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Jerez F1 Test, Day 4: Massa Tops The Times As Testing Ends in Jerez
Posted By:   |  31 Jan 2014   |  6:15 pm GMT  |  65 comments

As the first pre-season test of 2014 drew to a close at a gloomy Jerez and the teams began to pack up and contemplate the warmer climes of Bahrain at the next test on February 19, it was Felipe Massa who topped of the timesheet, the Williams driver finishing ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Force India’s Daniel Juncadella.

And for Red Bull Racing there will be much to contemplate, as the team again ended running early. After completing seven laps in the morning, with Daniel Ricciardo again at the wheel, the team encountered mechanical trouble. Deeming the issue unresolvable before the end of running they ceased track activities.

“It’s been a very difficult test,” said Team Principal Christian Horner. “We have had numerous Renault issues as well as chassis cooling issues, which have affected our progress. However, despite the lack of mileage, what we have managed to learn shows that the problems should be solvable for the next test in Bahrain. Part of the purpose of this early test was to learn about any issues ahead of the start of the season and there will now be a lot of focus on the dyno over the next few weeks.”

With the first half of the day run in wet conditions, teams had a second chance to evaluate Pirelli’s intermediate tyres for this year, following on from Wednesday’s damp morning session.

At the lunch break it was the Ferrari of Alonso at the top of  the timesheet, the Spaniard opting to use the extreme wet tyre early in the session before switching to intermediates for his fastest time as the track dried.

With conditions improving in the afternoon, slicks became the order of the day and the Mercedes and Ferrari-powered cars continued their steady progress. By the close of play Alonso had completed the most laps with a tally of 115, with McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen logging 110 . For Mercedes, Nico Rosberg comfortably powered through 91 morning laps, before handing over to Lewis Hamilton who posted a further 41 tours.

Mercedes will leave Jerez greatly encouraged by their performance this week, as Executive Director Paddy Lowe confirmed.

“Overall, it was a very solid day which brought a very successful week to a close,” he said. “It feels like we have hit the ground running, although we still have many aspects of both the car and the power unit to improve before the next track test in Bahrain.”

Pointing to the 132 laps the team managed today, Lowe added:  “Today’s programme was designed around completing race simulation work. In damp conditions this morning, Nico conducted a baseline run before running a 74-lap race simulation on intermediate tyres, including two pit-stops. This was completed faultlessly before we stopped for lunch. At that point, in view of the large discrepancy between our drivers’ mileage this week, we decided to put Lewis in the car for the afternoon.”

It was Massa who went quickest, though, recording a best time of 1:28.229 during his 86 laps of the Jerez track. Williams have been consistent throughout the test, and although lap times are academic at this point – particularly today, with the Brazilian’s lap six seconds slower than Magnussen’s best from yesterday – it bodes well for the Grove outfit following a largely anonymous 2013.

Massa’s time pipped Alonso’s by almost second, with rookie Juncadella a further three tenths adrift. It was a productive day for the Force India reserve driver and the 22-year-old completed 81 laps.

Magnussen headed Hamilton in fourth place for McLaren, although he did suffer two spins late in the day. Nevertheless, the Dane completed 110 laps at the end of an impressive opening week with the team.

The first of Magnussen’s incidents was harmless, the rookie seemingly losing traction as he powered out of the chicane. His second, however, pitched him into the barriers, resulting in front-wing and suspension damage.

At Caterham, Kamui Kobayashi made his return to F1, though it was far from an ideal comeback for the popular Japanese driver. Problems with the CT05’s Renault power unit again stopped the team’s running, though Kobayashi did manage 54 laps, considerably more than the total achieved by their Renault stablemates today.

“My first day in the car may have ended earlier than we’d planned after another problem with the Renault engine, but from where we’ve been earlier this week it’s very good to have completed 54 laps,” said Kobayashi. “It was also good to be back in an F1 car and to be working with a team that I’m already feeling very happy with.”

Elsewhere, Jules Bianchi took control of Marussia’s MR03 for the first time today, taking sixth place and clocking up 25 laps in the process. The Frenchman said afterwards that he had been impressed by the team’s 2014 challenger.

“I was really excited to get my first taste of the new MR03 and I like it a lot! The car feels great to drive and I’m pleased that I was able to achieve some good mileage,” he said. “You always want more, of course, but there is a lot to work through and understand, so we have to be patient and go through the programme in the right way, especially as we have had damp conditions to contend with also. At the end, once we were happy with the systems work, it was nice to put the slicks on and start putting some laps together. It is early days but we were quite happy with the pace in the conditions and for our programme. Not a bad start.”

Jerez Test, Day Four times

1. Felipe Massa Williams 1:28.229, 86 laps
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:29.145, 115 laps
3. Daniel Juncadella Force India 1:29.457, 81 laps
4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:30.806, 110 laps
5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.822, 41 laps
6. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:32.222, 25 laps
7. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:36.571, 69 laps
8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:36.951, 91 laps
9. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:43.193, 54 laps
10. Danii Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:44.016, 9 laps
11. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:45.374, 7 laps

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Adrian Newey Jnr

The Williams pace concerns me a little. Teams with good cars are usuaully sandbagging. Williams have new drivers and a car with very few sponsors. How many times have we seen mid-pack teams top testing sheets before returning to their true track pace during a race? This smells to me like they needed some good news to show potential sponsors in order to get a deal across the line.


Thanks for the positive comments re the pictures. I’m no pro and the poor light made it tough…so I’m happy to hear that you all enjoyed them.

Flew back to London from Seville this morning. Many members of the Mercedes and Red Bull team on the flight and they all looked totally exhausted, which bought it home to me just how tough an engineering challenge this new formula is….and therefore, on paper, just how good the new season could be.

Shame that neither team bought Speedy Boarding for their employees, but I take my hat off to them all


Lap times are not important. It all comes down to lap count.

Jerez test lap stats (hope these are accurate):

Mercedes 309

Ferrari 251

McLaren 245

Williams 175

Sauber 162

Force India 146

Caterham 76

Toro Rosso 49

Marussia 30

Red Bull 21

Mercedes slightly ahead. Ferrari and McLaren neck to neck. Same goes for Williams and Sauber and maybe Force India.

Mercedes had front wing failure, so they could’ve lapped more. Ferrari had telemetry issues. Nothing was wrong with the car but that cost some laps. McLaren missed first day due problems. I think it’s safe to say that overall Mercedes had least problems starting this season and Ferrari and McLaren are right there with ’em.


Gotta say that Williams looks much nicer than the computer generated image we saw last week.& looks like it has the goods to go with the lead guys with Merc power – lets hope so


Great shots Gary! Thanks for the link!

Thoughts from week 1:

1. Kimi jumped ship at the right time – Think Lotus might be fighting Caterham for at least the first few races! At least Crashdonado won’t do too much damage, running around with the marshals…

2. Mark may have times his exit to perfection – As an Aussie, I have mixed emotions on the RB10 fail. Really wanted him to get some good time behind the wheel, and be as prepared as he can for Melbourne, yet, as I despise Vettel, happy that the car isn’t all it should/could be. There’ll be some head scratching/banging going on at RBHQ over the next few weeks though, and I’m tipping them to come out strong in Bahrain. They may get on top of things, but I expect a MUCH tougher fight for the WCC this year.

3. Lewis is happy – Not one to hide his emotions, his positive mood can only mean that MB are pretty sorted reliability wise (as rammed home by the 130 odd laps they put in on Friday. If HAM can hold the emotions together this year, thinking he’ll be had to stop on Sat arvo!

4. Super happy that JB (hopefully) has a decent car…and it would seem, a decent team mate….Hoping he comes out punching, and gives a repeat of ’09!!

5. Williams. Massa. Good to see the lad in blue, and enjoying himself again! Definitely seeing some points for Willy this year!

6. Caterham – Kamui’s back! Enough said….shame about the car…and that nose!

7. This is the Hulk’s year…needs to smash Perez, and maybe some red bulls to be in with a shot at a top drive! Hopefully, Benz power will help out!!

Finally, my than anything else this year, I want to see that Jeep from the Korean GP back on track…reckon it might give Vettel a run for his money!!!


Thanks, some terrific pics there- sound like you had a good day all for ‘€20 is terrific. From the clips ive heard so far – yeah the powertrains def sound like small jet engines


Went to Jerez today on a €20 general admission ticket and, despite the weather, it was superb…I thoroughly recommend the circuit facilities and City of Jerez to anyone (assuming F1 testing returns next year).

The cars look much better in the flesh than the tv/Internet pictures – I’ve even warmed to the Ferrari. The sound is akin to a Porsche Supercup car, mixed with the whoosh of a jet fighter on the long back straight (courtesy of the HERS/turbo). It’s different, but I now feel a necessary step to keep F1 technology both cutting edge and relevant to road car technology/environmental concerns.

I’m happy to share my photos with anyone who interested; should hopefully work.


Brilliant pictures Gary, thanks.

The new noses aren’t quite so gruesome when you see the whole car.


@ Gary, I agree with James…thanks for sharing….link works fine..brilliant pictures. Well done that man!!


Thanks for sharing!


Are Marussia going to be the surprise packet of the year? They set an impressive time today


Really delighted for Felipe and Williams, what a great way to get started. I think if the Mercedes power system continues this way and Williams can keep up development, then Massa and Bottas will be quite handy through the season.

Renault form truly shocking.Red Bull look like they’ve slipped up as well with system packaging. Lets see how the mega team of recent years comes together to sort this mess. Short of a major turnaround, looks like some character building times ahead in MK.

Bahrain test will be very interesting.


I hope the news continues to be good for Massa and Williams. I’d love to see Williams resurgent and having a decent season this year with possibilities of podiums for Massa and Bottas.


Hooray for Williams and Massa!

It’s been a solid week for Frank’s team but if you can read anything into the timings here’s my top five pecking order:

1) Mercedes – works outfit, best engine, most laps. Solid driving pair.

2) McLaren – as above, not works but seriously improved and lots of miles. Magga looking good too, Jenson with a point to prove.

3) Ferrari – Ferrari engine looks second best but not by far + big budget + cracking driver pairing

4) Merc-powered-Williams comfortably near to top times each day, Bottas showed real promise last year, Massa looks happy here

5) Force India – down on times and laps to above teams but what seems like best engine so will be strong

I’m not saying Red Bull won’t be laughing by the end of Test 3, but right now let’s enjoy their journey home…


I think you’re spot on there Peter. If a car’s rear axle is being turned by the Merc V6, you’re literally on the right track. I bet Christian, Adrian, Seb and Dan can only look on with green eyed envy at this moment…………


JA and co., have to say you guys are getting perhaps too prolific. Threads don’t stay current for very long.

As for today, pleased for Williams, and impressed by Magnussen.

Rosberg’s had the best week of anyone, seems like.

I’ve really come to dislike the finger noses. Surely not what the FIA were after … they’ll have to tighten up the reg’s for next year, in that area.


I don’t actually mind some of the finger noses and I actually like the Toro Rosso – even if it’s just me 🙂 – but I don’t think I am ever, ever going to get used to the abomination that is the Caterham.


And yeah, this is Formula 1, teams will come up with a lot of crazy ideas. 2 proper grands prix, you’ll get used to all of em 🙂


Well, all but one of them 🙂


The noses will change over time. The problem is, the cars with the ugliest noses right now have no time to evaluate new aero ideas, they are trying to get their RENAULT woes sorted out.

The cars will look different, especially the Caterham when the season starts. Caterham confirmed it to Ted in one of his interviews.


I’m sure it’s probably aerodynamically efficient, it’s just not very aesthetic pleasing 🙂


Hey James, it would be great to know some details of the various problems the teams were experiencing at the test! I apreciate it might be hard to find out intimate details due to the teams playing “secret squirel”! But anyway!


Btw, thanks for your efforts!


I thought the render was just the pre-launch livery, but it looks like Williams really are lacking sponsors. Sad times for one of the truly great teams of the sport; I hope they can start doing well again with the new regs.


Ah, brilliant, thanks all; I wasn’t aware of this, but then haven’t paid too much attention to preseason tests in recent years. All the same, my hope for an upturn in Williams’ fortunes stands.


Williams have historically tested in a black or dark blue livery and revealed the full thing when they hit Melbourne. James is there any update on this proposed Martini sponsorship? Would look fantastic and bring some retro cool to the grid!


I understand Martini is quite a good deal, so hopefully should be a really exciting colour scheme

If Williams get it right, they should clean up on merchandising sales


Don’t worry too much about Team Willy, an iconic racing livery and sponsor will be on the car at Melbourne and I for one can’t wait to see it.


It’s just testing colours on the Williams. Major news sponsors to be announced prior to first race.


I’m sure Red Bull will get their act together, but it would be good for F1 if the championship battle was between Ferrari and Williams! Having said that, Mercedes certainly look impressively strong.


When will Williams show their car in full livery? Or are they still hunting for sponsors?

Also, if they painted the extreme tip black, ala Marussia, it’ll be one of the best looking cars on the grid.


Need some colors on the Williams. FI really looks sharp this year.


I hope this is a taste of what is come – a mixed up grid with Williams and McLaren up there – should be an interesting year


Well I just can’t believe Renault have messed it up to this degree, being often 10+ secs slower suggest a massive flaw and even Marrusia is much faster than Caterham, with tight regulations on these power units I can’t believe they have the estimated 150hp disadvantage and shocking reliability to add insult to the wound, I can’t see the first 5-8 races to go well for all the Renault powered cars.


Unless Renault sort this out we could potentially have a situation where Caterham are actually beating RBR through sheer attrition.


James, is it possible to break down the laps spent on a set of tyres? For example, Rosberg’s race simulation with two pitstops, how many laps on each set. I guess my question is, how are the teams managing the tyres at this early stage or are they not pushing much so would that information be irrelevant?

Love your site.


One thing that has become clear in the Jerez test is how reliable all the 3 engines are namely Ferrari, Renault and Mercedes.

I don’t believe we have had a catastrophic engine failure with oil on the track but rather smaller issues to do with electronics.

Good haul of laps from the Mercedes and Ferrari teams today, we only hope the Renault people will join the festivities soon.

Yes at the end of the day the Jerez test was simply to iron out the reliability issues and so the times are rather not important.

For as already mentioned by the experts, this season won’t be about speed and time but rather endurance and reliability.

I see MiniMag picked today as the perfect day to get some rookie mistakes out of the way. This is always better during the off season than during official working hours.

Anyway, we now await Bahrain and hopefully getting a clearer picture of who has the most reliable equipment + tyres in hot conditions.


I have also built an engine for any team for this year. It is utterly reliable, but then again I haven’t started it yet..

Renault has told their teams not to run more than 250kms, thats less than a race distance. It may be reliable but it is not fit for purpose.


Yeah dont run for more 250klm and dont push the revs and itl be just fine..Now for Bahrain you can only run it for 100klm and only under 5000 revs..because we hear its a little hot there and we might have to cover the whole car in a silk shroud to keep the dust from the turbos. By the time Australia comes around we might find a way to use the rain to cool the batteries and get 10000rpm out of it- & then we might even be able to keep up with those pesky V8 Supercars .. 🙂


@ hero_was_senna

Oh yeah, maybe you should then do the Bulls a favour and loan them your engine Lol…


I don’t think Daniel and Sebastian would agree with your comments on the Regie being reliable at the moment!


It’s still a long shot at this point, but how great would it be to see Massa or Bottas win a race this year?


short glory though; lets wait bahrein


Got a good feeling about Frank. Think they could do some good business this year. I think Phil and Big Rob were tempted to join Frank after seeing the potential of the Brixworth Merc V6. It’s a shame Big Rob won’t be Phil’s race engineer anymore, but I gather Big Rob wants to get stuck into some meaty engineering work, and Frank was happy to oblige. Big Rob is a straight talking, no nonsense Yorkshireman and I know at Williams they love people like that; people who call a spade a spade. Think Mr Smedley will fit straight into Grove. As for Phil, could linking up with Frank and Claire revive his career? Possibly. As well as recruiting Big Rob, Claire Williams managed to hire Pat Symonds, a very good choice. Pat is one of the most street wise, savvy engineers in F1 when it comes to aero and tactics, he gives a clear direction and vision. Pat oversaw Fernando and Renault’s glory years in 2005/2006. Not suggesting Williams will win WDC or constructors, but I do believe that with some good recruitments and the potent (and reliable!) Merc V6 they could have some excellent results this year.


Hi James,

Mercedes are supplying engines to a number of teams. Does that mean they know exactly what the other teams are up to, in terms of revs, fuel economy etc on every lap of the test? If so, that is a huge advantage to have all that data and know exactly where the opposition stands and where they need to find performance, if they are not leading.

Or is the engine division separate and the supplied teams’ data confidential?

Adrian Newey Jnr

Businesses deal with this sort of thing all the time. They implement string chinese walls and procedures to prevent unintended information sharing (eg for fraud or other purpses). Fundamentally, if there was even the slightest whif of Mercedes using other teams information, we would have seen a mass transition away from people using their engines. Instead, we have seen them expand their customer engine program to new teams.


Great question, I would also like to know the answer to this if you have insight into it please James.


It is a good question. I’ve put it to them.

The protocol for engine customers has been around for some time, of course.


Very good point. It would be interesting to know this answer.

Bring back V12's !!!

+1 Very good question mate


Mercedes teams look to be on it as predicted. As a Ferrari fan I feel good about where the team is from a reliability stand point for sure. In Bahrain we will start to see who has pace as the teams start to open the cars up more. As for Red Bull and their problems. Kind of reminds me of Newey at McLaren in 2005 when his car was super fast, but the marriage of the Merc engine and his design did not work well and Kimi suffered 40 grid penalties with engine woes. Not sure if this is all Renaults fault or Newey’s super compact design work, but TR and RB are going nowhere fast right now.


I have to agree with you that Newey’s first iteration certainly has the aero working well but the car is usually unreliable.

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