Feb 27, 2014 (F1plus) - Mexican driver Sergio Pérez in a Force India car set the fastest time Thursday in the opening session of pre-season testing at Bahrain's Sakhir circuit.
Perez, who this year arrive to Force India from McLaren scored his best time of 1:35.290 during the morning session of a day in which many of the teams worked on long runs with views of the first Grand Prix of the year, in Australia in mid- March (16th).
"We really needed a good day to start this week and today we had it. We managed to do a lot of laps, try several different compounds and mappings, and it's been a fantastic day in terms of learning about the car." Declared and optimistic Sergio Pérez.
The Mexican finished ahead of two Finnish drivers: Valtteri Bottas of Williams who was second, 894 milliseconds behind, and Kimi Raikkonen in his red car (Ferrari), third at 1,142 seconds from the Force India driver.
The German Nico Rosberg, author of last week best time at in this stage, finished fourth 1,334 second behind.
The work of Ferrari and Raikkonen was somewhat delayed because of mechanical tune-in work morning the new F14 T. Later in the afternoon, the Finn took 54 laps to score the third best
time of the day.
Nevertheless, at the very end of the session, when there were only a couple of minutes left, Raikkonen's Ferrari came to an abrupt stop in the back straight.
Mercedes and McLaren, marked the pattern last week in Sakhir, today they sacrificed their lap performance to focus on longer runs overlooking to the inaugural race.
The other unsurprising highlight came Red Bull and Lotus, which are still having problems.
The Australian Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull ran for only 32 laps in the morning until that an overheating issue interrupted his in morning and only seven laps were made in the afternoon. Still he felt progress was made.
“Behind the wheel, that’s the best I’ve felt so far. The package seems to be coming together better." Ricciardo said.
Similarly, Lotus also had a quiet day, this time by a failure with the new exhaust configuration, which forced the team to return to the old.
enezuelan Pastor Maldonado gave 31 laps with a best, good 5 seconds slower than Sergio Pérez marking time.
These tests in Bahrain last until Sunday. The Grand Prix Australia takes place from 14 to 16 March at the Albert circuit Park, Melbourne.
Provisional times for the session:
1. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1m 35.290s, 105 laps
2. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1m 36.184s, 128 laps
3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1m 36.432s, 54 laps
4. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1m 36.624s, 89 laps
5. Adrian Sutil, Sauber, 1m 37.700s, 89 laps
6. Kevin Magnussen, McLaren, 1m 37.825s, 109 laps
7. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1m 37.908s, 39 laps
8. Max Chilton, Marussia, 1m 38.610s, 44 laps
9. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1m 39.242s, 56 laps
10. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1m 40.599s, 31 laps
11. Kamui Kobayashi, Caterham, 1m 42.285s, 19 laps