Sergio Pérez set the pace as Formula 1’s final pre-season test got underway yesterday in Bahrain. The Force India driver posted a 1:35.290, almost a second quicker than Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, who led the chasing pack.

With the structure of the final test split into two distinct four-hour sessions per day, Pérez laid down his benchmark time with about an hour to go before the lunch break. While it was some two seconds slower than the fastest time managed by Nico Rosberg at the preceding test last week, he was still comfortably clear of everyone else.

Fellow Finns Bottas and Kimi Räikkönen completed the top three positions, each making late improvements against the stopwatch. Bottas comfortably clocked the most mileage with 128 laps in the ever-reliable FW36, while Räikkönen managed less than half of that as his Ferrari was beset with electrical issues.

With Rosberg and Mercedes having set the pace last time out, the Silver Arrows concentrated on long-run performance this time around. The German managed another 89 laps en route to the fourth-fastest time in a day which saw him perform a number of practice starts and pit stops.

Adrian Sutil finished up fifth-quickest, although he was again unhappy with the Sauber’s C33’s apparent absence of pace when giving his end-of-day comments to the media.

Daniel Ricciardo clocked the Red Bull Racing RB10’s fastest lap of pre-season testing early on, before the car predictably began to overheat and he was confined to the pits once again. The Australian managed just a brief run in the afternoon, but professed that the Adrian Newey car felt much better to drive than ever before.

Eighth-quickest was Max Chilton, who managed more laps in the Marussia in a single day than the MR03 had completed in the whole of last week. The English youngster finished ahead of Daniil Kvyat, who came close to completing a full race distance in the Toro Rosso before it conked out after 56 tours.

Fellow Renault runners Pastor Maldonado and Kamui Kobayashi brought up the rear, with their Lotus and Caterham racers suffering further technical glitches that kept them confined to their respective garages for lengthy periods of time.

2014 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Bahrain Day 5 Results:

  Driver Team / Entry Time Laps
1. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes VJM07 1:35.290 105
2. Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes FW36 1:36.184 128
3. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:36.432 54
4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:36.624 89
5. Adrian Sutil Sauber Ferrari C33 1:37.700 89
6. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:37.825 100
7. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:37.908 39
8. Max Chilton Marussia Ferrari MR03 1:38.610 33
9. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:39.242 56
10. Pastor Maldonado Lotus Renault E22 1:40.559 31
11. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham Renault CT05 1:42.285 19

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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.