- Second Bahrain Test - Day Four
Bottas tops final morning session
Vatteri Bottas returned Williams to the top of the timesheets on the final morning of pre-season testing.
Bottas' time of 1:34.797 was 1.5s shy of Felipe Massa's blistering pace on Saturday, but still enough to back up the impressive showing from Williams this week. The team said it had 20 items to tick off on its to-do list on the final day, and a healthy 60 laps by lunch will have gone some way to achieving that.
Ferrari's to-do list on the final day is slightly longer after losing time on Saturday morning with a faulty connector, but Fernando Alonso only added 27 laps to the F14 T's mileage on Sunday morning. Alonso set the second quickest time, 0.712s off Bottas, but it remains to be seen if Ferrari will show its true pace with a low-fuel lap this afternoon.
Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel managed 44 laps on Sunday morning before a spin at Turn One brought about an early lunch break for the world champion. The cause of the spin was not clear from the CCTV cameras filming the aftermath, but his car ended up facing the wrong direction in the depths of the tarmac run-off area. Up to that point all of Vettel's laps had been over 4.9s off the pace as the team continued to focus on reliability testing.
Lewis Hamilton completed just five laps in the Mercedes as mechanics worked on a gearbox problem for most of the morning. The length of the downtime emphasised the difficulty facing all teams when changing parts on the new cars, which are much more complex than their predecessors. The problem also backed up a few comments earlier this week that the Mercedes' reliability is not as bullet-proof as it appeared earlier in testing.
One driver making up for lost time was Adrian Sutil, who was given an extra morning in the car after completing just one lap on Saturday due to an engine problem. He led the lap count at lunch with an impressive 91 laps but will hand over to team-mate Esteban Gutierrez for the afternoon session.
Jenson Button had fairly limited running with just 18 laps at the wheel of the McLaren, while Lotus made another slow start to the day that was further curtailed by a problem that brought the car to a halt coming out of Turn 10 in the final minutes of the morning session.
Kamui Kobayashi had a promising 58 laps at the wheel of the Caterham, while rivals Marussia were limited to just 10 laps due to an electrical problem.
Day Four, morning session:
1. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:34.797 60 laps 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:35.509 27 laps 3. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:35.577 33 laps 4. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:35.701 43 laps 5. Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:36.467 91 laps 6. Jenson Button McLaren 1:38.111 20 laps 7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.650 5 laps 8. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:38.653 58 laps 9. Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:29.302 26 laps 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:39.708 44 laps 11. Max Chilton Marussia 1:41.242 10 laps