On the back of his first pole position last weekend, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas topped the second day of in-season testing at Sakhir. The Finn ejoyed a trouble-free day and completed a massive 143 laps.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was second fastest as he returned to normal testing duties following a day of running for Pirelli on Tuesday. Unfortunately for him, it was far from straight forward, completing just 8 laps before noon. Vettel commented afterwards "it would have been nice to do more", saying the problems are nothing unusual for testing. In the afternoon, Ferrari also encountered a blackout in their garage, attributed to the power required by the tyre warming blankets.
Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz was third fastest on a day where he split driving duties with his racing team mate Daniil Kvyat. The team trialled a range of new mechanical updates they had available for this test, together with some tyre based tests. Both drivers commenced their running with aero dedicated runs, followed by normal baseline setting runs and evaluation of new components and "some mechanical set-up items". The results were positive enough for the team to claim these parts ready for racing.
Stoffel Vandoorne was fourth fastest for McLaren in what ended up being a very positive day for the team. Experts present at the track confirmed the Honda engine sounded more powerful, even though it was clear that Vandoorne was still shifting early to counter the ongoing vibration issues.
McLaren's team principal Eric Boullier didn't hide his relief afterwards: “Everything has worked perfectly today in terms of reliability, and we were even able to push a little bit in terms of settings. We’ve managed a ‘proper’ test today, and really made the most of every opportunity out on track. Everything we’ve planned, we’ve tested, and we’ve done back-to-back runs, so I’m really happy with the work we’ve completed today.
“It’s complicated to understand the issues we’ve had over the past few days, since today we’ve managed to run without any problems, but Honda are working hard to understand where the weaknesses lie. We’ve been able to run with a more aggressive set-up today, gathered a lot of information and tested a lot of solutions, so in terms of both data and results it’s, been a very positive day of testing."
Kevin Magnussen mirrored Haas's testing schedule from Tuesday and completed a straight forward day of testing. Esteban Ocon, who shared driving duties for Sergio Perez at Force India matched him closely. Ocon completed the morning session to focus on short performance runs while Perez completed some longer runs in the afternoon.
For Williams, Gary Paffett was back behind the wheel after a long absence from F1 cars. Williams were looking for feedback from another experienced driver, and got that from Paffett during the 126 laps he managed to complete in the FW40-01 chassis.
"It’s been a very productive day", commented Williams's Rod Nelson, the team's Chief Test Engineer. "The morning was mostly spent undertaking aero investigations, and in the afternoon we covered some chassis and tyre work. It’s really interesting to get another driver’s point of view and look at the differences in driving style from someone so experienced. It was really useful feedback for us moving forward. We finished off the afternoon with some more aero runs, race starts and set-up. We really covered everything in the plan over the 126 laps that we completed. So it was a very good session."
|1||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:31.280||-||143|
|3||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:31.884||0.604||68|
|6||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1:32.142||0.862||60|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:32.213||0.933||61|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing||1:32.568||1.288||65|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:35.015||3.735||70|