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F1 NEWS 

Bahrain F1 test: Hulkenberg fastest as Red Bull hits problems again

Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest time on the first day of the second pre-season Formula 1 test in Bahrain, as Mercedes-engined teams filled three of the top four spots on the timesheet.

The Force India driver completed 78 laps of running and was the only man to crack the 1m36s.

His 1m36.880s best on soft tyres put him inside Sebastian Vettel's fastest race lap in last year's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso set the second fastest time, edging Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes with a late run.

Alonso earlier brought out the first red flag of the day when his Ferrari left the pits billowing smoke thanks to an oil leak first thing in the morning.

Hamilton and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen both took turns to top the times during the day. Hamilton wound up third fastest and Magnussen fourth.

Bahrain test day one reaction
Mercedes not immune to trouble - Hamilton
Grosjean: no set-up work before Melbourne
Vettel says Red Bull has new problems
Renault: no more holding teams back

Red Bull suffered more problems with its new car following a disastrous first test at Jerez recently.

The team spent the entire morning holed up in the garage trying to get the RB10 to work.

World champion Sebastian Vettel eventually took to the track in the afternoon and set the fifth fastest time, before spinning due to a rear brake issue and causing a lengthy delay with the day's final red flag.

Romain Grosjean gave the new Lotus E22 'twin-tusk' design its public debut in Bahrain but completed just eight laps and was the slowest of the nine drivers to do a flying lap.

Sauber's Adrian Sutil suffered a spin at Turn 1 in the morning, but still covered more laps than any other driver (82). He completed the top six just two tenths shy of Vettel.

Caterham's Robin Frijns managed 68 laps and was the fastest of the Renault-powered runners until Vettel's brief 14-lap flourish.

Toro Rosso also suffered a long delay with its new car. An oil leak was among the problems that restricted GP3 champion Daniel Kvyat to just five laps and the eighth fastest time.

Felipe Massa was among the pacesetters at Jerez, but only completed a handful of installation laps on day one in Bahrain, as Williams suffered a "fuel system issue" with its FW36.

Marussia's Jules Bianchi managed only three laps (the fewest of all) as the team encountered an "IT configuration problem" with the MR03.

Pos Driver            Team                  Time       Gap     Laps
 1. Nico Hulkenberg   Force India-Mercedes  1m36.880s           78
 2. Fernando Alonso   Ferrari               1m37.879s  +0.999s  64
 3. Lewis Hamilton    Mercedes              1m37.908s  +1.028s  74
 4. Kevin Magnussen   McLaren-Mercedes      1m38.295s  +1.415s  81
 5. Sebastian Vettel  Red Bull-Renault      1m40.224s  +3.344s  14
 6. Adrian Sutil      Sauber-Ferrari        1m40.443s  +3.563s  82
 7. Robin Frijns      Caterham-Renault      1m42.534s  +5.654s  68
 8. Daniil Kvyat      Toro Rosso-Renault    1m44.346s  +7.466s   5
 9. Romain Grosjean   Lotus-Renault         1m44.832s  +7.952s   8
10. Felipe Massa      Williams-Mercedes     no time              5
11. Jules Bianchi     Marussia-Ferrari      no time              3
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