Final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain as it happened

Text commentary of the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain where Lewis Hamilton sets the pace for Mercedes.

2 March 2014 Last updated at 06:19 GMT

Get involved

To get involved contact us in any of the following ways

As it happened

  1. 15:30: 
    Lewis Hamilton

    You've got just 12 days to wait until the start of the new Formula 1 season. with Melbourne, Australia your host for the opener. I bet Lewis Hamilton (pictured) can't wait.

    I'll be back at 01:00 GMT to bring you live coverage of first practice alongside live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live. Until then, it's a very good afternoon from me.

  2. 15:26: 

    It was far from the ideal day for Sebastian Vettel, who suffered a spin caused by an apparent brake failure. However, 77 laps that the reigning world champion managed today was his highest mileage of the winter on a single day.

  3. 15:20: 

    Here's Andrew Benson's developing report. Keep an eye on the website later today for all the new and reaction from the Bahrain paddock.


    Mercedes: Team radio from @LewisHamilton: 'Thanks guys, it's been a great few weeks of testing. Fantastic work, thank you'.


    Williams: Very proud to have achieved 936 laps - which is approx. 4900km - in winter testing with the Williams Mercedes FW36, #BO77AS, #MASSA & #NASR

  6. 15:10: 

    Williams look good, too. They suffered their worst ever season last year, finishing ninth in the constructors' championship with just five points. But a switch to Mercedes engines and a restructuring of their engineering department looks to have helped turn their fortunes around.

  7. 15:05: 

    So Lewis Hamilton underlines Mercedes' status as the pre-season favourites with the fastest lap of the day in Bahrain.

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow

    "It will be interesting to see who gets the driving duty for @redbullracing in their 'filming day' on Monday. There are 100km more to come."

  9. 15:00: 
    How they finished on day four

    1) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:33.278

    2) Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 1:33.987

    3) Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 1:34.280

    4) Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) 1:35.577

    5) Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) 1:35.701

    6) Adrian Sutil (Sauber) 1:36.467

    7) Max Chilton (Marussia) 1:36.835

    8) Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber) 1:37.303

    9) Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 1:37.468

    10) Jenson Button (McLaren) 1:38.111

    11) Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham) 1:38.391

    12) Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 1:39.302

  10. 14:56: 

    Formula 1 pre-season testing for 2014. Done.

  11. 14:55: 

    Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton finishes fastest on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

    Lewis Hamilton

    Mercedes: Final push for @LewisHamilton and the #F1 W05 under a stunning sunset here.

  13. 14:52: 

    Max Chilton climbs up to seventh with a 1:36.835, 3.5 seconds off the pace, while Sebastian Vettel peels himself off the bottom of the timesheets, moving up to ninth with a 1:37.755.

  14. 14:51: 

    Sauber say they were completing a fuel system check, hence the stoppage, so there's no problem with the car.

  15. 14:49: 

    Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are among the first to head back out.

  16. 14:45: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The session is back under way.

  17. 14:41: 

    The red flag icon has had a good workout today. Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez brings out the eighth red flag of the day.

  18. 14:37: 

    Lewis Hamilton is back in the pits after failing to beat his best time having bolted on a set of super-soft tyres.

  19. 14:35: 

    Fernando Alonso improves to a 1:34.280, which is 1.002 seconds off the pace. He stays third, but that's Ferrari's best lap of the winter in Bahrain.

  20. 14:30: 

    Lewis Hamilton sets the fastest first sector of all, but then backs off and clocks a 1:41.264.

    Bahrain circuit

    Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo: Good view up here. Having a look how each car is working.

  22. 14:23: 

    Mercedes report that they're about to send Lewis Hamilton out on a set of super-soft tyres.

  23. 14:20: 

    The floodlights are on in Bahrain - a useful test ahead of their first Formula 1 night race in April.


    Williams: Car stopping on track was due to a high-mileage failure of the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine).

  25. 14:14: 

    Lewis Hamilton pumps in the fastest lap of the day, a 1:33.278, to go 0.7 seconds clear at the top of the charts. That's just two hundredths slower than Felipe Massa's leading time yesterday, which was the fastest set in Bahrain this year.

  26. 14:12: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The session is back under way and Lewis Hamilton is among one of the first to head back out...

  27. 14:10: 

    There are still 45 minutes left of the session - thanks to a 25-minute extension because of the high number of red flags - but the day and indeed pre-season testing for Caterham is over.

    "A clutch problem unfortunately ends our day a little earlier than planned, stopping us before our final planned performance runs," tweet the team. "But 106 laps today is still just reward for the efforts everyone has put in, here in Bahrain and back at Leafield."


    Williams: Team investigating cause of stoppage....

  29. 14:06: 

    While we wait for the Williams to be recovered, here's a recap of the times.

    Valtteri Bottas leads the way with a 1:33.987, one second ahead of Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso is third, three tenths further back.

    Jenson Button is eighth for McLaren, 4.1 seconds off the pace, with Sebastian Vettel 11th in the Red Bull, a further 1.6 seconds behind.

  30. 14:04: 

    Lotus are done for the day. A fire has stopped their running. It's not been an ideal build-up to the season for the Enstone-based team.

  31. 14:02: 

    For the first time this winter, the Williams stops out on track. Valtteri Bottas has rolled to a halt on the start-finish straight.

  32. 14:00: 

    The red flag is out again. I make that seven.

  33. 13:57: 

    Fernando Alonso moves back into second and becomes only the second driver today to dip under the 1m35s barrier.

  34. 13:54: 

    Lewis Hamilton goes second quickest with a 1:35.059, just over one second adrift of Valtteri Bottas.

  35. 13:48: 

    The pace is hotting up in Bahrain as Williams's Valtteri Bottas clocks the fastest time of the day with a 1:33.987 to extend his lead at the top of the timesheets.

  36. 13:45: 

    Mercedes and Williams report that the session will be extended by 25 minutes and therefore run until 14:55 GMT.

  37. 13:39: 

    Ferrari's Fernando Alonso goes second quickest, the Spaniard clocking a 1:35.394 which is 0.597 seconds off the pace but just a few thousandths quicker than Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes.

  38. 13:36: 

    Williams send Valtteri Bottas out for another run, this time on the soft tyres.


    Caterham: We're into the final hour and have just sent out @kamui_kobayashi for run 13 - 101 laps and counting (all usual reliability caveats apply...)

  40. 13:33: 

    Soon after the Ferrari arrives back in the garage, the team fire it back up and send Fernando Alonso on his way again.

  41. 13:28: 

    Lewis Hamilton and Max Chilton are among the first to head out on track...

  42. 13:24: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    We're green again in Bahrain.


    Alan, via text 81111: A penny for Pastor Maldonado's thoughts as he watches the Williams thrive.


    Mercedes: By our calculations there's just 34km between total #F1 pre-season mileage for @MercedesAMGF1 & @WilliamsF1Team! 1hr to go... let's do this!

    Mercedes would need to do six laps or more than Williams in the remaining hour to beat the Grove-based team's total.

  45. 13:17: 
    Sebastian Vettel cover the Red Bull in a sheet

    While we wait for the marshals to clear Fernando Alonso's Ferrari, here's a shot of the lengths Red Bull will go to to stop prying eyes getting too close a look at the RB10. This happened earlier this morning when Sebastian Vettel spun off track.

  46. 13:12: 

    Lewis Hamilton and Esteban Gutierrez will wonder why they bothered going out at all because we've got our sixth red flag of the day. Ferrari's Fernando Alonso has pulled off track and stopped.

  47. 13:11: 

    Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Esteban Gutierrez all head out.

  48. 13:10: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    We're under way again in Bahrain.

  49. 13:05: 

    Here's the full story on The Bahrain International Circuit naming a corner after seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.


    Force India: We're waiting for Nico's car to return to the garage, where we will investigate the causes of the stoppage.

  51. 13:00: 

    Nico Hulkenberg's Force India has stopped out on track.

  52. 12:58: 

    We've got our fifth red flag of the day...

  53. 12:53: 

    Once this test is over, the next time the cars will break cover is in Melbourne when first practice for the Australian Grand Prix gets under way on 14 March. It will be live across BBC Radio 5 live with text commentary online. Highlights will follow on BBC TV. Click here to see the 2014 calendar and BBC coverage details.

  54. 12:50: 

    Nico Hulkenberg, Kamui Kobayashi and Esteban Gutierrez are still out on track clocking up vital mileage.

  55. 12:43: 

    Sebastian Vettel heads into the pits after a succession of laps. The reigning world champion's total for the day is up to 64. In terms of lap time, the Red Bull driver is still 11th overall, 4.9 seconds off the pace.

  56. 12:37: 

    Still no sign of McLaren. It's not been a great finish to the test for the Woking-based team. Jenson Button managed just 21 laps today, stopping out on track once to bring out the red flag.

  57. 12:32: 

    Now that Max Chilton is back up and running, Marussia say they are planning on doing some live pit stop practice. Just two hours of testing to go...

    Force India mechanics

    Force India: Long runs allow the crew to have a breather - they work really hard and they'll have lots to pack tonight!

  59. 12:29: 

    Sebastian Vettel is back out there, too, after his earlier installation lap and has already rattled off a couple of laps in the Red Bull.

  60. 12:25: 

    Lewis Hamilton is back out on track and clocks a 1:35.473, which puts the Mercedes driver second on the timesheets, 0.6 seconds off the pace.


    Caterham: An 18 lap long run comes to an end for @kamui_kobayashi as he's told to 'box box, push into the pitbox'.

  62. 12:19: 

    It looks like the installation lap went well for Max Chilton as Marussia are now preparing the car for a proper run.


    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "Red Bull say Sebastian Vettel's spin earlier was caused by a 'front-end mechanical' issue. They won't officially say any more, but that does rather sound like it might have been a brake failure."

  64. 12:11: 

    Red Bull's bright start to the day is halted by a spin. Sebastian Vettel managed 40 laps. Mercedes are delayed getting out following a gearbox problem, but Lewis Hamilton is on track now clocking up the laps. McLaren suffer limited running. Lotus cause two red flags and also struggle to get much mileage. Williams on top of the timesheets.

  65. 12:08: 

    Britain's Max Chilton gets out on track for the first time since the lunch break. The Marussia team have been working on an electrical problem...

  66. 12:03: 

    Lewis Hamilton moves up to fifth in the timesheets with a 1:36.183, 1.3 seconds off the pace set by Valtteri Bottas.

  67. 12:02: 

    The last red flag was caused by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean stopping out on track. Here's the latest from the team: "Big flames from the E22 on track, but not much external damage," they tweet. "Investigations into cause ongoing."


    Mercedes: Soft tyres, 24 deg air temp, 37 deg track temp, 7m/s breeze to the North as @LewisHamilton heads back out.

  69. 11:57: 

    Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel both dive into the pits, rather than cross the line to start a flying lap. That leaves Valtteri Bottas and Kamui Kobayashi out on track.

  70. 11:54: 

    Fernando Alonso heads out in the Ferrari as does... wait for it... Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel.

  71. 11:52: 

    Valtteri Bottas, the current pacesetter, goes out along with Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Gutierrez.

  72. 11:51: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The session is back under way...

  73. 11:49: 

    We've not seen Max Chilton or the Marussia for hours. The team have been working on an electrical problem. Here's an update: "We're hoping that we're on the home straight in terms of resolving this issue," tweet the team. "Looking to get back out on track in a little while."

  74. 11:44: 
    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel spins out in Bahrain F1 test

    Here's some footage of Sebastian Vettel spinning off earlier today. The Red Bull driver hasn't been out since.

  75. 11:39: 

    I think it's fair to say Lotus have done enough to win the award for the most troubles in pre-season test, with Red Bull a close second.

  76. 11:36: 

    Lotus's Romain Grosjean has stopped out on track. Again.

  77. 11:34: 

    The red flag is out for the fourth time today...

  78. 11:27: 

    Fernando Alonso, who is currently second fastest, is back out on track. It's been a long time since we've seen the Ferrari. The Spaniard has only done 29 laps today.

  79. 11:22: 

    Esteban Gutierrez clocks his fastest lap of the day with a 1:38.653 to move up to eighth, 3.5 seconds off the pace. Force India, meanwhile, look to be focusing on long runs, with Nico Hulkenberg currently on a run of nine laps and counting.


    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "Quick chat to the guys at Toro Rosso and a race simulation is on the cards for Jean-Eric Vergne this afternoon. There's no doubt that Toro and Caterham (Kobayashi: 64 laps and counting) are getting the lion's share of running with the Renault power unit at the moment. Elsewhere, Force India boss Vijay Mallya has flown in to keep en eye on Nico Hulkenberg's progress. Nico's currently in the middle of a long run."

  81. 11:13: 

    Lewis Hamilton moves up to sixth with a time of 1:37.270, 2.4 seconds off the pace. The Mercedes driver has now completed 12 laps after missing most of the morning session.

  82. 11:06: 

    Esteban Gutierrez's first effort is a 1:40.844, six seconds down on Williams's Valtteri Bottas.

  83. 11:03: 

    It's all change at Sauber, with Esteban Gutierrez taking over the driving duties from Adrian Sutil. Sutil failed to set a lap time yesterday after he ground to halt with a small fire at the rear of his car following an installation lap. Today, he managed an impressive 91 laps.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcf1

    Allan Shotliff: Melbourne looks like it could be a triumph just to finish. Apart from Williams, teams still encountering major problems. Oops.

  85. 10:55: 

    Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton heads straight back out, along with Kamui Kobayashi in the Caterham.

  86. 10:53: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    We're back under way in Bahrain.


    Force India: No action yet for us in the afternoon session. Plan for the rest of the day includes long runs.

  88. 10:46: 

    That's very unfortunate for McLaren as the Woking-based team spent a lot of time in the garage this morning and only managed 20 laps.

  89. 10:44: 

    McLaren's Jenson Button is the driver involved.

  90. 10:42: 

    It's red flag number three...

  91. 10:40: 

    Jenson Button joins his countryman out on track in the McLaren. We've not seen much of the 2009 world champion today.

  92. 10:35: 

    Lewis Hamilton, who missed most of this morning's session following a gearbox issue on his Mercedes, is the first man out.

  93. 10:30: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    Lunch time is over. It's time for the final four hours of pre-season testing before the 2014 Formula 1 season gets under way.

  94. 10:03: 

    Valtteri Bottas sets the pace, with Fernando Alonso second and Nico Hulkenberg third. I'm off to stretch my legs but will be back at 10:30 GMT when the session will restart. See you in a bit.

    Bahrain paddock

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "There're four hours of running left today, the final day of the test, and already the Bahrain paddock resembles a removals site. F1's freight waits for no man."

  96. 10:00: 

    While the marshals tend to the stricken Lotus, the chequered flag falls to signal the start of the lunch break.

  97. 09:57: 

    Romain Grosjean has stopped out on track in his Lotus.

  98. 09:55: 

    We've got our second red flag of the day...

  99. 09:52: 

    So to recap, Red Bull bounced back from a poor day on Saturday with a strong morning as Sebastian Vettel clocked up 40 laps. But the German then spun, causing the first red flag of the day. Mercedes spent most of the morning in the garage, following a gearbox change, but Lewis Hamilton has just got out. McLaren and Ferrari have had limited running while Williams look strong again.


    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "Just bumped into Fernando Alonso, who's wearing jeans and a T-shirt in the Ferrari hospitality area. Problems with his F14T mean he isn't going out any time soon - at least another hour. Strange, isn't it, that so many teams are suffering troubles on the last day of testing. On this evidence, Melbourne could be very interesting!"

  101. 09:46: 

    Lewis Hamilton's first lap is a 1:38.650 which is good enough for seventh, 3.8 seconds off the pace.

  102. 09:42: 

    There's movement over at Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton is in the car and, moments later, he accelerates out of the garage and onto the track. The team have spent all morning in the pits following a gearbox issue.

  103. 09:38: 

    Adrian Sutil, Kamui Kobayashi, Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas are out on track at the moment as we approach the lunch break.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcf1

    Scott Ambrose: It's testing - constant breakdowns, unreliability, no shows, technical glitches. Patience will be tested in Melbourne.

  105. 09:33: 

    Williams's Valtteri Bottas heads out of the garage, does a practice start at the end of the pit lane and then goes out on track for another run. The Finn currently tops the timesheets.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Locking all four wheels and spinning at Turn One sounds a very unusual mistake for a driver of Sebastian Vettel's calibre to make. Could there have been a problem with the car that caused it - perhaps an issue with the gearbox, energy recovery from the rear axle or brake-by-wire system?"

  107. 09:26: 

    Nico Hulkenberg pops his Force India up to third, 0.7 seconds adrift of pacesetter Valtteri Bottas in the Williams.

  108. 09:21: 

    The Red Bull screens are back up in front of the garage as the mechanics get to work on the car.

  109. 09:16: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The session is back under way....


    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "BBC cameraman Iain Smith was at Turn One to capture Sebastian Vettel's spectacular spin a few moments ago. The reigning champ locked up all four wheels, before spinning through 180 degrees in the asphalt run-off area. After getting out of the car, he took a fire extinguisher from the nearest marshal and put out a small fire at the back of the car. How serious is the damage and will Red Bull get out again today?"

  111. 09:11: 

    Sebastian Vettel had managed 40 laps before his Red Bull came to a halt.


    Marussia: Progress this morning has been frustrated by an electrical problem, which is confining us to the garage while we work to resolve it.

  113. 09:06: 

    The crane is on the scene as the recovery of the stricken Red Bull begins. Several mechanics are already down there doing their best to cover the car up.

  114. 09:03: 

    It was all going so well for Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel, but the reigning world champion has stopped out on track.

  115. 09:00: 

    We have a red flag, folks...

  116. 08:52: 

    It's an improvement for Romain Grosjean, the Frenchman clocking a 1:39.517 to go eighth quickest, moving ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

    Sebastian Vettel

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "Seb takes off his helmet between runs. Well, kind of. So far so good for the world champion - he's completed 21 laps and the RB10 is running cleanly.

    "The same cannot be said of McLaren, whose MP4-29 currently sits in bits in their pit garage. Bullet-proof reliability during the early tests has been followed this week by troublesome reliability glitches every day."

  118. 08:47: 

    Sebastian Vettel heads out on track again in the Red Bull. The reigning champion only has Adrian Sutil - who has completed more than 50 laps today - for company out on track.

  119. 08:43: 

    Lotus's Romain Grosjean sets his fastest lap of the day, but he remains rooted to the bottom of the timesheets, 6.5 seconds off the pace.


    Lotus: Software updates complete, @RGrosjean heads back to the track for more assessment and evaluation.

  121. 08:35: 

    Valtteri Bottas goes fastest again, the Williams clocking a 1:34.797 to extend his advantage to 0.7 seconds.

  122. 08:32: 

    The official lunch break will start at 10:00 GMT and last 30 minutes. The pit lane will shut its doors for the duration.

    Niki Lauda and Lewis Hamilton

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "This man - Lewis Hamilton (seated) - would prefer to be out on track, but instead he's chatting to boss Niki Lauda in the Mercedes hospitality area. The team is fixing a gearbox issue with the W05 that was discovered early this morning and they hope to have him out before lunch."

  124. 08:25: 

    Jean-Eric Vergne, who is in his third year with Toro Rosso, goes just over half a second quicker but stays third, 0.548 seconds off the pace.


    Williams: As yesterday, the focus is on mechanical and aero tests this morning moving on to long and short runs this afternoon.

    Bahrain marshal

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "Marshalling Bahrain-style. In all those clothes, and in this heat, it makes you wonder what fitness programme the marshals are put through!"

  127. 08:15: 

    Valtteri Bottas is back on top of the pile after clocking a 1:35.153 in the Williams. That puts him 0.356 seconds clear of Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.


    Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat: Was an important day yesterday, good progress made. More things to come and to be learned but we keep going!

  129. 08:10: 

    So to recap, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso tops the times after two hours of running in Bahrain, with Williams continuing their good form in second courtesy of Valtteri Bottas. Mercedes have yet to make an appearance as they work on a gearbox issue, while Lotus have managed just one installation lap. Red Bull are having a much better day with Sebastian Vettel having completed 27 laps so far.

  130. 08:01: 

    Nico Hulkenberg goes fourth in the Force India, but he's bumped down a place when Jean-Eric Vergne sets a personal best himself to move into third, 0.8 seconds off the pace set by Fernando Alonso.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "The teams have been testing in Bahrain these last two weeks at least in part because tyre supplier Pirelli wanted some guaranteed warm weather to run its new tyres on the new cars, to make sure there were no problems. Motorsport director Paul Hembery said it had worked well on that front. But there have been a few grumbles from the teams that, for them, it has not been such a good idea.

    "Bahrain is a lot further away than Spain - and therefore more expensive to get to. And logistically it is a nightmare... any problems and it takes a lot longer to fly parts out - the flight is six hours rather than two. This has delayed Red Bull - Sebastian Vettel made a mention of it on Saturday - and other teams too. It can be a bit damp occasionally in Barcelona, F1's default test track, in early February but by now it is usually very pleasant - and the weather there today is a sunny 14C, which would have been fine for running. It seems Bahrain may not be back on the winter test schedule for a little while."

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcf1 or via text on 81111

    Guy Bridge: @WilliamsF1Team have a great team, great drivers and great car this year. Be prepared to be surprised come Melbourne.

    Amy Elizabeth: What does Vettel have left to accomplish? Winning a Championship without the best car! Stage is set?

    Chris from Northwich, via 81111: Max Chilton to get his first championship point in 2014. Go Marussia!

  133. 07:53: 

    As we approach the two-hour mark, Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton have yet to leave the garage. They are the only team not to have made an appearance this morning.

  134. 07:50: 

    Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are ticking along nicely this morning, the reigning world champions clocking up 18 laps so far. That's 18 more than they managed yesterday.

    GET INVOLVED- #bbcf1 or via text on 81111

    Who do you think has had the strongest pre-season test? Can Red Bull and Lotus recover in time to get something out of the opening race of the season in Melbourne? Will Williams surprise us all and contest a podium place or even a victory? What are you most looking forward to this season?

    Tweet us using the #bbcf1 hashtag or text 81111 (UK only).

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Could Williams be staging one of the most remarkable revivals in Formula 1 history? After the worst season in their history last year, the Williams has looked quick and reliable all winter. Felipe Massa was fastest of all on Saturday, his final day of work before Melbourne. It was a qualifying-simulation run on super-soft tyres, yes, but works Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was out at the same time doing a similar thing, and he was more than 0.2secs slower.

    "Both Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen said the times set by Massa and Rosberg were 'very quick'. And Massa himself was very chipper: 'You can never be sure that you are 100% ready for the first race,' he said, 'but I feel that what we have done in these days of testing has been important for making sure that we have a car that can not only get to the end of the race, but that will have good performance as well.'"


    Marussia: 14 days until the Australian GP & we're in a racing state of mind as we work through various race weekend procedures during our programme.

  138. 07:37: 

    Fernando Alonso powers to the top of the timesheets, making use of an empty track to clock a 1:35.509, just 0.054 seconds quicker than Williams's Valtteri Bottas.

  139. 07:31: 

    Sauber's Adrian Sutil clocks a rather uninspiring 1:36.888 on a qualifying-simulation run. In contrast, Williams's Felipe Massa managed a 1:33.258 on a low fuel run yesterday.


    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "Another Red Bull observation for you: team manager Jonathan Wheatley is understood to have gathered the mechanics in the team's hospitality suite on Friday night to give them a pep talk. It's in times of crisis that you discover the true mettle of a team and despite their current difficulties, it looks like Red Bull's spirit is far from broken."

  141. 07:25: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    Red Bull have splattered the RB10 with flo-voz paint as Sebastian Vettel does some aero work early on.

  142. 07:21: 

    Sebastian Vettel is putting together a run of laps now. Among them is a new personal best as he gets down into the 1m39s but he stays eighth, 3.4 seconds off the pace.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Ferrari have had a low-key pre-season testing programme, not giving many clues about their true pace, but are signs that all may not be well beginning to emerge? Kimi Raikkonen went out for a run on super-soft tyres at the end of Saturday, but was two seconds off the pace of Williams's Felipe Massa and Mercedes' Nico Rosberg.

    "Williams said Massa had simulated a full qualifying session. So assuming Massa was running minimum fuel, Raikkonen would have had to be running 70kg - 70% of a full tank - for the Ferrari to be comparably quick on fuel-adjusted pace. And there would be no obvious reason to run that much fuel on super-softs.

    "Meanwhile, Raikkonen's truncated race-simulation run earlier in the afternoon was slower on average (1:43.275) than similar-length ones by Force India's Nico Hulkenberg (1:42.92) and McLaren's Kevin Magnussen (1:43.116)."

  144. 07:14: 

    Fernando Alonso improves to a 1:36.756. That keeps him second, but he is now just 0.475 seconds off the pace set by Valtteri Bottas. Adrian Sutil, who is having a much better day so far, goes third, 1.1 seconds back.

  145. 07:10: 
    Turn 1 in Bahrain

    The Bahrain International Circuit will name the first corner after seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, who remains in a medically induced coma following a skiing accident in December.

    The Middle Eastern track is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and April's race will be the venue's first night grand prix. Schumacher won the inaugural Bahrain Grand Prix in 2004 and still holds the lap record.


    Mercedes: Sunday morning lie-in for the #F1 W05 as it nurses a gearbox headache. We've all been there... #QuietPlease #CloseTheBlinds #W05sup.

  147. 07:04: 

    Mercedes are the only team we have not seen so far today. It seems there's a very good reason for that...

  148. 07:02: 

    Valtteri Bottas carves 0.3 seconds of his previous best to extend his advantage at the top of the timesheets to 1.1 seconds ahead of Fernando Alonso in second. Jenson Button is third, with Nico Hulkenberg fourth.

  149. 07:00: 

    Lotus's Romain Grosjean does a couple of installation laps before heading back to the pits without setting a lap time.

    Romain Grosjean

    Lotus: Time to take to the track @RGrosjean 'better already' - so positive start...


    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "There was lots of paddock chat last night about the situation at Red Bull. The general consensus is that the RB10 is a good car - it just needs to be made reliable. This view was backed up by some photographers, who saw Daniel Ricciardo drive around the outside of Jenson Button at the long, aero-sensitive Turn 11 on Friday afternoon. And Jenson wasn't on an in-lap..."

  152. 06:55: 

    Sauber's Adrian Sutil, who is doing half a day before handing the car over to team-mate Esteban Gutierrez, goes fifth fastest, ahead of Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne. Sebastian Vettel is down to seventh on the timesheets.


    Caterham owner Tony Fernandes: Just to be clear. I think Caterham has promise. We beginning to get a clear picture. Wind tunnel also showing positive results. Let's see.


    Caterham: Another day like yesterday would be good.... so whoever was crossing whatever they were crossing, please do it again. Thank you.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "For backmarker teams Marussia and Caterham, things are finally starting to look up. Both have had difficult winters, but finally the cars are beginning to work and put in the miles. Caterham had the distinction of doing more laps than anyone else on Saturday as novice Marcus Ericsson completed a race simulation and more besides; all the more remarkable as it has a Renault engine. The green monstrosity is not going very quickly, mind. It appears some way off the Marussia in terms of absolute pace, after some decent lap times from Jules Bianchi in the red car."


    Marussia: The plan for today is some longer runs, a brake evaluation, qualifying simulation and live pit stop practice #busy (hope so!)

  157. 06:47: 

    Fernando Alonso's first flying lap of the day in the Ferrari puts him second on the timesheets, 0.8 seconds off the pace set by Valtteri Bottas.

  158. 06:45: 

    While Renault-powered cars have struggled, those with Mercedes power have flourished. To put it in perspective, Mercedes alone - with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at the wheel - have completed about 4,593km in pre-season testing. That's more than Red Bull, Lotus and Toro Rosso - all powered by Renault - combined.


    Lotus: Good morning from the last day of pre-season testing. It's fair to say we've got a long 'to do' list...

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "If things are going badly at Red Bull, Renault's second team are having just as many problems. Lotus headed to Bahrain 10 days ago already on the backfoot after missing the first test in Jerez and their running in the Gulf state has been far from smooth. On Saturday, a wiring problem in the morning and a failure of the motor-generator unit on the Kers in the afternoon restricted Romain Grosjean to 33 laps and there were long faces all round. 'It would be an understatement,' said Lotus trackside operations director Alan Permane, 'to say that this is not how we wanted our day to go.' The need to fly more parts out from the UK overnight means Grosjean will be out late on Sunday, too. Once he's running, the team, at the bottom of the mileage charts, desperately need the car to be reliable."

    Bahrain paddock

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter Tom Clarkson: "Better testing conditions than Barcelona! Day four in Bahrain gets under way in ambient temperatures of 22 degrees - track temp 39 degrees."

  162. 06:38: 

    Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel is back out and this time completes a flying lap - the reigning world champion does a 1:40.065 to kick things off. That's good enough for fourth, 3.5 seconds off the pace.

  163. 06:34: 

    Valtteri Bottas is early pacesetter, the Finn clocking a 1:36.592 which puts him 1.5 seconds clear of Jenson Button in second. Nico Hulkenberg is third fastest in the Force India ahead, of Adrian Sutil - who made it through an installation lap without his Sauber catching on fire - Kamui Kobayashi and Max Chilton.


    McLaren's Jenson Button: Morning from a sunny & windy Bahrain for the last day of testing before we head out to Melbourne. Busy day planned as you can imagine.

  165. 06:28: 

    So we know Vettel is in the Red Bull, but who else can we expect to see today?

    Red Bull - Sebastian Vettel

    Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton

    Ferrari - Fernando Alonso

    Lotus - Romain Grosjean

    McLaren - Jenson Button

    Force India - Nico Hulkenberg

    Sauber - Adrian Sutil/Esteban Gutierrez

    Toro Rosso - Jean-Eric Vergne

    Williams - Valtteri Bottas

    Caterham - Kamui Kobayashi

    Marussia - Max Chilton

  166. 06:26: 

    Sebastian Vettel may not have been expecting a better day today, but it's already an improvement as the German has successfully completed a whole installation lap and made it back to the garage without the need to push it himself.

    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson:

    "Sebastian Vettel made no attempt to disguise the difficulties Red Bull were in on Saturday, after failing to complete even a single lap on the worst day of an already dreadful pre-season testing programme. 'We know how serious it is,' he said, 'especially inside the team.' The world champion added that there was 'no point being too emotional'.

    "The impression was that he was not expecting much better on this final day, instead looking forward to the first race: 'I think some things will calm down just by the fact that in two weeks' time we'll have lots of new parts. Obviously we've had quite a lot of problems and therefore damaged quite a lot of parts which are not available overnight, and also we are in Bahrain so it's not that easy to fix things. That will get better once we get to Australia.' At least, he said, 'the car felt good', adding: 'There's hope on that front.'"

  168. 06:22: 

    Red Bull need today to go right. The world champions have had very little running throughout the three pre-season tests and didn't get any at all yesterday as their problems mounted. Sebastian Vettel was left to sit on the sidelines and watch as his team fought to save their season before it has even started. Vettel is back in the car today. He'll be hoping he spends more time in it.

  169. 06:18: 

    Good morning everybody and welcome to the fourth and final day of the last pre-season test of 2014. Eleven days have passed in which the likes of Mercedes, Williams and McLaren have looked strong, while Red Bull and Lotus have spent most of their time with their backs firmly against the wall.

  170. 06:15: 
    Sebastian Vettel

    So this is it. Just eight hours of testing remain. When the chequered flag falls, the teams will have done all they can.

    All that will be left to do is pack up, head back to the factory and make final preparations before jumping on a plane bound for Australia for the opening race of the 2014 Formula 1 World Championship.

    Today, then, is incredibly important for all the teams - especially world champions Red Bull.

Share this story