Bahrain, FP2: Alonso takes over at the top

Ahead of Verstappen and Pérez


By Franck Drui

3 March 2023 - 17:42
Bahrain, FP2: Alonso takes over at (...)

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso beat defending FIA Formula One World Champion Max Verstappen and Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez to claim top spot in the second practice session for this weekend’s season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The evening session, held in temperatures much more representative of those the drivers will encounter in qualifying and in Sunday’s race, got underway with Ferrari’s

Carlos Sainz taking an early lead on soft tyres with a lap of 1m31.843s before team-mate Charles Leclerc moved ahead to take P1 and hold it until a third of the session had elapsed.

With 25 minutes gone, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll bolted on soft tyres and the Canadian leapfrogged both Ferrari drivers to take P1 with a lap of 1:31.450. His time at the top was brief, however, as Haas’s Nico Hülkenberg appeared on softs and he edged ahead by just under a tenth of a second.

Pérez, who had gone quickest in the opening session, then took P1 on soft tyres. The Mexican driver set the benchmark at 1:31.078 and Leclerc, who went for a second run on softs, couldn’t match it.

Both were then beaten by Alonso, who posted a lap of 1:30.907 and Verstappen who finished 0.169s behind the Spaniard.

Behind the top four, Hulkenberg held on to fifth place ahead of Stroll, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton. McLaren’s Lando Norris and Afla Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu rounded out the top 10.

01 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 1:30.907 25
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:31.076 24
03 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Honda RBPT RB19 1:31.078 26
04 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 1:31.367 26
05 Nico Hülkenberg Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:31.376 25
06 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR23 1:31.450 28
07 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault A523 1:31.475 24
08 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 1:31.543 27
09 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL60 1:31.570 27
10 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:31.586 27
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A523 1:31.608 25
12 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C43 1:31.793 28
13 George Russell Mercedes W14 1:31.882 25
14 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF-23 1:31.956 28
15 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes MCL60 1:32.024 27
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-23 1:32.110 18
17 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW45 1:32.440 28
18 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:32.525 27
19 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Honda RBPT AT04 1:32.605 28
20 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes FW45 1:32.749 29

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