• Second Bahrain Test - Day One

Perez leads the way on first morning of final test

ESPN Staff
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Sergio Perez showed continued improvement in the Force India © Sutton Images

Force India's Sergio Perez set the fastest lap on the first morning of the final week of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

All cars were quick to get out on track and get the test underway, which will be important to hammer out remaining issues and unlock performance ahead of the Australian Grand Prix in 16 days time. Mercedes was the last to set a flying lap in the morning, but by the lunch break at 13:00 had completed the most laps and Rosberg had set the second fastest time.

Mercedes-powered cars locked out the top three positions, although Perez's headline time was still a couple of seconds shy of best time set by the factory Mercedes last week. Rosberg set a 1:36.624 in the final 30 minutes before lunch, but the W05 has more in reserve.

By the end of the morning Daniel Ricciardo had completed 32 laps, the most he has managed in a single day behind the wheel of the Red Bull this year. He also went faster on his first flying lap than the RB10 had managed all last week and by the end of the morning improved to a 1:37.908.

The Red Bull was the highest-placed Renault-powered car, with Daniil Kvyat over a second off Ricciardo in the Toro Rosso and Lotus limited to a series of slow runs before Pastor Maldonado stopped on track, causing one of the morning's two red flags. Caterham caused the other when Kamui Kobayashi stopped coming out of Turn Four with smoke coming from the rear of the car. He did not return to the track for the rest of the morning.

Kimi Raikkonen also had a slow start to the day with just 12 laps in the Ferrari before a lengthily spell in the garage. Sauber's Adrian Sutil set the fastest time of the Ferrari-powered cars, albeit 2.6s off Perez's best, while Max Chilton completed just 16 laps in the Marussia.

Morning session, day one:

Sergio Perez      Force India      1:35.290   37 laps
Nico Rosberg      Mercedes         1:36.908   64 laps
Kevin Magnussen   McLaren          1:37.825   40 laps 
Adrian Sutil      Sauber           1:37.892   31 laps
Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull         1:37.908   32 laps 
Valtteri Bottas   Williams         1:38.907   43 laps 
Daniel Kvyat      Toro Rosso       1:39.242   43 laps 
Kimi Raikkonen    Ferrari          1:40.505   12 laps 
Pastor Maldonado  Lotus            1:40.599   31 laps
Tom Chilton       Marussia         1:41.074   16 laps
Kamui Kobayashi   Caterham         1:44.060    7 laps

Kevin Magnussen locks up in the McLaren © Sutton Images
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