Nico Rosberg topped the timesheets on the first day of the opening 2014 in-season test, which took place at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Each team must devote one of the available days to tyre testing with Formula 1’s supplier Pirelli. A schedule for the in-season tests was released by the Italian firm last month.
Caterham was the sole team to work with Pirelli on the first day of the Bahrain test, with reserve driver Robin Frijns at the wheel of the CT05. He completed 63 laps in the morning but a hydraulic system leak forced him to sit out of the afternoon session. He set the ninth fastest time with a 1m40.027.
It was Mercedes and Rosberg who finished the day with the fastest time. Hot off the back of his second-place finish at the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday, he had a trouble-free day and completed 121 laps. His best time of 1m35.697 was just under half a second faster than Nico Hulkenberg’s best effort.
Lewis Hamilton will drive the W05 on Wednesday, where he will be conducting tyre testing with Pirelli. Hulkenberg completed 68 laps for Force India, following the Silverstone-based outfit’s strong performance during Sunday’s race.
Fernando Alonso was six tenths further back in third. The Spaniard managed 67 laps, thanks to causing the first red flag of the day, and will also drive the Ferrari F14 T on day two. Kevin Magnussen lapped the Sakhir circuit 101 times on Tuesday and will remain in the car on Wednesday, following a last-minute schedule change at McLaren.
Valtteri Bottas was fifth on the timesheets for Williams. His best effort was 1.6 seconds slower than Rosberg’s. However, the Finn only completed 28 laps before his day was cut short during the afternoon session. The Grove-based outfit will, like Mercedes, work with Pirelli on day two, with Felipe Nasr driving the FW36.
Max Chilton was forced to stop his car on the circuit just before the lunch break but he managed to return to set the sixth fastest time and boost his lap tally to 60. Jules Bianchi will drive the Marussia MR03 on Wednesday.
Daniel Ricciardo will remain in the RB10 for day two after finishing Tuesday’s session in seventh after completing 91 laps. Sauber test driver Sergey Sirotkin made his testing debut, finished 3.2 seconds off the pace in eighth after 75 laps. Giedo van der Garde will drive the Ferrari-powered C33 on the second day.
Frijns was ninth for Caterham, finishing one tenth faster than Pastor Maldonado. The Lotus team suffered more power-unit problems and his day came to an early end after just 16 laps. Daniil Kvyat managed 67 at the wheel of the Toro Rosso STR9 and was the slowest of the 11 runners.
Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas