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Massa Tops First Day of Silverstone Test
Posted By:   |  08 Jul 2014   |  6:11 pm GMT  |  29 comments

Felipe Massa set the pace for Williams as this week’s in-season test commenced at Silverstone. The Brazilian finished ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Rosberg.

It was some small consolation for the Williams driver, whose 200th grand prix came to an abrupt end on Sunday when he was caught up in the aftermath of Kimi Raikkonen’s huge crash.

The Brazilian managed 42 laps today, split evenly across lunch as his squad fitted rakes to the car to find better aerodynamic performance.
Ricciardo, who took another impressive podium on Sunday, continued to show strong pace around the Northamptonshire circuit, the Australian ending the day 0.006s from Massa with a tally of 72 laps. Ricciardo sat at the bottom of the times at midday after working through aero testing during which he failed to register a flying lap, but he corrected the anomaly in the closing minutes of the session and finished just 0.006 behind Massa as the session ended.

Prior to Ricciardo’s late flourish, the P2 slot had been occupied for much of the afternoon by Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg. In Sunday’s Grand Prix the German completed just half of the 52-lap distance but today the championship leader posted 90 laps to finish three tenths of a second adrift of Massa, who was in turn 0.7s slower than Friday’s FP2 pace, which, like today, was run in dry conditions.

Adrian Sutil was fourth for Sauber, though the German was confined to his garage for a lengthy spell as his team were forced to change his power unit.

Jules Bianchi, who was at wheel of his Marussia car today prior taking over Raikkonen’s duties in the Ferrari F 14T tomorrow completed the day’s biggest total of laps, with 108, before an engine fire brought his day to an end.

Sixth place went to McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne, with Sergio Perez seventh. Eighth place was taken by Jean-Eric Vergne. The Frenchman had a tough day as he battled recurring battery problems. He managed just 28 laps and brought out four of the five red flags shown during the course of the day.

Pastor Maldonado was ninth for Lotus ahead of Ferrari tester Pedro de la Rosa, while the final position went to  young British driver Will Stevens, who was given a full day’s test with Caterham. The Essex-born 23-year-old put 95 laps on the board, setting a personal best of 1:40.627 – less than a second of Marcus Ericsson’s time in FP2.

Silverstone In-Season Test
1. Felipe Massa Williams 1m35.242s
2. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m35.248s +0.006s
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m35.573s +0.331s
4. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1m35.674s +0.432s
5. Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m36.148s +0.906s
6. Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1m36.462s +1.220s
7. Sergio Perez Force India 1m36.583s +1.341s
8. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m36.688s +1.446s
9. Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1m37.131s +1.889s
10. Pedro de la Rosa Ferrari 1m37.988s +2.746s
11. Will Stevens Caterham 1m40.627s +5.385s

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Slightly O/T. But the in season testing reduction is absurd. Ferrari have a nice little track called Fiorano yet it just sits there empty for most of the year whilst they spend endless hours on much less effective simulators. Simulators are only good for a bit of training, nothing like actually driving cars on a track. No wonder it’s so hard for teams to develop cars these days, especially with the very restrictive regs. I wonder why Newey left? Another bad direction for F1. I don’t know why they like making it so hard for themselves.


Comparable with a golfer who isn’t allowed to practice golf, he’s only allowed to mess about on Tiger Woods on his Playstation before turning up to a tournament.


I could never see how the hydraulic FRIC systems got past Charlie in the first place. It must be pressurised to work. A mechanical system would be cumbersome so say the least.


hello james, what’s the story with fric?


James, How is Kimi and how has Bianchi ended up in his seat ?

good to see Massa flying after that heart stopper.

Did delarosa actually try a flying lap ?


Kimi will be in Germany, I’m told

Bianchi is a Ferrari development driver. There is De La Rosa too, but Bianchi would probably get the nod if a race seat came up


ah thanks, its the first ive known about Bianchi being linked to ferrari.


Looks like Danny ran over a milk crate!


If a driver tests for two different teams, what number does he use – the same for both?


James, off topic how is Kimi. Recorded the race but because of the crash I missed the end and did not here if he was O.K.



how do we read into the times shown here?

How is Mercedes 3 tenths down on Williams and Redbull. Are they running different programmes?


Yes of course. This is testing, they could be running any fuel load (generally around 50-60kg) and be doing any kind of evaluation.



Can you have a look at the FIA letter asking teams/giving them the option to protest about Front Rear Interconnected suspension (FRIC)? Seems a little political shenanigans. – thejudge13 website.


Hi James,

There are some articles covering that the FRIC systems might be banned by Germany? Is there any truth in these stories? Can you do an article on it and what it technically means for the teams? (I always prefer your insights on these things)




Thank goodness we can all observe some consistency to the ongoing Williams/Red Bull challenge to Mercedes. That Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo are strong in practice is a positive for both themselves and their teams and for the sport of F1. What a combination of talent young and old too.

Whilst many voice concerns about the future appeal of F1, making it a sporting challenge is vital. Whilst I am no expert, it looks as though competitiveness has been achieved not through the efforts of regulated rules changing, but by the teams innovating and developing their cars. This is what needs to be the ethos of F1. It’s what viewers and fans and even non-fans truly expect to witness.

I don’t care two toots for arrogant drivers who love to propel themselves into the spotlight with ridiculous statements. They may be good drivers. They may be very confident. But they miss the key point about the true purpose and what they can truly achieve. Everyone one driver on the grid dreams of being a World Drivers Champion. But who aspires to being a true hero or legend of the sport? This is what fans deserve and we should avoid turning F1 into another overly dramatic reality TV show.


i don’t think here should be i season testing in f1. there is no need for it, the teams have simulators, wind tunnels and test benches. enough to test everything, why in season testing? ferrari only asked for in season testing because they haven’t won e championship for so long. they fail to understand that from now on, any changes will give each team an equal chance.

am keen to find out how that new 18 in low profile tyre performs though.


Was de la Rosa driving Kimi’s or Fernando’s car. Difference between those cars is huge.


I’m guessing it wasn’t Kimi’s


James off topic, but autosport are reporting that FIA have deemed FRIC suspension illegal, and that anyone running systems will be reported to stewards at germany next week

Have you heard as much?

Surely its crazy to assume all the top teams running it, could redesign entire suspension system in a week!!!!

Do ferrari run FRIC cos this sounds like another FIA move (“ferrari international assistance”)


It is crazy, for sure.

Ferrari do run a FRIC system, but it’s not as good as Mercedes’ obviously. So perhaps it is another “FIA” move. Ferrari were behind active suspension being banned, b/c they could never get on top of it.

If they want to ban it for 2015, fine. Although that’s a ton of money and research down the drain. Deciding where to spend your research time and money in F1 must be so hard to do … beyond the normal cost-benefit analysis, you also have to forecast whether your tech could be banned after only 1, 2, 3 or more seasons, or even mid-season!!! It’s insanity.


Any sign of the new 18 inch wheels yet?

Drivers will find then harsh and need softer suspension.


I was in the Lotus garage today, and the 18” wheels look surprisingly normal. I guess we are so used to them in everyday life? I’m sure pictures will emerge this evening. (I don’t mean normal as in round and black! I mean they didn’t look out of place or stand out.)

The car was not modified, so the suspension travel was limited. If they go this route in 2016, then obviously the suspension will be designed around them.


Wednesday on the Lotus


JA, will you be doing a story on the “FIA crackdown on FRIC systems” fiasco? It is such garage league stuff.

Now I’ve also heard that Race Control didn’t know that Alonso was off his marks at the start, until two teams informed him only after seeing replays, after the first lap accident. How can that be?!?!


Odd because the way that works is the car should be in range of a receiver which is embedded in the track at the grid position. If the car is in the wrong place, the signal is too weak and the driver is penalised


Lazarus is alive and well and has taken the form of the Williams chassis!

Sorry for the cheesy cliche, but as comebacks in modern F1 go, then the revival of Williams-Merc is almost up there with the fairy tale of Brawn-Merc in terms of a team almost being down on the canvas and yet able to dust itself off, stand up and give some devastating punches!

Bulls and Ferrari – you have been warned! The white and blue brigade are after your second place in the constructors title……………..


I know where you are coming from, but I suspect that the new regulations has something to do with it. I fear once all the other engine suppliers get on top of their issues, they will start to fall back 🙁 There car is no where near the Red Bull, put a merc in the back of the red bull, I suspect we would have a title race on!!


PS Thumbs up to Felipe for averting a possible Zanardi 2001 disaster – the thought of an F1 T-bone makes me shudder.


Fortunately the modern F1 monocoque is far better engineered than those champ cars ever were. Not to say bad things can’t happen!

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