- Jerez Test, Day Three
Magnussen top as Red Bull struggleLaurence Edmondson at Jerez January 30, 2014 « Red Bull cuts another day of Jerez test short | Red Bull not in trouble yet - Hamilton »
Red Bull's nightmare test continued on the third day at Jerez as the team cut another session short due to problems with its brand new RB10.
It was the another day of very limited mileage for the world champions after Daniel Ricciardo only managed three laps to add to the 11 Sebastian Vettel completed on Tuesday and Wednesday. To make matters worse, Ricciardo's first lap out of the pits came to a smoky halt at Turn Seven and had to completed on the back of a flatbed truck to get him back to the garage.
On Wednesday Red Bull's power unit supplier Renault Sport accepted some responsibility for the lack of running due to a problem with the batteries in its energy recovery system, but Red Bull continued to struggle with other issues of its own on Thursday.
Fellow Renault Sport-powered teams are also having problems as Toro Rosso and Jean-Eric Vergne mustered up 28 laps and caused two red flags at the end of the day when Vergne stopped twice at the end of the pit straight within an hour. Caterham managed 10 laps in total with reserve driver Robin Frijns at the wheel.
McLaren came out of the day on top with rookie race driver Kevin Magnussen setting the fastest time of the week with a 1:23.276. He took over the car from Jenson Button halfway through the day and between them they managed 52. On Wednesday Button speculated that some drivers might get into the 1:22s by the end of the week, so there could be more to come from Magnussen on Friday.
Felipe Massa was his closest competitor with a 1:23.700 late in the day in his Williams after 43 laps in total with his new team. Lewis Hamilton set a 1:23.952 in the Mercedes but failed to match team-mate Nico Rosberg's 97 laps with 62 of his own.
Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest by the close of play, 2.219s off Magnussen's best time. He completed 55 laps in total, but stopped on track in the morning with a technical issue. Nico Hulkenberg and Force India had a very stop-start day, completing just 17 laps in total. On a later run he managed a time 2.280s off the lead McLaren but will have been hoping for mileage on his first day back with the team after his year at Sauber in 2013.
His replacement, Adrian Sutil, notched up 34 laps before he stuck the Sauber C33 in the wall on the exit of Dry Sac. It was a strange place to have an accident, but CCTV footage of the aftermath (there is no TV feed at testing) suggested he spun into the wall and knocked the front wing clean off the car.
Thursday also marked the first appearance of the Marussia MR03. The car emerged with Max Chilton at the wheel, and despite the team delaying its arrival at Jerez to iron out issues at the factory, he still completed more laps than Ricciardo's Red Bull with four in total.
Time at close:
Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.276s 52 laps Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m23.700s 47 laps Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m23.952s 62 laps Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m25.030s 40 laps Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m25.495s 58 laps Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m26.096s 17 laps Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m29.915s 30 laps Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m30.161s 34 laps Robin Frijns Caterham-Renault No time 10 laps Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari No time 5 laps Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault No time 3 laps
Laurence Edmondson is deputy editor of ESPNF1