Sakhir, FP2: Verstappen sets the pace ahead of Ferrari in 2nd practice
Leclerc 2nd, Sainz 3rd
F1 World Champion took top spot in the second practice session for this weekend’s season-opening FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand with the Red Bull Racing driver finishing ahead of the Ferrari cars of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finished in fourth and ninth place respectively.
Leclerc set the pace in the first half of the one-hour session, with the Monegasque driver posting a time of 1:33.121 that kept in at the top of the order for the bulk of the first half hour.
Both Red Bulls and Mercedes’ Hamilton were among the last to take to the track and as the opening phase on medium tyres evolved Verstappen and team-mate Sergio Pérez were almost half a second off Leclerc’s pace on the yellow-banded tyres. Hamilton, meanwhile, was struggling with the handling of his W13 as he once again experienced significant ‘porpoising’ on the main straight.
When the switch to soft tyres for qualifying simulations came Aston Martin pair Lance Stroll were the first out on track, though neither was able to beat Leclerc’s time on mediums. It was left to Alpine’s Fernando Alonso to eventually push past Leclerc’s benchmark with the Spaniard setting a time of 1:32.877.
Leclerc was soon back in control, though, and his lap of 1:32.263 returned him to top spot.
Verstappen then emerged on softs and though he lost time in the middle sector his lap of 1:31.936 was still good enough for him to take P1 and hold it until the end of the session.
With Sainz third, George Russell finished fourth 0.593s slower than Verstappen.
Hamilton had to abandon his first qualifying run after he locked up again at Turn 1 and suffered with a malfunctioning DRS. His eventual soft tyre time was a 1:33.144 that left him ninth, 1.208s behind Verstappen.
Alonso’s quali sim saw him finish fifth ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, while Sergio Pérez was seventh ahead Mick Schumacher in the lead Haas. Team-ate Magnussen finished 10th behind Hamilton.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:31.936||20|
|02||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:32.023||20|
|03||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:32.520||22|
|04||George Russell||Mercedes W13||1:32.529||25|
|05||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:32.877||24|
|06||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:32.951||30|
|07||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:32.958||20|
|08||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:33.085||24|
|09||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:33.144||23|
|10||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:33.183||23|
|11||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:33.280||27|
|12||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:33.360||25|
|13||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:33.621||24|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:33.789||26|
|15||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:33.953||27|
|16||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:33.958||25|
|17||Nico Hülkenberg||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:34.061||28|
|18||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:34.166||12|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:34.486||28|
|20||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:34.735||22|