MANAMA, Feb 22, 2014 (AFP) - Germany's Nico Rosberg registered the fastest time in his Mercedes in Saturday's pre-season testing session at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit.
Rosberg managed to go a second faster than his teammate Lewis Hamilton a day earlier, outpacing Jenson Button in a Mclaren-Mercedes and Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari.
"This morning we were able to try some qualifying practice runs which felt good, meaning I could attack the lap a bit as I found a good balance.
"Later in the day we did a race simulation, which was crucial to learn all the new things in the car. There was a lot of feedback from the engineers, so my head was full of information!" Rosberg Said.
Brazilian Felipe Nasr, a new test driver with the Williams team, took to the wheel for the first time and was fourth-quickest.
"There were so many things going through my head before sitting in the car." Nasr said in reference to his first experience in the Williams FW36.
"It was what I was expecting though: very different to any other car I have ever driven with the amount of downforce, brake efficiency and the power." He added.
A final pre-season testing session will take place in Bahrain next Thursday, February 27, before the first race of the season, the Australian
Grand Prix in Melbourne, on March 16.
Mercedes go into Melbourne in good shape after strong testing both innBahrain and in Jerez in Spain last month.
For world champions Red Bull, who endured a torrid time testing in Jerez, things looked a little brighter, with Sebastian Vettel's new teammate Daniel Ricciardo coming in 7th in Bahrain.
"In all honesty it wasn't a great day today."
"I guess we still need more time. We have four more days coming up and hopefully we can maximise those. I have to say that on the run we did today the car did feel better." The Australian said.
However, he was still a full six seconds off the pace set by Rosberg and Mercedes as Red Bull continued to struggle with technical issues.
Provisional Saturday test times from Bahrain:
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 33.283s, 89 laps
2. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1m 34.957s, 66 laps
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 36.718s, 82 laps
4. Felipe Nasr, Williams, 1m 37.569s, 87 laps
5. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 38.707s, 59 laps
6. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 39.258s, 19 laps
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 39.837s, 15 laps
8. Jean-Eric Vergne, Toro Rosso, 1m 40.472s, 19 laps
9. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, 1m 43.027s, 17 laps
10. Marcus Ericsson, Caterham, 1m 45.094s, 4 laps
11. Adrian Sutil, Sauber, no time, 7 laps
12. Jules Bianchi, Marussia, no time, 5 laps