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LIVE COMMENTARY: BAHRAIN THIRD 2014 TEST - TEST DAY ONE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Test day one
By Pablo Elizalde, Sam Tremayne, Edd Straw, Glenn Freeman and Ben Anderson
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
05:43 Good morning from Bahrain - and welcome to AUTOSPORT's live coverage of Formula 1's final pre-season test of 2014.

Starting today, teams and drivers have just four more days of testing to prepare for the season, which kicks off in Australia on March 14.

F1 2014

05:49 So far, of course, only Mercedes-powered teams have attempted race simulations. The rest of the field have four days to avoid the scenario of heading to Melbourne blind.

The next four days will therefore be key, particularly as most teams opted to launch a relatively basic car specification in order to focus more simply on understanding the new 1.6-litre turbocharged V6 engines.

Those who have already run relatively reliably will therefore be in a position to phase in aerodynamic upgrades while continuing to refine their 2014 configurations.

05:54 As Mercedes-backed teams have prospered, Renault has hit a litany of problems which has severely hampered the progress of its four teams.

Red Bull is therefore likely to remain one of the central talking points of this final test, but Lotus, Toro Rosso and Caterham will come under equal scrutiny as testing gets underway.

Fernando Alonso F1 Ferrari 201405:57 Ferrari meanwhile remains something of an unknown, with the Scuderia appearing to be lagging behind the Mercedes teams - although it is yet to fully reveal its hand.

It has already earmarked these four days for some major upgrades, with pre-Australian Grand Prix developments planned for these final four days at the Sakhir circuit.

Ferrari plans major upgrades for test

06:01 The final pre-season test is underway. Bottas, Kvyat, Raikkonen and Chilton head straight out.

06:05 Sutil and Kobayashi are also out on-track straight away, as Daniel Ricciardo heads out of the pits in the Red Bull. A big four days ahead for the world champion team, which has yet to find speed or reliability from the RB10.

06:06 Here's the full driver line-up for today:

Red Bull - Daniel Ricciardo
Mercedes - Nico Rosberg
Ferrari - Kimi Raikkonen
Lotus - Pastor Maldonado
McLaren - Kevin Magnussen
Force India - Sergio Perez
Sauber - Adrian Sutil
Williams - Valtteri Bottas
Toro Rosso - Daniil Kvyat
Caterham - Kamui Kobayashi
Marussia - Max Chilton

06:07 All seven drivers back into the pits following their installation laps, so the track is silent again.

06:18 Magnussen, Sutil, Perez and Maldonado join the installation-lap party for McLaren, Sauber, Force India and Lotus respectively. Only Mercedes have yet to be seen now.

06:20 Marussia has endured a troubled time in Bahrain so far, managing just 29 laps across four days last week. New week, new test, and the team is hopeful of building up to some longer runs today.

@Marussia_F1Team: "So our plan for today is short runs this morning, building into longer runs this afternoon. All in tandem with an aero programme."

06:21 The first flying lap of the day is on the board, courtesy of Ricciardo.

06:23 The Australian goes a tenth quicker on his next lap and is already close to matching his best effort from the first Bahrain test.

Red Bull F1 201406:25 And he's done it. Ricciardo sets the RB10's fastest lap in Bahrain so far on his third flying effort, the first time the team has cracked the 1m38s.

06:27 All 11 cars have completed laps within the first half an hour. Very unusual. Clearly all the teams are feeling the need to maximise their track time at this test.

06:29 Bottas is the second driver to get a time on the board. He holds the record for the most laps completed by one driver in a single day (116) so far in Bahrain this year. That could be beaten today if the track stays as active as it has been so far.

06:31 Chilton on the timing sheet for Marussia now too, suggesting the IT problems that plagued the team at the last test might be behind them.

Marussia test hit by computer virus

06:32 With time running out before the Australian GP, Lotus gives a hint at the size of the job teams are facing at this final test:

@Lotus_F1Team: "First job for @Pastormaldo - a couple of install laps. Around 120 new parts on the E22 since last time out"

06:36 Kobayashi gets Caterham off the mark. The Japanese has been pretty outspoken about the state of Renault's new engine so far. He's even suggested he might take a GP2 car to the Australian Grand Prix if the Caterham's pace doesn't pick up!

Kobayashi: GP2 faster than Caterham

06:37 Kimi Raikkonen goes second fastest for Ferrari. The Finn found out how difficult this latest generation of cars are to drive at the last test, where he crashed the F14 T coming out of Turn 4.

06:42 The first red flag of the test comes after just over an hour.

Sutil and Perez have made it back to the pits, so it looks like Kobayashi's Caterham might be to blame.

Kamui Kobayashi F1 Caterham 201406:45 Kobayashi's red flag guilt is confirmed by his team.

@CaterhamF1: "Problem for @kamui_kobayashi who's stopped on track just after the end of sector one."

06:47 The Caterham is back in the pits now, so we should be back up and running fairly soon.

06:50 If you missed it last night, 1997 Formula 1 world champion Jacques Villeneuve confirmed that he will return to the Indianapolis 500 in 2014.

The Canadian won the event in 1995, but hasn't raced a single-seater since leaving F1 after the 2006 German Grand Prix.

"Nothing excites me more," Villeneuve explained, "than entering the IndyCar Series at its current level of competitiveness."

Jacques Villeneuve to return to Indianapolis 500

06:58 Back underway now at the Sakhir circuit. Perez, Bottas, Maldonado and Rosberg head straight out to resume testing.

07:00 Perez gets Force India on the board for the first time today. The VJM07 suffered gearbox trouble during the final day of the last test, so the team will be hoping for a smoother run today.

Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 201407:03 Maldonado gets down to the business of testing those 120 new parts on the 'twin-tusk' Lotus. The Venezuelan goes fifth fastest in the E22.

07:05 Kvyat goes seventh fastest for Toro Rosso. Only two drivers yet to set a time now.

07:09 Kvyat jumps up to third spot in the STR9. Both the Russian and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne called for calm after a difficult second test for the Renault teams last week.

Toro Rosso duo not panicked by troubled start

07:11 Magnussen gets off the mark for McLaren. The Dane was fastest on the second day of last week's test in Bahrain and our technical expert Gary Anderson reckons the Woking squad are currently 'best-of-the-rest' behind Mercedes.

07:14 Magnussen up to third fastest now, having broken into the 1m39s in the MP4-29.

07:14 Who else does Gary Anderson think is in the mix? And how does he view the current 2014 pecking order?

AUTOSPORT's technical expert took a look behind the laptimes to gives us his verdict on this year's challengers.

Gary Anderson predicts F1's pecking order

07:18 Magnussen dives back into the pits, leaving Raikkonen flying solo on-track.

07:22 Sutil and Kvyat are back into the fray now. Russian rookie Kvyat says he is not focused on beating team-mate Vergne this season, but pushing Toro Rosso towards the front of the grid instead.

"We want to be as much as possible in the front, this is the team’s philosophy and it’s my philosophy.

"I’m too used to fighting in the front during my career, so it would be quite stupid to just focus on my team-mate.

"I am not happy if I finish P20 and he finishes P21. That would be a disaster so we keep pushing."

Kimi Raikkonen F1 Ferrari 201407:25 Small improvement from Chilton, who then returns to the pits as Raikkonen ventures back out in the Ferrari.

07:28 Raikkonen is not out for long. The Finn comes back in after a single lap, leaving Bottas circulating solo in the Williams. Raikkonen's fellow Finn then sets the second fastest time of the test so far.

07:30 Two hours in and Red Bull still leads the way! That's easily the longest the RB10 has spent at the top of the time sheet in pre-season so far.

07:31 Kvyat up to fourth now in the Toro Rosso, breaking into the 1m39s for the first time today.

07:33 We've been waiting for Mercedes to show its hand. Rosberg is straight to the top of the times with a 1m37.722s.

07:36 We saw last week that Mercedes is capable of going a lot faster than that in qualifying trim. But as the team effectively ticked that box during the previous test, it doesn't come as much of a surprise to see that the focus has switched to work on higher fuel loads and the times are slower so far today for the F1 W05.

07:38 Two of the big teams playing catch up to Mercedes at the moment - Ferrari and Red Bull - return to the track with Raikkonen and Ricciardo.

07:39 The RB10 is currently bottom of the lap count for today (where have we heard that before?) but Ricciardo is only a short run away from hitting double figures, which would move Red Bull above Sauber and Caterham in that chart.

07:40 Raikkonen's outing is a short one - he's back in the pits at the end of that lap.

07:43 Very similar times from Rosberg and Ricciardo at the moment as they have the track to themselves. Both are circulating around 1m39s.

07:48 EDD STRAW has ventured down to the pitlane. It looks as though Red Bull means business at this test, after its torrid time so far.

"Red Bull has got its pitwall properly set up this week, which wasn't the case at the previous test.

"Presumably the team is hopeful of some meaningful performance running if all goes well.

"The Toro Rosso still juddering down the pitlane, but it sounded a bit smoother on-track than it did last week. Kvyat was running on soft tyres."

Sergio Perez F1 Force India 201407:49 Perez leaps up to second in the Force India, half a second shy of Rosberg's benchmark.

07:53 The Renault teams generally turned down their engines at the last test, in order to run reliably. EDD STRAW reckons the Red Bull engine sounds much more on-song at this test already, reporting that the turbo is "whirring away" along the main straight.

07:55 Rosberg brings the Mercedes in for a quick 'stop and go'. No tyre change, so the German just heads straight back out for a lap before coming back in again.

07:57 The track falls silent again as Ricciardo brings the Red Bull into the pits. Only Perez and Rosberg have completed more laps than the Australian so far.

08:02 Williams has enjoyed a thoroughly effective time in Bahrain so far, even managing a day of pitstop practice during last week's test.

Valtteri Bottas is certainly happy with the team's progress so far:

"I think this car straight out from the box has been not bad. Balance wise we’ve not been struggling with big issues.

"Of course there's lots of things to improve, but when the car is working it’s not bad to drive.

"For sure we can improve it a lot but it’s nice to see the long runs we did and the full race distance we did was not that bad.

"So far it's quite a good feeling."

08:04 Sutil's Sauber joins Bottas (currently lapping in the 1m39s) out on-track. It's been half an hour since we've seen the C33.

08:08 We're two and a half hours in to the first day of the final pre-season test. Here's the lap count so far:

Rosberg (Mercedes) 20 laps
Perez (Force India) 20 laps
Ricciardo (Red Bull) 17 laps
Bottas (Williams) 17 laps
Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 16 laps
Maldonado (Lotus) 14 laps
Magnussen (McLaren) 13 laps
Raikkonen (Ferrari) 12 laps
Sutil (Sauber) 11 laps
Chilton (Marussia) 10 laps
Kobayashi (Caterham) 7 laps

Kevin Magnussen McLaren F1 201408:08 Magnussen jumps up to second spot in the McLaren, setting a time just a tenth adrift of Rosberg's mark.

08:10 Rosberg heads back out in the Mercedes and completes a practice start on his way out.

08:14 Familiar cutting noises coming from the Red Bull garage. Not behind closed doors though, so things look a bit more normal at this test.

08:15 Chilton back out after spending 50 minutes in the Marussia pit.

08:17 Now some hammering going on in the Red Bull garage...

08:19 Things appear to be going smoothly at Williams again today:

@WilliamsF1Team: "20 laps complete and #BO77AS returns to the garage for more changes.... Continuing aero work this morning."

08:24 Only Rosberg and Perez on track currently as work goes on in the Lotus pit. Perez lapping in the 1m39s, while Rosberg has just gone round in 1m45.069s.

08:25 It appears Magnussen's run was cut short by a problem. The McLaren has been backed into the garage and the screens put up.

Max Chilton F1 Marussia 201408:27 Chilton comes back into the pits in the Marussia, which is carrying plenty of 'flo-vis' paint on the left hand side of the front wing.

08:29 Bottas has headed back out in the Williams. He did a practice start on his way out with lots of wheelspin to get under control. Looks to be on supersoft Pirellis.

08:32 Caterham has been very busy since Kobayashi caused our only red flag of the day so far, but it looks as though the team is close to being ready to head back out.

@CaterhamF1: "Gearbox back on, the myriad of parts under the engine cover going back on.... assuming fire up goes ok we should be back out soon(ish)."

08:33 Ricciardo posts the first sub-1m38s lap for a Renault powered car in Bahrain. He jumps up to third spot with that effort.

08:35 Surprisingly, the Red Bull seems to be shifting all the way down to 1st gear for Turn 1...

08:36 Perez goes fastest for Force India. He's the first man to get down into the 1m36s.

08:41 The Williams is actually on the hard tyre, according to our man in the pits. Bottas had a quick tweak on the front wing then headed straight back out, but he's back in the pits again now.

08:42 Improvement for Sutil, who moves the Sauber up to eighth on the time sheet.

08:44 Burnouts in the pitlane, then a practice start for Magnussen. He suffers a bit of wheelspin on launch and when shifting up.

Toro Rosso tries a similar procedure with Kvyat, who really struggles to control the wheelspin, not just on launch.

08:46 Not much driving for Maldonado at the moment. Here's why:

@Lotus_F1Team: "The E22's in the garage whilst we update the software..."

08:47 Sutil locks up the Sauber at Turn 1 as EDD STRAW reports Kvyat's practice start was the first by a Renault-powered car in Bahrain.

08:50 EDD STRAW has spied the Red bull back in the garage with the engine cover off.

08:52 Magnussen's McLaren is the only car on-track at the moment as Sutil brings the Sauber in.

His team-mate Gutierrez enjoyed plenty of mileage at the last test, while Sutil's running was interrupted by a chassis problem on the final day.

The German says he needs to get race runs under his belt at this week's final test.

08:53 Magnussen in too now so the track is silent once more.

Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 201408:55 Testing always yields a litany of unusual-looking sensors and gauges, as teams fight to map and understand their cars.

But what does each sensor do?

From pitot masts to infrared cameras, CRAIG SCARBOROUGH explains the five most popular examples that will be in use during this week's final pre-season test in Bahrain.

Formula 1's pre-season testing sensors explained

08:56 Rosberg and Kvyat break the silence.

09:01 Perez lights up the timing screen and becomes the first driver to dip into the 1m35s.

09:05 The Mexican backs off for a lap, then pumps in a 36.5s. Rosberg is circulating in the mid 39s, Ricciardo the mid 40s and Kvyat in the late 41s. Magnussen has just headed back out in the McLaren.

09:09 Maldonado heads back out in the Lotus, after an hour and 16 minutes of fettling the E22 in the pits.

09:11 Immediate progress from the Venezuelan. He's almost cracked the 41s now.

09:19 Perez, Rosberg and Bottas are also getting some laps in right now. Bottas is currently the fastest man on-track, lapping in the 1m39s.

09:20 Not anymore, as Perez lowers the day's benchmark in the Force India. Now down into the low 1m35s.

09:26 We're three hours in to the first day of the final pre-season test in Bahrain. Here are the headlines so far:

*Perez sets the pace for Force India
*Ricciardo does the quickest Red Bull lap in Bahrain so far
*All teams on track in the first 30 minutes for the first time in 2014
*Kobayashi causes red flag as Caterham breaks down

09:27 Sutil quietly going about his business in the Sauber. Now up to seventh fastest after that last lap.

09:32 It's been a long time, but the Caterham could be back in business very soon.

@CaterhamF1: "Engine fired up so we're closing in on go time."

09:33 The track is silent again with just under three hours of testing completed.

09:36 Rosberg back out and improving in the Mercedes. Down to 1m36s now.

Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 201409:39 Maldonado finally breaks out of the 1m41s. Still ninth fastest but into the 1m40s now.

09:42 Sutil jumps up to fourth in the Sauber. That's the first time he's lapped below 1m40s since we arrived in Bahrain.

09:46 Our Bahrain photo gallery is live and being updated constantly here.

09:46 Rosberg has comfortably racked up more laps than anyone else so far. He's just clocked his 61st and is lapping consistently in the 1m39s bracket.

09:52 Less than 10 minutes until testing stops for lunch (a luxury that last week's test didn't have), and we have a stoppage.

09:53 Maldonado's Lotus is the only car that has failed to make it back to the pits.

09:54 It looks like the Lotus is somewhere in the middle sector of the lap.

09:56 Regarding the imminent lunchbreak, which is understood to have been added to the schedule for the trackside marshals, it is worth noting that this does not affect the teams' track time. An extra 30 minutes has been added to the day, meaning the action will finish at 17:30 local time.

09:58 The Lotus stopped towards the end of the asphalt run-off at the Turn 8 hairpin, and is now covered up and being collected by the recovery vehicles.

10:00 The truck carrying the E22 is on the move, so Maldonado's car should be back in the pits very soon.

10:00 As we hit 13:00 in Bahrain, that is the morning session brought to a close. The teams now have 30 minutes before the track will re-open.

Force India F1 201410:30 Sergio Perez sets the early pace for Force India, as the final pre-season test of Formula 1 2014 kicks off in Bahrain.

While Mercedes locks out the top three, Daniel Ricciardo sets the fastest time by a Renault-powered car so far to go fifth quickest - although the RB10 also spent plenty of time in the garage being cut and hammered in between runs.

Read our full report on the first morning here

10:30 Afternoon session gets underway - green flag flies.

10:33 There's certainly no rush to get back out on track after lunch. Other than a digger that just drove past AUTOSPORT's position in the paddock, no activity.

10:38 There's plenty going on elsewhere in motorsport however.

Jacques Villeneuve made the headlines yesterday evening when he announced his return to the Indianapolis 500, 19 years on from winning the legendary race.

But why the impulse to return, having not raced a single-seater since departing from F1 in 2006?

According to the man himself, it's all about IndyCar being a resurgent force, and returning to the core qualities that he loves.

Villeneuve: new era prompted return

AUTOSPORT10:48 And for those hungry to dissect exactly what testing means for the 2014 formbook, check out the online edition of this week's magazine.

It's a testing special, analysing how - unusually - a clear winner is emerging from F1's annual 'phony war', detailing how Ferrari and Red Bull differ in approaches, and running the rule of Lotus's late-arriving twin-tusk E22.

Other highlights include in-depth interviews with Jean Todt and Marcus Ericsson, and the full story behind Peugeot's 205 T16 rally monster.

AUTOSPORT's digital edition

10:49 Kobayashi is the first driver to break the post-lunch silence on-track in his repaired Caterham. Daniel Kvyat is also out in the Toro Rosso.

10:54 A quick installation lap for Caterham, before getting down to the serious business again.

@CaterhamF1: "Box this lap, box box" brings @kamui_kobayashi back in to the garage for more checks before we go for a baseline run."

10:57 Perez and Magnussen have digested their lunches too and rejoined the action.

11:01 A 1m38.1s lap from Magnussen last time around. The Dane is closing in on his fastest time from this morning.

11:02 Kobayashi lops 1.5s off his best time as the Caterham passes the 10-lap mark. He's still the slowest out there, though.

11:06 The Caterham pits, leaving Perez and Magnussen on track as the Mercedes-powered teams continue to dominate the timing screens.

11:12 AUTOSPORT technical analyst CRAIG SCARBOROUGH has been studying the Williams, and the array of sensors the team is running.

"Williams went straight into aero testing this morning. The car is equipped with two aero rakes, one on each side of the cockpit. On the left a larger rake is used, the array of Kiel probes map the airflow coming off the front tyre.

"While the right hand rake has a denser array of probes, this rake is mounted lower and closer to the car, to map the airflow coming off the front wing.

"This is the airflow structure set by the inside section of the front wing endplates, which is used to drive airflow to the floor and keep the front tyre wake away from the bodywork.

"Last year, we saw several cars forming vapour trails along this path."

11:16 Not many teams have returned to the track since the lunchbreak (most eye-catching is how little we have seen of the Ferrari all day), so it's just Perez, Bottas and Kvyat circulating at the moment.

So with not much going on at the moment, here's a recap of the day so far:

*Perez sets the pace for Force India
*Ricciardo does the quickest Red Bull lap in Bahrain so far
*All teams on track in the first 30 minutes for the first time in 2014
*Kobayashi and Maldonado cause the only red flags so far

11:18 Just as we say those are the 'only' red flags we've had, the session is stopped again. It looks like Kvyat's Toro Rosso is the car that has failed to make it back to the pits.

11:19 The Italian team has had a torrid pre-season so far in terms of reliability, although before this stoppage the STR9 was up to 55 laps for the day, suggesting progress has been made on that front.

11:20 Kvyat has stopped on the outside of Turn 2, just outside the exit kerb. The Toro Rosso is now being covered up by the team as a mobile crane moves into position to lift it onto the recovery truck.

11:24 Here's some more from CRAIG SCARBOROUGH, this time on the aero sensors being used on the McLaren.

"McLaren has been working on its aero programme during the first day of the test.

"The MP4-29 is set up with pods on the rear wing endplates. These house the electronics for a series of pressure sensors mounted around the back of the car.

"Unexpectedly, the sensors emanating from the pod are not fitted to the rear wing, but down around the floor and diffuser. Another bundle of sensors is routed inside the rear brake ducts."

11:25 The truck returns to the pits, where Toro Rosso mechanics are ready with their screens to make sure no one gets a closer look...at a car that is already under a cover...

...seriously.

11:28 The green flag flies and the session is back underway. Chilton and Magnussen take to the track.

11:30 And the Ferrari finally returns to the track after a long time away. Only 12 laps so far, but Raikkonen is back out.

11:33 New personal bests for two Ferrari-powered teams: Raikkonen sets a 1m38.761s in the F14 T, while Chilton sets Marussia's best lap in Bahrain so far with a 1m39.787s.

11:42 Mercedes reports that it is starting the afternoon programme with practice starts for Rosberg.

11:43 This week's test is the last chance for the teams to try upgrades on their cars before the Australian Grand Prix. CRAIG SCARBOROUGH has spotted some interesting updates on the Mercedes.

"Mercedes continues to show its programme has progressed more than its rivals, as it starts to add new aero parts to the car.

"Today, the W05 appears with both sidepod and diffuser revisions.

"The vanes around the sidepod are new, while at the back of the car the diffuser now has a unique flap fitted under the tail-light."

11:48 On track at the moment we have Magnussen (1m44s), Raikkonen (1m39s) and Bottas (1m41s) in action.

11:52 Chilton improves again in the Marussia. Now up sixth on a 1m38.610s.

11:53 Do you have a burning question you want to put to our AUTOSPORT team in the Sakhir paddock?

Email us (live@autosport.com) or Tweet using #autosport and we will answer a selection this afternoon.

11:55 A cryptic explanation from Ferrari for the problems that restricted Raikkonen to just 12 laps this morning:

"We found a small problem that needed fixing and required some time, then fitting some new parts simply elapsed the time a bit more."

12:01 As Rosberg completes lap 71 for the day, here's how the lap count is looking through the field:

Rosberg (Mercedes) 71
Magnussen (McLaren) 64
Bottas (Williams) 64
Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 56
Perez (Force India) 50
Ricciardo (Red Bull) 32
Maldonado (Lotus) 31
Sutil (Sauber) 31
Raikkonen (Ferrari) 25
Chilton (Marussia) 24
Kobayashi (Caterham) 12

12:10 Sutil's Ferrari-powered Sauber breaks the Mercedes engine monopoly on track, as he joins Perez, Magnussen and Bottas out there.

12:11 In between its problems so far this pre-season, Sauber's mileage has been reasonable. But as of the end of last week's test, Sutil said he was keen to start working towards race simulations during these final days of running before the Australian GP.

So far today he has 33 laps to his name.

12:15 Track temperature has fluctuated a lot today, while air temperature has been on a steady rise and is now up to 29C.

Track temp has climbed steeply in the last 15 minutes, reaching 40C for only the second time today.

12:16 Bottas is lapping very consistently on a long run at the moment, repeatedly putting in 1m41s in the Williams.

12:23 Raikkonen finds another three tenths of a second in the Ferrari, which moves him just ahead of Chilton's Marussia with the same engine.

12:24 EDD STRAW is starting to pick his way through questions from readers here in Bahrain. If you want the chance to get something answered, email live@autosport.com or Tweet using #autosport

12:26 Another minor improvement for Raikkonen, who finds another tenth and sets a 1m38.3s.

12:28 The 2007 world champion pits, having taken his lap tally for the day up to 30 after those delays this morning.

Paul di Resta, DTM 201412:32 One man who is not a part of F1 pre-season testing this year is ex-Force India racer Paul di Resta, who is returning to the DTM for 2014.

Mercedes has released a shot of the Scot, who is rumoured to be in line for a reserve role with its F1 team, with the C-coupe that he will race on his return to the championship he won in 2010.

12:34 As Kobayashi returns to the track after a long time in the pits (currently with only 12 laps on the board), Bottas's long-run pace has dropped from 1m41s to 1m43s.

12:36 BEN ANDERSON has headed trackside for us this afternoon. He reports that Bottas is chasing the Force India of Perez, while Kevin Magnussen's McLaren looks "solid" on its current long run.

Raikkonen is back in the pits now, but Anderson reports that on his most recent run the Finn was "pushing hard in the Ferrari, braking much later than anyone else at the end of the backstraight".

12:39 With Magnussen, Bottas and Kobayashi keeping our trackside man occupied, let's get a few of EDD STRAW's answers to your questions in:

@Dan_kelly83: Realistically do we see this being 'if you finish you will likely score points' in the early stages of the season? #autosport
 
EDD STRAW: "Any car that has a clean run to the finish in the Australian GP should be very well set to score points. But I suspect the reliability rate won’t be quite as catastrophic as some predict as most teams will go in with the mindset of finishing at all costs."

12:43 Bottas emerges from the pits and his first flying lap is a new personal best for the day, taking him into the 1m38s after spending most of his previous long run around 1m41s-1m43s.

12:43 He's not the only Finn going faster, as Raikkonen is up to third in the Ferrari.

12:45 Who will top the Mercedes battle in 2014? As Lewis Hamilton tells F1 Racing why he thinks perceptions that Nico Rosberg is the harder worker are unfair, AUTOSPORT's JONATHAN NOBLE considers whether 'quick-thinking' is a better bet than 'super-quick' this year.

12:46 Potentially big news regarding Red Bull's progress with its troublesome 2014 machine:

BEN ANDERSON has just wandered through the support race pits and bumped into Daniel Ricciardo, who is doing some promo work rather than driving the RB10 at the moment.

We understand that Red Bull is still battling overheating issues, and the team is not sure right now if it will get back out on track today.

12:50 Kobayashi's Caterham doesn't even leave the pitlane before coming to a halt, requiring mechanics to push it back to the garage.

12:51 More on the problems that forced Pastor Maldonado to stop in the Lotus earlier today:

@Lotus_F1Team: "Diagnosis is exhaust issue (one of the new parts for this test) so we're stripping down and investigating further."

12:52 Lotus revealed earlier that the E22 features over 120 new parts today compared to last week's public debut of the car.

12:54 Magnussen and Bottas are in a race to make it to 100 laps for the day. Both are on track with 96 to their name at the moment.

12:54 EDD STRAW: The fact that Red Bull is still suffering cooling problems is a huge concern for the reigning world champion team.

"Clearly, Renault is still struggling with its engine, with its four teams having completed 134 laps so far today. By contrast, both McLaren and Williams have logged close to 100 already.

"If the cooling problems are unique to Red Bull and caused by its packaging of the engine, this is a real concern. Until it finds a cooling configuration that allows the engine to work to its current potential, progress will inevitably be slow.

"Sister squad Toro Rosso has managed 56 laps today with its Renault-engined machine, so at least Red Bull will have some extra clues from its junior team.

"Red Bull will get there, it's too good a team not to. The question is, how long will it take? The Australian GP is looming very large."

12:58 Raikkonen is in the pits once again, and from trackside BEN ANDERSON has noticed some interesting points at the exit of Turns 1/2:

"Very inconsistent upshifts from the Ferrari coming out of T1/2. The Mercedes cars are a lot smoother, particularly McLaren. Sutil is getting wheelspin through T2."

13:01 @DrunkMercenary asks: Which car looks like being the most stable and the drivers look at ease driving it? #autosport
 
EDD STRAW: "Has to be the Mercedes. Whichever driver is at the wheel, it looks the most convincing as a fully realised racing car. But we have to add the caveat that it is very early days yet. It might just be that Mercedes is the furthest advanced with its programme and therefore the car is the best sorted of all for now."

13:04 Perez stops the Force India at the end of the pitlane to perform a practice start, and it's not a very straight one as the car pulls away.

Granted, it's pretty dusty down there, but the VJM07 took a strange trajectory as it took off, veering slightly to the right before the Mexican got it back on line. Perhaps a consequence of the new-for-2014 engines?

13:05 From trackside, BEN ANDERSON tells us that Magnussen "looks more aggressive" than Bottas and Rosberg into the hairpin that leads onto the backstraight. The McLaren and the Mercedes are running at a similar pace at the moment, while Bottas is lapping around 3s quicker in the 1m40s.

13:09 We're not forgetting those of you who are emailing questions to live@autosport.com rather than tweeting us (#autosport), so here's the answer to a question from Emilijus Prancku, via email:

Q: Do you expect Williams to finally start moving in the right direction? How is this team looking for you for 2014 and beyond? What do you think is coming for them this year?
 
EDD STRAW: "Things are certainly looking up for Williams, although after last year that might not sound like much. With Pat Symonds on board as chief technical officer it has strong, experienced technical leadership and has strengthened the team with the recruitment of Rob Smedley, Rod Nelson and Jakob Andreasen.
 
"It has the Mercedes engine as well, which is a big strength right now. The car looks good and appears to handle very well so right now it seems that Williams is on for a decent season of scoring points regularly and perhaps emerging as a podium threat.
 
"It's hard to see a title challenge yet, the team has too much ground to make up, but it’s a massive step in the right direction."

13:10 The track is about as busy as it has been so far during all of the running in Bahrain, with six cars on track.

Perez, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Sutil, Magnussen and Bottas are out there, and the Ferrari has just set a new personal best, shaving just 0.001s off.

13:14 BEN ANDERSON is on lock-up watch at the downhill Turn 10 hairpin. Chilton and Bottas have both smoked their tyres into there, and a lap after Anderson reports that the Ferrari looks good there, Raikkonen has a similar moment of his own.

The cars are also making a strange noise when they lock up (we'll assume he doesn't mean the tyre squeal), which he speculates could be related to the energy recovery systems.

As a more general observation, Raikkonen and Sutil are "pushing hard" at the moment.

13:15 Kobayashi has stopped at the end of the pitlane again, and his mechanics are running over to push the Caterham back to the garage, less than half an hour after they had to do it before.

13:16 Caterham logged a decent amount of laps for a Renault team last week, but its first day of this test has got off to a stuttering start with just 15 laps on the board so far.

13:20 A comparison of the Mercedes and Ferrari-engines under acceleration from BEN ANDERSON:

"There are distinct upshift differences between the Mercedes and Ferrari cars. The Mercedes short shift quickly out of Turn 1 and into Turn 2, particularly Magnussen in the McLaren. The Ferrari-powered cars hold onto each gear for longer."

13:20 Lotus is done for the day: "Exhaust and assorted changes mean an early bath for us today, we'll be back on track early tomorrow morning."

Just 31 laps for Maldonado, 10th quickest.

13:22 We've had lots of questions about what is going on with Ferrari's pre-season, including this one to live@autosport.com:

Vik asks: In your opinion, is Ferrari sandbagging or just plain slow?

EDD STRAW: "Probably neither. Ferrari is focusing on its programme and has had a few bumps in the road. Certainly, it's appears not to be as far advanced as Mercedes with its engine and has some work to do.

"We haven't seen a proper race run or a qualifying simulation, so it's hard to say what the difference between it and Mercedes would be if there were a race tomorrow. It's playing catch-up, certainly, but too early to write Ferrari off."

13:24 At the third time of asking, Kobayashi has succeeded in getting the Caterham out of the pits.

13:27 Just over one hour remaining here, so let's have a summary of the day so far.

*Perez sets the pace for Force India with a quick lap this morning
*Exhaust problems force Lotus to end its day early
*Overheating issues mean Red Bull could be finished as well
*Williams and McLaren both pass the 100-lap mark

13:29 @MercedesAMGF1: "Just over 1hr to go here @BAH_Int_Circuit today; a series of stop-in-the-box procedures underway for @nico_rosberg"

13:32 BEN ANDERSON has swapped trackside for the pitlane, where he has seen that McLaren has the bodywork off of the MP4-29 and he can hear fans whirring.

That's not the only garage where there is work going on, as "power tools" can be heard being put to use behind the screens at Red Bull.

13:32 Perez has 87 laps to his name today, and we understand that has included a race simulation.

Floodlights13:35 @TWRJag (great Twitter handle) asks: @autosportlive Will any of this week's testing run into the night and under floodlights? #autosport
 
EDD STRAW: "There are no plans to try out the lights. The circuit has already conducted extensive testing of the system and looking at the way it has all been installed it looks excellent. I can't imagine there will be any problems come the race in April."

13:43 A little more on Red Bull's troubles today from BEN ANDERSON.

"Apparently there's nothing wrong on the Renault side, but the RB10 is suffering overheating issues every time the driver tries to push it harder.

"Then it's back into the pits to open up the car and improve the cooling before the cycle repeats."

13:43 With Lotus not running again, and Red Bull in doubt, here's a lap count update for today:

Bottas (Williams) 111
Magnussen (McLaren) 109
Perez (Force India) 91
Rosberg (Mercedes) 89
Sutil (Sauber) 61
Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 56
Raikkonen (Ferrari) 41
Chilton (Marussia) 38
Ricciardo (Red Bull) 32
Maldonado (Lotus) 31
Kobayashi (Caterham) 17

13:49 Having spent much of the afternoon on a long run, Bottas heads back out in the Williams and pumps in a quick lap to vault to second in the times.

13:54 Time for a reader question now.

@noikeee asks: What are the odds of the Marussia lapping the Caterham in Melbourne? i know Kobayashi did a 1m39 last week, but still, they don't look terribly good.
 
EDD STRAW: "Right now, I'd say Marussia will approach Melbourne very conservatively indeed.

"The car hasn't been particularly reliable and the previous Bahrain test was a disaster. I suspect the team will take the view of being absolutely certain of taking the chequered flag.

"That said, if Renault is still struggling, Caterham will probably take the same approach so it could happen. Not enough data to be sure yet."

13:56 Raikkonen moves up to third, having set his best lap of the Sakhir circuit so far this pre-season.

14:01 The troublesome Lotus exhaust was a new spec for today, reports EDD STRAW. So the old, proven part will be back on for tomorrow's test.

14:07 Only Bottas and Sutil circulating at the moment. Bottas has clocked 118 laps for Williams (beating his biggest tally on a single day at the last test by two), while the Sauber is up to 76 now.

14:18 Some analysis of Ferrari's upgrade package for this final test from technical analyst CRAIG SCARBOROUGH:

"Finally we get to see the new spec front wing on the F14 T.  

"Its new wing features some seven elements on the outer tips, with the main plane split into two elements, then there's two flaps one of which is also split into three elements.  

"So many slots allow Ferrari to work the outer tips of the wing harder, both for downforce and to turn the wake around the front tyre.  

"This wing is also sports a new endplate with a far simpler open-sided shape than the launch spec wing.

"both wings use an unusual slotted fin running along the top of the endplate."

14:25 And SCARBOROUGH'S thoughts on the Mercedes' cooling:

"Mercedes have a range of cooling options, one solution tested last week and back on the car again today is this oversized canon outlet.  

"This solution maximises outlet area, but will come at quite a drag penalty. Thus this set-up is only likely to be used at tracks where the car is on the edge of overheating due to high ambient temperatures."

14:25 Red Bull has just managed to sneak back out on track before the close of play here.

14:28 With two minutes of the session to go, we have a red flag.

14:28 Raikkonen has stopped in the Ferrari on the inside of the backstraight.

14:30 As the recovery vehicle makes its way to the Ferrari, today's running has come to an end.

14:37 That's it for the first day of the final pre-season test of 2014 then.

It's followed the script of the previous two tests largely, with Mercedes-engined teams to the fore and Renault still struggling.

As for Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen ends third fastest overall, while Adrian Sutil puts Sauber fifth, just ahead of Kevin Magnussen and McLaren.

14:39 Thanks for joining us on AUTOSPORT Live today.

We'll return at 6am tomorrow morning for text commentary of day two. In the meantime, stick with AUTOSPORT.com for all the best reaction and analysis of day one of the final test at the Sakhir circuit.

Perez ends first day of testing on top, Red Bull hits trouble once more

Force India F1 2014

  FASTEST TIMES
P Driver Team Time
1  PerezForce India 1m35.290s
2  BottasWilliams 1m36.184s  +0.894
3  RaikkonenFerrari 1m36.432s  +1.142
4  RosbergMercedes 1m36.624s  +1.334
5  SutilSauber 1m37.700s  +2.410
6  MagnussenMcLaren 1m37.825s  +2.535
7  RicciardoRed Bull 1m37.908s  +2.618
8  ChiltonMarussia 1m38.610s  +3.320
9  KvyatToro Rosso 1m39.242s  +3.952
10  MaldonadoLotus 1m40.599s  +5.309
11  KobayashiCaterham 1m42.285s  +6.995
All timing unofficial. Updated: 13:56 GMT
  OVERVIEW DAY ONE  
  CURRENT WEATHER
Clear skies High Temp: 28°C / 82°F
Track: Dry
  INFOBOX
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