Coming from his second place at the Bahrain Grand Prix last weekend, Nico Rosberg unsurprisingly took the top time at today’s Bahrain test, the first of two days in the first in-season test this year. His time put him firmly on top of both the time sheets and the lap chart with a 1.35.697 after 121 laps.
He was not too far from the grip of Nico Hulkenberg, whose team are still celebrating after their first podium finish since the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. His track time was dedicated to short runs during the morning and longer runs in the afternoon as Force India tested new “solutions” for the upcoming Grand Prix. Kevin Magnussen racked up 104 laps for McLaren without mechanical interruption.
Max Chilton prompted a red flag when his Marussia stopped at the exit of turn 4 with a hydraulics issue, but he eventually got back out on track and completed the day’s schedule. Toro Rosso focused on chassis work with Daniil Kvyat at the hands of the STR9 today. The Russian hailed the day as good experience for himself and productive for the team.
After missing the bulk of the morning session, Daniel Ricciardo focused on long runs in the afternoon and clocked up 91 laps overall. He admitted that Red Bull was still behind Mercedes, but believes that they are chipping away at the gap.
“We’re still a little behind but we’re chipping away and I’m sure over the course of this test and in China we’ll get a little bit closer. For the moment, though, we’ll take every little bit we can get. We’re learning and we’re making progress.”
Pastor Maldonado was in the car for Lotus and, like most of the pre-season tests for the team, his running was short as a power unit related issue limited them to 16 laps. Although his running was so limited, Maldonado is happy with the aerodynamics work that the team managed to get done. He’ll hand over to Romain Grosjean for the second day of testing.
After running for Caterham in the opening practice session for last weekend’s Grand Prix, Robin Frijns was back in the car today and completed 63 laps. His entire running was during the morning session as a hydraulics leak was discovered shortly before lunch and meant a total strip of the car in the afternoon.
Sauber gave Sergey Sirotkin the car for the test today and his track time was focused on morning aerodynamic development and afternoon long runs. He also completed more than 300km, which means that the young Russian is now eligible for the FIA Super License that all drivers must hold before competing in a race.
Williams gave Valtteri Bottas the first go at the test and he also worked on aerodynamics and the general set up of the car. There was a positive vibe coming from the team today and Head of Vehicle Development, Rob Smedley, saying that the team achieved all the objectives laid out and that the data collected was very encouraging.
Ferrari worked on the aerodynamics of their car with constant speed tests on the main straight, and they also completed short runs to try out different car set-ups. Fernando Alonso was running today and, unsurprisingly, Kimi Raikkonen will not be testing tomorrow, so Alonso returns to the cockpit.
|Nico Rosberg||Mercedes||1.35.697||121 laps|
|Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1.36.064||69 laps|
|Fernando Alonso||Ferrari||1.36.626||69 laps|
|Kevin Magnussen||McLaren||1.46.634||102 laps|
|Valtteri Bottas||Williams||1.37.305||28 laps|
|Max Chilton||Marussia||1.37.678||60 laps|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1.38.326||91 laps|
|Sergey Sirtokin||Sauber||1.39.023||76 laps|
|Robin Frijns||Caterham||1.40.027||63 laps|
|Pastor Maldonado||Williams||1.40.183||16 laps|
|Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1.40.452||67 laps|