The fifth and penultimate day of testing before the new Formula 1 season begins, got underway at the Sakhir Circuit in Sunny Bahrain today.

felipe12.JPGThe timesheets were topped once again by Ferrari’s little Brazilian Felipe Massa, who managed to complete 100 laps (in celebration of FFN’s 100 posts obviously) and posted the fastest time of 1.30.640 seconds, beating McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton by nearly half a second and his own team mate by nearly 9 tenths of a second. Massa was apparently testing the new aerodynamic package that Raikonnen ran with yesterday, so signs for the Scuderia boys are looking encouraging thus far….

Double World Champion Fernando Alonso sat out the session on the pitwall (is F1 back to not being a sport again?), while testing duty fell to fellow Spaniard Pedro De La Rosa. McLaren rookie Lewis Hamilton suffered a hydraulic failure in the morning but by afternoon had managed to complete 55 laps.

Poor Felipe was quite emotional to learn of FFN’s 100 post count

Renault performed miracles over night managing to completely rebuild Heikki Kovaleinen’s car in time for the afternoon session, after he spectacularly re-arranged the car design yesterday in a dramatic fisticuffs with the barriers. The rookie Finn managed to post an impressive 6th fastest time of the day despite limited running.

Fortunes at BMW-Sauber seem to have taken a bit of turn recently, yesterday they suffered mechanical problems on Kubica’s car, and today the Polish driver was besieged by two hydraulic problems. Meanwhile the facially-follically challenged Nick Heidfeld had a relatively quiet and trouble free day apart from getting a particularly feisty bratwurst caught in his beard at breakfast.…and had to be carted off to the medical facility to have it removed surgically.

alternative-transport.JPGAt Toyota Ralf Schumacher was back in action on track after throwing a sickie yesterday, presumably realising not many people are interested in his autograph so he might as well actually earn a living instead. Meanwhile his Italian team mate Jarno Trulli (or Truly Awful as I like to call him – I’m kidding Jarno!) having suffered reliability issues all day, ditched the car and found immediately a faster and more reliable way of getting round the circuit. Go Jarno!

Other-wordly hero’s Honda, did not manage any earth shattering display of pace, remaining over 1.5 seconds off of the pace of scoreboard leaders Ferrari. You’d think with Nick Fry’s inter-galactic contacts he might get them something a bit faster with a few “lasers” attached for comedy value…I wonder if the mechanics will be dressed up as little green men?

Highlight of the day goes to Super Aguri and the flu-ridden Takuma Sato who managed to outpace both Toyota and Red Bull’s newest turkey (as designed by Adrian Newey), and all in an interim vehicle….because apparently the FIA crash-test dummies aren’t happy with this years vehicle yet….presumably that means they aren’t happy with Honda’s either?

At Red Bull, David Cubehead Coulthard and Mark Whingebag Webber were over 2.5 seconds off the pace of the leaders and only managed to scrape off the bottom of the test times by beating Toyota’s resident moving chicane Jarno Trulli. Whatever happened to Red Bull gives you wings?

Last day of testing resumes tomorrow, I think I’ll have a vodka or three to celebrate on Kimi’s behalf! Like I need an excuse!