Nico Rosberg set the fastest time of the fourth day of the Bahrain test, completing 89 laps with a best of 1m33.283s. There was a big gap back to Jenson Button’s McLaren, which completed 66 laps with a best of 1m34.957s. Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest for Ferrari, clocking a 1m36.718s after 82 laps. Fourth fastest was Williams’s new test driver Felipe Nasr, who completed 87 laps with a fastest lap of 1m37.569s.
The fastest Renault-engined car was Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus, which recorded a 1m38.707s lap after 59 laps. The other runners all had problems with Sergio Perez doing just 19 laps in his Force India as the result of what the team called “a drivetrain issue”. His best lap was a 1m39.258s. Dan Ricciardo’s Red Bull did only 15 laps because of a software problem followed by “another mechanical issue”. His best was a 1m39.837s.
Jean-Eric Vergne did 19 laps in the Toro Rosso with a best of 1m40.472s, the team reporting “several teething problems”, while Caterham’s Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson managed 21 laps between them, recording a 1m43.027s and a 1m45.094s respectively. The team had an “electrical issue”
Sauber’s Adrian Sutil did seven laps but did not set a time. The team reported “a problem with an interior part of the monocoque” which required a (slightly alarming) change of chassis, while Marussia’s progress remained frustrated with Jules Bianchi doing five laps and not setting a time. This was caused by “some component reliability issues”.
It is fair to say that the F1 PR officers seemed to have been engulfed by a cloud of utter vagueness. Hopefully someone will invent a pill to cure their issues and give them a little more clarity in the weeks ahead…