Kevin Magnussen made the most of his first official day on track as a McLaren driver by topping the lap charts in Jerez overnight. His time of 1:23.276 was almost half a second faster than next best, Felipe Massa with Williams (1:23.700).
Magnussen’s efforts were made more impressive by the fact he only ran in the afternoon session, as the morning was handed over to Jenson Button. Combined, the McLaren drivers covered a total of 92 laps; 30 more than any other team.
The 21-year-old Dane admitted to having butterflies before taking to the track but understands it’s too early to get carried away with McLaren’s early season pace.
“Happily, everything worked as it should, and the car felt good,” Magnussen said. “I’m pretty pleased with our reliability—to have done as many laps as I did in just half a day was pretty positive.
“I’m not taking too much from the fact that I set the fastest time—I was pushing, but it wasn’t a balls-to-the-wall lap. We wanted to get good data and learn about the car, so I think everyone is pushing out there.”
Red Bull would love to be in McLaren’s shoes right now and after three days of testing the four-time constructors’ champions are yet to record a flying lap time. Daniel Ricciardo’s first day at the wheel of the RB10 lasted just three installation laps before the team shut up shop in the morning session.
“We worked hard yesterday to make the changes it was felt were necessary to overcome the problems we identified and we were hopeful of a more successful day today,” said Race Engineering Co-ordinator Andy Damerum. “Unfortunately, the measures we took only partially solved the issue and, as with yesterday, it’s more sensible to stop and dig deeper into finding a solution. It’s obviously not where we want to be and naturally the whole team is frustrated by these issues.
“This is where the whole team pulls together and I’m sure we will get these problems fixed.”
Lewis Hamilton (1:23.952) ensured Mercedes was well represented and he joined Jenson Button (1:25.030) to see the four fastest times of the day were set by Mercedes-powered cars.
Ferrari slotted in with the fifth best time after Fernando Alonso (1:25.495) racked up 58 laps in his first day driving the F14 T. Nico Hulkenberg (1:26.096) put in a more modest 17 laps in his Force India debut.
Jean-Eric Vergne (1:29.915) saved some face for Renault by locking away 30 laps in the Toro Rosso STR9. However, he was the only Renault-powered driver to record any flying laps on the day. Adrian Sutil (1:30.161) registered the slowest time of the day in the Sauber C33 after 30 laps at the wheel.
Robert Frijns (Caterham) and Max Chilton (Marussia) did not record any times, logging 10 and five installation laps respectively.
Unofficial test times from Jerez (Day 3):
1. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren – 1:23.276 (52 laps)
2. Felipe Massa, Williams – 1:23.700 (47 laps)
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes – 1:23.952 (62 laps)
4. Jenson Button, McLaren – 1:25.030 (40 laps)
5. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari – 1:25.495 (58 laps)
6. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India – 1:26.096 (17 laps)
7. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso – 1:29.915 (30 laps)
8. Adrian Sutil, Sauber – 1:30.161 (34 laps)
9. Robin Frijns, Caterham – No time (10 laps)
10. Max Chilton, Marussia – No time (5 laps)
11. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull – No time (3 laps)