Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest time on the final day of the third pre-season F1 test; Lotus, Force India, Caterham and McLaren suffer mechanical failures

Lewis Hamilton has set the fastest lap time on the final day of testing at Bahrain, after completing 70 laps of the circuit.

His Mercedes-Benz, which took lead position with a 1m33.278s lap, was the quickest out of a total of 12 cars undergoing testing.

Despite suffering a gearbox problem in the morning, he successfully returned to the track to secure the top position.

Problems with the dramatically different 2014-season cars are still rife, however, and Lotus, McLaren and Force India all experienced engine failures.

Red Bull suffered from further issues too, with a technical issue causing driver Sebastian Vettel to lose control at the end of the morning's session. Kamui Kobayashi also had problems, with a damaged clutch bringing his car to a stop.

Williams' Valtteri Bottas set the second-fastest time of the day, a lap of 1m33.987s, followed by Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at 1m34.280s.

Previously, Felipe Massa had set the fastest time on the penultimate day of pre-season Formula 1 testing in Bahrain.

The Williams driver set the pace during the morning session, eventually putting in a best time of 1m33.258s over 99 laps. The day was again overshadowed, however, by the continued woes of world champion team Red Bull.

Sebastian Vettel broke down halfway into his installation lap, and, upon his recovery to the pitlane, Red Bull erected screens in front of their garage to keep prying eyes away as they seeked to resolve their latest issues. Both Sauber and Lotus also suffered technical problems today.

Elsewhere, Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen had his final day at the wheel of his new car before the season's first race in Melbourne, while Nico Rosberg lost out on much of the morning session due to an engine change. He went on to complete 103 laps in total this afternoon, and sits second in the timing standings.

Bahrain is the final stop on the F1 testing calendar before the season begins next month. All 11 teams are scheduled to be in action over the course of the eight-day test session.

While some teams found the first pre-season test in Jerez, Spain, helpful, others struggled to come to grips with the sport's new rule changes. Chief among them is the move to adopt new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines in place of the older V8 units. The engines use a new hybrid energy recovery system which harvests heat energy from the turbocharger as well as kinetic energy from the brakes.

Elsewhere and the design of the 2014 cars has changed to meet the latest crash-test safety regulations. Several teams have implemented the changes in different ways, with Ferrari opting for a flat snout approach, while Lotus has gone with a split-prong design.

Finally, one of the most contentious changes to F1 this year sees double points awarded at the last race. The move is designed to increase competition, and to stop a single team or driver running away with the championship well before the season is over.

Take a look through the picture gallery above to see all the latest pictures from the Bahrain pre-season testing session, and read our ten reasons to get excited about the return of Formula One here.

Additional reporting by Lewis Kingston, 2 March 2014

Join the debate

Comments
10

19 February 2014
The double points for the end of season finale is a stupid idea.

If one driver is able to dominate all season (like Seb last year) and open up a 40-49 point gap but then has a disastrous final race and loses the championship by a single point, how is that a true reflection of the championship.

If they want to keep the championship alive to the end of the season then all they need to do is reverse the points increase from a billion years ago.

Go back to 20points for a win and 18 for second like it used to be. It would take a driver 10 races to open up a single win gap, at the moment it takes 4.

With such a small gap the emphasis reverts back to reliability and consistency and the odds of a driver running away with the title of the first 6-9 races then managing the points gap (a'la Brawn in '09) would be gone.

Double points is cheap, nasty and stupid when they created the situation with the increase in points in the first place, which was done to give winning more of a reward so drivers were encourage to push to the end as a win was so beneficial.

Can't have you're cake and eat it.

Formula 1 needs to decide what it's about..... drivers or tech.

Awesome tech can compensate for average drivers, only the greatest of drivers can over come average tech.

It used to be about the best DRIVERS in the world, because even state of the art tech at the time couldn't override the drivers skill, now the tech (specifically the Aero) is SO awesome it's now become almost exclusively about the best car / designer.

F1 used to be a race series AND a technology tour de force, a show case to technical brilliance (All Hail Chapman) but now the technology dominates so completely that we've lost the race series.

What do you want to be F1, a race series or a technical test bed / shop window, you can't be both, the two sides have become mutually exclusive.

It's a sad situation as resolving either side diminishes what F1 used to be but looking backwards is a sure way of running into a wall.

19 February 2014
Yeah, where have all the spaces gone

22 February 2014
takumiuk wrote:

The double points for the end of season finale is a stupid idea.

If one driver is able to dominate all season (like Seb last year) and open up a 40-49 point gap but then has a disastrous final race and loses the championship by a single point, how is that a true reflection of the championship.

If they want to keep the championship alive to the end of the season then all they need to do is reverse the points increase from a billion years ago.

Go back to 20points for a win and 18 for second like it used to be. It would take a driver 10 races to open up a single win gap, at the moment it takes 4.

With such a small gap the emphasis reverts back to reliability and consistency and the odds of a driver running away with the title of the first 6-9 races then managing the points gap (a'la Brawn in '09) would be gone.

Double points is cheap, nasty and stupid when they created the situation with the increase in points in the first place, which was done to give winning more of a reward so drivers were encourage to push to the end as a win was so beneficial.

Can't have you're cake and eat it.

Formula 1 needs to decide what it's about..... drivers or tech.

Awesome tech can compensate for average drivers, only the greatest of drivers can over come average tech.

It used to be about the best DRIVERS in the world, because even state of the art tech at the time couldn't override the drivers skill, now the tech (specifically the Aero) is SO awesome it's now become almost exclusively about the best car / designer.

F1 used to be a race series AND a technology tour de force, a show case to technical brilliance (All Hail Chapman) but now the technology dominates so completely that we've lost the race series.

What do you want to be F1, a race series or a technical test bed / shop window, you can't be both, the two sides have become mutually exclusive.

It's a sad situation as resolving either side diminishes what F1 used to be but looking backwards is a sure way of running into a wall.

Brilliantly and succinctly put. Hopefully your comment will be widely read. It should be.

24 February 2014
:)

19 February 2014
It's raining Vettels and dogs ...

19 February 2014
...the cars are ugly. What has Ferrari done to the nose? Or any of them in fact? Ghastly.

And your photo caption writer doesn't know the difference between 'led' and 'lead'.

19 February 2014
autocar wrote:

...The Force India driver set a fastest time of 1m36.880s, becoming the only driver to break the 1m36s barrier over the course of his 78 laps

To be pedantic, a time of 1m35 point something would break the 1m36s barrier, 1m36.880 doesn't.

Oh, and thanks for making me complete the stupid word verification

 

19 February 2014
Leslie Brook wrote:
autocar wrote:

...The Force India driver set a fastest time of 1m36.880s, becoming the only driver to break the 1m36s barrier over the course of his 78 laps

To be pedantic, a time of 1m35 point something would break the 1m36s barrier, 1m36.880 doesn't.

Oh, and thanks for making me complete the stupid word verification

Ah, I see you've edited it. Well done.

 

1 March 2014
Talking about awesome tech I still can't work out how that smug bastard Leslie Brook managed to upload a picture. I have been trying it with a photo of what is clearly the inspiration for this year's cars, the anteater. No joy.

3 March 2014
275not599 wrote:

Talking about awesome tech I still can't work out how that smug bastard Leslie Brook managed to upload a picture. I have been trying it with a photo of what is clearly the inspiration for this year's cars, the anteater. No joy.

Voila, one Anteater.

 

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