- Oct 27, 2014
It caps four days full of bad luck for the Woking team, with engine supplier Honda twice redesigning the seal on the MGU-K energy recovery system to try and address failures which prevented Alonso or Button from longer running in the MP4-30. Alonso himself had only completed 20 laps before the incident, and while the car only appeared to be missing its front wing McLaren called it a day after the Spaniard was taken for precautionary checks. It is still unclear whether it was mechanical issues or driver error which caused the crash.
Alonso wasn’t the only one to make mistakes out there though. Carlos Sainz Jr. crashed his Toro Rosso at the same corner, for which he partly blamed the high winds for making conditions more difficult. Sainz later told Sky Sports News HQ: “But these things happen. Today was my turn. You have seen many good drivers in the past crashing cars and it sometimes happens in testing, you just have to learn from it.”
He added that “The day had been the best day of testing up until that point. I felt from the morning compared to day two a completely different car and I was a completely different driver with much more feeling on the braking and in all type of corners.” He eventually finished 6th fastest.
Nico Rosberg began his day similar to how Sebastian Vettel began yesterday, a small spin requiring some quick repairs. Not that it really mattered, since the German still managed a mammoth 131 laps in his Mercedes, and a lap on medium-compound tyres less than two tenths behind Lotus driver Romain Grosjean’s fastest on super-soft tyres. Unknown variables aside, the medium tyres are much harder and should be much slower than the super-softs (Lewis Hamilton has even commented that he feels that Pirelli have produced compounds which are too hard), so it’s another very promising display from the world champions. Speaking of Rosberg’s compatriot, Vettel put in another 76 laps despite being stuck in the garage for much of the time, and finishes another test where the new Ferrari has impressed the paddock. Williams are conversely keeping much quieter; neither Valtteri Bottas or Felipe Massa have focused on topping the times, but another 129 laps of race simulation and set-up work saw Bottas go 5th today, amidst confidence that the team can still fight for podiums with Red Bull and an apparently improved Ferrari.
Arguably under even more pressure than McLaren right now is Force India; Nico Hulkenberg finally got his first running of 2015 today, but it was in 2014’s car and brought to a halt after 36 laps with a smoking engine. The team are hoping the new VJM08 will be able to do at least some of the final test after a couple of delays in getting it ready.
First Barcelona Test Day Four Results
1. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes 1:24.067 111 laps
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.231 131 laps
3. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault 1:24.941 104 laps
4. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.956 73 laps
5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:25.345 129 laps
6. Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso-Renault 1:25.604 88 laps
7. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.312 76 laps
8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:26.591 36 laps
9. Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1:27.956 20 laps
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