Dominant Mercedes continue to impress

09 April 2014 06:58:38 EST

Mercedes' fine start to the season looks set to continue after Nico Rosberg set the fastest time on the first day of in-season testing in Bahrain.

Rosberg won the first race of the season in Australia, before his team-mate Lewis Hamilton took the chequered flag first in both Bahrain and Malaysia.

Rosberg has finished second in both of the last two races and currently leads the drivers' standings after three races of the season. He is 9/2 to win the next race - the Chinese Grand Prix on 20th April.

Even if you can't see it from looking at the timing screen, this was a productive day during which we learned a lot.

Daniil Kvyat

Rosberg's best time of 1:35.697 in Bahrain on Tuesday was 0.367 seconds quicker that Force India's Nico Hulkenberg.

Fernando Alonso was third fastest while Kevin Magnussen impressed, posting a time that was only 0.008 seconds slower than the Ferrari driver.

Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest in the Williams while Max Chilton was sixth in his Marussia, just ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Sergey Sirotkin.

Robin Frijns was ninth fastest in his Caterham while Pastor Maldonado was only able to complete 16 laps due to a problem with his Lotus' power unit.

Daniil Kvyat was the slowest of the 11 drivers, although the Toro Rosso star was not too downcast afterwards, saying: "Even if you can't see it from looking at the timing screen, this was a productive day during which we learned a lot.

"It was very useful for me, giving me a lot of laps away from the race weekend environment. We also learned something about why our pace was not as strong as we had expected in Sunday's race.

"I think this in-season testing is a very useful thing, not just for the teams, but also for guys like me who have to catch up in terms of experience."

Hamilton is 1/5 to win the Drivers' Championship outright, while Rosberg can be backed at 10/3.

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