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Magnussen leads Day 2 in Bahrain; Renault teams make strides

Feb 20, 2014, 9:52 AM EDT

F1 Testing in Bahrain - Day Two Getty Images

A Mercedes-powered car led the way again in the second day of Formula One testing in Bahrain, and some of the teams that had issues on Wednesday got them, in part, sorted on Thursday.

Kevin Magnussen’s run of form this winter continued; the young Dane dropped the bar on times by a full two seconds compared to Wednesday’s best. Another run on Pirelli’s soft tires saw Magnussen’s McLaren MP4-29 down to 1:34.910.

Nico Hulkenberg, Wednesday’s pace-setter, improved his time by a few tenths in the Force India-Mercedes to 1:36.445, while Fernando Alonso found more than a second in his Ferrari at 1:36.516.

Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Williams fixed some of their issues on Thursday. Despite playing catch-up, Red Bull got by far its best day of the winter in on Thursday with Sebastian Vettel completing 59 laps. The sister Toro Rosso team, with Jean-Eric Vergne in for the first time this week, got 58 in.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas though was the lap-pounder of the day, with the team’s fuel system gremlins of Wednesday sent to the rear view mirror. The young Finn clocked in a day-high 116 laps and was within 2.4 seconds of the leading Mercedes-powered runners.

As has been the case in other tests, Mercedes teams still led the combined total lap chart, but all three manufacturers picked up on where they were on Wednesday (Mercedes 238, Ferrari 146, Renault 95). Here’s Thursday’s breakdown:

  • Mercedes: 306 (Magnussen 46, Hulkenberg 59, Nico Rosberg 85, Bottas 116)
  • Renault: 201 (Kamui Kobayashi 66, Vettel 59, Vergne 58, Romain Grosjean 18)
  • Ferrari: 169 (Alonso 97, Esteban Gutierrez 55, Max Chilton 17)

Renault had by far it’s most running overall, even despite installation issues preventing Lotus’ Romain Grosjean from doing much of anything. Pace runs will come later for the French manufacturer.

And here’s Thursday’s times:

1. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren-Mercedes, 1m34.910s, 46 Laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India-Mercedes, 1m36.445s, 59
3. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m36.516s, 97
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m36.965s, 85
5. Valtteri Bottas, Williams-Mercedes, 1m37.328s, 116
6. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham-Renault, 1m39.855s, 66
7. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 1m40.340s, 59
8. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso-Renault, 1m40.609s, 58
9. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber-Ferrari, 1m40.717s, 55
10. Romain Grosjean, Lotus-Renault, 1m41.670s, 18
11. Max Chilton, Marussia-Ferrari, 1m42.511s, 17

  1. kitnamania13 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    Let’s drive up the comment count for these non-Nascar articles. If we don’t, this site will become all Nascar.

    • Tony DiZinno - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:15 AM

      I can safely assure you the site will not become all-NASCAR. There’s just been more NASCAR content than normal lately in the run up to Daytona this week.

      • kitnamania13 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        That’s good to know. It’s just a little disheartening that all the Danicrap gets so many comments, while real racing news is getting almost none. I just don’t want to see this space turn into what ESPN has become.

      • indycar02 - Feb 20, 2014 at 5:24 PM

        i remember you at racer, why did you leave?.. hope your still friends.

  2. lowboytrucking - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Besides just commenting, I’d like to see McLaren come back as a serious competitor. This Red Bull Ferrari Nonsense has gone on long enough.

  3. lowboytrucking - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    Where did my comment go

    • indycar02 - Feb 20, 2014 at 5:33 PM

      me to, i had 3 other’s posted.

  4. kitnamania13 - Feb 20, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    It’s difficult to tell anything from these winter tests. The fast teams are sandbagging and the underfunded teams are doing low-fuel runs to drum up sponsor interest. The only thing I can truly believe is that it’s not a good thing if the Renault machines can’t stay out of the garages.

  5. testover6370 - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:41 AM

    When I ran track and field in high school I was occasionally called upon to form a leg of a relay team. Before a relay race we’d stand around in a circle tossing the baton around, and at some point everyone was required to drop it once, to get a drop out of the way before the race and superstitiously that meant it wouldn’t happen during the race.

    I’m beginning to think that may be something like what is going on with the Renault powered teams. They’re going through teething issues now, but we expected everyone would. Are the other teams going to drop the proverbial baton during a race while Renault powers on because they sorted out their issues? I’m looking forward to Australia.

  6. patellis15 - Feb 20, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    I’m very happy to see McLaren having good form, even if it is only in testing…. I’d love to see 4 or 5 teams really battling it out each year rather than 2 or 3 as we’ve seen for the last 15 years or so….

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