Max Verstappen was fastest in FP2 of F1 Bahrain GP from the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with Mercedes finishing outside of Top 3.
It was a much cleaner and smoother FP2 in F1 Bahrain GP with no glaring incidents apart from lock-ups in Turn 1. There was an incident under investigation by the FIA stewards when AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda held up Ferrari’s Leclerc in the right-hander.
Looking at the standings, much like FP1, the Ferrari pair found themselves in a good position, even though they didn’t set the fastest time. In fact, Leclerc (1m32.023s) finished only 0.087s behind pace-setter Verstappen (1m31.936s) in his Red Bull car.
Leclerc’s teammate Sainz (1m32.520s) was third with Mercedes’ George Russell (1m32.529s) in fourth from Alpine’s Fernando Alonso (1m32.877s) and Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas (1m32.951s) in the Top 6.
The Finn had a much better session in FP2 after engine misfire in FP1. He did a solid job to put the Alfa Romeo car in sixth ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (1m32.958s), with Haas’ Mick Schumacher (1m33.085s) in eighth.
It meant Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (1m33.144s) was only ninth after team changed his set-up before FP2. His porpoising issues continued on throughout the session, as Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m33.183s) rounded out the Top 10.
McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m33.280s) was 11th from Alpine’s Esteban Ocon (1m33.360s) who couldn’t run the new sidepod after his one flew off the car in FP1. He led AlphaTauri pair of Pierre Gasly (1m33.621s) and Tsunoda (1m33.789s), with the latter involved in another incident.
This time he made contact with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (1m33.958s) at the right-hander when the Japanese tried a move on the inside. The Canadian was 17th from Nico Hulkenberg (1m34.061s), with Alfa Romeo’s Guanyu Zhou (1m33.953s) in 16th.
McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m34.166s) was 18th after he missed much of the session due to work on his car, as Williams pair of Nicholas Latifi (1m34.486s) and Alexander Albon (1m34.735s) rounded the 20 runners.
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UPDATE: Regarding the impeding investigations, both Tsunoda and Stroll were handed a reprimand each for their driving. Both involved the Japanese racer with the AlphaTauri driver getting it for his run-in with Leclerc and the Canadian getting it for the second run-in.
“Car 22 (TSU) impeded car 16 (LEC) who was on fast lap with new tyres at turn 8, causing car 16 to abandon his lap,” stated the FIA stewards report. “Driver 22 says he was pushing on an out lap for a long, high fuel run. However, the Stewards consider that a driver on an out lap must always be aware of faster cars approaching and although this did not create a dangerous situation they determine that this is a breach of the above regulation and they impose a Reprimand in this case.”
Regarding the second incident, the report stated: “After both cars had taken the chequered flag at the end of the session, car 18 (STR) turned into turn 8 whilst car 22 (TSU) was approaching quickly to the inside, unnecessarily impeding car 22 and causing minor contact.
“Driver 18 says he was travelling slowly in preparation for a practice start and was looking in his mirrors but the closing speed from cars behind travelling much more quickly meant he did not see car 22 when approaching turn 8. The Stewards acknowledge this, and note that the Team did not give the driver any radio warning of approaching cars, but consider that the driver has responsibility for maintaining awareness of cars around them and that this applies equally on the lap after the chequered flag. The Stewards therefore determine that this is a breach of the above regulation and impose a Reprimand in this case.”
Here’s how FP1 of F1 Bahrain GP panned out