MANAMA, Feb 20, 2014 (AFP) - McLaren's exciting new recruit Kevin Magnussen posted the quickest time and struggling four-tiem champions Red Bull finally got down to business on the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain on Thursday.
Danish Formula One rookie Magnussen, who had impressed in testing in Jerez last month, stole the show on the Sakhir circuit with a time of 1min 34.910sec.
The 21-year-old is the son of former F1 driver Jan and he joined McLaren to link up with teammate Jenson Button as a replacement for Mexican Sergio Perez.
Magnussen's time was one-and-a-half seconds quicker than the Force India belonging to Nico Hulkenberg, who had taken the honours on Wednesday's first session, with Fernando Alonso's Ferrari in third.
Nico Rosberg, taking over from Lewis Hamilton, filled fourth for Mercedes.
Back in seventh, over five seconds off the pace, was Sebastian Vettel, who put in more mileage than his team had managed all year.
The German world champion completed 59 laps for Red Bull as the team enjoyed a welcome change of fortune after only mustering 21 laps over the entire five days of testing in Jerez.
The world champions will have breathed a collective sigh of relief to have finally put their testing traumas behind them, their Renault engine having struggled to adapt to the raft of new technical regulations introduced for the upcoming season.
"We did more laps today than so far the whole year, which is a step forward," Vettel told the BBC.
He added: "We are learning every lap so we are trying to run as much as possible even if the quality of the lap is not the best, but the most important thing for us at this stage is simply to run."
Testing for the new season, which gets underway in Melbourne on March 16, continues here on Friday and Saturday.
Unofficial Thursday test times from Bahrain:
1. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m34.910s, 46 laps
2. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1m36.445s, 59 laps
3. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari, 1m36.516s, 97 laps
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m36.965s, 85 laps
5. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m37.328s, 116 laps
6. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, 1m39.855s, 66 laps
7. Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 1m40.340s, 59 laps
8. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1m40.609s, 58 laps
9. Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, 1m40.717s, 55 laps
10. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1m41.670s, 18 laps
11. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1m42.511s, 17 laps