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Midday Times: Bahrain 21-02

NEWS STORY
21/02/2014

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets as the third day of testing in Bahrain reached the halfway point.

The Mercedes driver's 1:34.263 is the quickest lap we've seen so far this week as the German outfit begins to look at pace having largely satisfied itself in terms of reliability.

Rather than long runs, Hamilton has concentrated on shorter bursts trying various set-ups, a strategy adapted by Jenson Button at McLaren also. For much of the morning the two former teammates topped the timesheets until Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez split them shortly before lunch.

Getting his first taste of the Lotus E22, Pastor Maldonado was soon on the pace, until heading back to the pits where the car was worked on for much of the morning. Returning to the track shortly before the break, the car ground to a halt bringing out the red flags.

The team, known for its sense of humour, subsequently tweeted that the Venezuelan was carrying out a "red flag simulation". The issue was subsequently said to be gearbox related.

While Raikkonen in the Ferrari, one of several cars running ghastly sensors, has been hampered by telemetry issues, it's been relatively trouble free for Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull. Not so for Force India where overnight work on the car - driven by Sergio Perez today - spilled over late into the morning.

Yesterday's pace-setter Valtteri Bottas has completed 55 laps but has yet to post a time, Williams focussing on pit stops for much of the morning.

Marussia's misery continues, Max Chilton bringing out the red flags when he ground to a halt in a cloud of white smoke at T4 early in the session.

Midday Times - All Times Unofficial

Name Team Laps Time Gap
Hamilton Mercedes 25 1:34.263 128.434 mph
Gutierrez Sauber 45 1:37.180 2.917
Button McLaren 28 1:37.258 2.995
Maldonado Lotus 19 1:39.642 5.379
Perez Force India 17 1:40.339 6.076
Ricciardo Red Bull 23 1:40.781 6.518
Kvyat Toro Rosso 27 1:40.801 6.538
Raikkonen Ferrari 12 1:41.336 7.073
Ericsson Caterham 33 1:43.602 9.339
Chilton Marussia 4 1:46.672 12.409
Bottas Williams 55 No Time

Chris Balfe

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1. Posted by Peter W, 21/02/2014 12:01

"RB in trouble big trouble. Williams could be a dark horse"

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