Sergio Perez sets the fastest lap for Force India on the opening day of Formula One final pre-season test at Bahrain.
Mercedes powered teams on top with mileage and also quickest. Despite Renault-engined team are still struggling.
Force India is proving to be a very consistent car in V6 field and its gives a hopeful message; they may be going to the podium in this season. Even as Mexican used softer – and consequently faster – tyres to set his time.
Williams’ youngster Valtteri Bottas have accumulated 128 laps with aggressive Mercedes powered FW36 and set second fastest behind eight tenths from Force India.
Ferrari introduced a new front wing for F14 T, the first of what are expected to be several key upgrades with the first race of the season in Australia on 16 March in mind.
Kimi Raikkonen, third fastest today, a day after the provisional: the Maranello team has lost a good part of the morning session to assemble new front wing and get the mileage only 54 laps.
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg set fourth fastest, the team ended their testing a little under an hour early following a trouble the team turn down to recognize. Rosberg was 1.334 seconds slower than Perez’s fastest lap of one minute 35.290 seconds.
The defending champions, Red Bull Racing hardly working around five hours in the garage even as the team worked to solve what were reported to be cooling problems.
Finally, Ricciardo to set out on track again in the last half-hour of running, but he did only three laps before returning to the garage.
Renault powered machines, Red Bull, Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham, have had a troubled pre-season, at the root of most of the problems suffered by their teams.
Lotus managed to 31 laps, and 10th quickest time, Toro Rosso managed 56 laps with Daniil Kvyat but Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham could do only 19 in the whole day.