Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen has topped the timesheets at the Circuit de Jerez, where the first of three pre-season tests today kicked off.
The Ferrari returnee set the most laps, almost double that of Lewis Hamilton who set 18 laps. Raikkonen completed 31 laps of the Spanish circuit in total, finishing the day with a best lap time of 1.27.104 – roughly seven tenths faster than Hamilton. Kimi’s first innstallation lap ended after five corners when the Ferrari pulled over. The team called this a precautionary stop and he later got back on track.
Lewis and Mercedes were the first team out on track but were forced to call it a day prematurely when the front wing on his Mercedes failed and lodged itself under his MGP-05, sending him into barriers at the end of the straight. He crashed in the same place, also on the first day, in 2013 when his brakes failed.
Valtteri Bottas was the third name down the timesheets, completing a mere seven laps which resulted in a best lap time of 1.30.082 – nearly three seconds shy of the time set by Raikkonen. Sergio Perez was fourth for Force India, completing eleven laps and finishing the day six seconds behind the Ferrari.
Jean-Eric Vergne was nine seconds shy of Kimi, having run fifteen laps of Jerez in total. His day also ended early when the STR9 developed problems. Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber was the last man to set a lap time, fifteen seconds off the pace after seven laps.
Sebastian Vettel and Marcus Ericsson were seventh and eighth respectively. Vettel completed a total of three installation laps. Rookie Ericsson got the Caterham out on track for one lap, after the team delayed the launch of the car due to technical issues.
McLaren was at Jerez but didn’t run due to electronic issues on the car. Marussia were not in Jerez, and will not be tomorrow, as they developed some issues before leaving their factory and opted to stay in Britain until the problems were rectified.
Pre-season testing, and the first days in particular, is when teams start to get a foothold on if they’ve concocted the right formula or made a mess of their 2014 cars. Running continues tomorrow and will run until Friday before F1 goes to Bahrain for the remaining two weeks of testing.
- Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1.27.104 – 31 laps
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1.27.104 – 18 laps
- Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1.30.082 – 7 laps
- Sergio Perez – Force India – 1.33.161 – 11 laps
- Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso – 1.36.530 – 15 laps
- Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber – 1.36.530 – 7 laps
- Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull – No Time – 3 laps
- Marcus Ericsson – Caterham – No Time – 1 lap