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clarkma5
With the last car for 2014 now revealed (The Marussia MR03 today at Jerez, though we have yet to see the Lotus E22 in the flesh), seems like a good time to move the conversation out of the car launches thread and into a testing thread.

For a recap, Jerez testing days 1 and 2:
Day 1: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112324
Minimal running for teams as they started bedding in their new systems. Ferrari and Mercedes put in some decent lapping on their first day, Hamilton crashes out due to a front wing failure, and lap times got down into the 1:25s (vs. 1:18s for Jerez 2013 day 1, or 1:17s for the entire Jerez 2013 test). McLaren gets no mileage at all and the Renault powered cars only get a handful of installation laps in. Marussia doesn't appear at the test, opting to work on their car back at base for a Day 3 test debut. Overall, there is a cumulative 93 laps of running this year versus 657 on day 1 of last year.

Day 2: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112343
Mileage starts to pick up as the Mercedes-powered teams start really putting in the laps (Rosberg puts in 97 laps in the Mercedes, which is a good lap count even by last year's standards in significantly more mature cars). Lap times fall another second into the 1:24s, but word is most teams aren't using the full rev limit and are generally not pushing too hard. McLaren starts running and works pretty well out of the box, Button declaring the MP4-29 lacking the issues that haunted the MP4-28. Renault powered cars only manage 11 laps between them as Renault struggles with their energy store (aka ERS battery). Caterham starts running its CT05 while Williams looks quietly good along with the McLaren, Mercedes, and Ferrari that seem to have developed the early impetus. Force India also runs well.

And now day 3: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112360
McLaren looking even better as Magnussen sets quick times and more lap counts happen. Mercedes also puts in a lot of laps and is near the pace, while Ferrari has some interruptions but also has decent mileage and pace. Lap times down into the 1:23s now, 1:22s looks like a likely ultimate pace for Jerez 2014, some 5 seconds slower than last year (though I suspect there's still more pace in the cars). Renault teething troubles continue, Red Bull gets almost no lapping in yet again, and while paddock rumours state that Newey has pushed the limit on electronic control box packaging in the RB10 (Renault being rather unhappy about that), Horner and Newey retreat back to Milton Keynes to work on a solution to their woes. Don't count them out over the next two tests and early season, but Red Bull is on the back foot thus far.
clarkma5
Also, I realized, turns out that Lotus probably didn't miss out much by skipping this test due to the Renault problems. Might work out very nicely for them to have a few extra weeks of development and build time, particularly if Renault gets on top of its issues in time for the second test.
clarkma5
Day 4: http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/112380

Started cold and wet and never fully dried out, though slick running in the last few hours saw the track getting quicker and many cars trading fastest laps. Mileage improved drastically over the course of the test, running from under 100 total laps on day 1, lap counts in the 300s on days 2 and 3, and up into the 500s on day 4. Red Bull packed up after just a handful of laps and Toro Rosso wasn't far behind, though Caterham got some decent running today with 50+ laps. Mercedes continued racking up a bunch of laps while Ferrari and McLaren also crested 100 laps, with Williams and Force India not too far behind.
clarkma5
I've been following all 4 test days via Autosport's live text updates, and read all their regular & plus items, and read some BBC articles and watched Peter Windsor's shows about the testing so I think I have a decent handle on a synopsis from Jerez:

-Renault pretty much blew their first test with hardware and software issues; apparently, they were behind schedule on all sorts of things heading into the test. Ferrari and Mercedes seem to have had a smoother lead-in to testing with their power units.
-Red Bull is potentially sitting on a very fast, but very fragile, machine. I could see them bouncing back in just a few weeks and being title contenders right out the gate, or it might take them most of the season to get on top of it. Hard to tell.
-Williams looks good. Ultimate pace is impossible to judge right now, but between their fine detailing on the car, their relatively reliability, and being consistently at the sharper ends of the (mostly meaningless) time sheets, it seems fair to say they're in for a better year than last season. Then again, Williams has had a decent looking car in testing that didn't make an impact during the season multiple times over the last several years...
-No doubt the Mercedes W05 is reliable, but is it quick? Or just average? Average & reliable might just get them the title this year! However...
-McLaren looks like they have much of Mercedes's reliability and potentially even more pace. From the first test, I would choose them as my favorite to go all the way this year, but many things are going to change between now and then.
-The Force India looks like a quick and benign platform and I'm thinking they've made yet another good step forward.
-Sauber sounds like they have a car that needs some calibration work to stop being challenging to drive. Their pace has been poor all test; will driveability fixes allow them to extract a good performance from what they have, or are they lagging behind in ultimate pace?
-If only by dint of their Ferrari drivetrain vs. the Caterham's Renault, Marussia looks like they have the back-of-grid edge thus far. But like Sauber, Caterham could be in need of sorting driveability to unlock their pace still.
-Ferrari looks like they always look, honestly...good but not great. Still struggling with rear traction like they have for years now, relative to the front runners. But if they remain reliable that may not make a giant difference this year if they can turn in consistent weekends.

I'm kinda sad it's gonna be so long until the next test, but with the long break between tests 1 and 2, and the short break between tests 2 and 3, the F1 season is really gonna accelerate when they hit Bahrain on February 19th. I am excite!
tune
I canít admit to having been heavily immersed in the first test, other than checking out the new cars and reading end of day reports on the action, but as everyone seems to be saying reliability will be key.

Itís not a huge surprise that Ferrari and Mercedes are well developed, having both set in place structures for 2014 development at the start of last season and I guess this rings true in their respect engine development, however with the previous engine freeze you have to wonder what Renault have been doing.

I read that Mercedes did a race simulation with Rosberg on the last day, the first to do such a stint I believe, which must be promising for all Mercedes engined teams that they managed this at the first test, without issue.

I think Williams could well be making a big leap this year. Bar Maldonadoís win in Barcelona in 2012 they failed to back up pre-season hype about their cars in the past two years. Interesting to see how Bottas fairs against Massa if that car turns out to be handy.

Iíd like to see Marussia do better this season, if only because I think Bianchi is a future star and it would be good if he had a better platform for proving himself. Their car still looks a little under developed compared to some, but looks more like a challenger than any of their previous efforts. Caterham have offended me with that nose, but will be interesting to see how they develop the car, assuming Renault get on top of their issues, having been behind and surpassed Marussia over the course of the season before.

I didnít pay too much attention to Sauber and Force India, so canít comment too much.

Ferrari as you said Clark, look good but not great. You have to believe they have two of the (if not THE two) best drivers on the grid to perform consistently near the top with less of a car at their disposal compared to their rivals.

McLaren looking in good shape and Iíd like to see them do well this season (although I am a Mercedes fan, Iím a Button fan too and would like to see what Magnussen has in the locker). It was only a matter of time before they innovated in the right direction again and with (at this stage) the more reliable engine on the grid, it looks most likely to win, but of course still very early.

What can you say about Red Bull and Toro Rosso that hasnít already been said? I donít think the Toro Rosso looks particularly impressive from what we can see, I was quite excited to see it from JEVís tweets before the test. I think they were the first to have such an aggressive undercut a few seasons ago, so I hoped they would be pushing the envelope in this area. It is still very early, but Iím sure Red Bull would have liked to get off the mark better than that. If it is a tight packaging issue that is causing most of their woes with Renault then if it isnít sorted by Bahrain it will be exposed again in the higher temperatures there. The car itself looks pretty tidy, taking on a different and rather conservative looking nose compared to others.

Will have to see how the rest of testing pans out, but certainly looks as though weíll be in for an unpredictable first few races.
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