18 February 2014
Bahrain F1 test 1: Driver schedules firming up
Driver schedules for this week's Bahrain F1 test are beginning to emerge as teams prepare to continue development of their new-for-2014 cars.
Update 2: - Ferrari has revealed that Fernando Alonso will kick-off its four-day test in Bahrain, taking the first two days behind the wheel of the F14-T before handing over to Kimi Raikkonen as the Scuderia attempts to build on a promising session at Jerez.
Update 1 - Mercedes has announced the Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg will alternate days behind the wheel as they did at Jerez, with the Briton again driving on the opening day. Mercedes may not have topped the times in Spain, but appeared to be the frontrunner in terms of reliability with both drivers racking up the laps despite Hamilton's opening day accident, which was caused by front wing failure.
The second test of the 2014 F1 pre-season is shaping up to be a crucial one for the majority of teams, after unreliability plagued the four-day session at Jerez late last month.
Red Bull's 21 laps took the headlines, but each of the Renault-powered teams struggled for mileage in Spain. The Ferrari and Mercedes runners enjoyed better fortunes, with the latter enjoying three days at the head of the times courtesy of McLaren duo Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen and Williams' Felipe Massa. The opening day of 2014 testing was headed by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
Sebastian Vettel will get the Bahrain session underway for Red Bull, hoping that the three weeks between tests will have been enough for Renault to work on cures for its V6's ills. The world champions are among the teams to have confirmed their working rotas for the test, with Vettel getting two days at the wheel before handing over to Daniel Ricciardo.
The majority of teams to have confirmed so far continue to give their drivers two consecutive days at the wheel, although many have reversed the order in which they run. As a result, Magnussen will lead off for McLaren, Nico Hulkenberg for Force India and Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso. Kvyat will alternate with Jean-Eric Vergne and, likewise, Marussia will continue to rotate its drivers, this time with Jules Bianchi getting the first day. Meanwhile, Caterham will afford reserve Robin Frijns the first run before Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson take over, the Swede being the one to make way for Frijns.
A lot of attention in Sakhir will fall on Lotus, which makes its first public testing appearance having reportedly completed a full 100km running allowance with the troubled Renault engine behind closed doors at Jerez just over a week ago. Romain Grosjean, who has yet to sample the E22, will get the first two days on track.
Bahrain test line-up – 19-22 February:
Sebastian Vettel (19-20 February)
Daniel Ricciardo (21-22 February)
Lewis Hamilton (19 & 21 February)
Nico Rosberg (20 & 22 February)
Fernando Alonso (19-20 February)
Kimi Raikkonen (21-22 February)
Romain Grosjean (19-20 February)
Pastor Maldonado (21-22 February)
Kevin Magnussen (19-20 February)
Jenson Button (21-22 February)
Nico Hulkenberg (19-20 February)
Sergio Perez (21-22 February)
Adrian Sutil (19 February)
Daniil Kvyat (19 & 21 February)
Jean-Eric Vergne (20 & 22 February)
Felipe Massa (19 February)
Jules Bianchi (19 & 21 February)
Max Chilton (20 & 22 February)
Robin Frijns (19 February)
Kamui Kobayashi (20 & 22 February)
Marcus Ericsson (21 February)
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