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
|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|