After setting the pace in the opening practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton proved in the afternoon that his car is the fastest around the Sakhir race track.
Drivers were given three sets of drivers in the afternoon session with Pirelli proving them with an extra set of development tyre that should be the 2021 race tyre. Drivers were eager to try out the new homologated tyres in the second practice that was held in more representative conditions than the opening session.
While the majority of the drivers completed shorter runs on the test tyres, Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas carried out a long stint on heavy fuel load. The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel was the first to roll out onto the track with the medium tyres, followed by Kimi Räikkönen and Max Verstappen. The Dutch driver seemed to particularly fast on the yellow-walled compound by posting a lap time of 1m29.318.
Having been unable to stabilize the back end of his Red Bull RB16 after running wide at the final corner, Alexander Albon spun and crashed into the wall. The impact caused significant damage to his car, leaving the team with lots of work to do overnight.
Marshalls were quick to clear the track and remove the heavily-damaged car of Albon, so the session could get back underway. Drivers headed out to the track immediately, but they only completed a few corners before the session was red-flagged again. A stray dog found its way onto the cirucit at the first corner, leading to the second stoppage.
When the action continued, several drivers were eager to complete their qualifying simulation, using their second set of fresh tyres. Both Renault drivers managed to find a few tenths of a second over their previous lap times with Hamilton also succeeding with his attempt. The Briton turned in a 1m28.971s on Pirelli’s softest tyre to top the afternoon session.
In the closing stages of the session, drivers were keen to analyse the tyres’ behaviour on heavy fuel loads by carrying out longer runs. It proved difficult to nurse the tyres during the long runs, indicating that the race on Sunday could see drivers visit the pit lane for new tyres more than once.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:28.971||-||28|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:29.318||+0.347s||34|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:29.336||+0.365s||30|
|4||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:29.403||+0.432s||32|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||1:29.551||+0.580s||36|
|7||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:29.841||+0.870s||30|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:29.871||+0.900s||32|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||1:29.900||+0.929s||34|
|10||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:30.014||+1.043s||17|
|13||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:30.271||+1.300s||33|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.627||+1.656s||33|
|16||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:30.849||+1.878s||27|
|17||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:30.928||+1.957s||34|
|18||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:30.973||+2.002s||32|
|19||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:31.119||+2.148s||28|
|20||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:31.636||+2.665s||29|