The final F1 pre-season test took place at the Bahrain International Circuit where teams had their last chances to get their wrongs right. On day one, it was Force India’s Sergio Perez who set the fastest time on the sheets after running a total of 105 laps with a best lap of 1m 35.290s. He was followed closely by Valtteri Bottas in the Williams who in that day set the highest number of laps which totaled to 128. Kimi Raikkonen was third in the Ferrari rounding up the top three fastest times.
Sergio Perez said;
We really needed a good day to start this week and today we had it. We managed to do a lot of laps, try several different (tyre) compounds and mappings, and it’s been a fantastic day in terms of learning about the car. Tomorrow is my last day in the car before the season starts so hopefully we can have another solid day to be in good shape for Melbourne.
The second day of testing was a repeat of the previous day, for the Force India team with Perez again setting the fastest time on the circuit with 1m 35.570s and 108 laps. Fernando Alonso put Ferrari on the second spot and also recorded 122 laps, the highest number from that day. It was also a bright day for Red Bull after they set the third fastest time with Daniel Ricciardo on the wheel, it was the fastest time for the team since the Pre-Season Test began in Jerez.
Felipe Massa put the Williams team in fourth place, it was also the fastest Mercedes powered car of the day followed by another Mercedes-powered car; the McLaren MP4-29 of Jenson Button. Marussia also showed improved performance after they came in sixth with Jules Bianchi at the wheel.
The final day saw Williams’ Felippe Massa set the fastest time on the circuit, it was also the fastest time since the testing began in Bahrain. He did 1m 33.258s and a total of 99 laps. Massa was followed closely by Nico Rosberg in the Mercedes who also recorded the highest number of laps at 103. Kimi Raikkonen put Ferrari in third followed tightly by Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren.
Meanwhile, it was another sad day for Red Bull team after they failed to record any times; Vettel had barely gone onto the track when he was forced to return the Renault-powered RB10 car into the pits. Immediately after lunch they attempted to put the car back into the track but this time, they barely made it out of the pit lanes and were forced to retire.
Red Bull’s race engineering co-ordinator Andy Damerum said;
Given how well the car behaved yesterday we were anticipating a solid run for Seb today but almost as soon as he went out there was an electrical problem, which meant stopped him on track. We brought the car back, identified the issue, which is one other teams have had but which hadn’t affected us so far, and set about fixing it. We got ready for another run but this time the car stopped in pit lane. We brought it back again and discovered a leak, which we thought we could fix but it turned out that it had caused enough damage that we weren’t able to go out again.
Having run so well yesterday it is frustrating to have had these problems today, but all we can do is keep solving the issues.
Unofficial Saturday test times from Bahrain
1. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1m 33.258s, 99 laps
2. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 33.484s, 103 laps
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 35.426s, 87 laps
4. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m 35.894s, 88 laps
5. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1m 36.113s, 81 laps
6. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1m 36.205s, 115 laps
7. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, 1m 37.087s, 78 laps
8. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, 1m 38.083s, 117 laps
9. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1m 42.166s, 33 laps
10. Adrian Sutil, Sauber, No time, 1 lap
11. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, No time, 0 laps