Nico Rosberg completed a Mercedes engined clean sweep in Bahrain as he set the fastest time of the week in Formula One’s second pre season test.
Setting a time of 1:33.283 Rosberg shut out fellow Mercedes powered team McLaren, as Jenson Button could only set a time of 1:34.957 – just under 1.7 seconds away from Rosberg.
In third place, and breaking the Mercedes strangle hold was Kimi Raikkonen in the Ferrari but even he could get no closer to the top – his time was more than three seconds slower.
In fourth place – and showing good form – was 2013 GP2 racer Felipe Nasr, who was recently announced as the reserve driver for Williams. The Brazilian driver completed 87 laps for the team and could set a time in the 1:37s to lock out a decent showing for the team over the last three days – if you just forget about the fuel leak issue on day one.
Surprisingly, or not, was the fact that Renault had another stinker of a day. Red Bull in the hands of Daniel Ricciardo could only complete 15 laps of running across the entire session, after experiencing yet more problems with the Energy Recovery System in their car.
Indeed the problems have been reported to have gotten so bad that one source in the team told Sky Sports that the team may have to introduce a ‘B spec’ car in Malaysia with the aim of solving the packaging issues in the Adrian Newey designed machine.
The problems may get worse for Renault coming into the first grand prix at Melbourne. Collectively over what is now eight days of testing, Mercedes powered cars have completed 2002 laps while Renault haven’t even broken the 1000 lap barrier yet, setting a poultry 770 laps – the majority of those have come from back of the field experts Caterham.
However, there is a dark lining on the thunder cloud for one team – Marussia. The team couldn’t set a time today and completed just five laps, taking their grand total over the two tests to 59 as component reliability problems limited their running yet again.
The third and last test of this 2014 pre season starts on Thursday 27th February with teams hoping that vast improvements can be made in their fortunes by the end of that test.