MANAMA, Bahrain – Mercedes engines led the way at Formula One preseason testing as Kevin Magnussen of McLaren topped the time sheets on Thursday.
Magnussen lapped the desert Sakhir Circuit in 1 minute, 34.910 seconds to edge Nico Hulkenberg of Force India — which also used the German manufacturer's engine — by over half a second.
Fernando Alonso of Ferrari was third with 1:36.516, in front of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg. Valtteri Bottas of Williams rounded out the top five.
Red Bull's tepid preseason continued with four-time defending champion Sebastian Vettel finishing with a seventh-best lap of 1:40.340 thanks to a Renault engine.
Vettel says "we did more laps (59) than we have done so far and that's the big thing."
The season begins on March 16 at the Australian Grand Prix.