McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen was the fastest man today as pre-season testing continued in Jerez.
The Dane set 52 laps throughout the day, setting more laps than team-mate Button did on Wednesday, and beating his time which was set while testing Pirelli’s wet tyres. But the focus was very much on Red Bull whose week failed to improve, leaving Daniel Ricciardo going up in smoke on his first lap out of the pits. The Aussie was no sooner out of the pitlane than his RB10 started smoking.
It was costly for Red Bull who, after bringing the car back and fixing it up, managed only a further three laps. This brings their testing total to 11 over the three days. Nico Rosberg, in comparison, set 97 laps yesterday. Ricciardo later admitted that Adrian Newey had gone back to the drawing board in an effort to make the RB10 more stable. It’s no reason to be anxious about the reliability of the car, however, as knocking out the kinks is the purpose of pre-season testing.
Felipe Massa was the second fastest man, running 47 laps for Williams and recording a 1.23.700. His best lap time exceeds that set by his Finnish team-mate, with Williams looking particularly strong in the hands of Massa and Bottas.
Lewis Hamilton was third for Mercedes and eager to make up time lost after his early shunt on Tuesday, which was caused by a front wing jamming itself under his car and disabling both the steering and the brakes. His former McLaren team-mate, Jenson Button, was next down the order for the British team, clocking up 40 laps with a best time of 1.25.030 after he took the MP4-29 on track for the afternoon session.
Fernando Alonso was fifth for Ferrari, four-tenths of a second shy of Button’s fastest lap. Alonso’s 58 laps were not without issue, however, as his Ferrari ground to a halt around the track during the morning session. Nico Hulkenberg was in control of the VJM-07 today, but set a mere 17 laps. Jean-Eric Vergne had an average run – his 30 laps producing a best lap time of 1.29.915, some nine and a half seconds off the pace of Magnussen.
Adrian Sutil was on his 35th lap for Sauber before spinning out of control, hitting a barrier and knocking the front of his car clean off. It was a premature end to the day that the team did not want.
Robin Frijns, Max Chilton and Daniel Ricciardo were all left without a time, despite running 10, 5 and 3 laps respectively. Chilton was finally on track for Marussia, who missed the first two days, but their running was hampered by consistent technical issue. The only team yet to grace the track is Lotus who announced that they would skip the test to focus on the car’s development.
Testing continues tomorrow for a fourth and final day in Jerez.
- Kevin Magnussen – McLaren – 1.23.276 – 52 laps
- Felipe Massa – Williams – 1.23.700 – 47 laps
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1.23.952 – 62 laps
- Jenson Button – McLaren – 1.25.030 – 40 laps
- Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1.25.495 – 58 laps
- Nico Hulkenberg – Force India – 1.26.096 – 17 laps
- Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso – 1.29.915 – 30 laps
- Adrian Sutil – Sauber – 1.30.161 – 34 laps
- Robin Frijns – Caterham – No time – 10 laps
- Max Chilton – Marussia – No time – 5 laps
- Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – No time – 3 laps
Image courtesy Getty Images.