Feb 19, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
The theme of surprise pace-setters in Formula One testing, as it was in Jerez a few weeks ago, continued Wednesday on the first day at Bahrain. Nico Hulkenberg in his Force India clocked in at 1:36.880 on Pirelli’s soft tires, in a lap actually faster than the 2013 fastest race lap in the Bahrain Grand Prix.
What is a trend though, is that Hulkenberg is in a Mercedes-powered car, and was able to clock a substantial amount of laps on the day. His fellow Mercedes-powered drivers did as well and the Renaults, again as in Jerez, didn’t.
Hulkenberg was third in the morning session behind McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, as times dropped by a couple seconds once teams switched onto the softer compounds.
By day’s end only Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari was within a second, and only just, at 1:37.879.
With times not as important as lap counts on the first day, here’s the breakdown by manufacturer:
- Mercedes: 238 (Hulkenberg 78, Hamilton 74, Magnussen 81, Felipe Massa 5)
- Ferrari: 149 (Alonso 64, Adrian Sutil 82, Jules Bianchi 3)
- Renault: 95 (Sebastian Vettel 14, Robin Frijns 68, Daniil Kvyat 5, Romain Grosjean 8)
Neither Massa or Bianchi set an official time; Williams’ Massa had a fuel system issue that cost him most of his day, while Marussia’s Bianchi had what was deemed an “IT configuration problem” per the team.
Meanwhile for Renault, Red Bull’s Vettel encountered more issues as he stopped on track with a broken down car. The team didn’t reveal the reason as yet. As it is, a disconcerting sign after his Jerez problems.
Kyvat had an oil leak in the Toro Rosso, while Grosjean was out mainly for installation laps and didn’t put up a representative time.
Caterham’s Frijns impressed on his only day of running, before race drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson take over later this week.
1. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes, 1m36.880s, 78 Laps 2. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m37.879s, 64 3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m37.908s, 74 4. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m38.295s, 81 5. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 1m40.224s, 14 6. Adrian Sutil, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m40.443s, 82 7. Robin Frijns, Caterham-Renault, 1m42.534s, 68 8. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m44.346s, 5 9. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault, 1m44.832s, 8 10. Felipe Massa, Williams-Meredes, no time, 5 11. Jules Bianchi, Marussia-Ferrari, no time, 3
Nov 24, 2014, 3:32 PM EST
Next season, the campaign will serve as primary sponsor for Aric Almirola’s No. 43 at Atlanta in March and Darlington in May.
Nov 24, 2014, 2:33 PM EST
The nine-time World Rally Champion is now a full-time touring car racer, but will help kick off the 2015 WRC campaign for Citroen.
Nov 24, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Hunter-Reay’s face on the Borg-Warner Trophy set for December 3 reveal.
Nov 24, 2014, 1:15 PM EST
IndyCar gets in on the Odell Beckham Jr. meme game, and it’s a good one.
Nov 24, 2014, 1:00 PM EST
Patrick Dempsey presenting and Brantley Gilbert winning makes for two racing tie-ins in a music show.
Nov 24, 2014, 12:15 PM EST
Hammer Time in Abu Dhabi; Bird was the word for Formula E in Malaysia; a look at the NASCAR beat…
Nov 24, 2014, 11:45 AM EST
Lineups set for this week’s Abu Dhabi test.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:09 AM EST
Jordan and Ricky Taylor drop their latest.
Nov 24, 2014, 11:00 AM EST
Frances busy with charitable efforts during and after the NASCAR season.
Nov 24, 2014, 10:30 AM EST
Danica Patrick will be in another GoDaddy ad, with an intriguing guest star.
Nov 24, 2014, 10:00 AM EST
Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez the only drivers to benefit from double points in Abu Dhabi.
Nov 24, 2014, 9:00 AM EST
However, simply getting to the race must go down as an achievement for the backmarkers.
Nov 24, 2014, 8:13 AM EST
Mattiacci out, Arrivabene in as Ferrari team principal.
Nov 24, 2014, 8:00 AM EST
Gutierrez finishes as the lead Sauber in a lowly 15th place on Sunday.
Nov 23, 2014, 6:10 PM EST
The world of motorsports — particularly NASCAR and NHRA — is mourning arguably the best public relations person it has ever seen, Denny Darnell, who passed away Saturday.
Nov 23, 2014, 6:00 PM EST
The Charlotte and Texas brawls from this year’s Chase are still resonating weeks after they occurred.
Nov 23, 2014, 5:17 PM EST
Marcos Ambrose is wasting little time in his return to racing V8 Supercars in his native Australia.
Nov 23, 2014, 4:30 PM EST
A wild concept collaboration for Gran Turismo 6 between the Bowtie and famous race car builder Chaparral.
Petty’s 1988 Daytona wreck sold as prelude to upcoming auction of NASCAR Hall of Famer Cotton Owens estate
Nov 23, 2014, 3:53 PM EST
The remains of Richard Petty’s crashed 1988 Pontiac Grand Prix from the 1988 Daytona 500 sold Saturday, a prelude of an even larger auction of late NASCAR Hall of Famer Cotton Owens’ estate on Dec. 6.
Nov 23, 2014, 2:30 PM EST
This weekend is the first without a NASCAR race since mid-July.
Video from NASCAR America
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- Hamilton calls second title victory “the greatest day of my life” 3
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