Sakhir, FP2: Russell continues to set the pace in Bahrain
Verstappen 2nd, Perez 3rd
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|