Button leads Jerez Day 2; Renaults have issues


Jenson Button posted the fastest time on the second day of Formula One’s opening four-day test at Jerez, but reliability and limited running remained the bigger story compared to times.

For what it was worth though, Button’s quickest time was nearly three seconds faster than the best posted by Kimi Raikkonen on Tuesday. Button clocked in at 1:24.165 after 43 laps of running in the McLaren MP4-29, compared to Raikkonen’s 1:27.104.

Additionally, it was a good sign for McLaren to get out after electrical issues blighted their day on Tuesday.

Raikkonen was second with a 1:24.812 after 47 laps aboard the Ferrari F14 T. Valtteri Bottas logged 35 in the Williams Fw36 at 1:25.344, with Nico Rosberg fourth at 1:25.588 in the new Mercedes.

Rosberg’s 97 laps Wednesday were four more than the combined total for the field on Tuesday.

Meanwhile Renault was left to go back to the drawing board after a frustrating day, with a suspected energy-storing issue.

Sebastian Vettel turned only eight laps in the RB10, with an unrepresentative fast time.

“We’ve not had a lot of running and have a few problems to sort out, but with such big rule changes it’s usual to have teething problems. That’s what tests are for, to sort those issues out,” said the four-time defending World Champion.

F1 rookie Marcus Ericsson’s day wasn’t much better as he posted only 11 laps in the new Caterham CT05.

Toro Rosso didn’t run at all, and Marussia failed to make it out of the garage with its yet-to-be-officially-unveiled MR03. Lotus, of course, isn’t at the test at all.

Some driver changes will occur for Thursday’s running, as teams continue to work through the development and niggling issues on their new cars.

1. Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes, 1:24.165, 43 Laps
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:24.812, 47 
3. Valtteri Bottas, Williams-Mercedes, 1:25.344, 35
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:25.588, 97
5. Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 1:28.376, 37
6. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber-Ferrari, 1:33.270, 53
7. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham-Renault, 1:37.975, 11
8. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault, 1:38.320, 8

Seattle Supercross by the numbers: Three riders separated by 17 points


Three riders remain locked in a tight battle with 17 points separating the leader Cooper Webb from third-place Chase Sexton and these are only a few Supercross numbers to consider entering Seattle.

Seattle Supercross numbers
Chase Sexton made a statement in Detroit with his second win of 2023. – Feld Motor Sports

For the fifth time in 10 rounds. Sexton, Webb, and Eli Tomac shared the podium in Detroit. Between them, the trio has taken 23 podiums, leaving only seven for the remainder of the field. Jason Anderson, Ken Roczen and Justin Barcia have two each with Aaron Plessinger scoring the other.

Webb and Tomac won the last four championships with two apiece in alternating years, but they were not one another’s primary rival for most of those seasons. On the average, however, the past four years show an incredible similarity with average points earned of 21.0 for Webb and 21.3 for Tomac. With five wins so far this season, Tomac (23 wins) leads Webb (19) in victories but Webb (43) edges Tomac (41) in podium finishes during this span.

Tomac has won two of the last three Seattle races and those two wins in this stadium are topped only by James Stewart. Fittingly, if Tomac gets a third win this week, he will tie Stewart for second on the all-time wins’ list. Tomac tied Ricky Carmichael for third with 48 wins at Oakland and took sole possession of that spot with his Daytona win.

Sexton still has a lot to say and after winning last week in Detroit, he is speaking up. The Supercross numbers are against him entering Seattle, however, because a points’ deficit this large after Round 10 has been erased only once. In 1983 David Bailey was 47 points behind Bob Hannah, and like Sexton he was also in third place. Bailey took the points’ lead with one race remaining.

The seven points Sexton was penalized last week for jumping in a red cross flag section in Detroit could prove extremely costly.

In fact, it has been a series of mistakes that has cost Sexton the most. In the last two weeks, he lost 10 points with a 10th-place finish to go with his penalty. Erase those, and all three riders hold their fate in their hands.

Plessinger’s heartbreak in Detroit is still fresh, but the upside of his run is that was his best of the season and could turn his fortunes around. Prior to that race, he led only seven laps in three mains. He was up front for 20 laps in Detroit with five of those being the fastest on the track.

Last week’s win by Hunter Lawrence tied him with his brother Jett Lawrence for 17th on the all-time wins’ list. With the focus shifting to 250 West for the next two rounds, Jett has a great opportunity to pull back ahead. The real test will be at the first East / West Showdown in East Rutherford, New Jersey on April 22.

Last Five Seattle Winners

2022: Eli Tomac
2019: Marvin Musquin
2018: Eli Tomac
2017: Marvin Musquin
2014: Ryan Villopoto

2022: Hunter Lawrence
2019: Dylan Ferrandis
2018: Aaron Plessinger
2017: Aaron Plessinger
2014: Cole Seely

By the Numbers

Anaheim 2
San Diego

More SuperMotocross coverage

How to Watch Seattle Supercross
Dylan Ferrandis may return before SX finale
SMX develops “Leader Lights”
Power Rankings after Detroit
Hunter Lawrence defends Haiden Deegan
Results and points after Detroit
Chase Sexton wins in Detroit, penalized seven points