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Day two in Bahrain pre season testing and Red Bull Racing seem to be making some progress. The team completing 59 laps today, which is considering that testing up until now for Red Bull has comprised of the team completing just a handful of laps. Its definite progress for the team even if the on track running is managing is still in short sections.

Personally I believe Red Bull having a reasonably competitive but difficult car this season is better for F1 than a complete meltdown season in which the reigning champions have no chance of competing for podiums, yet alone wins. It gives the champions at the end of the season further credibility if the rivals are competitive and it creates a better season for us as fans to enjoy.

Elsewhere, Mercedes had a challenging start to the day with two stoppages on track, which adds an interesting dynamic considering the mileage the team has produced in pre season testing so far.

Toro Rosso seem to having a stronger day as well, The team is progressing, Still having some on track issues however placing a lot more mileage than yesterday, In fact by lunchtime, Vergne had completed the most mileage of anyone.

Lotus had the engine issues this morning that most faced in Jerez however the team is progressing, completing 15 laps on day two added to the eight yesterday and the additional 22 laps, the team did in its “promotional” day at Jerez, all in all The team doesn’t seem to be have being too compromised so far considering its later start in testing.

During the afternoon, Kevin Magnussen closed the gap on the 2013 pole time to within 2.6 seconds so progress in terms of overall lap times is becoming stronger as the test goes on, with qualifying simulations yet to come.

Pos Driver                Team                     Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Kevin Magnussen       McLaren-Mercedes         1m34.910s           46
 2. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes     1m36.445s  +1.535s  59
 3. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                  1m36.516s  +1.606s  97
 4. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes                 1m36.965s  +2.055s  85
 5. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Mercedes        1m37.328s  +2.418s 116
 6. Kamui Kobayashi       Caterham-Renault         1m39.855s  +4.945s  66
 7. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault         1m40.340s  +5.430s  59
 8. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Renault       1m40.609s  +5.699s  58
 9. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari           1m40.717s  +5.807s  55
10. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault            1m41.670s  +6.760s  18 
11. Max Chilton           Marussia-Ferrari         1m42.511s  +7.601s  17
  • Schmorbraten

    Bravado award should go to Kobayashi for his frank assessment of Renault’s chances to compete with the other engine manufacturers.

  • Rapierman

    Half the fault goes to Renault for not figuring out how to make a Turbo V6 work, but the other half goes to Newey tor not figuring out how to balance aerodynamics against cooling.

  • Niyoko

    All props to Kamui for giving us a clear picture of what Renault stand against the rest. His speaking out is refreshing.

  • jeff

    I love the uncertainty resulting from these new cars; something F1’s been missing for 15 years.

    To be fair to all engineers, they’re prototyping very complex machines in the public’s view. Failure mode analysis on the power units’ hybrid systems alone must be daunting. Added to the fact that, unlike a production car for example, the think tanks are working with no margin (max performance/min weight/”just sufficient” cooling), and it’s a marvel they’re as few problems as there’ve actually been.

    My car had a recall for a faulty engine seal that could lead to catastrophic failure; this, from a vaunted German company renowned for their engineering prowess and competition history, on a model that’s been evolved over 50 years and road tested for 100’s of thousands of miles. If they had to design and build a car for immediate production, it’d be a disaster.

    • Good point Jeff. I hadn’t given thought the the idea of public prototyping. :). They deserve lots of credit.

      • jeff

        I was thinking about you when I received my recall notice; in a recent podcast, you spoke with Paul about the recent recall on your vehicle. With all the hullabaloo about Prius recalls these past few years, the public’s jumped on manufacturers for not producing perfect cars. The truth is, recalls for both large and small issues have been posted with the same frequency for decades; these are complex machines we’re tootling around in. (Doesn’t mean it isn’t annoying, however, particularly with dealerships penchant for “replace rather than repair.)

        An F1 car doesn’t have a HUD, GPS, HVAC, or active suspension like our road cars, but do have engines on a ragged thermal envelope, massive G forces to deal with; etc., and no time to work out bugs. I sometimes wonder how they actually run at all.

        An aside; a friend of mine recently traded in his 2012 M3; I believe somewhat similar to your car. What a fabulous engine on that thing. Screw turbos, linear response and a free-revving nature rules!