Rosberg sets rapid pace as test concludes
22 February 2014 – Nico Rosberg set the pace as the second pre-season test of 2014 came to a close at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday. The Mercedes driver delivered a best effort of 1:33.283, within a second of his pole position time from last year, to comfortably lead the rest of the field.
Having taken over from team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who was quickest on the penultimate day, Rosberg ensured that the Silver Arrows remained at the head of the timesheets, moving to the front at the 90-minute mark of the session before delivering a substantial improvement on the Soft tyres.
The only negative aspect of Rosberg's day came in the form of two stoppages, the first of which the Brackley outfit quickly claimed was due to him stalling while completing a practice start at the end of the pit lane.
Button was best of the rest for McLaren, as he had been 24 hours earlier, while Kimi Räikkönen and Ferrari made up for telemetry gremlins on Friday to finish third with more than 80 laps. The Finn did, however, suffer a crash in the closing stages, providing his mechanics with some extra work ahead of the next test.
Felipe Nasr, fresh from being announced as test and reserve driver for Williams, was handed a full day of running at the wheel of the FW36 chassis, rising above a few minor issues to complete the top four.
Although still far from ideal, Pastor Maldonado enjoyed a more positive day with new team Lotus, placing just ahead of Force India's Sergio Pérez, whose running was curtailed by drivetrain issues after only 19 laps.
Red Bull's pre-season struggle continued on the eighth of 12 allocated test days, with Daniel Ricciardo unable to complete more than 15 laps, the best of which was 6.5 seconds down on pace-setter Rosberg.
Toro Rosso’s Jean-Éric Vergne wound up eighth, a few seconds ahead of Caterham team-mates Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi, who both took turns – albeit it limited by an early stoppage – at the wheel.
Adrian Sutil and Jules Bianchi were both unable to post flying laps for their respective Sauber and Marussia teams, having been plagued by technical problems throughout the eight hours of allocated track time.
Bahrain will stage the third and final pre-season test of the year from February 27-March 2