engines.

        Anyway, after the last few seasons, I’m trying to figure out what Pirelli and the FIA can do to give the advantage back to Red Bull like previous seasons.

        Anyone who thinks that it won’t be a fair title without the holders taking part has an unusual sense of fair-play considering how the rules have been manipulated for them in recent seasons.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Yes, Prancing Horse did win constructors title in 1982/83. However, as soon as the British bulldog kit car teams got their hands on a turbo engine they smashed the Italian Stallion’s face in good and proper for the remaining turbo era from 1984 to 1988. Remember, Ferrari were humiliated by Macca in 1984, 1985 and 1988, while Frank and Patrick kicked Prancing Horse’s face in the dirt in 1986 and 1987. The irony about the turbo era is that the early “FISA” works teams of Regie, Fezza and Alfa who introduced forced induction into F1 were to be humiliated by those pesky FOCA-Bernie-British kit cars teams when they hooked up with the likes of BMW, Porsche and Honda.
        Will this new turbo era be history repeating itself?

      3. Doug says:

        The only rule manipulation out there is the double points for the last race rule which Bernie openly admitted was done to help Ferrari!

        Strangely, it could backfire on them & help the Renault powered teams if they’re playing catchup.

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        Sorry Doug, do the maths. Also if you truly believe Bernie wants to help Ferrari after LdM attacked him think again!

      5. yohi says:

        finally someone who has something under his head,
        Yes the rules where manipulated in favor of red bull and will be again.yes bernie ecclestone will not even go to court for stealing and bribing.Finally F1 is a business and not a sport and with an israeli businessman running the show(bernie)an israeli man owning red bull and an israeli man (todt) feel free to make your own conclusion.
        Also Rosberg will be champion this year almost on merit.I am a fan(used to be)of Hamilton.but he is at best a has been now,having to worry about his red jets,dogs,gready ex ,still girlfriend ,rap singer he will not be a top driver ever again.Rosberg on the other side is all business and every year at mercedes has made steady progress,if the car holds he will be champion for sure.even the boss (bernie agrees on that and I AM not a rosberg fan.Button will anihilated by kevin magnussen period,.o

    2. chris says:

      That scenario has a familiar ring to it.

    3. Yngwie Malmsteen says:

      LOL It makes sense! But I do believe Fernando has learned a lot from 2007…

      1. Quercus says:

        Not sure he has: but it is a completely different situation. Lewis was a rookie, Kimi is a WDC. This time Fernando will expect a challenge, not subservience, from his team mate.

      2. Messrine says:

        I rate Kimi highly but lets recall he won his WDC but only one point (if I remember correctly). He was gifted it because of the civil war between Alonso and Hamilton. Although I expect tough competition between the two I think that Alonso will outperform Kimi overall.

      3. Darren says:

        Absolutely, I think Alonso’s biggest issue in 2007 was that he was the reigning world champion and had gone to Mclaren expecting undisputed no1 status. He was getting a rookie team mate so it’s understandable for him to think he was going to be the teams focal point.

        The reality of course was different, Hamilton was very quick straight out of the box. The team insisted on equality which riled him a bit given his expectations, but then he got political and probably turned the team against him. So basically I think that Alonso’s problem was that he didn’t get what expected and had signed up for.

        With Raikkonen he knows what he is up against, having raced against him for more than a decade. He is also a former WC and has driven for Ferrari before so is effectively already established with the team.

        I am assuming they are going to have equal status in the team until one of them is out of the championship. Kimi is a team player, he has moved aside for Massa for the championship before. Alonso has never been in a “no2″ position as he has always been undisputed no1 or been in contention for the championship himself.

      4. Gaz Boy says:

        Which begs the question, why did Fernando expect subservience from, all of teams, McLaren? British kit car teams 9 times out of 10 have an attitude of “good luck boys, race each other hard and fast, best man wins.” McLaren, like Frank in the past, have always prided themselves on equality in terms of equipment and resources to both their drivers. They should be applauded for that. If Fernando thought he could waltz into Macca and get them to respond to his every whim at the expense of his team-mate he must have been deluded or been given very bad managerial advice.
        Fernando is a wonderfully talented and tenacious driver, but he can be petulant if things don’t go his way.
        Just saying………….

      5. Manchesterf1 says:


        yea, lets recall Kimi’s title in 2007.

        -Mclaren with full dossier of F2007 design sheet.

        -Unlike the mclaren duo, kimi suffer 3 retirements in that year.

        -It was revealed Coughlan had ferrari’s strategy, setup data, fuel level until the scandal disclose to public.

        -Nigel Stepney invade kimi’s car with some white powder.

        Conclusion, kimi still won despite being handicapped in so many freaking ways.


    4. Doug says:

      Mmm, this season will depend heavily on electrical components…Italian cars tend to be weak in this area..will the F14T be frying cables like its namesakes tend to?
      I know that the Ferrari engine is meant to have a cooling advantage over the rest of the field, so maybe this will help their wiring! :-)

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Yes, so weak that Ferrari has the best reliability of any of the teams..

      2. Doug says:

        Sorry mate…I was talking about THIS YEAR!!
        You know, Turbos (Hot), Bigger battery capacity,
        complex wiring.
        Yes, Ferrari look fairly good so far…but not as reliable as Mercedes!
        I was also making a joke about the F14T name looking like FIAT…a company not known for its electrical integrity.


      3. Gaz Boy says:

        From Gary Anderson’s analysis (and Mark Hughes as well) Ferrari are lacking in strong rear downforce; possibly because their design philosophy is shifting the aero balance too far forward so the front axle has lots of downforce at the expense of the rear. At the moment, if I was a F1 driver, I would want a Brixworth Merc V6, and only the British Bulldog kit car teams have one of those.

    1. Max Smoot says:


      1. F1Cat says:

        Yes, “The Other German”

  7. Jay B says:

    Fernando Alonso

  8. Roddie says:

    Nico Rosberg.

  9. Andrew Carter says:

    I’m going to say Magnussen again.

  10. cookie says:


  11. dzolve says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  12. Christopher Theo says:

    Rosberg will be the fastest one.

  13. Bart says:

    It’s not a question of who’ll be the fastest, it’s a question who’ll save more fuel.

    Seriously, I think Ferrari should do well – they will have a good front wing and plenty of elements on the car

    1. Random 79 says:

      Including a slippery-dip :)

      1. Bart says:

        Whaterver it is – a slippery dip or an elephant’s trunk or a catfish – I don’t mind it as long as it works better than the Renault engine ;)

      2. Random 79 says:

        Bart at this stage everything works better than the Renault engine ;)

        Seriously though I hope they get it together for Bahrain – It would be a shame to see teams spending another four days sitting in the garage twiddling their thumbs.

      3. Gaz Boy says:

        Indeed. If Regie are having thermal discharge problems in the cool European winter, how will they cope in the heat and dust of the desert?

      4. Bart says:

        Would be a shame to race without Red Bull. Anyway, everyone’s talking about Mercedes, yesterday Rosberg, when talking about his opponents, did’t mention Ferrari. Not a good sign for my favourite team? Hope not.

        @Gaz Boy
        A good question, will see tomorrow. Yesterday Newey admited a tight packaging problem. Interesting…

  14. Ron Colverson says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  15. Mark Vadnais says:

    Valteri Bottas

  16. Andrew Woodruff says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  17. Mike says:

    Merecedes are looking solid, so I’m gonna say Lewis Hamilton will be the quickest!

  18. Matt H says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  19. andy says:

    Ferrari yet too show there hand my sensors indicate

  20. Sonny says:

    Rosberg will have the fastest lap.

    1. Matti nykanen says:

      Right u r!!!!!

  21. Malcolm says:

    Political demonstrations are heating up, and on the rise in Bahrain. I hope that it doesn’t interfere with testing, and the later scheduled race.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      I’ve just seen a report on the net about that, and I echo your sentiments. It does make you question whether going to Bahrain was wise for pre season testing; maybe Abu Dhabi, Paul Ricardo or even Estoril would have been more sensible.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        Sorry, typo error, I meant Paul RICARD. Paul Ricardo is the Italian track just over the border………ha ha
        Damm, this Red Bull-Renault turbo keyboard is problematic…………should of got that new silver Brixworth turbo keyboard instead….

      2. Dave Aston says:

        What about the track by a Beatle member going solo, Paul Record?

      3. Dave Aston says:

        What about that track in a small principality, Pau Ricard?

      4. Dave Aston says:

        What about that track in an underdeveloped Scandanavian nation, Poor Rikard?

      5. Dave Aston says:

        One make series at a circuit for people who don’t like 80′s Opels, Deplore Rekord?

      6. Gaz Boy says:

        Weirdly enough Dave, I remember reading an Italian publication years ago – can’t remember which – which had a retrospective report of Ferrari winning “Il 1990 Gran Premio di Francia al Paul Ricardo!”
        Watching that race was a young Yorkshireman called Roberto Smedolio………….
        By the way, what about English translations of French/Italian/Spanish/German F1 personnel?
        Paul Richard track?
        Richard Patrass?
        Stephen Dominic?
        Luke of Montgomery?
        Nicholas Ross?
        Nicholas Hulk?
        Philip Mass?
        Julian Beach?
        Andrew Stella?

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Reminds me of when F1 ignored all the human rights issues in South Africa during the apartheid regime. Obviously the Krugerrand was more important.
      Like Balestre decided in 1985, Todt and the FIA need to grow a pair and state that F1 will not return.

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        The South African issue was VERY hypocritical. I would never endorse the vile apartheid regime, but F1 and sports people have selective memories. Don’t forget F1 pitched up in Spain from 1968 onwards – when Franco’s brutal fascist regime was in power. Nobody complained about that, even though Franco was a mass murderer who ruthlessly cut his opponents to shreds. And yet F1 still went to Spain. F1 went to Brazil in the mid 70s when it was also being run by fascist dictatorships. Again, no complaints. No one objected. And don’t forget in 1986, a year after South Africa was dropped, F1 decamped to Hungary, which until 1990 was ruled by the oppressive and murderous communists of the Soviet Union. Again, no one complained when F1 went to Budapest from 1986 to 1989 that the city and country was run by effectively martial law. And F1 still goes to the one party state we don’t believe in democracy nation of China. Again, no one complains about that.
        I agree it was wrong to go to South Africa, but as I’ve explained it was just as wrong to go to Spain, Brazil, Hungary and even China today, but of course, opposition to their brutal regimes was never fashionable so one in the western world complained. As I said, selective memories and double standards in F1 and the sports community. I think that’s called hypocrisy.

      2. Gaz Boy says:

        Just to add to my above comments, amazing to think when Mrs Alonso gave birth to her daughter Lorena in 1978 and her son Fernando in July 1981 Spain had only just become a democratic country…………….
        As for F1 going to Hungary in 1986, I wonder what Maggie thought of that? Yes, I know Mrs T was not massively interested in motor sport, but being as the race in Budapest was effectively a propaganda exercise for the Soviets, but I wonder if her cabinet contacted the likes of Frank, Ronspeak, Lotus et al to warm them about “Soviet tactics?”
        Who said sport and politics don’t inter-tangle? They do in the strange goings on in F1.

  22. Matthew Kable says:

    Ok, so I’ll take the first guess. Alonso to top the charts with the fastest lap in Bahrain.

  23. Rayz says:

    Interesting question. I think Nico Rosberg will ultimately set the fastest lap time of the first Bahrain test. Mercedes have a habit of pounding in the laps at whatever test they conduct. They not only put down the most mileage at Jerez 2014 but throughout last years pre-season testing, they were constantly putting in the highest lap totals.
    I think they are only one of three or four teams that will realistically be able to spend some of this first Bahrain test on finding performance as well as building on the already established reliability from Jerez. McLaren, Ferrari and perhaps Williams should also be able to concentrate on finding performance at some stage during this next test.
    Meanwhile, the likes of Red Bull, Torro Rosso, Caterham, Marussia, Lotus… (and Sauber and Force India to a lesser extent) have still to put in the required mileage to consider their new car reliable. Particularly, the Renault powered cars need to concentrate first on getting in the laps and getting the engineers the required data rather than finding pace.

    I’d be amazed if any team other than McL, Fer, Merc or Williams ends up putting in competitive lap times.

    Low fuel runs are still not the priority even in the second test though. It’ll be the final test where we’ll get a better idea of who has got a competitive package. And as for the lap times compared to 2013…….. I dread to see how far off the pace they will be. Forget the lap records of the mid 2000′s, a closer benchmark is GP2 quali laps unfortunately.
    I’d like to see them break into the 1m35′s but I have my doubts. High 36, low 37′s my guess.

    1. Jim:) says:

      Lap times are about 2001 level at this time, 2004 were most of the lap records are from, but that’s got more to do with the tyre war back in those days, these cars will get a lot faster so don’t lose hope.

  24. Robert says:

    Jenson Button

  25. Rod says:

    Kimi will be fastest.

  26. Ollie Holland says:


  27. Mike P says:


  28. Em Comments says:

    Hi James
    Can’t see how to enter. Assuming it is via a comment then my money is on Jenson.

  29. Paul Stocker says:


  30. NickH says:


  31. alexbookoo says:


    1. Chromatic says:

      I reckon Pastor will adapt quicker than RG to the new era!

  32. Predictor says:


  33. Sead Marusic says:

    Vettel – 1:37,550 :-)

    1. H.Guderian says:


      I was wondering where are all those VET fans.

      1. Sead Marusic says:

        Well, to be honest I’m not Vettel fan, I’m Renault fan…so I’d like them all to do well. And out of all of them, maybe Vettel is the one who’ll be the quickest (although Lotus with their recent Renault F1 legacy is my favorite team of all Renault powered teams and in that perspective I’d love them to do the best).
        Actually ever since I’ve been following F1 (late 70′s) I was Renault fan.
        And over all these decades I’ve never pushed for a driver (although I liked some more than others)…they (drivers) come and go, while team, or engine supplier is there at least for some good chunk of time if not all the time.
        I see it as the same as if someone is cheering for a single player in a football team. You’re either for a this or this team, never just for a guy on the field (track). :-)
        I really hope that Renault will iron out their side of the story from Jerez, before season starts and at the other hand I’m sure Red Bull, STR, Lotus and Catherham will do the same on their side.
        Can’t wait for Melbourne to see who had done what in all honesty. :-)

      2. Doug says:

        I honestly believe that if Vettel is quickest in this test after being slowest in Jerez that he will win his 5th title this year…can’t see it happening though.

    2. Chris says:

      Agree, Vetted. Red Bull will want to make a statement.

    3. Tealeaf says:

      I seriously doubt their patched up car will be anywhere on the time sheets yet again, Renault troubles coupled with Redbull issues will compound them near the back of the field, and why the jealousy Vettel haters? This is Hamilton’s chance to shine, if they have the fastest car and he gets beaten by Nico then well… game over.

    4. Chuck 32 says:

      Agree – I believe Seb, Horner and Adrian will throw one down just to give everyone pause. Those guys produced a number of fast laps in 2013 on demand. History proves you should not whisper the “King is Dead” until you see the body.

  34. Gavin says:


  35. Grant H says:

    Kevin magnussen

  36. Sead Marusic says:

    Now for real…Groejean 1:38

  37. BHJ says:

    My moneys on Magnussen

  38. Chromatic says:

    Seb Vettel, thereby ending the hopes of many that RB are in for a bad year. Sorry friends.

  39. Witan says:

    What odds on the fastest at the tests not being the eventual world champion?

    1. Random 79 says:

      Good odds.

      The fastest cars at the test tend to be the ones running light fuel loads to try and attract sponsors, while the real fastest cars sandbag.

      Though having said that this year might be different…

  40. Kevin says:

    I think it could be Massa.

  41. Tik says:

    I go with Kimi.

  42. PatrykW says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

  43. Gaz Boy says:

    Hmm…….Vettel. Am I mad? No, just an outside bet!

  44. neil lewis says:

    Magnussen I’ve got a tenner on him for the championship at 40:1

    1. Tim says:

      That was my tip for pre testing bet too

  45. jee1 says:

    Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari F14-T !!

    1. Jonathan says:

      just remembered…

      I saw a red Fiat 500 last week with the reg number spaced slightly wrong so it read F14T TT

  46. Sebee says:


    Yeah, Sead above and I are going to start a lonely two member club. At least we’ve shown a sense of humour and limitless hope.

    1. Random 79 says:

      If you read down a couple comments he was only pretending…sorry :(

      1. Sebee says:

        I hope Vettel IS fastest and Sead gets DQed be James. Now that would be funny.

        Sead obviously hasn’t learned last 4 years that you don’t bet against the V.

      2. Random 79 says:

        James said that the first five to guess correctly wins, but he never said we only get one guess each ;)

      3. Sead Marusic says:


      4. Sead Marusic says:

        I definitely don’t bet against SV and especially on a long run against them…that much (or little) we all know. :-)
        Question was made for next week test.
        I’d love to see Renault powered cars do well and above all Lotus.

      5. Sebee says:

        Once you comment your guess above was a joke it should be DQed. Otherwise you’re making a mockery of James’ efforts to have a nice contest. Integrity of all serious guesses must be maintained!

      6. Random 79 says:


  47. Rob Newman says:

    Jenson Button

  48. Chad Kinney says:

    Daniel Ricciardo

  49. speedy56 says:


  50. Bryce says:

    Max Chilton

    1. Random 79 says:

      Nice to see Chilton’s mum posting under an alias :)

      1. Gaz Boy says:

        He’s sponsored by Belstaff isn’t he? Presumably he’ll be flogging some waxed cotton jackets in Melbourne, Sepang et al……………

  51. Matt Jackson says:


    1. Sebee says:

      Don’t waste your time boys and girls. Matt is the 5th Vettel vote. You missed the bus.

      I guess we just seperated the mice from Vettel fans. :-)

  52. Jason Linnell says:

    I think the iceman will do it KIMI

  53. Peter says:

    Fernando Alonso

  54. shri says:

    - Teams looking for sponsors probably.
    - I am guessing a lot of work will go on high fuel loads and engines will be having higher revs.
    - Will be hard to look into lap times at end of 1st test. Guessing game will continue.

  55. Phil cooper says:

    Button, he’ll also win 2 of the 1st 3 races but my gut feeling is that sadly he won’t win championship, think Ferrari will nail the car mid season and Alonso will nick it right at the end of the season.
    Other predictions: Massa will take an early season win for Williams, Lotus will be the highest Renault powered team, Maldonado will prove he’s not just a piggy bank and Rosberg will out score Hamilton!

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Blimey Phil, Prancing Horse to out-develop their rivals during Europe/Canada? That’ll be a first during this slick tyres era since 2009! Having said that, perhaps James Allison influence could give Ferrari clarity of thought and direction to their Euro/Canada development stage, so you could be right. I think its correct to say whoever has the best Euro/Canada development strategy will have a massive advantage. What goes on behind the scenes in the the factories is just as important as what the drivers do on track…………if any the two cognate with each other.

  56. Dmitry says:


    And looks like to me many think so :)

  57. Aliaksei Kandratsenka says:


    I’d go for Kevin, but I’m not in first 5 willing to bet on him.

  58. Alberto Martínez says:

    Quickest: Rosberg.

    Off topic James,

    As you know, new V6 engines will have to be homologated on February 28. These days there is much talking about the possibility of Renault requesting for permission to make modifications to its engine for reliability reasons.

    Could you write an article explaining to the ordinary fan what are the implications for an engine supplier of homologating an engine? I understand the regulations are written in a way that these new V6s will be frozen year after year in an increased percentage but, to be honest, I don´t know what are the outcomes of that decision. For example: If a engine supplier gets permission to modificate its power unit (for reliability reasons) will it have and advantage over one which doesn´t?

    It would be great if you could shed some light around this complex technical topic.

    Thank you.

    1. James Allen says:

      We are working on one with Mark Gillan

      1. Alberto Martínez says:

        Really looking forward to it James!

      2. Ticketyboo says:

        Yes indeedee

    2. Gaz Boy says:

      Don’t you think this early homologation is daft? At least give the teams/engine suppliers a few months to iron out any potential problems, of which there could be plenty.
      Ah well, that’s the FIA, to quote Al Murray, those Parisians have never been renowned for being common sense, down to earth people……

      1. jjpm says:

        Mums the words…

        mid-range plan :

        1. kill F1

        2. Glorify Formula-E

    3. Daniel says:

      Yep – I’d enjoy learning more about that :)

  59. HerrE says:

    I’ll go for Ferrari and it will be Alonso who sets the pace!

  60. DB4Tim says:

    The one that will be the fastest is the one with the quickest time :)

    There I narrowed it down !

  61. D Vega says:

    Felipe, baby.

  62. Bruce says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

  63. clemente says:

    I think that will be Kimi Raikkonen

    You can follow me on Twitter clemen_alonso

  64. Joady sinnott says:

    Kevin magnussen

  65. dpmattt says:


  66. F1fletch says:


  67. Tim Wright says:

    Felipe Massa

  68. Phil Alloy says:

    I’m a great Lewis fan, but in this case [and from the perspective of the left side of The Pond] I’m going to chance it with Rosberg

  69. Aaron says:

    I’ll say Raikkonen as he’s driving the second two days for Ferrari, I believe.

  70. KenA says:

    Button, hands down.

    Jenson won’t want Kevin to go faster,so he will probably get Day 4, and McLaren must be quickiest for commercial reasons.

    1. Michael says:

      Button, Hands down? U must be joking? He won’t even beat Magnussen. lol

  71. Javier Marcelo says:

    Fernando Alonso.
    The number 14 in the F14-T in year 2014.
    When he won Junior Karts WDC he was numere 14 as well.

    It has to be his year. I bet it will!!!!!!!

  72. @tamtamvideo says:

    1st Kimi
    2nd Lewis
    3rd Fernando

  73. Joey N says:

    Gonna say Alonso.

  74. Bryan B says:

    Sebstien Vettel

  75. Robert N says:


  76. ED says:

    Kimi Raikonen

  77. Ramon Winkel says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  78. Horoldo says:

    Daniel Ricciardo

  79. Cliff says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  80. Mikespur says:


    But the real competition should be for who spins the most, especially throughout the season – My money then is on Sutil.

  81. RobertS says:

    Fernando Alonso

  82. Jacob says:

    One on the Iceman Kimi I reckon

  83. Stuart Harrison says:

    Kimi Raikkonen, lucky number 7

    1. Marpabel says:

      There is nothing to do with lucky number. If we look statistics (historically), then Kimi has in career 39 fastest laps and he is in 3. position after Schmacher (1.) and Prost (2.).
      If we compare Alonso and Räikkonen then:
      Alonso 216 Grands Prix and 22 fastest laps (12. position)
      Räikkonen 193 Grands Prix and 39 fastest laps (3.position)
      Probably it talks about something.

      1. Alexander Supertramp says:

        I don’t think fastest laps mean that much..

  84. Chris says:

    Finesse drivers will be slow at melbourne. The drifters and sliders will be to the front. Kimi won last year, Alonso and Hamilton will be in the mix.

    The championship, Alonso will be hard to beat due to his reliable finish rate and the fact there will be many winners this year.

    F1 is not a true test of man and machine anymore, it’s dumbed down to something called strategy.

  85. FerrariFan says:

    Nico Rosberg

  86. Random 79 says:

    “Who’ll be quickest in Bahrain test?”

    Accompanied by a photo of a shiny McLaren… ;)

  87. garyp says:

    Alonso cos all the other probables are over subscribed!!!

  88. Kev says:

    Sebastian Vettel

  89. Alex Parkin says:

    Filipe Massa…


  90. mario says:

    Sebastian Vettel

  91. LightHorse says:

    Nico Hulkenberg

  92. 45triode says:

    Vettel. What are you all thinking?

  93. Bastiaan Rood says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

  94. renwahh says:


  95. Tom Power says:

    Well I can’t believe I’m one of the first to say Vettel. Red Bull will have it sorted by the end of the test.

    1. Michael says:

      Vettel cannot drive without all that down force and blown diffuser. We’ll see how good he really is this year.

      1. kieran says:

        Actually he can drive pretty quick without super downforce and blown diffuser. But he falls behind quite a few drivers after taking that into account.

  96. Nathan Skelly says:

    I’m going to say Ricciardo.

    Mainly because i think red bull will bounce back, and also cause there is already too many Vettel guesses :D

  97. Jonathan Kelk says:


  98. pusthebutton says:

    Ricciardo… Red Bull will have the best package (assuming of course Renault have sorted their side of things out) and Ricciardo has already shown an ability to get the occasional quick lap in

    1. Jonathan says:

      that is a very big assumption.

      With nobody having yet really pushed their power units (with the exception of renault who could have pushed their cars faster if they had left the engines at home) we have no idea what the cars can do yet.

      All we do know is that Mercedes and ferrari are going to start looking at performance somewhat sooner than Renault.

    2. Richard says:

      Aerodynamically most probably yes, although they did not anticipate McLaren’s innovation, however it remains to be seen if Red Bull can run a race distance without their ERS failing, and if not the lack of power will drag them back down the order.

      1. pushthebutton says:

        only takes 1 lap to set a fast lap time

      2. Richard says:

        Indeed it does, and that lap may put them on pole, but this year is about getting to the end of the race in the least time within the fuel restriction. – It’s asking quite a lot. Reliability will be a massive slice of the final equation. – ERS has to be faultless and it’s an area where Red Bull have shown their weakness. First slight indications was that McLaren may have stolen a march on the opposition, and it’s going to be exciting finding out if that’s the case. Fastest lap in test does not necessary mean a great deal.

  99. Mike says:

    Sebastian Vettel

    Red Bull have something to prove after the disastrous Jerez test.

  100. El Mago says:

    Fernando Alonso

  101. Go dan says:

    Dan Ricciardo

  102. Chris Ralph says:

    Felipe Massa. I look forward to your excellent book James…

  103. Alexander Supertramp says:

    Well, apparently Alonso is one of the only remaining intresting bets. So yeah, Alonso..

  104. Robert Ward says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  105. Anand R says:

    Felipe Massa

  106. AlexD says:

    It will be Alonso, Vettel will struggle

  107. Will Clark says:

    Fernando Alonso…. Ferrari didn’t have the engine at max power in Jerez, Mercedes did…

    1. Michael says:

      Do u know this for a fact?

    2. Richard says:

      No they didn’t! – The Ferrari also had a looser back end.

  108. Leandro Guimaraes says:

    Felipe Massa!

  109. Spinodontosaurus says:

    I’ll take a stab in the dark and say Vettel… always quick there.

  110. CC says:

    Since more than 5 people have said Hamilton/Rosberg/Button/Magnussen/Alonso/Raikkonen

    I’ll take a guess at Force India’s Hulkenberg

  111. Mack E. Avelly says:

    Romain Grosjean -

    Lotus will need to ‘showboat’.

  112. Craig D says:

    Romain Grosjean

  113. Frank Borlina says:

    It will be a straight fight between Mercedes and Ferrari…Rosberg or Alonso…definitely Alonso as he is ever so determind to get one more under his belt before age sets in…

  114. Gilles V says:

    It will be the fastest turtle…

  115. Mickrock says:

    Lewis Hamilton.

  116. Kevin says:

    I’ll wag it too and say Sutil.

  117. Sidd says:

    Definitely Kimi!
    These new regs are right up his alley.

  118. Feral says:

    Massa – Williams will be fighting up front again :)

  119. Wes says:

    I’ll go with vettel as well. I want to say massa, but five people already did it…

  120. Keith Aldrich says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

  121. SamIam says:

    Sebastian Vettel

  122. Chris severin says:


  123. SteveNSW says:

    Daniel Ricciardo

  124. Luke Smith says:


  125. Adrian Setterfield says:


  126. 1.6V6T says:


    And the title at the end of the season.

  127. Michael says:


  128. Michael says:

    I can’t believe all these people voting for Button. He’s not even the fastest on his team. lol

  129. Ace says:

    Mclaren has downforce (rear suspension….thingys)
    Mercedes has the development edge
    Ferrari has a point to prove

    Drivers? Magnussen/Alonso/Hamilton.

    In my opinion, Button’s never been the one for laptimes, he’s a racer first and ‘laptimer’ second, unless of course the Mclaren is glued to the ground

    1. Ace says:

      Or on rails, leave the comparison of ridiculous downforce up to you

  130. Chimp Safari says:

    Jensen Button to be fastest at next test.

  131. Stuart B says:

    Grosjean before binning it on the next lap.

  132. Tom says:


  133. Snailtrail says:


  134. Charlie says:


    1. Charlie says:

      So wish this competition closed today :)

  135. Dave says:

    Nico Hulkenberg

  136. C Lin says:

    #7 Raikkonen.

  137. Baghetti says:


  138. Pierre Champoux says:


  139. Michael W says:

    Romain Grosjean in the Lotus

  140. Elie says:

    Its only a test so Im guessing a rookie will shine again. The instantly quick Raikkonen will fly again on day one with an new upgrade package. But it will be Magnussen thats quickest later in the week- I think this kid is the real threat to the championship hes another Lewis for sure

    1. Yago says:

      Kimi is driving the last two days…

      1. Elie says:

        Well its Kimi then !- thanks

    2. Alexander Supertramp says:

      “For sure”? what are you doing on this forum Mr. Rosberg?

      1. Elie says:

        As long as you dont call me Mr Grosjean we will get along for…nah cant do it again !

  141. Gabrielle says:

    I think the Renaults powered teams will try to make a point pretending that everything is all sorterd and they are read to go and give a good run for others money. At least in the first couple of days, the teams will still be doing checkins, mainly on fuel consuption on high temperatures.

  142. Emilio says:


  143. Yee Pheng Loo says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  144. JohnBt says:

    Massa for his new lease of life at Williams.

  145. Carlos Palomo says:

    Sergio Perez.

  146. Pan says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  147. monktonnik says:

    JB, I hope.

    I think the Mclaren looks good.

    Hope he wins the Australian GP too!

  148. lochgeo says:

    Sergio Perez

  149. Kevin Shiel says:

    Romain grosjean

  150. Quade says:

    Lewis Hamilton.
    2nd would be Magnusen for McLaren.

    Anyways, if my prediction doesn’t pan, then the fastest driver at Bahrain will be the one. I win, whichever way it goes! :)

  151. Oliver says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  152. Gee says:

    Either Romain or Pastor! Lotus rumored to have something interesting up their sleeves..

    1. Chromatic says:

      .. whatever they have up their sleeves will not be hard currency alas!

      1. Bearforce1 says:

        Lulzzz. Nice one.

        I am hoping Vettel or Rosberg.

        Though I think RedBull and Vettel are very methodical and will plod through the test and we won’t see their speed at all (if they have any reliability at all).

  153. mrben says:

    Got to be the main man Kobayashi, catherham and Renault will throw a spanner in the works!
    Well…. Its good to dream, right?

  154. nick styles says:

    Pastor Maldonado of course.

  155. Andrew.F says:

    Sebastian Vettel followed by Kevin Magnussen. Button will be 3 tenths behind his team mate as normal.!!

  156. Storm says:

    One of the lotus boys i think. They are both very fast.. and pastor is even insane. So they just might.

  157. Tommo says:

    Fernando alonso

  158. Paul Braithwaite says:


  159. CRP says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  160. Bottas will be going like a dog shot up the bottas.

  161. Jim says:

    Kamui Kobayashi

  162. marc says:

    Nick rosberg will be fastest

  163. marc says:

    Nico rosberg I should say

  164. Peres Mircea says:

    Kevin Magnussen. Mclaren is fastert than Mercedes, you will see…

  165. Luke says:

    Daniel Ricciardo

  166. Peter Wishart says:

    Kimi Raikonen

  167. neilmurg says:

    Romain Grosjean

  168. James Bond says:

    It has to be Felipe Massa!

  169. A careful observer says:

    Massa, because Vettel will be sandbagging to hide their true pace

  170. Vedran says:

    Bottas. With the time of 1:35.991 :).

  171. jay dee says:

    Ricciardo. But the engine won’t last more than twenty laps. Lol

  172. Ben says:

    Unfortunately my prediction has been made multiple times so I am out of the comp but I’m going to add my voice to the discussion. For me it is between merc and McLaren, I think merc overall have the faster car but McLaren are going for headline times to try and get more stickers on the car. Although I believe Mercedes might be trying to put down a psychological marker – they were first out almost everyday at the first test trying to show just how prepared they are. Also with the amount of mileage they’ve already done they may be aggressively trying to develop rather than worry about reliability. I think Ferrari also have a good car but are trying to hide their pace but we’ll have to wait till Australia to find out! I would be quite worried for red bull if they go top as they always sand bag more than anyone else during testing and if they aren’t this time it makes me think their problems are worse than they are letting on…

    So my prediction than is between Magnusson and Hamilton as they are the best one lap drivers of each team but I’m going to pick Magnusson because McLaren are looking for headline times and Mercedes will concentrate on longer runs!

  173. Bruno says:

    My guess is Hamilton, around 1minute37secs…

  174. Sigmund says:

    Kamui Kobayashi.

  175. Berislav says:

    L. Hamilton

  176. Amit says:


  177. Steve Boden says:


  178. Mario Ramos says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  179. Tom Hayward says:

    Felipe baby..!!

  180. Garry J. says:

    Sir Stirling Moss – or it would be if he was still in his early 20s & driving for Mercedes. Fast, smooth &, if you ever have the pleasure of meeting & speaking with him, a real gentleman.

    Garry J.

    1. Gaz Boy says:

      Moss was indeed a driving genius. A combination of his other worldly talent, a well prepared Rob Walker team and the nimble, agile Lotus 18/21 took the massively more powerful sharknose Ferrari to the cleaners at Monaco and the Nuburgring in 1961. Thank goodness Stirling survived his lethal era.

  181. Richard says:

    Well of course no one really knows, but I think the usual suspects, however McLaren have noticeably come up with something innovative, and it may pay dividends when things start hardening up. The thing to remember though is that fastest may not win the race. The winning car has to be fuel efficient and reliable. Beyond that it will be the team that has managed to recover most downforce, and from that perspective perhaps McLaren have something the others don’t. That being the case I think Kevin Magnussen may prove fastest.
    Red Bull however cannot be discounted and if Adrian Newey’s reputation is to be believed he will have worked hard to recover as much downforce as possible. Lastly I support Lewis Hamilton and I hope Mercedes have given him a car capable of winning the championship. I do however wonder how the fuel restriction will work out in practice at all of the circuits, and indeed may yet prove impractical and require some relaxation of the rules, after all if they end up limping round like a drive out on a wet Sunday afternoon exciting it will not be!

  182. Jason says:

    Vettel just because Red Bull will be 4 seconds faster than their car last year, 9 seconds a lap faster than anyone else and thus lap the entire field before saying Webber was holding them back :P

  183. Lewis Hamilton.. Mercedes engines seem strong?

  184. Juzh says:

    red bull, no doubt about it

  185. Chaitanya Netkalappa says:


  186. Urko says:


    1. Finn Jul says:

      Yes for Kevin Magnussen to be the quickest in Bahrain test!

  187. JohnS says:

    I’ll go out on a limb and go with Massa

    1. Kevin says:

      Me too :D

  188. thinktank says:


  189. Gary Honey says:

    Only the first five to correctly predict will win, right? Looks like my tardiness in getting involved leaves me with the Caterhams or Marussias to choose from. So here goes; MAX CHILTON. I won’t wait for the postman with baited breath…..

    1. jhynesadmin says:

      Our apologies, the competition rules should have stated that the winners will be chosen randomly from those who make a correct prediction. Apologies for any confusion. This has now been updated.

  190. Amit V says:

    Force India – Hulk & Perez

  191. Alan Green says:


  192. Nick Brown says:

    Lewis Hamilton.

  193. Douglas Jefferson says:

    Nico Rosberg

  194. robflamini says:

    He will have something to prove, that red bull are still the team to beat!

  195. David T says:


  196. David Morton says:

    Hamilton by a half second over Rosberg or Kimi

  197. Adam Taylor says:


  198. Robb says:

    Well, despite the media’s efforts to generate excitement in the off-season by getting us all wound up over them, the fact still remains that preseason testing times are almost completely meaningless.

    So I’ll cast my vote for “Who cares?”.

  199. Marc F says:

    Kimi R. For the fastest lap.

  200. Delgado says:

    1. Button
    2. Magnussen
    3. Rosberg

  201. Peter says:

    Nico Rosberg

  202. jrhbcn says:


  203. Grandad says:

    Jenson Button quickest. Macca looks good this season and I don’t think they’ve shown their hand yet. They have a great innovation in the new rear suspension and ciuld just steal a march on the early races this season. Merc will be very interesting to watch too and I think Nico might be a good bet for the championship.

  204. Bradley says:


  205. Steve Boden says:

    Felipe Massa

  206. CJD says:

    massa .. in australia

    comeback of williams (merc powered)

  207. Steve says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  208. Richard says:


  209. Antonio says:

    I guess Alonso will be the fastest one in Barehin

  210. Simon Kelly says:


  211. Multi 21 says:


  212. Simon Haynes says:

    Daniel Ricciardo.

  213. Dave says:

    I don’t believe Mercedes or Ferrari will be eager to show their true pace, but will be running high fuel loads and pounding out the laps, getting data.

    McLaren better test a non-butterfly car in case they are successfully protested.

    The team that shows the best lap will be a Merc-engined team, either Williams or FIndia – I’d guess Massa or Hulk will get the fast lap.

    All the Renault teams will be in flames. (Wishful thinking there!)

  214. Nick H says:

    I predict Jenson Button will post the fastest time.

  215. Richard B says:

    Rosberg. He is looking on fire. A driver who likes the technical engineering side of things. He will excel this year with the changes.

  216. steve green says:


  217. yellowbelly says:

    Nico Rosberg

  218. Jim says:

    My prediction after the change of competition rules:


  219. Roshan says:


  220. Gordon Haid says:

    Massa, in a Martini Williams Mercedes.

  221. Kevin says:

    I’m going with Massa!!!! Hope Williams has it together finally this year with Martini coming back into F1 again. Can’t wait to see what the car is going to look like in the Martini livery.

  222. The Big Dyl says:

    Nico Rosberg – Mercedes!

  223. Daniel Aquilina says:

    Massa I think, settled into Williams very quickly.

  224. rahim5077 says:

    its gonna be

    Kimi Raikkonen
    Lewis Hamilton
    and 3rd fastest will be Kevin Magnessun

  225. Charlie says:

    Nico Hulkenberg

  226. Stuart burton says:

    Lets go left field and say romain grosjean

  227. Fireman says:


  228. Sumit says:

    Sergio Perez

  229. Dingle Dell says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  230. panagiotis says:

    Kimi has the edge on 1.6 turbo engine due to his recent involvemnet in wrc.

  231. Rick says:

    I reckon fired up Felipe Massa

  232. Olivier says:

    My guess, Kevin Magnussen. Lewis a close second.

    Button will be wise enough to focus on race simulations.

    I hope LOTUS springs a surprise. I really like their nose concept. It is both looking futuristic & elegant.

  233. Multi Bob says:

    Kimi of course

  234. Sarthak jain says:

    NIco Hulkenberg!! Underdogs

  235. James Pyat. says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  236. Shervin Yeganeh says:


  237. Paul says:

    Max Chilton :)

  238. Frank says:

    Kimi of course

  239. Rita says:

    Alonso for sure

  240. EamonnD says:


  241. Vivek says:

    Kimi Raikonnen

  242. Frederik says:

    Kevin magnussen – if they unleash him. He is quick..

  243. Paige says:

    I don’t know who will set the fastest time. But I think the guy who really looks set with this new car is Raikkonen.

    Raikkonen has exactly the type of driving style you want to have. He gets the nose planted in the apex and is a master at throttle control, gaining time with direction change and corner exit. This gives you more horsepower at use, effectively, on the exit. Add this to the new boost technology- which Kimi, being a technically saavy driver, will get on top of quickly like he did with KERS in 2009- and the new cars really suit him. I think the design of the Ferrari will really suit his style, as it looks like they have found a way to generate a lot of front downforce. This is what Kimi likes, as he can plant the nose easier have more comfort with his entry.

    Everyone seems to expect Alonso to beat Raikkonen, but I think this is the year that we will see just how good Kimi really is and that it boils down to little innate things about his driving style that make the difference.

    1. NickH says:

      I agree, Raikkonen’s style should really suit these new regs. He has astonishing throttle control, I remember Allison saying he only broke traction once in the 2013 australian Grand Prix. For all of Alonso’s qualities, Kimi has the edge here. I think he will get to grips with the increased torque quicker than most. Lets hope the Ferrari does have a very strong front end so Kimi can engage 2005 mode

  244. Mark Edwards says:


  245. Malcolm-s says:

    Jenson button

  246. Dan Lowe says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  247. Ben Middleton says:

    Kimi Raikonnen

  248. BreezyRacer says:

    Sebastian .. Buemi

  249. drarpad says:

    Gutierrez :-)

  250. Graham bowman says:


  251. Messrine says:

    I do think Massa might be something of a dark horse this year! I want Alonso to win the WDC or failing that Kimi but if not it would be nice for Massa to win one.

  252. Matthew Dawson says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  253. Anvesh Malireddy says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  254. alastair says:

    I would like it to be Dan but being a realist i doubt it will be him, so my guess is Magnessen again as he finds his limits.

  255. Ashley Martin says:

    I wish that the Ferrari’s would sit 1-2, but (and it pains me to say this), I think Hamilton will be fastest

  256. bobster says:


  257. JV says:

    Romain Grosjean – they need the press run.

  258. Normanch says:


  259. jaunty says:

    Nico hulk…force india

  260. muneeb says:

    Jenson Button

  261. Jon says:

    Felipe Massa!

  262. andy says:

    Grosjean…. a bit left field but they need to impress sponsors and the nose seems novel… hope the renault has reliability and pace.

  263. Spoo says:

    Jenson Button it will be.

  264. John M says:

    Valtteri Bottas.

  265. Rayhan Chouglay says:

    Kimi Raikkonen will be quickest

  266. N.Boateng says:

    Jenson Button will be quickest.

  267. Jorge H says:

    Nico Rosberg

  268. Andrew Burley says:

    Grojean, has to be, 3 laps getting faster and faster until he goes too fast straight into a wall and ends testing till car is rebuilt.

    That and the Lotus nose is unique, I feel a sneeky advantage on air flow

  269. JimT says:

    James, I’m not a lover of paper books, do all my reading electronically now. Any plans to release a kindle version?

    1. James Allen says:

      Maybe next year

      I know what you mean

  270. Hamberry says:

    Nico Rosberg

  271. Neil_M says:

    Nico Rosberg.

  272. Daniel MA says:


  273. Liam says:

    Easy Nico Rosberg, this test will be about building speed not speed straight out of the box (especially with such new cars and spares in short supply) so only teams confident in their cars will chance going near flat out at this test and also Nico is the better man for these new complex cars than Lewis

  274. Charles says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  275. John S says:

    Nico Rosberg for me, I think

  276. Lukas says:

    Romain Grosjean

  277. KostasG says:

    I think it will be : Alonso.

  278. dave says:

    Well whoever is quickest you know it is not going to be about is actually “quickest” it will be about who can nurse the engine, tyres etc the best.

    This F1 after all, where the least naturally gifted driving that has the smoothest and most dull/boring/unexciting technique WINS!!!!

    Funny thing is if Senna or Schumacher were at there peak now they would be losing big time, just too much natural raw speed for F1 2014.

  279. Jeremysmith says:

    Lewis Hamilton,Felipe Massa,Nico Rossberg …

  280. Mohamed M says:

    Lewis Hamilton will ace it.

  281. Jargal says:

    Kimi Raikkonen

  282. Han says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  283. AlexK says:

    Magnussen as the McLaren looks a bit further down the development path and I think Magnussen in a bit of a one lap specialist

  284. OffCourse says:

    Jules Bianchi

  285. Ciara Finan says:

    Felipe Massa

  286. Niall Quinn says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  287. John Harvey says:

    I predict Felipe Massa will score best time in Bahrain. Nobody is hungrier for redemption.

  288. Ahmed Ginnah says:

    Ferrari all the way with fernando Alonso fastest.

  289. Marc1111 says:


  290. Clarks4WheelDrift says:

    The safety car driver?

    No, actually my guess is Dan Ric.

    Unless it is the team most desperate to sign a sponsor so they run a car into the ground topped up light with only fumes?

  291. David says:

    Fastest Time – Kimi Raikkoneon

  292. Bruce Tran says:

    Kevin Magnussen

  293. John Stuart says:

    Lewis Hamilton

  294. Graham bowman says:

    Rosberg will be Fastest probably. 1.33 lap time.did I win. ;.)


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