Sakhir, FP2: Russell continues to set the pace in Bahrain

Verstappen 2nd, Perez 3rd


By Olivier Ferret

4 December 2020 - 20:02
Sakhir, FP2: Russell continues to (...)

George Russell continued the set the pace for Formula 1’s Sakhir Grand Prix as he edged Max Verstappen by just over a tenth of a second to take top spot in Free Practice 2. Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez finished third, while Russells new Mercedes’ team-mate Valtteri Bottas only finished in P11 after having a succession of laps deleted for track limits infringements.

Red Bull Racing driver Verstappen led the way in the opening phase of running with a lap of 55.043s set on medium tyres but then as the half way point in the session approached the field retreated to the pit lane to prepare for the move to soft tyres for their qualifying simulation runs.

Pérez was the first to show his hand and he used red-banded tyres to go quickest with a lap of a 54.866s.

Mercedes’ driver then followed the Mexican out on track and Bottas looked to have usurped the Racing Point driver with lap of 54.506s, but was swiftly deleted as the Finn ran wide at Turn 8 and feel foul of track limits.

Russell then crossed the line in 54.713 and his time remained the benchmark until the flag. The Finn made more attempts at making the most of the soft tyres, but he had two more lap times deleted and was forced to settle for 11th from an earlier time set on hard tyres.

Verstappen, though, was able to put together a good lap and he dislodged Pérez from P2 with a lap of 54.841 that left him o.128 off Russell. The Dutch driver was less than happy with his RB16, however, complaining frequently about understeer.

Fourth place in the session went to Esteban Ocon, with Albon fifth in the second Red Bull. Daniil Kvyat finished sixth for AlphaTauri ahead of Stroll, Daniel Ricciardo and Pierre Gasly. The top ten order was rounded out by Carlos Sainz.

Further back it wasd tough session for Ferrari. Charles Leclerc missed the entire session with a half shaft problem, while Sebastian Vettel finished in in P16 and suffered two spins during the session, the second of which saw his spin lose control in Turn 5 and spin into the path of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen who was forced to brake hard to avoid the German.

01 George Russell Mercedes W11 54.713 48
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB16 54.841 43
03 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes RP20 54.866 52
04 Esteban Ocon Renault RS20 54.940 50
05 Alex Albon Red Bull Honda RB16 55.036 42
06 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri Honda AT01 55.068 58
07 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP20 55.104 44
08 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS20 55.124 47
09 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri Honda AT01 55.133 48
10 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL35 55.258 39
11 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W11 55.321 52
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 55.484 54
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39 55.533 57
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-20 55.738 49
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW43 55.784 52
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF1000 55.830 43
17 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL35 56.031 14
18 Pietro Fittipaldi Haas Ferrari VF-20 56.110 56
19 Jack Aitken Williams Mercedes FW43 56.26 58
20 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF1000 —.--- 2

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