Jerez Day 1: Raikkonen And Ferrari Fastest But 10′ Slower Than Last Year – It’s Only The First Day
Kimi Raikkonen, in his first day back in a Ferrari, ended day one at Jerez fastest of all in the F14T in a day when the sport’s new turbo era finally dawned, but also where the state of readiness of Formula 1 was brought into question.
Raikkonen powered around the former grand prix track in a time of 1:27.04 in the V6 turbo charged Ferrari, which was nearly ten seconds down on the times set at the same point last year, at the same venue with the V8 normally aspirated cars Jenson Button was fastest on that day with a best time of 1:18.861 in the McLaren. The GP2 lap record stands at 1:24.262, set by Kamui Kobayashi in 2008.
Raikkonen did 31 laps during the course of the day, but was the first to have a problem out on track when, 42 minutes into the morning session, the Ferrari came to halt on track and required a tow truck ride back to the pits.
The Finn said afterwards, ”It’s just the first day, there is still a long way to go. Lap times don’t mean anything, I was just learning about the car. We have started ok.”
Biggest talking point of the day was Lewis Hamilton’s crash into the tyre wall at Turn 1, when he was setting the early pace in the Mercedes W05. A front wing failure caused the incident, which in turn curtailed his day out on track. Nevertheless he ended up second fastest with a time of 1:27.820, and racked up 18 laps in the process which was only less than Raikkonen.
Williams were among the late starters and only got one hour of running all day, but will be buoyed by the fact that Valtteri Bottas popped the third fastest lap of the day in his first attempt at a full flying lap in the FW36, although it was three seconds down on the top time. He did seven timed laps in the hour.
Next up on the timing screens was Sergio Perez in the Force India VJM07, ahead of Jean Eric Vergne in the Toro Rosso STR9 followed by Esteban Gutierrez at the wheel of the Sauber C33. The trio set times but were way off the pace.
Red Bull and Caterham were very late out on track and thus neither Sebastian Vettel nor rookie Marcis Ericsson clocked a time.
The McLaren MP4-29 did not even make it out the pit garage, while the Marussia MR03 was being trucked down from the UK, the team hoping to get it running on day two. Lotus of course were absent.
Day two of testing continues on Wednesday
What on earth could be more exciting than seeing this years F1 challengers up and turning laps albeit not that many. The fact Ferrari completed 31 of these laps can only be interpreted as a positive sign for the the Scuderia. However I would not read too much into the laps times, either that Ferrari was on top with a 127.04, or the fact that time is much slower than last year. My guess is no one was even close to what the new cars are capable in regards to speed.
This first test will more than likely center around getting to know this new formula and making sure all systems functions are operating properly. No meaningful laps times will come from this four day test. That being said it is always good sign to be on top. The simple fact of the matter is if the car is relatively fast in the initial shakedown then there is all the reason to think when teams and drivers start to look for the real pace of the car, it will be not that far off. If your a Ferrari, Alonso or Raikkonen fan, today shows promise.
The one team all eyes are on, Red Bull unfortunately was hampered with an issue for most of the day and we will look to tomorrow to see where they fall on the pylon and what indication we can surmise from that position. Below are the days results:
|4||S.Perez||Force India VJM07||1.33.161||+6.057||11|
|5||J-E.Vergne||Toro Rosso STR9||1.36.530||+9.426||15|
|8||S.Vettel||Red Bull RB10||–||–|