F1 Testing Day 2 – Mercedes has rocked up to testing – though, actually, Bottas’ long run pace earlier in the afternoon on C2s was more eye-catching than his effort there on C5s. Friday was poor from the World Champions, and Lewis Hamilton’s morning spin was atypical – even with the gusty conditions – but this is more akin to what we expect.
The latest from day two of 2021 pre-season Formula 1 testing in Bahrain. All times Sakhir local time.
There’s a lot been made of Mercedes’ shaky start to the F1 season, but Valtteri Bottas has just gone fastest of all in Bahrain with a time of 1m30.289s. He leads Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris.
2021 PRE-SEASON TEST, BAHRAIN – DAY 2
|1||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes AMG||1m30.289s||57||C5|
|3||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin||1m30.460s||71||C5|
|5||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo||1m30.760s||125||C5|
|8||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull||1m31.682s||117||C2|
|15||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes AMG||1m33.399s||58||C2|
|16||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin||1m38.849s||10||Proto|
Valtteri Bottas put Mercedes on top of the timesheets on the second day of Formula 1 testing in Bahrain, with six teams covered by six-tenths of a second.
The benchmark changed several times during the latter half of the afternoon session as teams utilised the optimum track conditions once dusk fell.
Bottas wound up quickest, setting a time of 1:30.289s, using Pirelli’s C5 tyres – the softest of its dry-weather range.
That time meant he finished 0.124s faster than AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll third.
McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc completed a top six split by as many tenths of a second.
Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have 11 titles between them but they had little fortune during the four-hour session in the morning.
Hamilton spun off through Turn 13, beaching the W12 in the garage, though was soon able to continue his and Mercedes’ programme.
He conceded afterwards that he was still struggling with the rear of the car and had yet to identify its sweet spot, with the situation accentuated by the gusty conditions on Saturday.
Vettel, meanwhile, amassed only 10 laps – none of them truly representative – owing to a gearbox problem that stranded the AMR21 for much of the morning.
Only Aston Martin failed to pass a century of laps, with Haas in particular productive, as Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher combining to amass 162 laps of the season-opening venue.
Nicholas Latifi had two spins during the day but wound up seventh on his sole pre-season day in the FW43B while Sergio Perez got his first taste of Red Bull’s RB16B.
Perez suffered the most dramatic moment of the afternoon session when the left-hand-side of his engine bodywork detached as he pulled out of the slipstream to pass Latifi.
The debris caused a red flag while Perez was able to recover the car to the pit lane for repairs.
Morning pacesetter Daniel Ricciardo fell to ninth by the close of play while Fernando Alonso returned to Formula 1 action with Alpine and rounded out the top 10.
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