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F1: Sergio Perez remains on top in Bahrain (+photos)

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Sahara Force India driver Sergio Perez remained on top of the timing sheet Friday as he set the fastest time of the day in this final Formula 1 winter test in Bahrain.

Yesterday, Perez set a 1m35.290 in the Mercedes-powered VJM07. Today, his fastest time was a 1m35.570.

2014 F1 winter testing Bahrain Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India (Photo: Sahara Force India)

“It has been another busy day with lots of miles completed and a great deal learned,” said Andrew Green, Technical Director at Sahara Force India.

“The programme this morning involved assessing a different set-up direction compared to yesterday, which will help in our decision-making going into Melbourne. After lunch we switched to extended runs using several of the tires compounds available to us”.

2014 F1 winter testing Bahrain Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing (Photo: WRI2)

Driving the Ferrari F14 T, Fernando Alonso was second quickest. In the morning, Alonso continued with development work on the car, trying various changes to the set-up and running a comparison of some aerodynamic parts. In the afternoon, the Spaniard completed a race simulation with live pits tops.

Red Bull Racing made significant progress, with Daniel Ricciardo recording 66 largely trouble-free laps and claiming the third time. The team was also able to get in some pit stop practice and conduct a number of background tests and aerodynamic evaluations.

Williams’ Felipe Massa ranked fourth in the Mercedes-powered FW36. The British team worked on aero evaluation, race simulation and set-up.

2014 F1 winter testing Bahrain Jenson Button, McLaren
Jenson Button, McLaren (Photo: WRI2)

Jenson Button followed in fifth place in the McLaren MP4-29. Button’s run programme was affected by a gearbox issue – just as he was about to begin a late-morning race simulation run. However, the mechanics were able to get the car running for the final 75 minutes of the session, enabling him to get a long-run under his belt before the chequered.

Jules Bianchi planted the Marussia-Ferrari in sixth place overall, ahead of Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes AMG.

The Mercedes’ programme targeted a race simulation programme in the morning, followed by setup work in the afternoon. Hamilton completed 61 laps before the lunch break. A further 28 laps followed in the afternoon, before a gearbox problem curtailed running with 90 minutes remaining.

2014 F1 winter testing Bahrain Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber
Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber (Photo: WRI2)

Jean-Eric Vergne was 8th In the Toro Rosso, followed by Esteban Gutierrez in the Sauber, Pastor Maldonado in the Lotus and Marcus Ericsson in the Caterham.

The Lotus suffered a localised fire in the car which ended the team’s running early and caused a reasonable amount of damage to the E22.

Third and final winter test session, Bahrain, Day 2*:

Pos. Driver Car Time Laps
1 Sergio Perez Force India 1m35.570 108 laps
2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m35.634 122
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1m35.743 66
4 Felipe Massa Williams 1m36.507 103
5 Jenson Button McLaren 1m36.901 52
6 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1m38.092 75
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1m39.041 89
8 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1m39.636 61
9 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1m39.976 106
10 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1m41.613 31
11 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1m42.516 55
*Unofficial timing

2014 F1 winter testing Bahrain Jules Bianchi, Marussia
Jules Bianchi, Marussia (Photo: WRI2)