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Every lap counts as final pre-season test begins // Renault look to make up lost ground in Bahrain

Published by Christine

Bernie Collins at McLaren in Bahrain
Credit: McLaren Mercedes

The final week of testing is about to begin, with teams facing just four more days of running before they have to pack up and prepare for the 2014 season proper. It's not been an easy test for many, as reliability issues have hit hard and the sheer volume of changes to the cars has made it a slow start to the year.

However, last week in Bahrain saw those struggling with Renault issues start to turn a corner, and although Red Bull, in particular, came away with yet another lack of mileage completed, there were plenty of laps chalked up elsewhere and some long runs for the French engine manufacturer. This week should see even more of that, with race simulations one of the key parts of the programme.

It’s still early days, but so far we’ve seen both performance and durability from our latest P Zero tyres, which all feature new compounds and structures to maximise the unique power characteristics of the latest-generation cars. The contact patch is greater, to help put down the extra torque, and the working ranges are wider to reduce degradation.

- Paul Hembery, motorsport director, Pirelli

These four days of running will also see teams concentrating on their drivers, making sure they are comfortable and well practiced. We've seen third and reserve drivers getting an opportunity over the past couple of weeks, but from now on it looks like its all race drivers all the time.

2014 Bahrain driver lineup
TeamDay 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
Red BullD RicciardoD RicciardoS VettelS Vettel
MercedesN RosbergL HamiltonN RosbergL Hamilton
FerrariK RäikkönenK RäikkönenF AlonsoF Alonso
LotusP MaldonadoP MaldonadoR GrosjeanR Grosjean
McLarenK MagnussenJ ButtonK MagnussenJ Button
Force IndiaS PérezS PérezN HülkenbergN Hülkenberg
SauberTBCTBCTBCTBC
Toro RossoTBCTBCTBCTBC
WilliamsTBCTBCTBCTBC
MarussiaM ChiltonJ BianchiJ BianchiM Chilton
CaterhamK KobayashiM EricssonK KobayashiM Ericsson

Make the most of these final four days then, as the Australian Grand Prix creeps ever closer but remains just out of reach for now. The new-look cars are still raising eyebrows but they'll get their final tweaks over the course of this week and the following short break, before F1 2014 kicks off in Melbourne.

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