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Vettel sets the pace in Bahrain GP practice

Tom Howard

Saturday 15th April, 2017 - 6:24am

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Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel emerged fastest in practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix despite his Ferrari suffering a ‘complete shutdown’ during a race simulation run.

The four-time world champion moved to the top of the times just 30 minutes into Friday’s second practice after topping the times in the afternoon’s first hit out.

Vettel posted a 1:31.310 utilising the super-soft compound tyres to light up the timing screens in the floodlit session. ‘

However, his day was interrupted when his car encountered a glitch that saw him grind to a halt on the entry to the pit lane.

Marshals pushed him back to his garage where his team investigated the problem before sending him back out 15 minutes later.

Vettel’s early effort was enough to keep him at the top of the times with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas his nearest rival just 0.041s shy.

It proved to be a hotly contested session with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo third after an encouraging performance in the RB13.

The Australian ended the day just 0.066s adrift of Vettel although the four-time grand prix winner believes the times are not indicative of the ultimate pace to emerge in qualifying.

“It was a good day. I am not reading too much into the low fuel stuff,” said Ricciardo.

“At the moment it looks good but it does not make a whole lot of sense compared to a week ago. So we will be reserved with that.

“But generally a good day, we did everything we had to, a lot of laps, it is nice to drive in the heat. Last week I was cold, so I enjoy this a lot.”

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth for Ferrari after undergoing an engine, MGU-H and turbo change when he stopped on track in opening practice.

Chinese Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton could only manage fifth after aborting two qualifying simulations runs.

He ran wide at Turn 1 on his first effort before being impeded by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg on the second attempt.

The Brit’s final run saw him 0.2s adrift of Vettel.

After avoiding a penalty for blocking Hamilton, Hulkenberg claimed sixth ahead of Williams’ Felipe Massa.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was eighth after losing valuable track time when he damaged the floor of his RB13 after running over a dislodged T-wing from Bottas’ Mercedes.

The top 10 was completed by Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat for Toro Rosso.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was 15th fastest following a Honda power unit change in between sessions.

Qualifying is scheduled for 0100 AEST on Sunday morning.

Result: Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Practice 2

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.310s 29
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.351s 0.041s 35
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:31.376s 0.066s 28
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:31.478s 0.168s 34
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.594s 0.284s 35
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:31.883s 0.573s 37
7 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:32.079s 0.769s 37
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1:32.245s 0.935s 18
9 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:32.505s 1.195s 34
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1:32.707s 1.397s 35
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:32.854s 1.544s 33
12 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1:32.875s 1.565s 38
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:32.876s 1.566s 38
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:32.897s 1.587s 31
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:33.319s 2.009s 34
16 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1:33.361s 2.051s 36
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:33.944s 2.634s 34
18 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:34.072s 2.762s 5
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1:34.117s 2.807s 29
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1:34.230s 2.920s 8

Result: Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix Practice 1 

Position Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:32.697s 21
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:33.097s 0.400s 22
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1:33.566s 0.869s 23
4 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:34.095s 1.398s 22
5 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:34.246s 1.549s 24
6 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1:34.322s 1.625s 25
7 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1:34.332s 1.635s 23
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:34.372s 1.675s 14
9 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:34.564s 1.867s 21
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.636s 1.939s 28
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1:34.838s 2.141s 13
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:34.927s 2.230s 13
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1:34.997s 2.300s 10
14 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:35.002s 2.305s 27
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:35.068s 2.371s 19
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:35.579s 2.882s 21
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:35.888s 3.191s 23
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1:35.959s 3.262s 23
19 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1:36.079s 3.382s 16
20 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:42.333s 9.636s 6

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