Sergio Perez put Force India at the top of the time sheets as the third and final preseason testing got underway in Bahrain.
The Mexican’s time of 1:35.290, set during the morning session, proved to be ultimately untroubled, with Valtteri Bottas the best of the rest, ending the day some nine-tenths shy.
Bottas completed 128 laps, the most of anyone on a single day so far this pre-season, on his way to second fastest, in what was another impressive day for Williams, while Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top three for Ferrari.
The Finn had a stunted start to the day, suffering with electrical issues, but improved to end day one as third fastest with a lap of 1:36.432, despite bringing a premature end to the session when his F14 T ground to a halt in the closing minutes out on the backstraight.
Nico Rosberg was just fourth overall in the Mercedes, as the brackley-based outfit focused on long runs.
Force India’s Adrian Sutil completed 89 laps on his was to fifth, a mere tenth ahead of Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren, as the Dane joined Perez and Bottas in completing over 100 laps, completing a race simulation in the process.
Daniel Ricciardo managed 32 laps in the morning, with a best time of 1:37.908, before packaging problems with the RB10 curtailed the team’s running except for a late excursion in the final minutes of the session.
It proved to be a productive day for Marussia, as Max Chilton racked up 44 laps on his way to eighth fastest overall, ahead of Daniil Kvyat in the Toro Rosso.
While it was more of the same for Lotus, as Pastor Maldonado was forced to call an early end to his day of running after a problem with a new configuration exhaust led to a red flag in the morning session, completing just 31 laps of running in the troublesome E22.
Kamui Kobayashi propped up the time sheets after a troubled start to testing for Caterham, completing just 19 laps on a day plagued by reliability problems.
Bahrain – Day One Classification:
1. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:35.290 – 104 laps
2. Valtteri Bottas – Williams – 1:36.185 +0.894s -127 laps
3. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:36.432 +1.142s – 53 laps
4. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:36.624 +1.334s – 89 laps
5. Adrian Sutil – Sauber – 1:37.700 +2.410s – 88 laps
6. Kevin Magnussen – McLaren – 1:37.825 +2.535s – 109 laps
7. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull Racing – 1:37.908 +2.618s – 35 laps
8. Max Chilton – Marussia – 1:38.610 +3.320s – 44 laps
9. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso – 1:39.242 +3.952s – 56 laps
10. Pastor Maldonado – Lotus – 1:40.599 +5.309s – 31 laps
11. Kamui Kobayashi – Caterham – 1:42.285 +6.995s – 19 laps
Image courtesy of Force India F1 Team