FP2: Happy Verstappen tops Ferrari duo

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

Max Verstappen ended the first Friday on moral high ground as he set the fastest time of the day in second practice at Bahrain. Once again, the Ferrari duo of Leclerc and Sainz ended up second and third fastest, underlining the emerging scarlet challenge for Saturday and Sunday.

George Russell followed up in 4th while his Mercedes team mate, Lewis Hamilton ended up only 9th, struggling with the continuing porpoising on the W13 while also complaining of a front brake problem.

Those front brake issues weren't necessarily limited to Hamilton however as many drivers were seen to lock up front wheels when turning into a corner. It is quite likely that the porpoising is actually detrimental for this as well as the bumping effect creates a varying load on the front wheels as the driver starts braking.

Fernando Alonso once again put Alpine firmly in the top 10 by going 5th fastest, albeit nearly a full second off of Verstappen's pace. Behind him is Valtteri Bottas who enjoyed a productive 30-lap session after being sidelined for most of the first practice session earlier today.

Sergio Perez ended up 7th and only 0.007s off of Bottas, followed by the Haas duo sandwiching Lewis Hamilton. The performance left Haas Team Principal Steiner somewhat surprised, saying "there were no issues with the car, no gremlins, nothing. That means the team did a fantastic job over the last week from testing to now – it was relentless work".

Lando Norris as 11th, ending an anonymous session for McLaren. The team stated afterwards it was struggling to understand its lacklustre pace today at Bahrain. Racing Director Andrea Stella also confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo's session had ended early due to a water leak on his car which was "nothing too serious and will be fixed for the remainder of the weekend".

Esteban Ocon was 12th as he, just like Perez, evaluated different setup options for the car compared to his team mate. The AlphaTauri duo followed up, ahead of Chinese rooke Zhou Guanyu.

The Aston Martins struggled somewhat with the cooler temperatures while Williams closed the pack in 19th and 20th. Williams struggled for pace in both sessions but were adamant they got through their programme, despite a radio issue for Alex Albon that cost some time.


11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:31.93620
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:32.023+0.087s20
355Carlos SainzFerrari1:32.520+0.584s22
463George RussellMercedes1:32.529+0.593s25
514Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:32.877+0.941s24
677Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:32.951+1.015s30
711Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:32.958+1.022s20
847Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:33.085+1.149s24
944Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:33.144+1.208s23
1020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:33.183+1.247s23
114Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:33.280+1.344s27
1231Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:33.360+1.424s25
1310Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:33.621+1.685s24
1422Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:33.789+1.853s26
1524Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:33.953+2.017s27
1618Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:33.958+2.022s25
1727Nico HulkenbergAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:34.061+2.125s28
183Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:34.166+2.230s12
196Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:34.486+2.550s28
2023Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:34.735+2.799s22