Hulkenberg tops Day 1 in Bahrain

Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest time on the first day of the second pre-season Formula 1 test in Bahrain.

His 1m36.880s best on soft tires put him ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso who set the second fastest time, edging Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes with a late run.

World champion Sebastian Vettel eventually took to the track in the afternoon and set the fifth fastest time, before breaking down and causing a lengthy delay with the day's final red flag.

“Obviously we’re not happy with where we are now and we have a long way ahead of us. The first gut feeling from the car is OK, but we need more running," he said. “It’s not easy to find a quick fix, but I think we understand the problems. We sorted out the issues from Jerez and we were able to do some laps today. However, very often you fix one problem and another pops up, which is what happened. That’s testing. We all knew this year was a massive challenge and we knew it would be difficult. We obviously didn’t want this, but it is what it is and we are working flat out to solve the problems."

Nico Hulkenberg: “A very positive and satisfying day. We had a busy program and we learned a lot. Time in the car is very valuable at the moment and so it feels good to cover so many laps and even complete two long runs at the end of the day. That gave me a chance to see how the car behaves and to start getting a feel for it, which was not something I was able to do in Jerez. It’s great that we’ve already done some set-up work and started to improve the drivability of the car. But it’s still very early stages; we are learning with every lap and we face a very steep learning curve in the coming days."

Results

Pos Driver Team Time Behind Laps
1. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m36.880s +0.000s 78
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m37.879s +0.999s 64
3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m37.908s +1.028s 74
4. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m38.295s +1.415s 81
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m40.224s +3.344s 14
6. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m40.443s +3.563s 82
7. Robin Frijns Caterham-Renault 1m42.534s +5.654s 68
8. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m44.346s +7.466s 5
9. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m44.832s +7.952s 8
10. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes no time no time 5
11. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari no time no time 3

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