Mercedes ace Hamilton sets pace at Bahrain test as ‘big’ teams struggle

London, Feb 22: Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton has reportedly set the pace for his Formula One team on the third day of the second pre-season test at Bahrain by completing 67 laps even as the big teams struggled with reliability in the Gulf kingdom.

Although McLaren had a productive day with Jenson Button completing 103 laps on his way to the second-fastest time, Ferrari, Red Bull and Lotus hit trouble with Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado completing only 24 laps, with a best time 5.4 seconds off Hamilton’s pace-setting lap.

According to the BBC, however, Hamilton made 18 laps fewer than what teammate Nico Rosberg managed on Thursday, adding that Mercedes’ time of one minute 34.263 seconds was the fastest lap of the test so far, beating the mark set by McLaren’s Kevin Magnussen on Thursday by 0.7secs.

Meanwhile, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo managed only 28 laps before being forced to end his running early and settling at ninth fastest, 6.5 secs behind Hamilton, while Ferrari hit telemetry troubles on Kimi Raikkonen’s first day in the car in Bahrain after the Finn completed 44 laps to set sixth fastest time, 3.2 secs off Hamilton’s quickest lap.

The report mentioned that Lotus, like Red Bull, use Renault engines and all the French company’s teams are having to run with a power-unit performing far below expectations. (ANI)