Valtteri Bottas fastest on final day of pre-season testing

Jordan Adcock

Oct 27, 2014

Williams were fastest for the second time as pre-season testing drew to a close at Barcelona, while Mercedes and Sauber completed their own small feats.

The Finnish driver was quickest both in the morning and afternoon, and despite a smaller 89 laps than some other teams completed, today marked a successful end to a quietly productive testing program for the Grove team. Williams haven’t produced many of the headlines since late January, but they’ve also had very few reliability issues with the FW37, and could mean they still battle against the likely improved Ferrari and Red Bull this year. Speaking of which, Daniel Ricciardo had an ERS problem in the morning which again limited Red Bull’s running, while Sebastian Vettel was 2nd fastest amidst increasing rumours reported by BBC Sport that Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s race-simulation run yesterday was considered “nothing special" by the rest of the paddock.

But McLaren must wish they at least had Ferrari's reliability at the moment. Their Honda-powered MP4-30 was once again stuck in the garage for most of the morning, leaving Jenson Button to complete just 30 laps in total and a lot of unknowns ahead of Australia in two weeks’ time. Force India, despite only starting to test their 2015 car on Friday, are experiencing much more immediate luck than their Woking rivals. Sergio Perez had his first go in the VJM08 today after Nico Hulkenberg ran on Friday and Saturday, and the Mexican gave the team another huge 130-lap haul. The team didn’t quite retain this year’s record for most testing laps completed in a day however. At 159 laps and 3rd quickest, Felipe Nasr in the Sauber beat them by one as the Brazilian closes on his grand prix debut.

Fellow rookie Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso stopped with an engine problem in the afternoon, but Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado went one further by crashing at turn four, ending the team’s test a few hours early. Nico Rosberg and Mercedes comparatively looked very assured despite being only 7th fastest, running 148 laps unconcerned with one-lap pace. Today also meant that the W06 Hybrid completed all of testing without using Pirelli’s super-soft compound tyre once. Since Mercedes could set competitive laptimes regardless, we probably haven't seen how good the German manufacturer’s car really is yet.

Second Barcelona Test Day Four Results

1. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:23.063 89 laps
2. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:23.469 129 laps
3. Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.023 159 laps
4. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault 1:24.527 85 laps
5. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1:24.638 72 laps
6. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:25.113 130 laps
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.186 148 laps
8. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1:25.327 30 laps
9. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 1:28.272 36 laps

The 2015 season gets underway with Friday practice at Melbourne, Australia on March 13th. Not long now…
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Darren Bentley

Feb 22, 2011
Mercedes, scary pace put into perspective

Not only that, apparently they did 6000KM on ONE engine, that's the ENTIRE race distance of the season on one engine, then again I think Toto is just trying to scare everyone by saying that


If you get a Quali Place, you can get a Race Pace
Oct 23, 2012
Hope that Ferrari race results this year be as good as the testing.
Yes, same, I hope they can challenge Mercedes. And I hope McLaren-Honda can fix the issues of their car and are competitive this season.


Nov 10, 2012
Ferrari is looking pretty reliable too. And I personally think driver chemistry plays a larger role in a team's success than people think. Clearly Vettel and Kimi are happy now that they are not only together, but that they don't have to deal with a prima donna. The car last year was a push and pull between the Mighty Alonso and the somewhat-less-than-mighty (who knows why) Kimi. This year, same driving style, new car, and they are friends.


Dec 6, 2013
Mercedes have won already; might put a tenner on them winning every race this year.
Rosberg or Hamilton to win?
hmm, might be rosberg this time - but needs to improve his races from last year to challenge Hamilton.


Jan 22, 2014
The car last year was a push and pull between the Mighty Alonso and the somewhat-less-than-mighty (who knows why) Kimi. This year, same driving style
Kimi seems to like a car that is very easy to turn-in without using much steering lock. A very precise and instant front-end. He also seems to like when the rear moves in-order to help with the rotation even more than most drivers. He generally likes the car very "free" with a very direct front-end.

Vettel on the other hand complained all year, and was slower than Ricciardo probably 90% of the year, with a car that had a rear-end that was much too "free" for Vettel's particular liking. He complained may times during the season about the car being too "free" for him and therefore not giving him the confidence to gain that last 0.100 or 0.200 that Ricciardo would have over him (especially throughout the race-laps where it was sometimes well over 0.200).

So, Kimi loves a "free" rear-end (with an extremely "positive" front-end) while Vettel complained all year, lost confidence and speed, and lost-out to his teammate on an extremely consistent basis because the Red Bull's rear-end had too much "freedom" and movement relative to Vettel's preference.

Therefore, to me, It seems like the two drivers have complete opposite car-behavior preferences based on all their comments/complaints and results.