Bahrain F1 test summary: Williams and Mercedes take the honours
|By Ben Anderson||Monday, March 3rd 2014, 08:46 GMT|
Williams finished the final pre-season Formula 1 test of 2014 with the fastest time, as Mercedes-engined cars continued to lead the way in Bahrain, and Red Bull continued to struggle.
Felipe Massa went quickest on day three of the test, lapping within a second of Nico Rosberg's pole time for last year's Bahrain Grand Prix and edging out Rosberg's team-mate Lewis Hamilton (fastest on the final day) by two hundredths of a second.
Williams was arguably the strongest performer across the final test, racking up more miles than any other team and suffering just one reliability issue, when the FW36's Mercedes engine blew up on Valtteri Bottas in the closing stages of the final day.
Meanwhile, the works Mercedes team suffered more glitches that hampered its running at this test, leading Rosberg to say that Mercedes is still not reliable enough heading towards the first race in Melbourne.
The W05 required what the team described as a "precautionary" engine change ahead of day three, before a gearbox problem cost Hamilton nearly half the final day's track time.
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|Friday: Perez stays on top|
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Red Bull's test started badly when ongoing cooling issues with the RB10 forced Daniel Ricciardo to miss most of the first day and declare the champion squad had "not been up to scratch" in pre-season.
The Australian was more optimistic after a productive second day, during which he clocked 66 laps (including 20 consecutively) and set the third fastest time, but that proved merely a positive blip in an otherwise miserable week.
World champion Sebastian Vettel failed to complete a lap on Saturday (despite two attempts) thanks to electrical problems, before a "mechanical issue at the front of the car" pitched the German off at Turn 1 on Sunday morning.
He returned to the track in the afternoon, but failed to complete a race run while lapping at reduced pace.
Sister squad Toro Rosso managed more laps, but only went slightly quicker than Ricciardo with Jean-Eric Vergne at the wheel at the end of the final day, while fellow Renault-powered team Lotus suffered a disastrous test.
The Enstone squad found its running scuppered by exhaust problems and engine failures, leading technical director Nick Chester to declare the team's cars would be lucky to make the finish in Melbourne.
Ferrari finally managed to complete race runs with Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, after falling behind with its programme at the previous test.
But both were significantly slower than Mercedes managed, and team principal Stefano Domenicali admitted the Scuderia has "work to do" to catch Mercedes and Williams, which outpaced Alonso on the final day.
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Jenson Button expressed similar sentiments about McLaren's chances after a difficult final test for the Woking team.
Team-mate Kevin Magnussen completed 197 largely trouble-free laps, but wound up only 11th fastest overall, while Button clocked only 74 after suffering a loss of drive on day two and an engine failure on day four.
Force India also had an engine failure on the final day in Bahrain with Nico Hulkenberg driving, but the German's team-mate Sergio Perez hailed the "great step" made by the team since the second test.
The Mexican topped the times on the first two days and managed more than 100 laps on each of them - including an impressive race run on Friday.
Bar the engine problem that robbed Adrian Sutil of a full day's running on Saturday, Sauber again showed the C33 has reasonable reliability but lacks speed. Sutil was only 13th fastest overall, and team-mate Esteban Gutierrez 17th.
Marussia made decent progress with its car at the final test, managing to lap within four seconds of the ultimate pace with Max Chilton at the wheel on the final day, while Caterham clocked more laps but could not get within a second of the pace of its back-of-the-grid rival.
Combined test times: Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Day 1. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m33.258s Sat 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m33.278s +0.020s Sun 3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.484s +0.226s Sat 4. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m33.987s +0.729s Sun 5. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m34.280s +1.022s Sun 6. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m35.290s +2.032s Thurs 7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m35.426s +2.168s Sat 8. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m35.577s +2.319s Sun 9. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m35.701s +2.443s Sun 10. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m35.743s +2.485s Fri 11. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m35.894s +2.636s Sat 12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m36.113s +2.855s Sat 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m36.467s +3.209s Sun 14. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m36.835s +3.577s Sun 15. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m36.901s +3.643s Fri 16. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m37.087s +3.829s Sat 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m37.303s +4.045s Sun 18. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m37.468s +4.210s Sun 19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m38.083s +4.825s Sat 20. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m38.391s +5.133s Sun 21. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m39.302s +6.044s Sun 22. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m40.599s +7.341s Thurs Total running in test three: Drivers: Laps Km Valtteri Bottas 236 1277 Sergio Perez 213 1152 Felipe Massa 202 1093 Kevin Magnussen 197 1066 Fernando Alonso 196 1060 Esteban Gutierrez 192 1039 Nico Rosberg 192 1039 Nico Hulkenberg 189 1022 Adrian Sutil 181 979 Marcus Ericsson 172 930 Lewis Hamilton 159 860 Jules Bianchi 153 828 Kimi Raikkonen 141 763 Daniil Kvyat 136 736 Jean-Eric Vergne 135 730 Kamui Kobayashi 125 676 Max Chilton 105 568 Daniel Ricciardo 105 568 Sebastian Vettel 78 422 Jenson Button 74 400 Romain Grosjean 65 351 Pastor Maldonado 62 335 Teams: Laps Km Williams 438 2370 Force India 402 2175 Sauber 373 2018 Mercedes 351 1899 Ferrari 337 1823 Caterham 297 1607 Toro Rosso 271 1466 McLaren 271 1466 Marussia 258 1396 Red Bull 183 990 Lotus 127 687 Engines: Laps Km Mercedes 1462 7912 Ferrari 968 5238 Renault 878 4751 Total running across pre-season testing: Drivers: Km Nico Rosberg 2813 Fernando Alonso 2698 Kevin Magnussen 2471 Valtteri Bottas 2389 Lewis Hamilton 2159 Esteban Gutierrez 2122 Felipe Massa 2034 Adrian Sutil 1917 Nico Hulkenberg 1840 Kimi Raikkonen 1790 Sergio Perez 1777 Jenson Button 1683 Marcus Ericsson 1536 Kamui Kobayashi 1365 Jean-Eric Vergne 1347 Daniil Kvyat 1111 Jules Bianchi 982 Sebastian Vettel 866 Daniel Ricciardo 845 Pastor Maldonado 796 Max Chilton 704 Romain Grosjean 492 Felipe Nasr 471 Robin Frijns 412 Daniel Juncadella 359 Teams: Km Mercedes 4973 Williams 4893 Ferrari 4489 McLaren 4153 Sauber 4039 Force India 3975 Caterham 3313 Toro Rosso 2458 Red Bull 1711 Marussia 1686 Lotus 1288 Engines: Km Mercedes 17994 Ferrari 10214 Renault 8770