Hamilton on top as testing comes to an end

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F1 Test, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

The final day of testing at Bahrain is the last chance for teams to verify reliability and detect further issues that can be resolved before Melbourne. Little time remains though, as Melbourne FP starts in last than 2 weeks.

The first few hours of the day are marked with Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Williams' Valtteri Bottas switching at the top of the timesheets as they continued to improve their times. Bottas however completed considerably more laps, again confirming that the Williams is running like a train, allowing the team to keep on going without doing much on the car.

Sebastian Vettel meanwhile is running fine, totalling little more than 20 laps in the first hours. Lotus only got going 2 hours into the session following some software updates and Mercedes was even worse off as Hamilton was not out on track due to a gearbox problem.


More problems were set to arise later in the day. First for Jenson Button whose McLaren stopped halfway on the track soon after the lunch break. About an hour later, Grosjean's Lotus caught fire, with later investigations showing an engine failure that could not be repaired in time, hence the end of the day for Lotus with just 32 laps on the clock.

Midway through the afternoon there were a lot of red flags, including Hulkenberg, Alonso and around 17:00 local time also Valtteri Bottas, marking the first on-track stoppage for Williams during the 2014 pre-season tests, caused by high mileage of the engine. Because of the repeated red flags, it was then also announced that today's session would be extended by 25 minutes, not exactly a problem as the Bahrain International Circuits has lights around the track to be able to host the Bahrain Grand Prix as a night race this year.

Also at 17:00, Caterham announced the end of their running due to a clutch problem. Nico Hulkenberg's Force India also turned out to be unfixable in time as the engine failed, requiring a new engine that would take several hours to install.

Around 17:15, Lewis Hamilton shot to the top of the timesheet, setting a 1'33"278, close to the benchmark time set by Felipe Massa one day earlier.

In the closing stages, Chilton and Vettel managed to improve slightly and gain a few positions on the timesheet, but apart from that, the times remained unchanged with Massa's time from Saturday standing as the fastest lap at Bahrain this winter.

Results

Pos.DriverTeamBestGapLaps
1.HamiltonMercedes AMG F11:33.278-65
2.BottasWilliams1:33.987+0.709110
3.AlonsoFerrari1:34.280+1.00257
4.HulkenbergForce India1:35.577+2.29974
5.VergneToro Rosso1:35.701+2.42369
6.SutilSauber1:36.467+3.18991
7.ChiltonMarussia F1 Team1:36.835+3.55760
8.GutierrezSauber1:37.303+4.02567
9.VettelRed Bull Racing1:37.755+4.47778
10.ButtonMcLaren1:38.111+4.83321
11.KobayashiCaterham1:38.391+5.113106
12.GrosjeanLotus F11:39.517+6.23932


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