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Bahrain F1 test: Lewis Hamilton keeps Mercedes on top

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain F1 test, April 2014

Mercedes was again the team to beat in Bahrain, as Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets on the final day of the first Formula 1 in-season test of 2014.

Fresh from his success in last weekend's grand prix, Hamilton got straight down to work and soon achieved the best overall time of the two-day test with a 1m34.136s.

His early morning benchmark remained unbeaten throughout the day and the 2008 F1 world champion also accumulated the most laps of the session, being the only driver to reach triple figures with 118 under his belt.

Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne emerged as the best of the rest after a late run in the afternoon brought him within 1.421 seconds of Hamilton's pacesetting time.

Kevin Magnussen set the third quickest time for McLaren but had the ignominy of bringing the morning session to an early end after a technical issue sent him into the gravel at Turn 13 with just five minutes remaining.

Sergio Perez looked set to continue Force India's trend of being the best of the rest in Bahrain as he made progress in the afternoon and emerged as Hamilton's nearest rival, but the Mexican ultimately finished fourth once Vergne and Magnussen picked up the pace.

Rounding off the top five was Daniel Ricciardo, who failed to set a time before lunch due to an electrical issue, but he soon made up the mileage afterwards and ended up 3.174s behind Hamilton after 65 laps of running.

Bahrain F1 test gallery

Marussia's Jules Bianchi was just 0.006s shy of the Red Bull in sixth and had a productive day completing a total of 93 laps.

Giedo van der Garde made his return to an F1 cockpit and beat Sauber stablemate Sergey Sirotkin with his time of 1m37.623s - 1.4s faster than the time set by his fellow non-race driver on Tuesday. The Dutchman lost two hours of running to early engine problems.

Ferrari had a torrid session and completed just 12 laps.

Fernando Alonso was testing with Kimi Raikkonen's chassis from the Bahrain GP weekend, but the team discovered damage to the car that forced it to stop running early.

Although Raikkonen completed the grand prix in 10th place, his car did take a violent trip over a kerb, which was subsequently modified, during Friday practice.

Romain Grosjean's Lotus on a truck, Bahrain F1 test April 2014

Marcus Ericsson also hit trouble, albeit much later on as Caterham was forced to bring a premature end to its day when he suffered an ERS electrical issue that could not be fixed in time.

Williams reserve driver Felipe Nasr was in action for the Grove-based outfit and clocked in 64 laps as it tested tyres for Pirelli alongside Mercedes.

Nasr finished ahead of Romain Grosjean at the bottom of the order after the Frenchman endured a difficult day with Lotus.

In a repeat of Pastor Maldonado's day one engine problems, Grosjean could only manage 16 laps before suffering the same fate as his team-mate.

His best time was 9.596s off the pace, with the car only ever able to run at limited power.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap      Laps
 1.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m34.136s           118
 2.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Renault    1m35.557s  +1.421s  63
 3.  Kevin Magnussen      McLaren-Mercedes      1m36.203s  +2.067s  26
 4.  Sergio Perez         Force India-Mercedes  1m36.586s  +2.450s  62
 5.  Daniel Ricciardo     Red Bull-Renault      1m37.310s  +3.174s  65
 6.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Ferrari      1m37.316s  +3.180s  93
 7.  Giedo van der Garde  Sauber-Ferrari        1m37.623s  +3.487s  77
 8.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m37.912s  +3.776s  12
 9.  Marcus Ericsson      Caterham-Renault      1m39.263s  +5.127s  66
10.  Felipe Nasr          Williams-Mercedes     1m39.879s  +5.743s  64
11.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m43.732s  +9.596s  16
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