Jerez Day 2: Button fastest as Mercedes powered teams have upper hand

Jenson Button tops on day two in the McLaren MP4-29

Jenson Button tops on day two in the McLaren MP4-29

After missing out on doing any running on the first day of Formula 1 testing at Jerez, Jenson Button topped the timing sheets in the Mercedes MP4-29 at the end of the second day of testing in Spain, where Mercedes engine power appears to have the edge over rival Power Unit makers Renault and Ferrari.

Collectively all four Mercedes powered teams amassed 212 laps on the day at a theoretical average of 53 laps per team. With Marussia absent, there were only two Ferrari powered cars in action on the day – Sauber and Ferrari – who between them notched up 100 laps at an average of 50 laps.

But it was the Renault powered teams, including World Champions Red Bull, who have really suffered with only two of the four out on track on day two and the two only managing 19 laps – Caterham with 11 and Red Bull with 8. Toro Rosso were unable to any running at all “because of electrical problems that could not be repaired in time”- the Italian team ditched Ferrari power for Renault this year.

Not a good start to the new Formula 1 era for the French engine builder whom many expected to have the edge with regards to high performance turbo technology.

Kimi Raikkonen goes farming in the Ferrari F14T

Kimi Raikkonen goes farming in the Ferrari F14T

At the sharp end Button racked up 43 laps and finished the day with the best time of 1:24.165 which he set late in the day on Pirelli Mediums, three seconds up on the best time set on day one, and thankfully faster than a GP2 car has ever been around the former grand prix circuit, albeit six seconds adrift of the best time of 1:18.218 by Romain Grosjean on the same day last year.

Nevertheless Button and the McLaren crew would have been encouraged by their day in southern Spain, as 24 hours earlier they were rushing against time to be ready. Topping the timing screens is perhaps relatively meaningless to most, but on the day it is sure to have given the Woking outfit a mighty boost.

Ferrari enjoyed another fruitful day with Kimi Raikkonen managing 47 laps on his way to setting the second best time of the day, a tad over half second down on Button’s best.

Valtteri Bottas - Williams FW36

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest in the Williams FW36

After only completing seven laps a day earlier, Valterri Bottas and Williams will have been relieved add another 35 tours to their tally, and end the day third fastest on the harder Pirelli tyres.

Busiest man out on track was Nico Rosberg who did a whopping 97 laps on his way to setting the fourth fastest lap. Notably, he did a couple of very long trouble free stints during the course of the day.

The team did well to repair the W05 in time for the morning start after it was damaged, the previous day, when a front wing failure caused Lewis Hamilton to crash into the wall at Turn 1.

Sergio Perez was fifth fastest in the Force India, but it was not all plain sailing for the Mexican on the day as the VJM07 stopped out on track, with smoke swirling out the back, shortly before 15:00 local time.

Earlier in the day,just before noon, Esteban Gutierrez prompted the first red flag stoppage when he spun the Sauber and ended up in the gravel. He returned to action and ended the day sixth fastest with 53 laps on his board, but over nine seconds off the top pace.

Nico Rosberg - W05

Nico Rosberg ntched up the most laps in the Mercedes W05

Marcus Ericsson could only manage to add 11 laps to his single lap he did a day earlier in the Caterham, with Vettel slowest of all in the Red Bull and only managing eight laps, making that a grand total of 11 laps for the world champion over the course of two days in Spain.

Both teams suffering with what was described as a ‘Renault energy [storage]’ problem.

The day began on a damp track, whereupon Pirelli decided to turn the morning session into a wet test to evaluate the all new Wet tyre which features a different tread and compound to last year’s version.

Day three of testing continues on Thursday.

Jerez Test, Day 2 Lap Times – Wednesday, 29 January 2014

P Drivers Teams Times Gap Laps
1 J.Button McLaren 1.24.165 43
2 K.Raikkonen Ferrari 1.24.812 +0.647 47
3 V.Bottas Williams 1.25.344 +1.179 35
4 N.Rosberg Mercedes 1.25.588 +1.423 97
5 S.Perez Force India 1.28.376 +4.211 37
6 E.Gutierrez Sauber 1.33.270 +9.105 53
7 M.Ericsson Caterham 1.37.975 +13.810 11
8 S.Vettel Red Bull 1.38.320 +14.155 8

Incidents

Drivers Team Stop Restart
1 E.Gutierrez Sauber 11h43 11h55
2 S.Perez Force India 14h48 15h07
3 M.Ericsson Caterham 15h40 15h53
  • Matthew

    WOW! rosberg has done almost 100 laps!

  • Hugo

    Still slow as balls.

  • British media at it again

    Here we go again.
    Before anybody starts singing songs.

    The fastest time is irrelevant at this stage just like at the 1st day of the 1st test last year for the MP4-28 where Button put in a blistering laptime that made alot of people worry and said he will be champion.
    How wrong they were.

    To add, Button did the time on mediums, while Rosberg was just 1.4 seconds adrift on old hard tyres.
    It is Mercedes that is looking mighty. Though i must say the rear suspension blockers of the Mclaren may just get them to mix it up at the front like the lotus has lately.

  • British media at it again

    It is still early stages though, but who knows.
    Maybe Mercedes are just showing more of a hand than most.
    The Williams is also looking good for plenty of points this year.
    Pastor will be kicking himself if he sees the Williams rear end all season.

  • StevetheGreat

    Slow is NOT irrelevant!

    Six seconds slower is still too slow! Plus it sounds terrible and most of the other 2014 regulations are awful too. What is FOM thinking?????????

  • Mclaren_Mircea

    It might not be just the British media. Between soft and hard at Jerez are around 1.5 seconds. Between medium (what Button had) and hard (what Rosberg had) it’s a little over half a second. The time was 1.4, Button did a 3 lap stint when did the lap time, and Rosberg did a 7 lap stint when he did his best time. Nowhere in the world the fuel for additional 4 laps can represent almost a second which remains in Button’s favour is you put both of them on medium tyre. I remember very well this “Ferrari style” of running like mads in winter testins both in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012 and doing a lot a lot of mileage and in qualifying in Melbourne in all this years their car was nowhere as performance.
    The amount of air that mp4-29 can get under the car, the thermal beam wing they try to do with their innovative rear suspension I think they are ahead of Mercedes AMG F1. You can see the regulations does not permint different specifications of engine between the same manufactureur and strictly in aerodynamic side Mclaren will always, but always do a better car than Willis, Bell and Costa can do. Remember, 2013 car was a mess, but I can’t believe that the team that did mp4-27 (THE ONLY CAR IN THE BLOWN DIFFUSER ERA that was above Newey car as pure performance) can’t do a better car that engineers fired by Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault.

  • Eevel

    @McLaren_Mircea
    Button: “We’re running a very different programme to Rosberg and Mercedes today. We’re running very different engine modes, we’re trying different things”.
    Yet you’ve somehow managed to work out the pecking order.

  • Hawk

    “Not a good start to the new Formula 1 era for the French engine builder whom many expected to have the edge with regards to high performance turbo technology.”

    Really?

  • Hawk

    @McLaren
    the MP4-27’s reliability was suspect. it was always blowing hot and cold. the combination of Lewis and that car however was trouble.