Bahrain Day 2: Magnussen fastest by far as Renault finally sees light at the end of the tunnel

Kevin Magnussen fastest of all on day two in Bahrain at the wheel of the McLaren MP4-29

Kevin Magnussen fastest of all on day two in Bahrain at the wheel of the McLaren MP4-29

McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen topped the timing screens at the end of the second day of Formula 1 testing, setting a sensational lap in the MP4-29, while a Renault renaissance of sorts appears to be underway.

Magnussen’s best lap time of 1.34.910 came during a flurry of fast laps in the afternoon, with a set of Pirelli Supersoft tyres bolted on to the McLaren. The time compares to the 1:33.702 set by Jenson Button during qualifying for last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

A remarkable achievement for brand new engines with a mere six days of real world running. Predictions that the new turbo era will be slow are now proving to be way off the mark.

Time spent in the pits during the course of the day, limited the Magnussen’s running to 46 laps, but his best time was a huge 1.5 seconds up on Nico Hulkenberg who amassed 59 laps in the Force India, making it one-two for Mercedes power at the end of the day.

Nico Hulkenberg Force India VJM07

Nico Hulkenberg Force India VJM07

Next best was Alonso who racked up 97 laps on his way to setting the third best lap time, late in the day, as again the Reds appeared to be sticking to their programme with little focus on hot laps.

Nico Rosberg, on his first day in the cockpit of the W05, was fourth fastest in the Mercedes, despite two stoppages for minor issues the German ended with 85 laps on his chart.

Busiest of all during the course of the day was Valterri Bottas who managed 116 laps in the Williams FW36, which made up for the team all the time that the team lost on the opening day, when fuel system problem sidelined Felipe Massa for most of Wednesday.

Fernando Alonso Ferrari F14 T

Fernando Alonso Ferrari F14 T

For Renault day two in Bahrain may well signal the turning of the tide, as all their teams, bar Lotus, managed to get some relatively meaningful track time.

Best of the Renault posse was Caterham, with Kamui Kobayashi sixth fastest and 66 laps to his credit, at the end of his first day at the wheel of the CT05.

Next up was quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel, who clocked up 59 laps, setting the seventh best time albeit half a second down on the Caterham and a whopping 5.430 seconds adrift of Magnussen’s best.

Sebastian Vettel Red Bull  RB10

Sebastian Vettel Red Bull RB10

The other Red Bull owned team, Toro Rosso also enjoyed some meaningful running and pretty much shadowed what the sister team did on the day – Jean Eric Vergne was eighth fastest with 58 laps on the board.

The Ferrari powered Sauber and Marussia were five seconds off Alonso’s best, with Esteban Gutierrez ninth in the C33 and Max Chilton slowest and doing the  least laps of all, in the MR03, thanks to a fuel feed issue.

Lotus’ late start to the 2014 pre-season testing, having missed Jerez, appears to be plaguing them as Romain Grosjean could only manage 18 laps in total, and ended down in tenth, and way off the pace in the twin tusk E22.

Subbed by AJN.

Bahrain Test, Day 2 Lap Times – Thursday,  20 February

P Driver Teams Times Gap Laps
1 K.Magnussen McLaren 1.34.910 46
2 N.Hulkenberg Force India 1.36.445 +1.535 59
3 F.Alonso Ferrari 1.36.516 +1.606 97
4 N.Rosberg Mercedes 1.36.965 +2.055 85
5 V.Bottas Williams 1.37.328 +2.418 116
6 K.Kobayashi Caterham 1.38.855 +4.945 66
7 S.Vettel Red Bull 1.40.340 +5.430 59
8 J-E.Vergne Toro Rosso 1.40.609 +5.699 58
9 E.Gutierrez Sauber 1.40.717 +5.807 55
10 R.Grosjean Lotus 1.41.670 +6.760 18
11 M.Chilton Marussia 1.42.511 +7.601 17

 

Stoppages:

Driver Team Red Green
1 N.Rosberg Mercedes 07h06 07h29
2 N.Rosberg Mercedes 10h17 10h31
3 J-E.Vergne Toro Rosso 10h45 11h00
4 E.Gutierrez Sauber 13h18 13h32
  • karlich

    Agreed! Slowly but surely chugging along at Renault. With RBR’s 59 and STR’s 58 laps, today’s showing was once again comparable to Jerez day 2 from the other teams.

    Looking at Magnussen, I hope he doesn’t turn out to be faster than good ol’ Jenson. Would love to see a good season for Jenson!

  • McLarenfan

    So they are starting to show there is some life in the toaster/v6 power units but they still seem to have these problems that take 3hrs or more to fix we just can’t have that kind of problem over the Grand Prix weekend. We want races with all the teams going for glory not a race weekend were half the field cant race due to the toaster blowing a fuse or a fuel saving issue. Nice to see McLaren having a good day followed by the Hulk

  • Hawk

    what is the significance of the comparison to Jenson’s 1.33.702?

  • Tamburello1994

    My take:

    1) So it’s basically two weeks behind the curve with three weeks to go for Team Renault.

    2) Ferrari is in sandbag mode and can still put up varsity laps.

    3) Could this finally be the year Force India takes “that step”?