Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez joined the Caterham and Marussia drivers in missing the cut at the end of first qualifying at the Bahrain Grand Prix, despite the Venezuelan clocking a time good enough to survive.

Maldonado recorded exactly the same mark as Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas but, as the Finn posted his lap first, he escaped the drop-zone while Pastor fell through the trap door after making a mistake on his last lap, ensuring Williams' unwanted record of losing a car in Q1 at each race this year continues.

Gutierrez, meanwhile, was always a candidate for the axe, having spent the entire third practice session focusing on race set-up, rather than qualifying, as he faces a five-place grid penalty ahead of the race on Sunday. The Mexican will start from the very back of the grid after posting the 18th best time.

Caterham got the better of Marussia in the battle of the 'division three' teams, with Charles Pic out-gunning countryman Jules Bianchi for the first time, and Giedo van der Garde finding time on his last lap to vault past Max Chilton. The Dutchman had begun his session with a 'foreign body' in his cockpit, but returned to the track to lap faster than his fellow rookie.

At the top of the timesheets, Fernando Alonso maintained his FP3 form to claim the fastest time ahead of Sebastian Vettel, although the Spaniard used the harder Pirelli compound while Vettel, perhaps preferring the hard compound for the race, opted for mediums.