Sergio Perez set the fastest time of the first day of the final pre-season test in Bahrain, maintaining has advantage from the morning session.

The Force India's time of 1:35.290 went unbeaten throughout the day despite being over two seconds off the fastest lap from the second test a week ago. Perez also completed a race simulation as he ended what was a very productive day for Mercedes-powered cars with 105 laps.

Having also carried out a race simulation, Valtteri Bottas returned to the track for some shorter runs in the final hour and went second quickest with a 1:36.184. Williams had been consistent all day and ended Thursday with the highest lap count of 128 laps.

Ferrari recovered from apparent hydraulic issues in the morning to give Kimi Raikkonen more track time in the afternoon. Raikkonen was third quickest but only completed 53 laps as a result of the earlier setback, and then stopped on track in the final minutes.

Nico Rosberg was predictably high on the timesheets, although he was over 1.3s slower than Perez but also completed more than a race distance. Having enjoyed such impressive reliability so far this pre-season, Mercedes also worked on practice starts and pit launches in the afternoon before finishing its running early.

Another Ferrari-powered car was fifth fastest in the form of Adrian Sutil's Sauber. With the team running a number of engine-related upgrades Sutil was able to complete some solid afternoon running with the car appearing more stable under braking than in previous tests.

McLaren was another team able to simulate a race distance as Kevin Magnussen completed over 100 laps, but there was more trouble for Red Bull as Daniel Ricciardo failed to emerge for a number of hours after lunch and added just five laps to his morning total in the final hour.

It was a frustrating day for Lotus as Pastor Maldonado stopped on track just before the lunch break and was later found to have an engine problem which curtailed his running after 31 laps. Lotus officially said the issue was with an exhaust which was a new part brought to the final test, but Maldonado pointed the finger at Renault and is left with a total of 116 laps in pre-season with just one day remaining in the E22.

Max Chilton had has most productive day in the Marussia as he completed 44 laps and was just over three seconds off the pace. Aside from Raikkonen and Maldonado, two other red flags were caused by Kamui Kobayashi and Daniel Kvyat as Renault continues to face problems.



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