- Second Bahrain Test - Day One
Perez fastest as Red Bull struggles
Force India's Sergio Perez finished the first day of the final pre-season test at the top of the timesheets as the teams started their final push for performance ahead of the opening race in 16 days' time.
Perez's best time of 1:35.290 was set in the morning and remained at the top in the afternoon as most drivers focused on long runs. Williams' Valtteri Bottas completed a race simulation in the afternoon before setting the second fastest time with a 1:36.184 in the final 45 minutes of the session. He also completed the most laps with a total of 127 by the end of the day.
After completing just 12 laps in the morning, Kimi Raikkonen brought his total to 53 in the afternoon and set the third fastest time in the process with a 1:36.432. Nico Rosberg was fourth fastest in the Mercedes and 1.334s off Perez, but proved last week that he is capable of lapping roughly two seconds quicker on a low fuel run. He completed 89 laps in total but ended his day half an hour early.
Adrian Sutil was 1.076s shy of Rosberg after a productive day for Sauber that resulted in a total of 88 laps. Kevin Magnussen was sixth fastest but spent most of his afternoon completing a race simulation, which left him with a total of 109 laps by the end of the day.
After another tricky week at the second test, Red Bull again struggled to put laps on the car with Daniel Ricciardo completing 32 in the morning but just seven more late in the afternoon as the team struggled with overheating issues. Ricciardo is scheduled to have just one more day in the car before the Australian Grand Prix but Red Bull is not alone in its problems, with all the Renault-powered teams continuing to struggle.
Lotus ended its day of testing early when, after stopping on track before lunch, the team discovered an exhaust issue and had to strip the car down in the afternoon. After skipping the first test in Jerez, each hour of track time is vital for Lotus ahead of Australia and Pastor Maldonado has managed just 116 with only one day in the car remaining.
Caterham also had a tricky day after the car caused the first of the red flags when it stopped with smoke coming from the rear. Kamui Kobayashi completed just 19 laps by the end of the day and was at the bottom of the timesheets behind Maldonado and Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso. Max Chilton's Marussia was the only non-Renault-powered car in the bottom five.
Day One times:
Sergio Perez Force India 1:35.290 104 laps Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:36.184 127 laps Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:36.432 53 laps Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:36.624 89 laps Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:37.700 88 laps Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:37.825 109 laps Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:37.908 39 laps Max Chilton Marussia 1:38.610 44 laps Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:39.242 56 laps Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:40.599 31 laps Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:42.285 19 laps