Perez fastest again as Red Bull crack top three

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez set the fastest time for the second consecutive day for Force India, while Red Bull showed encouraging signs on day two of the final Formula 1 pre-season test in Bahrain.

The former Sauber and McLaren driver completed a total of 108 laps for the Silverstone-
based team while posting a fastest time of 1:35.570s.

Fernando Alonso was second fastest for an improving Ferrari just 0.064s adrift of Perez’s benchmark.

However, the story of the day was the improving pace of the Red Bull RB10 of Daniel Ricciardo as he set the third fastest time, while completing 66 trouble free laps.

Fuel loads were unknown but Ricciardo’s best lap was the first time Red Bull has shown pace similar to the Mercedes and Ferrari squads.

“It went a lot better today,” Ricciardo said.

“This morning it was important to have the race crew here to do the pit stops, as they haven’t had the chance to get to grips with the car yet, so we didn’t do that many laps in the morning.

“However, in the afternoon we did some good stuff. We had a go on the soft tyre, which was nice, to see how the car responds with a bit more grip.

“We also did one long run at the end, which was very important, just to see how the car is behaving with the tyres.

“A big improvement everywhere over yesterday and a much more optimistic outlook now I think.

“We still have a lot to learn and understand, but we’re making progress and the past two days have been a big step in the right direction.”

McLaren endured a difficult day with a problem restricting Jenson Button to just 52 laps in which he set the fifth quickest time just behind the Williams of Felipe Massa.

Mercedes also incurred problems with the team ending the day prematurely. It is believed gearbox issues prevented Lewis Hamilton from showing the form the squad showed last week in Bahrain.

Jules Bianchi confirmed the impressive pace shown by Max Chilton in the Marussia on Thursday as he banked 75 laps and the sixth fastest time.

Renault powered teams Toro Rosso, Lotus and Caterham continued to struggle for outright pace.

See below for day 2 testing results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Sergio Perez Force India – Mercedes 1:35.570   108 laps
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:35.634 +0.064s 122 laps
3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull – Renault 1:35.743 +0.173s  66 laps
4. Felipe Massa Williams – Mercedes 1:36.507 +0.937s  103 laps
5. Jenson Button McLaren – Mercedes 1:36.901 +1.331s  52 laps
6. Jules Bianchi Marussia – Ferrari 1:38.092 +2.522s  75 laps
7. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:39.041 +3.471s  89 laps
8. Jean Eric Vergne Toro Rosso – Renault 1:39.636 +4.066s  61 laps
9. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber – Ferrari 1:39.976 +4.406s  106 laps
10. Pastor Maldonado Lotus – Renault 1:41.613 +6.043s  31 laps
11. Marcus Ericsson Caterham – Renault 1:42.516 +6.946s  55 laps


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