BUZZING
May 13

F1: Max Chilton, Marussia fastest in Monday test

Max Chilton drives during last weekend's Spanish GP en route to a 19th place finish. (Photo: Getty Images)

Max Chilton drives during last weekend’s Spanish GP en route to a 19th place finish. (Photo: Getty Images)

Rain meant that F1 testing action got off to a slow start in Barcelona today, and once the track had dried out in the afternoon there was a surprise as Max Chilton set the fastest time of the day for Marussia.

The Briton was trying the supersoft tire – which will be used in Monaco – in qualifying trim, while rivals had very different objectives. Nevertheless it was a nice confidence boost for a team that has outpaced rivals Caterham recently.

May 13

F1: Vettel still aiming to fight Mercedes

Sebastian Vettel straps his helmet on in preparation for the Spanish GP. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel straps his helmet on in preparation for the Spanish GP. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel hasn’t enjoyed a great start to 2014, but in Spain there were clear signs that he’s finally coming to terms with the RB10.

After a gearbox problem and grid penalty relegated him to 15th on the grid, he used a three-stop strategy to jump up to fourth, setting fastest lap along the way. He was still 27 seconds behind teammate Daniel Ricciardo, but he lost much of that in traffic in the early laps.

May 13

F1: McLaren can still make progress, says Boullier

(L-R) McLaren team Racing Director Eric Boullier and driver Jenson Button, seen here during testing in Bahrain. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic)

(L-R) McLaren racing director Eric Boullier and driver Jenson Button, seen here during preseason testing in Bahrain. (Photo: Glenn Dunbar/LAT Photographic)

McLaren racing director Eric Boullier remains confident that McLaren can still make progress in 2014 – and admits that the Austrian and British events will be a good barometer, following the atypical races in Monaco and Canada.

Although McLaren failed to score in Spain, Boullier says that upgrades brought to the car did work as planned.

May 13

MotoGP: ART-Aprilia test day for Biaggi

(Photo courtesy MotoGP.com)

Biaggi back on the Aprilia MotoGP bike Monday, though Aprilia Racing Manager insists it ‘is not a test in preparation for a return to the race track.’ (Photo courtesy MotoGP.com)

Max Biaggi undertook a day of testing on the ART-Aprilia MotoGP™ machine on Monday at the Mugello circuit.

The former rider enjoyed two successful spells with Aprilia during his racing days, winning two Superbike World Championship titles with the Italian marque (2012 & 2012) after three 250cc Grand Prix World titles with the brand earlier in his career (1994-1996).

May 13

F1: Renault joining search for engine noise solution

Sebastian Buemi testing the Red Bull Racing RB10 Renault during testing in Barcelona on Tuesday. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic)

Sebastian Buemi testing the Red Bull Racing RB10 Renault during testing in Barcelona on Tuesday. (Photo: Sam Bloxham/LAT Photographic)

Renault’s top F1 engine man Rob White says that the French manufacturer is fully behind efforts to address the noise issue.

Renault has already done some work of its own, although the first on-track testing is being conducted by Mercedes in Barcelona this week.