Mercedes returned to the top of the timesheet as F1 testing continued in Bahrain. Here are the stories and statistics from day two of pre-season testing!
Saturday in Bahrain saw the teams completing plenty of laps, with over 200 tours completed before the halfway point of the morning session. Sebastian Vettel was able to complete only ten laps, with gearbox issues meaning he was stuck in the garage for most of the morning. While Vettel was the only driver to miss time on track, other drivers struggled in the windy conditions. Carlos Sainz ventured off the circuit before spinning, while Nicholas Latifi wrecked a set of tyres with a spin. Latifi spun again later in the day, this time at Turn 1.
There were two red flag periods in the morning session. While one was part of an FIA test, carried out at the end of the session, the other was for Lewis Hamilton. The Mercedes driver spun and became beached in the gravel two hours into the day. Mercedes had a better day than yesterday, with the reigning champions completing over 100 laps. For a second day in a row, Daniel Ricciardo was fastest in the morning session. On the C4 compound, the McLaren driver lapped with a time of 1:32.215 – twelve thousandths slower than his best lap on Friday, set on the harder C2 compound.
Lando Norris took over the McLaren for the final four hours of the day, lapping one second faster than his team-mate on the same C4 compounds. Norris had a slow start to the session, completing over a dozen laps and each time pulling into the pits at the end of his tour.
The red flags were called out as Sergio Perez’s engine cover spectacularly blew off. On the main straight, the Red Bull driver pulled out of Nicholas Latifi’s slipstream, with the change in pressure resulting in the rear bodywork flying off the car. After the debris was cleared, a flurry of fast lap times were posted. Antonio Giovinazzi and Pierre Gasly each took a turn at the top of the table, before Norris returned to the top with the fastest lap seen so far in testing. That was then beaten by Gasly, on C5 tyres before Bottas moved Mercedes to the head of the timesheet for the first time in 2021.
BEST LAP TIMES
|3||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:30.460||C5|
|5||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:30.760||C5|
|8||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||1:31.682||C2|
|16||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:38.849||PROTOTYPE|
DAY 2 LAPS COMPLETE
COMBINED DAYS 1 + 2 LAPS COMPLETE
Testing concludes at Bahrain International Circuit tomorrow. Follow @LightsOutF1Blog on Twitter for live updates throughout the day.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its sixth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.