Lewis Hamilton has clocked the fastest time of the week to-date in Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain. The Mercedes driver rattled off a time of 1:34.263 on Pirelli’s soft-compound rubber to finish up 0.7 seconds faster than McLaren’s Jenson Button.

On his final outing of this four-day test session at the Sakhir International Circuit, Hamilton quickly worked his way past Kevin Magnussen’s pace-setting effort from the day prior, before delivering his own day-topping effort.

Having sat on the sidelines for two days while teammate Kevin Magnussen enjoyed McLaren’s MP4-29, Jenson Button took over and finished six-hundredths of a second slower than the Dane’s Thursday. However, the Brit was still over seven-tenths adrift of Hamilton’s overall time for the day.

Two seconds off the pace, but still third-fastest, was Felipe Massa in the Williams, who ensured Mercedes power enjoyed a 1-2-3 on the Friday timesheets. Having had barely any running after just half a dozen laps on Wednesday, the Brazilian was given a half day’s running in the afternoon, taking over from teammate Valtteri Bottas, who spent his day performing pit stop drills.

Sauber’s Esteban Gutiérrez was fourth-fastest, finishing just over a tenth of a second quicker than his compatriot Sergio Pérez. The latter lost some on-track time following a technical failure during his running in the first half of the day.

Kimi Räikkönen had his first Bahrain hit-out behind the wheel of Ferrari’s F14T, although his running was restricted due to telemetry issues.

Scuderia Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat ended the day as the fastest Renault-powered runner, giving the French engine builder some cheer with 57 laps over the day. However, the Russian was still well off the pace, finishing almost five seconds slower than Hamilton’s best effort of the day.

Pastor Maldonado’s first public outing in Lotus’ E22 saw the Venezuelan have limited mileage as the new car’s teething troubles saw it trigger two of the day’s red flags.

After showing an apparent recovery on Thursday, the Red Bull Racing RB10 returned to its more traditional pre-season guise. Daniel Ricciardo could only manage two short runs all day as the new car’s early year reliability issues continued to persist.

The Caterham CT05 once again delivered the best running for the Renault-powered runners, with the more conservative design giving the new unit plenty of data to gather. However, the car’s pace has hardly been impressive so far, but at least Ericsson managed to deliver enough mileage for the FIA to issue him with the Superlicense he requires to actually race in F1 this year.

Max Chilton once again clocked up barely any laps in the Marussia Ferrari, which ground to a smoky halt after just four laps, costing the English team the rest of the day while a complete power unit change was performed.

2014 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Bahrain Day 3 Results:

  Driver Team / Entry Time Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:34.263 66
2. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:34.976 102
3. Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes FW36 1:37.066 59
4. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber Ferrari C33 1:37.180 94
5. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes VJM07 1:37.367 56
6. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:37.476 43
7. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:38.974 57
8. Pastor Maldonado Lotus Renault E22 1:39.642 26
9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:40.781 28
10. Marcus Ericsson Caterham Renault CT05 1:42.905 96
11. Max Chilton Marussia Ferrari MR03 1:46.672 4
12. Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes FW36 no time 55

Image via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.