F1 2014: Hamilton only seventh fastest on day two of final Bahrain test

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton [Picture: Sean Ramsell

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton [Picture: Sean Ramsell - Credit: SEAN RAMSELL

Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton had a problematic day behind the wheel on the second day of Bahrain testing and was more than three seconds off the pace.

The 29-year-old F1 driver from Hertfordshire was only seventh fastest around the Bahrain International Circuit today (Friday) as the Mercedes AMG Petronas team continued the third and final pre-season test.

Hamilton took the wheel of the F1 W05 for the second of four days’ running in Sakhir and his best time of 1m 39.041s from 89 laps put him seventh on the timesheets, which were topped by Force India’s Sergio Perez with a time of 1m 35.570.

Hamilton, the 2008 world champion, said: “Like every team, we’re encountering problems every day and we’ve still got some work to do in terms of both reliability and speed.

“There are no specific problem areas, just lots of different things we need to improve.”

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Mercedes’ programme today targeted a race simulation programme in the morning, followed by set-up work in the afternoon.

Hamilton emerged for his first run at 9.04am local time, completing 61 laps before the lunch break at 1pm.

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A further 28 laps followed in the afternoon, before a gearbox problem curtailed running with 90 minutes remaining.

Hamilton said: “It’s important to get as much mileage under our belts as we can and just as important to discover any problems before we get to Melbourne.

“It might be frustrating at times but finding them at this stage is actually a positive.

“We really don’t know where anyone stands right now and we have enough to concentrate on without looking at how other teams are getting on.

“The focus is on ourselves and will continue to be right up to the first race.

“Today was a fairly average day but I’ve got one more to go before we get to Melbourne, so hopefully that will be a bit more productive.”

Mercedes technical director Paddy Lowe said: “Our morning programme targeted a baseline check run followed by a race distance simulation.

“The day started off without any problems, save a small spin for Lewis on cold tyres at the start of the first run, which briefly halted his progress but caused no major dramas.

“Once we got going again Lewis put together a good run, with encouraging readings in particular during the middle stint on the hard tyre, before a failure in the ERS system delayed running during the final stint.”

Lowe added: “We returned to the track after lunch to conduct set-up work.

“However, a problem with the gearbox unfortunately meant that our running was curtailed around 90 minutes early.

“Despite this, we have learned a number of valuable things from today’s session and look forward to getting back down to work tomorrow.

Nico Rosberg will take the wheel of the F1 W05 for the third day of the test tomorrow (Saturday).

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