• First Bahrain Test - Day One

Hulkenberg fastest as Red Bull's problems persist

ESPN Staff
February 19, 2014 « Red Bull fails to turn a lap on first morning in Bahrain | Plenty more to come - Hamilton »
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Force India's Nico Hulkenberg set the pace on the first day of testing in Bahrain, but it was Red Bull's continuing issues that provided the main talking point.

The RB10 failed to complete a single lap in the morning and then ended the day early when Sebastian Vettel stopped on track with smoke coming from the rear of the car just after 16:00. In total the Red Bull managed 14 laps, and although Vettel was on a quicker lap when he stopped, his best time was still over three seconds off Hulkenberg's.

The team's lack of running in the morning was down to problems fitting new parts to the car, but the issue in the afternoon will be of concern as Vettel had use a fire marshal's extinguisher to deal with the smoke coming from the rear. Overheating was a major issue for the team at Jerez and it appears as though its initial solution has come up short.

The morning got off to a stuttering start for all teams when the green light was delayed by 30 minutes due to a lack of marshals. When the cars eventually emerged, Fernando Alonso's Ferrari left a plume of smoke in the pit lane, triggering an early red flag and another stoppage. The Ferrari made it back to the pits under its own power and was soon back on track, completing a total of 64 laps by the end of the day and setting the second fastest time.

Lewis Hamilton was third fastest and completed 74 laps, even though his day was cut short, while Kevin Magnussen notched up an impressive 81 laps in the McLaren. Sauber's Adrian Sutil was the only driver to beat Magnussen's lap count with 82, despite losing a bit of time due to a spin at Turn One.

Wednesday morning also brought about the first public sighting of the Lotus E22, with Romain Grosjean first to leave the pits at 9:30. Lotus had to skip the first test at Jerez to continue development of the new car, but appeared to stumble across some early teething problems, completing just eight laps by the end of the day.

Another Renault-powered team, Toro Rosso, also struggled on Wednesday, with an oil leak in the morning before the car stopped on track in the afternoon. Russian rookie Daniil Kvyat was at the wheel, but only added five laps to the nine laps of experience he notched up in Jerez. However, it wasn't all doom and gloom for Renault as Caterham completed more than a race distance for the power unit - the most it has managed in a single day this year.

After a promising first week in Jerez, Williams had a reality check when a fuel system problem limited Felipe Massa to just five laps. Marussia also struggled for laps due to an IT configuration problem, with just three tours of the circuit for Jules Bianchi.

Nico Hulkenberg     Force India   1:36.880  78 laps
Fernando Alonso     Ferrari       1:37.879  64 laps
Lewis Hamilton      Mercedes      1:37.908  74 laps
Kevin Magnussen     McLaren       1:38.295  81 laps
Sebastian Vettel    Red Bull      1:40.224  14 laps
Adrian Sutil        Sauber        1:40.443  82 laps
Robert Frijns       Caterham      1:42.590  68 laps
Daniil Kvyat        Toro Rosso    1:44.346   5 laps
Romain Grosjean     Lotus         1:44.832   8 laps
Felipe Massa        Williams       no time   5 laps
Jules Bianchi       Marussia       no time   3 laps

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