Fresh from their dominant and thrilling 1-2 finish at last weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have respectively topped the timesheets over the following two-day Pirelli in-season tyre test at the Sakhir circuit.
Nico Rosberg did the honours on the opening day, enjoying a trouble-free run with a mammoth total of 121 laps to clock a fastest time of 1:35.697, some 0.367 seconds up on Nico Hülkenberg’s Force India.
After their troubled outing in Sakhir, Ferrari wound up third-fastest at the hands of Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard was, however, over half a second slower on the stopwatch, with the team concentrating on electronic mapping and straight-line speed runs down the circuit’s start/finish straight. The afternoon was spent performing shorter runs on different set-ups, an indication that the team perhaps still has a long way to go in sorting out the ill-handling F14T.
Kevin Magnussen was fourth-quickest in the McLaren, enjoying the sort of reliability that deserted the Woking squad last weekend when both drivers failed to finish.
Valtteri Bottas was next up, but with only 28 laps on the board, it was hardly a productive day for the Williams team as the FW36 suffered several reliability niggles. He finished ahead of Marussia’s Max Chilton and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo,who were sixth and seventh on the timesheets respectively.
Sauber tester Sergey Sirotkin had his first serious track outing in newer-spec formula 1 machinery as he looked to qualify for his Formula 1 Super License. The Russian teenager managed 75 laps for the day, finishing just over three seconds off Rosberg’s ultimate pace.
Caterham’s Robin Frijns, Lotus man Pastor Maldonado and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat occupied the final three positions, with the Lotus’ now-customary unreliability continuing with two separate power unit failures.
2014 Bahrain Pirelli Tyre Test – Day 1 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:35.697||121|
|2.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:36.064||+ 0.367||68|
|3.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:36.626||+ 0.929||69|
|4.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:36.634||+ 0.937||101|
|5.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:37.305||+ 1.608||28|
|6.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:37.678||+ 1.981||60|
|7.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:38.326||+ 2.629||91|
|8.||Sergey Sirotkin||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:39.023||+ 3.326||75|
|9.||Robin Frijns||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:40.027||+ 4.330||63|
|10.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:40.183||+ 4.486||16|
|11.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:40.452||+ 4.755||67|
Day 2 of testing saw the same Mercedes dominance, with Hamilton taking over the controls and bettering Rosberg’s Day 1 effort by a full 1.4 seconds, finishing a full second faster than Toro Rosso driver Jean-Éric Vergne.
Last weekend’s race winner delivered his quickest time in the morning session, and he remained almost three seconds clear of the rest of the pack until they started posting their best laps in the final hours of play.
Magnussen remained behind the wheel of the McLaren MP4-29 and finished third-quickest, despite a mechanically-induced off-track moment during his run; he finished just ahead of Sunday podium finisher Sergio Pérez in the Force India.
Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo and Marussia’s Jules Bianchi were next up, separated by just six-thousandths of a second on the stopwatch. The finished ahead of Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde.
Fernando Alonso completed only a dozen laps behind the wheel of Kimi Räikkönen’s car, with the Italian team forced to end its planned programme early after mechanics uncovered previously undetected damage to the Finn’s F14T chassis.
Caterham rookie Marcus Ericsson was ninth-fastest, although his day was interrupted by a smoky stoppage; he finished ahead of Williams reserve driver Felipe Nasr.
Bringing up the rear was Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, whose desperately needed track time was cut short with yet more reliability issues hitting the troubled E22.
2014 Bahrain Pirelli Tyre Test – Day 2 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:34.136||120|
|2.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:35.557||+ 1.421||63|
|3.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:36.203||+ 2.067||26|
|4.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:36.586||+ 2.450||62|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:37.310||+ 3.174||65|
|6.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:37.316||+ 3.180||93|
|7.||Giedo van der Garde||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:37.623||+ 3.487||77|
|8.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:38.912||+ 4.776||12|
|9.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:39.263||+ 5.127||66|
|10.||Felipe Nasr||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:39.679||+ 5.543||64|
|11.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:43.596||+ 9.460||16|
Image via XPB Images