Red Bull Bahrain Test Day Three

April 17, 2014

 

 BAHRAIN TEST 1 – DAY THREE

Driver: Daniel Ricciardo

Car: RB10

Laps: 28

Best time: 1:40.781

Circuit length: 5.412km

 Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s third day of testing at the Bahrain International Circuit got off to a positive start this morning as Daniel Ricciardo took over at the wheel of the RB10. However, midway through today’s running the team discovered a mechanical problem and in anticipation of tomorrow’s final day, the decision was taken to suspend running this afternoon.

 “It was going OK,” said Daniel of his morning outing. “I did some good laps and those came off the back of the more than 50 laps Seb did yesterday, so we’re getting there. Obviously, I would have liked to do more this afternoon but we still have tomorrow ahead of us and it’s important to be ready for that. The car is definitely making progress though. It’s coming together bit by bit. We’d love a big chunk all at once but obviously that’s not the way these things work, so we have to be a bit patient for now. However, it is coming and we’re heading in the right direction. Tomorrow it would be nice to get more laps in and then roll on next week.”

 Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum said: “After yesterday’s good work we had another positive period overnight with the car build, which we’re getting quite good at, and it looked good this morning. We were focused on short runs for Daniel, as the car feels very different to the one we had in Jerez and we wanted to build things up gradually for him. We made more changes over lunch and in doing so we came across a mechanical issue that we hadn’t encountered before and because of its nature it means we have to take the car apart. As everyone in the pit lane is finding out this is a long process, so we decided to suspend running in the afternoon so that we can be ready for the final day. These issues are of course frustrating but this was unrelated to the others so it’s just a case of tackling each issue as it appears. A tough night in prospect but we hope to get a good day in tomorrow.”

McLaren Preview Chinese Grand Prix 2014

April 14, 2014

2014 Chinese Grand Prix – preview

 #ChineseGP

#McLarenLIVE

 Formula 1 returns to the Far East for round four of the 2014 world championship, the Chinese Grand Prix. The race takes place just outside Shanghai, China’s industrial and financial capital, and the on-track action is always frenetic thanks to the Shanghai International Circuit’s huge straights, wide run-off areas and notoriously unpredictable weather.

 Shanghai International Circuit facts & stats

Even now, 10 years after the Shanghai International Circuit first hosted a grand prix, the sheer scale of the venue is breathtaking. Its two nine-storey pit buildings, the 29,000-seat main grandstand and the ornate team pavilions in the paddock give the track a dimension that sets it apart from other circuits around the world.

 The 5.451km track was built on marshland deemed unsuitable for housing in 2003. To shore up the wallowing wasteland more than 40,000 concrete pillars were inserted into the ground – something that the track’s designers, Hermann Tilke and Peter Wahl, described as “a huge undertaking”. Construction work was completed in time for the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix in September 2004.

 The clockwise layout contains an eclectic mix of corners, from the 270-degree ever-tightening Turn One to the fast esses in sector two. The final sector incorporates the longest straight on the F1 calendar, at the end of which lies the best overtaking point on the lap, a second-gear hairpin.

 Temperatures are expected to be much cooler than at the last couple of races, and there’s always the chance of rain on China’s eastern fringes in April. Four Chinese GPs have been affected by wet weather, and the 2009 edition was one of only eight races in F1 history to be started behind the Safety Car due to poor weather.

 Pirelli will take their Medium and Soft tyre compounds to China, as they did in Australia and Bahrain. The Soft tyre is expected to give better performance over one lap, with the Medium compound, which performs well on cooler track surfaces, expected to be the better race tyre.

 McLaren has won the Chinese Grand Prix three times, Jenson magnificently leading home a one-two at a deluged event in 2010. The Shanghai International Circuit is another new racetrack for Kevin Magnussen, but he’s already proved this year that he’s a very fast learner.

 Shanghai International Circuit – the stats you need

Race distance                       56 laps (305.066km/189.559 miles)

Start time                               15:00 (local)/07:00 (GMT)

Circuit length                        5.451km/3.387 miles

2013 winner                           Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F138) 56 laps in 1hr36m26.945s (189.778km/h)

2013 pole                               Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W04) 1m 34.484s (207.692km/h)

Lap record                             Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m32.238s (212.749km/h)

 First race                                2004

What makes it special          The mighty architecture, the longest straight in F1, and the passing into the Turn 14 hairpin

Wins from pole position      5

Track abrasiveness              Medium. The track is relatively smooth, but the long corners make it demanding on tyres – particularly the front-left

Pirelli tyre choice                  Soft (Option)/Medium (Prime)

2013 winning strategy         3

Fuel consumption                Medium. The flowing nature of the racetrack makes fuel less of a strategic factor than in Bahrain, for example

Brakewear                              Medium. There are a couple of big stops, particularly into Turn 14, but the brakes have plenty of time to recover

Weather                                  Mixed. Nearly half of the Chinese GPs to date have been affected by wet weather. It is often chilly in China during April

DRS zones                             2 – one on the start-finish straight, the other on the approach to Turn 14

Turbo Effect                          Low, due to not much acceleration from low speeds

Safety Car likelihood            43 per cent – there have been two Safety Car periods in a couple of Chinese GPs

Grid Advantage                    The left side of the grid holds a slight advantage.

Pitlane time                           21s

 McLaren at the Chinese Grand Prix

Wins                                       3 (2008, ’10, ’11)

Poles                                      2 (2007, ’08)

Fastest laps                           3 (2005, ’08, ’10)

 2014 drivers’ championship

1 Nico Rosberg                     61

2 Lewis Hamilton                   50

3 Nico Hulkenberg                28

4 Fernando Alonso               26

5 Jenson Button                   23

6 Sebastian Vettel                  23

7 Kevin Magnussen              20

8 Valtteri Bottas                      18

9 Sergio Perez                       16

10 Daniel Ricciardo              12

11 Felipe Massa                    12

12 Kimi Raikkonen                7

13 Jean-Eric Vergne             4

14 Daniil Kvyat                       3

 Constructors’ championship

1 Mercedes                            111

2 Force India                         44

3 McLaren                              43

4 Red Bull                               35

5 Ferrari                                  33

6 Williams                              30

7 Toro Rosso                        7

McLaren Day 2 Test Bahrain 2014

April 13, 2014

Test report – Bahrain day two

 Date                             Wednesday April 9 2014

Driver                           Kevin Magnussen

Location                       Bahrain International Circuit (5.412km)

Today’s laps/km           26/141

Overall laps/km            128/693

Best laptime                 1m36.203s

 Programme                  Kevin Magnussen was once again behind the wheel for the second, and final, day of running in Bahrain.

                                     The day’s programme began well, with the team able to complete its planned aerodynamic correlation work; however, a car problem pitched Kevin into the Sakhir gravel just before lunchtime, and the team spent much of the remainder of the day repair the subsequent damage to the chassis.

                                     Kevin was able to return to the track for the final half-hour of running, during which he set his fastest time of the day, but the lengthy repairs meant he was only able to complete 26 laps.

 1 Lewis Hamilton                       Mercedes          1m34.136s        120 laps

2 Jean-Eric Vergne                    Toro Rosso       1m35.557s        64 laps

3 Kevin Magnussen                  McLaren           1m36.203s        26 laps

4 Sergio Perez                          Force India        1m36.586s        63 laps

5 Daniel Ricciardo                     Red Bull            1m37.310s        68 laps

6 Jules Bianchi                          Marussia           1m37.316s        93 laps

7 Giedo Van Der Garde             Sauber              1m37.623s        77 laps

8 Fernando Alonso                    Ferrari               1m37.912s        12 laps

9 Marcus Ericsson                     Caterham          1m39.263s        66 laps

10 Felipe Nasr                           Williams            1m39.879s        64 laps

11 Romain Grosjean                  Lotus                1m43.732s        17 laps

12 Pastor Maldonado                Lotus                1m55.613s        4 laps

 What’s next                  The team returns to the UK and completes its preparations for next weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix

 Test dates                    Two days (April 8-9)

Red Bull Day 2 Test Bahrain 2014

April 13, 2014

 

Wednesday 9 April 2014

 BAHRAIN TEST – DAY TWO

Driver: Daniel Ricciardo

Car: RB10

Laps: 67

Best time: 1:37.310

Circuit length: 5.412km

Fastest Lap: L. Hamilton (1:34.136)

 After a morning hampered by an electrical issue, Daniel Ricciardo got through 67 laps of the Sakhir Circuit in the afternoon on the final day of the first in-season test in Bahrain. The problem meant that aerodynamic work scheduled for the early part of the day had to be carried over to the afternoon, with the result that Daniel spent most of the afternoon running short data-gathering stints.

 “We had a few issues this morning which limited our running, but the afternoon was a lot better”, said Daniel. “This afternoon was about gathering a lot of data for the aero guys, so there were no real performance runs, just pure testing. At the end of the day we got a few medium-length runs in and a few balance changes, like we did yesterday. So, not really a day for the timesheets, but one for the people at the factory and the guys behind the laptops.”

 Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum added: “It was a bit of a mixed bag today. We had planned to do a chunk of mapping work this morning but we discovered an electrical issue that put paid to most of our morning.

We had a fairly strict schedule run plan today, so that mapping work then got moved to the afternoon and we got through it successfully and got a lot of data from that. No real performance runs at all and most Daniel’s running was out and in stuff, but I think the amount of information we gathered will make a few people back at the factory extremely happy.

Then in the last three quarters of an hour we had a chance to get through a few test items. So, a pretty successful day in terms of the afternoon work but obviously we would have liked to have had a totally smooth day in order to get through the whole programme. But it’s all good value and we’ll head home tonight having learned a lot and with a lot more information to sift through in the coming days.”

McLaren Day 1 Test Bahrain 2014

April 13, 2014

Test report – Bahrain day one

 Date                             Tuesday April 8 2014

Driver                           Kevin Magnussen

Location                       Bahrain International Circuit (5.412km)

Laps/km                       102/552            

Best laptime                 1m36.634s

 Programme                  Just two days after the thrilling and frantic Bahrain Grand Prix, the McLaren Mercedes team was back in action at the Sakhir track for the first of this year’s four in-season test sessions.

 With 2014’s pre-season tests focused primarily on mileage, reliability running and component validation, this week provides us with a valuable opportunity to undertake some in-depth analysis in order to broaden and deepen our understanding of MP4-29.

 Despite making some lengthy set-up changes to the car between runs, Kevin Magnussen managed to complete 102 laps without problem.

 1 Nico Rosberg             Mercedes          1m35.697s        121 laps

2 Nico Hulkenberg         Force India        1m36.064s        69 laps

3 Fernando Alonso        Ferrari               1m36.626s        68 laps

4 Kevin Magnussen      McLaren           1m36.634s        102 laps

5 Valtteri Bottas            Williams            1m37.305s        28 laps

6 Max Chilton                Marussia           1m37.678s        60 laps

7 Daniel Ricciardo         Red Bull            1m38.326s        91 laps

8 Sergey Sirotkin           Sauber              1m39.023s        76 laps

9 Robin Frijns                Caterham          1m40.027s        62 laps

10 Pastor Maldonado    Lotus                1m40.183s        16 laps

11 Daniil Kvyat              Toro Rosso       1m40.452s        67 laps

 What’s next                  Kevin wraps up the test tomorrow (Wednesday) – the day will focus on some planned component testing

 Test dates                    Two days (April 8-9)

McLaren Race Report Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014

2014 GULF AIR GRAND PRIX

 

“Only one team were demonstrably quicker than us today, but sadly they were a lot quicker than us”

 

#BahrainGP

#McLarenLIVE

#Jenson250

 

Bahrain International Circuit, Sunday April 6

The 2014 Gulf Air Grand Prix, the 10th to be held at the Bahrain International Circuit and the first to be held under floodlights, was a disappointing event for all at McLaren.

An unremarkable qualifying performance – Jenson gridded sixth and Kevin eighth – was followed by a race showing that could have resulted in a decent points-scoring finish, for Jenson at least, but instead ended in a double DNF owing to clutch problems on both cars.

 Drivers’ championship                                       

1 Nico Rosberg                     61

2 Lewis Hamilton                   50

3 Nico Hülkenberg                                28

4 Fernando Alonso                               26

5 Jenson Button                   23

6 Sebastian Vettel                  23

7 Kevin Magnussen              20

8 Valtteri Bottas                      18

9 Sergio Perez                       16

10 Daniel Ricciardo              12

11 Felipe Massa                    12

12 Kimi Räikkönen                7

13 Jean-Eric Vergne             4

 

Constructors’ championship

1 Mercedes AMG                   111

2 Force India                         44

3 McLaren                              43

4 Red Bull                               35

5 Ferrari                                  33

6 Williams                              30

7 Toro Rosso                        7

 

JENSON BUTTON

MP4-29-04

Started                   6th

Finished                 DNF (Classified 16th)

Fastest lap             1m39.565s on lap 37 (+2.545s, 10th)

Pitstops                 Two: lap 17 (2.55s), lap 35 (2.93s) [Opt-Opt-Pri]

 “In terms of pace, we took a step forward this weekend.

“Moreover, our degradation was positive and I think we did a very good job understanding our tyres.

“Only one team were demonstrably quicker than us today – Mercedes – but sadly they were a lot quicker than us. Having said that, our long-run pace was very good, especially over the last few laps, so I reckon we could have raced very hard to the finish on the Primes. But unfortunately I didn’t get that opportunity.

“It’s tough for all the team, because they all worked really well and really hard. We were set for fifth place at worst and a podium finish at best, and that would have been a very positive outcome for all of us.

“In summary, then, there was lots of good racing out there – I can’t even remember how many cars I overtook but it was quite a lot – and I think it was the same for almost everyone out there. I really enjoyed it, in fact.

“Formula 1 may have new power units and technical regs this year, but it’s clearly every bit as good as it ever was in terms of on-track spectacle.”

 KEVIN MAGNUSSEN

MP4-29-01

Started                   8th

Finished                 DNF

Fastest lap             1m40.108s on lap 40 (+3.088s, 14th)

Pitstops                 Three: lap 14 (2.71s), lap 25 (3.59s) and lap 38 (3.36s) [Opt-Opt-Opt-Pri]

 

“That wasn’t a great race for me. The start wasn’t ideal – I lost three positions – and after that we just didn’t have enough pace to make progress towards the front.

 

“We’d been expecting that the colder conditions might help us, but, as things panned out, we were actually a little less strong here than we were in Malaysia, for some reason.

 

“We’ll analyse that carefully, and I’m sure we’ll learn from it. We’re learning all the time, in fact.

 

“It’s disappointing that we didn’t score points today – two DNFs is never pleasant for any team – but we’ll approach the Chinese Grand Prix with the aim of doing quite a bit better than we did here in Bahrain.”

 

 ERIC BOULLIER

Racing director, McLaren Mercedes

“Well, it goes without saying that we’re leaving Bahrain bitterly disappointed.

“We didn’t have the fastest car this weekend, we know that, but, had our cars not both been afflicted with clutch problems towards the end of the race, triggering their retirements, at least we’d have been leaving with some more championship points on the scoreboard.

“In fact, had Jenson’s car run reliably to the flag, there’s every chance that he’d have been fighting for fifth, fourth or potentially even third place.

“Granted, minor placings aren’t what McLaren is all about – on the contrary we exist to win – but a third-, fourth- or fifth-place finish would have been extremely welcome in terms of our achieving what we’d set out to accomplish in these early-in-the-season fly-away races: namely, steadily pick up championship points while we develop our car’s performance envelope for the beginning of the European season in Barcelona.

“Anyway, from here we’ll go back to Woking, where we’ll work as hard as we possibly can to improve our cars for Shanghai, where we’ll be hoping to put up a significantly better showing than we did here in Sakhir this evening.”

Red Bull Race Report Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014

Sunday 6 April 2014
BAHRAIN GP – RACE

DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: 4th, Start Position: 13th

“It was an awesome race; it was exciting. I think the first stint was a bit follow-the-leader, but from the second stint onwards, the race really started to turn up the heat and there were more battles going on in front and behind – it was good to be a part of them. We got close to the podium today, I think within half a second, so I was doing all I could. The car came to me as the race went on and I was happy with how I moved up through the pack, so a good day. It was good fun to race Sebastian, it was hard but fair and we left each other room. That’s what we want from each other and we discussed it beforehand, we’re racers and that’s what we enjoy doing.”

SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 6th, Start Position: 10th

“I think it was a busy race today, especially at the end after the safety car, but it’s a shame we couldn’t get further up. Daniel proved that there was a little bit more to get from the car today, I couldn’t really get to that bit, so I’m not so happy with my day. For some reason we seemed to be really slow on the straights, and not just against the Mercedes. Merc has a stronger package, so there’s work ahead of us. It was straight forward with Daniel today, we worked well together as a team and we raced well, but surely I would like to have finished higher up.” 
 
CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “A very interesting race today and great entertainment; I think we got everything out of it that we could. The drivers worked together as a team earlier in the race when they were on different tyre strategies and then raced each other hard at the end of the race. Daniel put in a great drive and, with another lap, possibly could have made it to the podium. It was good to see them both racing each other cleanly and fairly. Sebastian reported a problem in a straight line, which we need to investigate because he didn’t manage to overtake anyone at the end of the straight all afternoon, so there’s plenty of work to do. We got a good haul of points today and we now have a couple of days testing to try and further close that gap to Mercedes.”

THIERRY SALVI, Renault: “It was a tight race for us as we were trying to stay with the middle group all race. We were simply not able to fight at the right level, so a lot of work has to be done to extract the maximum from our power unit. Dan did a good job all race and was able to move up after the safety car: he was quite impressive. Seb struggled more, especially at the end where he was missing some top speed to stay with Daniel. We still have a lot to optimize, but the progress and steps will be big and we will learn even more during the test session in the coming days. This will help us to come back stronger and to give our drivers the power unit they need to fight at the front.”

 

McLaren Preview Bahrain Grand Prix 2014

April 7, 2014

2014 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix – preview

 #BahrainGP

#McLarenLIVE

#Jenson250

 Formula 1 heads to the desert for round three of the 2014 world championship, but there won’t be any sunshine during this weekend’s Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix. The event is the latest night race to be added to the calendar, starting under floodlights at 18.00 local time. It’s sure to be an incredible spectacle.

 Bahrain International Circuit facts & stats

The Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) was the first Formula 1 venue to be built in the Middle East. It hosted its first grand prix in 2004, since when it has earned a reputation for fast and furious racing.

 The 5.4km (3.4-mile) layout is essentially made up of four long straights. The cars exceed 300km/h (186mph) along each, at the end of which are large 5g braking events, where car stability and a faultless ERS (energy recovery system), which harvests energy under braking, are essential. Good traction is another important handling characteristic at this track, because the cars accelerate out of first- or second-gear corners on four occasions around the lap.

 The middle sector provides some of the most challenging corners. Turn 10 is a tricky downhill off-camber left-hander, into which it’s easy to lock a front wheel. Turns 11 and 12 are the circuit’s only long corners, through which good car balance is important because the drivers are hard on the power.

 The asphalt at the BIC is abrasive, but the absence of any high-speed corners makes it relatively easy on tyres. For that reason Pirelli are bringing their Soft (Option) and Medium (Prime) compounds to the race, which are the same as those used at the season-opener in Melbourne. Bahrain is extremely hot during the daytime, but lower track temperatures in the cool of the night will help limit thermal degradation of the tyres.

 Jenson Button celebrates his 250th grand prix this weekend. He was the first Formula 1 driver ever to visit the US$150m track in 2003, while it was still under construction, and he has a good record in the event: he finished on the podium in 2004 and won the race in 2009.

 Jenson’s team-mate Kevin Magnussen has never previously raced at the BIC, but he has plenty of experience there, following the recent winter test sessions in February.

 Bahrain International Circuit – the stats you need

Race distance                       57 laps (308.238km/191.539 miles)

Start time                               18.00 (local)/15.00 (GMT)

Circuit length                        5.412km/3.363 miles

2013 winner                           Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB9) 57 laps in 1hr36m00.498s (192.632km/h)

2013 pole                               Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W04) 1m 32.330s (211.017km/h)

Lap record                             Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2004) 1m30.252s (216.074km/h)

 First race                                2004

What makes it special          The desert location – and, for 2014, it becomes F1’s newest night race

Wins from pole position      4

Track abrasiveness              High

Pirelli tyre choice                  Soft (Option); Medium (Prime)

2013 winning strategy         3 stops

Fuel consumption                High – one of the highest of the entire season

Brake wear                             High – there are four big stops around the lap

Weather                                  Very hot, but the evening start will cause track temperatures to drop during the race

DRS zones                             2 – one on the start-finish straight, the other on the approach to Turn 11

Turbo effect                          High, owing to plenty of acceleration-from-low-speed zones

Safety Car likelihood            Low – the track is wide and the possibility of rain is very low

Grid advantage                     The left side of the grid holds a slight advantage

Pit-lane time                          Approx 24s

 McLaren at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Wins                                       0

Poles                                      0

Fastest laps                           2 (2005, ’08)

 2014 drivers’ championship

1 Nico Rosberg                     43

2 Lewis Hamilton                   25

3 Fernando Alonso               24

4 Jenson Button                   23

5 Kevin Magnussen              20

6 Nico Hulkenberg                18

7 Sebastian Vettel                  15

8 Valterri Bottas                     14

9 Kimi Raikkonen                  6

10 Felipe Massa                    6

11 Jean-Eric Vergne             4

12 Daniil Kvyat                       3

13 Sergio Perez                     1

 2014 constructors’ championship

1 Mercedes                            68

2 McLaren                              43

3 Ferrari                                  30

4 Williams                              20

5 Force India                         19

6 Red Bull                               15

7 Toro Rosso                        7

Red Bull Race Report Malaysian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014

 

Sunday 30 March 2014
MALAYSIAN GP – RACE

 SEBASTIAN VETTEL, Finish Position: 3rd, Start Position: 2nd
“We have certainly made a good step forwards, but we still have a lot of work to do. It’s great to get a podium finish today. Considering where we were, not even two months ago, I think this weekend is a massive step in the right direction. It’s a shame we didn’t finish with both cars, but it’s good to see the car is quick and we need the laps; for now it’s important to collect points. The guys are pushing back in the factory and at Renault – it’s been a massive job from them – and we’ll try to be up there very soon again. It was a shame to lose a place at the start, but third was our maximum position today, so I’m very happy with that. It’s a shame for Daniel with what happened, he drove really well.”
 
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Finish Position: DNF, Start Position: 5th
“It was looking like we could have a solid points finish today; the race was going pretty well. The start was really good and I made up a couple of positions and I was starting to, let’s say, mix it up at the front, which is nice. It’s fun being up there and fighting for the top few spots, but then we had a problem at the last pit stop and then we had a puncture. I think we had a front wing failure and a few other things went on and then the stop-go penalty, so the race ended pretty quickly for us, it went from looking good to looking pretty bad in a short amount of time. I’m really disappointed, but at the same time there’s a little bit in me which is happy because I think I’ve come out the first two races how I wanted to, in a way. I still want to improve, but we’ve started off on the right foot, so for that I’m pleased and with a little bit of luck we’ll turn things around soon and I’ll get some points. I love racing up the front, it’s been a privilege so far and a lot of fun in the last couple of races. It’s a bit addictive actually, I want more, so you’ll see me up there plenty of times this year.”

 CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal: “Considering where we were a month ago, to be on the podium with Sebastian in Malaysia in a dry race, is an incredible performance. We knew that we had some ground to catch up to the Mercedes, so to finish as close as Sebastian did today was a really positive performance and, while we know we’ve got a lot of work to do, we can begin to realise the scale of our challenge. It’s a great shame for Daniel who did everything right today – a great start and a great first lap and a really impressive opening part of the race. It was unlucky that when he came in to a pit stop; the front left didn’t go on properly and the car was released, it was judged to be an unsafe release and we had a drive through penalty. Thereafter the wing failed – we don’t know what caused that yet. I think Daniel’s clearly shown his potential and that the Australian GP wasn’t a one off; it’s great to have two guys pushing like they are.”

 THIERRY SALVI, Renault: “A great race for Sebastian to get his first podium of the season. Everything worked as expected on the Power Unit and we managed the fuel and energy well. One of the main concerns in the heat here is the charged air temperature to the turbo, but we didn’t have any issues today. Daniel was unlucky again – he lost time in the pits and then retired. But we have seen that we have the potential to challenge for the podium with both cars now, which shows the huge effort put in since winter testing by both Milton Keynes and Viry.”

McLaren Race Report Malaysian Grand Prix 2014

March 31, 2014

2014 MALAYSIAN GRAND PRIX

“We got the best from the car, but still need to improve”

#MalaysianGP

Sepang International Circuit, Sunday March 30

 From eighth (Kevin) and 10th (Jenson) on the grid, both drivers made clean getaways. However, Kevin tangled with Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari as the pair jostled for position into Turn Two. The resultant contact shattered Kevin’s left-hand-side front-wing end-plate, losing him downforce during his first stint and causing him to drop behind Jenson, and struggle to keep both Williams drivers at bay.

Kevin stopped for fresh tyres on lap nine, during which pit-stop the team also fitted a new nose-box to his car. However, soon afterwards, he was awarded a five-second stop-go penalty in respect of his coming-together with Kimi, which he took at the start of his second pit-stop. Despite those setbacks, he pushed hard until the end, finishing ninth, his second consecutive points finish in as many grands prix.

 Jenson’s race was incident-free – he vaulted Kevin to run seventh in the early laps, expertly keeping Felipe Massa’s Williams at bay throughout the first stint. He gained another place when the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo was delayed by a number of issues in the middle of the race. Then, in the closing laps, he put up a spirited defence, again facing an attack from Felipe, to come home sixth.

With four points finishes from four starts in 2014, McLaren currently sits second in the constructors’ world championship.

 Drivers’ championship                                       

1 Nico Rosberg                     43

2 Lewis Hamilton                   25

3 Fernando Alonso               24

4 Jenson Button                   23

5 Kevin Magnussen              20

6 Nico Hülkenberg                18

7 Sebastian Vettel                  15

8 Valtteri Bottas                      14

9 Kimi Räikkönen                  6

10 Felipe Massa                    6

11 Jean-Eric Vergne             4

12 Daniil Kvyat                       3

13 Sergio Perez                     1

 Constructors’ championship

1 Mercedes AMG                   68

2 McLaren                              43

3 Ferrari                                  30

4 Williams                              20

5 Force India                         19

6 Red Bull                               15

7 Toro Rosso                        7

 JENSON BUTTON

MP4-29-04

Started                   10th

Finished                 6th

Fastest lap             1m46.039s on lap 47 (+2.973s, 11th)

Pitstops                 Three: lap 13 (3.18s), lap 25 (2.83s) and lap 39 (3.35s) [Opt-Opt-Opt-Pri]

 “It was hot out there this afternoon! And when you’ve spent all that time watching the two Williams battling in your mirrors, it makes it feel even hotter.

 “Still, it was an enjoyable race, and I couldn’t really have expected more. I think we got the most we could out of the package this afternoon, and I didn’t think I’d be finishing sixth after the way the car had performed earlier in the weekend.

 “It’s encouraging for all the guys that we called both the pit-stops and the fuel usage perfectly throughout the race. I also want to say a big ‘thanks’ to everyone back at the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre] for working so hard to bring the updates to the track. Every little helps.

“Nonetheless, there’s no getting away from the fact that we’re still weak in the high-speed corners; this car does have its strengths, but we’ve got a lot of work to do. We got the best out of the car today, but we know we still need to improve.”

 KEVIN MAGNUSSEN

MP4-29-01

Started                   8th

Finished                 9th

Fastest lap             1m45.373s on lap 44 (+2.307s, 8th)

Pitstops                 Three: lap 9 (15.1s + front-wing change), lap 24 (3.76s +5.0s stop-go) and lap 39 (2.68s) [Opt-Opt-Opt-Pri]

Im sorry for the team that I messed things up going into the second corner, with the incident with Kimi. I think we could have scored some good points today, so I’m disappointed with and for myself, too. Grands prix are long races, so I shouldn’t have made a mistake like that so early on in the afternoon.

 “But that sort of stuff happens sometimes – and, when it does, you just have to learn from it, and I will.

 “After the incident, it wasn’t easy to recover, and we struggled with the high track temperatures, and in the high-speed corners, too.

 “As I say, I’ll learn from this race and I’ll see what I can do at the next one. It’s good that the Bahrain Grand Prix is so soon; it’ll feel good to put this one behind me, and move on.”

 ERIC BOULLIER

Racing director, McLaren Mercedes

“Clearly, we’d expected to be leaving Sepang with rather more than the 10 points we scored here this afternoon.

 “Having said that, Jenson drove a faultless race, moving steadily from his P10 grid slot to P6 at flag-fall. Had qualifying gone better for him, perhaps he could have finished a little farther up, but probably not much.

 “Kevin made a good start, but, as he shaped up to pass Kimi’s Ferrari, the two cars touched, causing a puncture for Kimi and a broken left-side front-wing end-plate for Kevin.

 “Kevin’s first pit-stop was consequently elongated by our need to fit a replacement nose-cone assembly, which deficit was compounded by the stop-go penalty he was awarded soon after.

 “Such races are a Formula 1 rookie’s rights of passage, inevitable and unsurprising, but Kevin’s reaction was impressive from two perspectives: first, he put his head down and drove his heart out for the remainder of the afternoon, recovering very well to finish ninth at the finish; and, second, he apologised to the team unreservedly on the slowing-down lap, which wasn’t strictly necessary but was good to hear all the same.

 “Overall, then, despite having got both our cars to the finish in points-scoring positions, we’re far from satisfied; but we’re working tirelessly to improve things, and that’s exactly what we’ll do.

 “From here we go to Bahrain, where we hope to spice things up a bit by putting on a better show in the home race of our principal shareholder, Mumtalakat.”

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