Jerez F1 test Day 3: Magnussen Keeps McLaren On Top As Renault Woes Continues
Posted By:   |  30 Jan 2014   |  6:02 pm GMT  |  140 comments

McLaren continued to set the pace in Jerez as rookie Kevin Magnussen wasted no time in getting up to speed in Formula One, the Dane finishing ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Red Bull Racing’s woes continued, however, with new recruit Daniel Ricciardo managing just three laps as the ERS problems that stopped the team yesterday again forced them to abandon running.

Mclaren covered 92 laps with its two drivers, Magnussen and Jenson Button, while Mercedes did 62 laps and Williams 47. Force India was the only Mercedes powered car to struggle for mileage. Williams has had a promising start to 2014 with some solid running for Felipe Massa today to back up what Bottas managed at the start of the test.

Following his quickest time yesterday, Jenson Button was again at the wheel of the MP4-29 this morning to make up for his lack of running on day one of the test. After setting the morning’s fastest time with a lap of 1:25.030 he handed the car over Magnussen for the afternoon session.

And it did not take long for the Dane to better his team-mate, completing 52 laps in the process and concluding another successful day for McLaren and its power suppliers, Mercedes. Magnussen finished the day with a best lap of 1:23.276, four tenths clear of second-placed Williams driver Felipe Massa. Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes with a time of 1:23.952.

“At the moment we’re definitely happy,” said Hamilton. “Proving reliability at this stage is crucial and every lap is precious, as this is going to be a seriously challenging year for every team. I’m feeling very positive after these tests.”

However, the woes at the Renault-powered teams continued as Red Bull Racing and Caterham once again hit trouble, resulting in the defending champions cutting their day short for the second day in succession. Ricciardo completed just three laps in the troubled RB10 but failed to set a time.

Caterham also endured a torrid afternoon. A power unit problem which could not be remedied before the 5pm chequered flag meant a lost second session for the Leafield squad, as the team’s Track Support Leader, Cedrik Staudohar explained.

“Robin Frijns was sent out in the car early and we started working through a number of programs but just after lunch we found a problem with the power unit that required us to change a part which, unfortunately, ended our running early. We have identified the source of the issue and will work overnight to ensure it does not occur again, giving the team the chance to add to the lap count tomorrow.”

At Mercedes, Hamilton’s day ran more smoothly and the Briton posted 62 laps on his way to third sport on the timesheet. The 2008 champion set the pace early in the afternoon with a 1m23.952s before a red flag for Adrian Sutil put a halt to that run, but despite losing out to Magnussen and Massa, an all-Mercedes top four that racked up a total of 201 laps will surely bring a smile to engineers at the company’s Brixworth technology centre.

Thirty-four laps for Sutil and fifty-seven for Fernando Alonso showed that Ferrari’s power-train is also enjoying some reliability, whilst the Italian marque’s third customer, Marussia, rolled out their latest machine – the MR03 – this afternoon to complete a handful of installation laps in the hands of Max Chilton.

Jerez Test 2014 – Day Three times
1. Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1m23.276s 52 Laps
2. Felipe Massa Williams 1m23.700s 47
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.952s 62
4. Jenson Button McLaren 1m25.030s 40
5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.495s 58
6. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1m26.096s 17
7. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m29.915s 30
8. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m30.161s 34
9. Robin Frijns Caterham No time 10
10. Max Chilton Marussia No time 5
11. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing No time 3

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Wow, a LOT of people already handing out the trophies, lol! It’s easy to look the fastest when ALL the teams are running around a few seconds off ultimate pace with engines turned down and interested only in gathering data and racking up some mileage.

2014 though, appears to be to Red Bull what 2009 was to Ferrari and McLaren. Interesting also to keep in mind that Newey has only ever won with blown diffusers of some sort.


Newey’s genius is overstated; all that Da Vinci stuff last season was ridiculous. Is he a one trick pony? Is he actually as good as everyone says? He’s apparently created a car this season which can barely complete half a dozen laps. Sure, different technology and all that, but the great designer surely can adapt.


Well, let’s give him time to adapt, how ’bout?

ANYONE would gladly accept a stinker year (and let’s remember, no wheel has turned in anger yet, so it’s very presumptive to say that) to go along with the four magnificent seasons that RBR have just had, which for the most part were down to Newey’s brilliance.

To denigrate Newey now, after all that has gone before, is just being greedy, and being foolish to the extreme.


Dear KRB, agree with your comments. I would never denude Adrian’s achievements, four constructors/WDC is an incredible achievement. In fact, Adrian also designed WDC winning cars from 1996 to 1999, can’t argue with that pedigree. However, he is human, and his Macca cars of 2001, 2002 and 2004 were lemons. I bet Ross took great satisfaction in proving wrong that theory of “who needs schuey when you’ve got Newey.” In all fairness to Adrian, he never really blended in at Macca, and I always felt Macca never got the best out of him. If I were to lay blame at the moment for Red Bull’s problems, I would put in squarely at the Regie, but maybe the Bull is too tightly packaged which is causing the cooling/overheating issues? Anyway, Adrian, Team Bull and Regie have a lot of catching up to do.


Of course he’s overrated. God Himself would be overrated if showered with the praise bestowed on Newey, much of it done in an attempt to detract from Vettel. That being said, we don’t have any idea yet how bad (or how good) the RB10 chassis is because the Renault engine is so poor.


Also Steve, is it possible that the RB10s’s packaging is compromising cooling? Just a thought.


Scott, I wrote a piece on this forum (on the Red Bull launch) and commented that although Adrian is somebody you want in your team, he has sometimes got it wrong and made some lemons. The 1994 Frank was a difficult machine to operate on the limit compared to the Benny/Michael combination. The 2001, 2002 and 2004 Maccas were stinkers that got their faces smashed in by the Italian stallion led by Ross and Michael (and a cameo by Rubens). Adrian is a supremely gifted and talented designer, but we’re all human, and you could be right in saying he could have designed another lemon. I guess Macca, Merc and Italian stallion are hoping so anyway!


As usual testing will indicate who are the front runners and so on but I’d rather wait for the races to begin. But it sure is a good build up and am enjoying reading the comments from fans.

Many will be overjoyed with Red Bull being hampered for now but I wouldn’t dare say they won’t solve the issues.

Oh yes, it don’t sound so bad with the turbos and it’s got that heavy grunt like a huge animal and kinda reminds me a lot during the Senna Prost years.


Mcclaren was quickest last year with upside down suspension so everyone should stay calm. Also Mercedes may have a more powerful engine but with the limited fuel allowed how much of that power can they use? The new kers power in combination with the engine will be the key to completing a race distance quickly and efficiently.


Ironic that Renault threatened to pull out if this new V6Formula was not adopted. They should have been careful what they wished for!

I am luck enough to be in Jerez. The new engines sound lovely close up, BUT they are so quiet that they just lack the wow factor of the old V8s. Very disappointing in that regard.


I see this as a bit of 2009. Red bull will be quick but reliability will come late. I dare say once they get some running they will be quick.

Personally I would love to see Williams nail it this season.theyhave a great history of engineering and this year will be very much about excellence in engineering


Could be a decent season for Frank. I think they switched to Merc because of the huge potential advantage of the Brixworth units. If that potential can be realised, combined with Pat Symonds shrewd, street wise aero understanding, then yes could be a good season for Frank.


Through the 1st half of the past decade, Ferarri dominated the F1-circus, the second half belonged to Renault, now it looks like it’s the beginning of Mercedes-era. It’s gonna be fun to see how SB handles the coming disasters of Redbull. Which finger is he going to show this time?


James, in the same way we know roughly what the budget of the teams is, do you know roughly what the three engine manufacturers spend and if there is much difference between them?

Also, can the teams bring 2 cars to the test and if one is causing trouble switch to another whilst they fix the first?


Good question will find out

Re 2 cars- it’s not allowed and st this rotate not many teams have 2 working cars anyway


I know the times are meaningless at this point but its nice to see massa up there in the williams. Hopefully a sign of good things to come for them both.


Re macca rear suspension, so if i understand correctly (?) i assume this works as follows….at high speed the aero suspension profile is compressed (reducing drag and improving top speed) whereas ‘unloaded’ at low speed the suspension relaxes, allowing for a suspension profile which generates more down force where you need it in the corners and allows macca to be more agressive with the design of body work in this area. I cant imagine this will be easy to copy or tune!!! Rear downforce could be the key this year with all that extra torque available!


Their rear suspension looks very obviously illegal. Per the regulations –


With the exception of the driver adjustable body work described in Article 3.18 (in addition to minimal parts solely associated with its actuation) and the ducts described in Article 11.4, any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance :

a) Must comply with the rules relating to bodywork.

b) Must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).

c) Must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.


This doesn’t even seem like a close call, it’s blatantly in violation of the regs.


Suspension rods will always move at speed. Not sure if there is a deflection test for suspension rods, but if there is, and they pass that, then they’ll be ok.

Could be the DDD of 2014.


How long until the other teams start complaining about McLaren’s clever rear design and the FIA bans it?


Not much I hope, its a moveable areo-device, so it’s ilegal. Suspension’s purpose its not to generate downforce, so its out of the rules.


This is why mclaren need to hire Brawn! He’s so great at doing a poker face at the FIA tribunals 😉


1. I cannot say that I am loosing sleep over Red Bull’s problems. This might actually bring a bit more joy into my F1 life. Having said that, I do prefer Ferrari winning on equal terms, not because somebody has a problem. It might be that Red Bull made a mistake with the packaging. They had problems with KERS last year and it is just this year this will prove to be more costly

2. Is there anything that can be said about Ferrari? Too early? Any observations?


“I cannot say that I am loosing sleep over Red Bull’s problems. This might actually bring a bit more joy into my F1 life.”

So, you don’t want to win in a straight fight, just through others misfortune, that must be very satisfying.


They have team, drivers and, by the moment the car looks nice, reliable (red flag today caused by just a caution stop due to a telemetry problem, nothing more) and not slow. Nobody cant tell about speed yet, but listening to Marmorini, the Ferrari engine its over 670hp without ERS.


Interesting what G. Anderson says:

Q: The Ferrari F1 F14 T sounds a lot different to the other cars under braking. Why is this?

G.Anderson: “It is incredibly smooth on the downchanges. Everyone else is blipping the throttle a lot more and it’s difficult to say why the Ferrari is so smooth in comparison.

All the cars have a zero torque loss upshift, seamless shift, but nobody has done that on the downshifts. With the ERS recharging from the rear wheels and the need to downchange under braking, it now might be a good idea.

We don’t know for sure, but perhaps Ferrari is ahead of the game with such technology.”


“The Ferrari looks like it is missing a bit of downforce. In the medium-to-high-speed corners, especially the one onto the back straight, you can hear a bit of tyre squeal and in the lower speed corners the rear is giving up on corner exit.

With these turbo engines being quieter, you can now hear the tyres crying enough.

The difference between Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso is that Fernando loves to leave big black lines on the track, primarily to make a point to the team about where the car needs improving.”


It’s only testing come on!

Ferrari and Mercedes to whoop some arses this year!



I am curious whether you have seen an estimate of how many points of downforce the new regulations were to have stripped off the new cars compared with the 2013 models and how much track time that might represent in Jerez?

Also, when teams set their aero targets each year, on what basis do they set them?


Also, I can’t come over the fact that before I accepted Perez was a McLaren driver, he isn’t anymore.


Red Bull gonna be champions anyway, double points last race yo.

I quite like this Magnussen dude.


Do you think anybody will crank everything up to the max Friday afternoon, and get close to the 1.18 laps they where doing last year? For Merc and Mcl with the mileage they have done they will not lose anything by trying. Even if they blow the PU up in the last hour or two. Even Ferrari could lose the last hour crankin her up.


My prediction for Melbourne, remember you saw it here first :

– practice 1: Vettel does not leave the pits, engine problem

– after 45 minutes in practice 2, Vettel gets out of the pits and blows his engine in his 2nd lap

– practice 3 : Vettel runs 7 laps, 17th fastest time. Webber smiles

– Q1: Vettel 14th time, Ricciardo 16th

– Q2: Vettel 9th time, Ricciardo blows his engine

– Q3: Vettel on pole, more than one second ahead of Mercedeses

– Race: Vettel leads every lap and wins the race, Alonso 2nd. Hamilton, Rosberg and Raikkonen DNF (engine failures). Webber gutted


Webber? lol, c’mon give him a break. Or did Webber predict this will be happening?


Is this really Seebee?


Haha You’re probably right


My prediction for Melbourne: Bruno got it completely wrong 😉


Mr Allan please Sir,will it be posible to enlight somewhat? do the manufacturers do the

homologation on their “power plants” with FIA the same as the teams with their chassis before they can begin testing, if not when to your knowledge is the deadline.

In regard to McLaren rear suspension, it was quoted that Adrian Newey said its iligal, if anybody knows a short cuts to the rear of the car Adrian Newey know its legalaty.


Or Newey knows how to lodge a protest against anything he didn’t think of. RBR protested the McLaren f-duct if you recall and it was perfectly legal (if a little awkward for the drivers to use).

Newey isn’t anyone to ask about legality – he is a genius both if design and media complaints…


Newey might think that McLaren’s suspension is illegal, but he doesn’t make or enforce the rules any more than those who always thought that Newey’s cars were illegal.

Come Melbourne the FIA will either say yay or nay and that will be that.


James, my gut feeling tells me if you want to get ahead, get a Merc V6 for 2014. As well as Merc and Macca, what chance Frank and India joining the charge of the competitive brigade? Iroically, Nico Hulk going back to Force India with the huge potential advantage of the Merc V6 might be a seem move. Agree James?

PS James, do you agree with me and most of the European media that Nico Hulk has consistently outperformed his car over the last few years (think of him leading Brazil 12 – where did that performance come from???) and is a champion in waiting?


Hopefully they’ve assembled it correctly this time.


James, it has been speculated that the Merc V6 engine might have as much as 80 Bhp and 80 lb of torque more than the Renault or Ferrari. If that is true, then even without leaving the garage, doesn’t that mean the likes of Macca, Merc, Frank and India have at least – at least 0.6 seconds advantage? I must stress that the Merc power advantage is purely speculative, but netherless that is a worry for Regie and Italian stallion powered machines, never mind the reliability problems the Bulls are having.


Given the fuel limitations, power may be significant for qualifying, but efficiency is what will win races.


That’s true, but clever engineering can combine power, torque and fuel efficiency. Honda in 1986/1987/1988 had a massive power advantage with its V6 turbo over its opposition yet very clever fuel metering systems via excellent electronic fuel management systems meant it also had excellent fuel consumption as well. Remember that quote from Balestre, that with a 150 litre fuel tank imposed on turbo cars that “I assure you gentlemen, no way for the turbos in 1988.” Um, Honda V6 Maccas won 15 out of 16 grand prix, and the Ferrari won the sole non-Macca victory of 1988! All the engineering brains at Merc, Regie and Italian stallion will have been working flat out to juggle power with fuel efficiency, but it’s likely one of them will have an advantage. My gut feeling is its Merc at the minute.


I think at point some of the Regie powered teams might be thinking they’d be better off with a Vegie powered machine.


Yow!!! 🙂


It would be around that, yes,


James, is it speculation or verified that Merc have a considerable horsepower and torque advantage?


Calm down guys.. he was just confirming that IF they had that advantage it would represent that laptime. Not even the teams know anything at this stage.. and if you are in a hurry for confirmation, you will be waiting a while. Even full race sims are hard to judge.. the first true evidence will be the first race.


So you are confirming the advantage they enjoy or the calculation?


Sorry James, I thought my first comment (No.18) had crashed, so I retyped it, only to find out it didn’t! Sorry to repeat myself, even if it is a worthy question!

Alexander Supertramp

People jumping to conclusions waaay to early, engines aren’t even running at 80%, teams just working on their system programs, not chasing times. The only first and careful conclusion is that the Merc engines looks to be the most robust one at this stage.


Yes – it is early to be speculating too much – but the fact is that one of the engines appears to be only running at about 1%. No doubt this will be sorted out in time for the next test, but nevertheless the Renault teams have lost a lot of testing time, have not been able to work through their testing programmes, and are now massively disadvantaged.


Not really. The only engine that hasn’t suffered a failure is the Ferrari. Force India (mercedes engine) has had mechanical isues, but neither sauber nor ferrari have suffered from those, at least for now.


Well said


James, apparently it has been speculated the Mercedes might – might! – have as much as 80 Bhp and 80 lb of torque over the Renault and Ferrari. If that is true – and it is pure supposition – that isn’t that at least 0.6 seconds of a lap advantage for the likes of Merc and Macca already?


What constant 80hp and 80lb ft!?! That’s 1.5sec and close to 2sec on power circuits like Monza and Spa.


Yes, mind blowing isn’t it? If it’s true. I remember reading Autocourse 2008 the other day, and while reading it there was a mention that the Renault V8 that year was out-grunted by the Merc and Fezza V8 by as much 40 BHP, which explains why Sebastian had so much more straightline speed in his Toro Rosso compared to Bulls of Mark and DC. And that 40 BHP advantage is with a normally aspirated engine! The possibility of getting a power/torque advantage with a turbo engine over your opposition is there because the immense complexities of the new turbo compounding technology. I’m not an engineering expert, but I guess it’s something to do with gas-flow, reducing thermal discharge, and of course good old fashioned combustion. We’ll see, but I do the boys and girls at Brixworth are very, very confident in their engines.


It’s interesting to see Ferrari apparently a little bit slower than the Mercedes powered units, but one of the key things we don’t know yet is how efficient the powertrains are.

With a fairly restricted amount of fuel for a race it’s not just about who can set the fastest time in unrestricted practice but how much of the power you dare use in the race and still be able to get to the end.


Good point! We must not forget that they need to get to the end of the race on the allotted amount of fuel. The teams will however be able to see how well they are doing!

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