Lewis Hamilton has closed out Formula 1 pre-season testing with the fastest time on the final day in Bahrain, although he was unable to better the fastest overall time posted by Felipe Massa the day before.
The last day of pre-season running was littered with red flag interruptions – to the point that the day’s schedule was extended by a further 30 minutes – as the teams sought to iron out any last kinks before they pack up and head to Melbourne for the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s effort was particularly impressive. He only managed less than half a dozen laps in the morning session after being delayed with a gearbox issue, but put the hammer down to rack up more than a Grand Prix’s worth of mileage in the afternoon en route to the fastest time of the day.
Valtteri Bottas looked set to continue Williams’ very promising pre-season form after provisionally holding the quickest time of the day, only to be eclipsed by Hamilton. The Finn finished up second-fastest, just over 0.7 seconds adrift. His day came to a premature end with the failure of a heavily run internal component.
Despite suffering a stoppage of his own, Fernando Alonso finished the day third-quickest, clocking the Ferrari F14T’s fastest overall time around the Bahrain International Circuit.
Nico Hülkenberg took his Force India fourth-fastest, although his hopes of adding to a respectable lap tally were hit when his car suffered a late failure within its Mercedes power unit. He finished two-tenths faster than Jean-Éric Vergne, who tallied the same number of laps in his Renault-powered Toro Rosso.
Sauber teammates Adrian Sutil and Esteban Gutiérrez shared the Ferrari-powered C33 after Adrian Sutil lost Saturday’s running with a fire on his out-lap. The pair racked up almost 180 laps between them with an impressive display of reliability, sandwiching Max Chilton’s Marussia on the timesheets.
Perhaps predictably, Red Bull Racing continued to struggle, despite clocking an impressive (by their recent standards) 77 laps with Sebastian Vettel at the wheel.
Having mustered 40 laps, the German suffered a suspected brake failure that sent him sliding into the Turn 1 kitty litter. His running was delayed while his mechanics checked over the RB10 and performed the necessary repairs, allowing him back out to complete a further 30-odd laps. But once again, he was still well off the pace.
Jenson Button and Romain Grosjean both suffered power unit issues and languished towards the bottom of the timesheets in their respective McLaren and Lotus runners, while Kamui Kobayashi managed to clock up a century of laps in his Caterham before it succumbed to a clutch failure in the final hour.
2014 Formula 1 Pre-Season Test – Bahrain Day 7 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:33.278||69|
|2.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Mercedes FW36||1:33.987||108|
|3.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:34.280||74|
|4.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM07||1:35.577||74|
|5.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:35.701||74|
|6.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber Ferrari C33||1:36.467||91|
|7.||Max Chilton||Marussia Ferrari MR03||1:36.835||61|
|8.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C33||1:37.303||86|
|9.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:37.468||77|
|10.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:38.111||22|
|11.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham Renault CT05||1:38.391||106|
|12.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus Renault E22||1:39.302||32|
Images via XPB Images