Ferrari tops Friday practice in Bahrain

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel headed Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari one-two at the top of the timesheets at the end of the first day’s running for this weekend’s Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Ferrari pair held a more than half a second advantage over Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton heading Valtteri Bottas at the end of the day’s running.

It was a reversal for both teams from Practice 1 when Leclerc was fastest from Vettel, and Bottas third over Hamilton.

In that instance the Maranello squad held an even greater advantage, with Bottas almost a second off Leclerc and 0.711s slower than second placed Vettel.

Curiously, in Practice 2 Ferrari opted to use a second set of soft compound tyres while performing qualifying simulations on both cars, an approach not followed by Mercedes or Red Bull.

Fifth fastest was Nico Hulkenberg, just a tenth of a second back from Bottas.

It suggests there’s plenty in reserve from Mercedes which is expected to hold a larger advantage over the yellow squad come qualifying.

In the sister Renault, Daniel Ricciardo could manage no better than 15th, a four place drop from the opening practice session where he was 11th, two seconds off the fastest time of the session in both instances.

Sixth fastest in Practice 2 was Max Verstappen, with Red Bull claiming it missed the window to get the best out of its soft compound tyres for its qualifying simulations.

The Dutchman set a best off with a 1:29.725s in sixth while team-mate Pierre Gasly was only 12th, three quarters of a second further back.

That was a drop in comparison to his opening session performance which saw the Frenchman sixth, just over a tenth slower than his team-mate.

The early running in Practice 2 had been done on the yellow-walled medium compound tyre, and saw Bottas marginally fastest before the leading figures switched their attentions to qualifying simulations.

While Hamilton recorded his 1:29.449s on the first time of asking, Bottas aborted his first attempt and set his best time of Practice 2 on his second lap after being impeded by both Ferraris.

Having also set initial times, Vettel and Leclerc emerged for a second run on soft rubber, with the German improving by a tenth on his previous best to move to 1:28.846s.

Leclerc lapped less than half a tenth slower, with just 0.035s splitting to the Ferraris at the chequered flag.

Late in the session Lando Norris limped his McLaren back to the pits reporting a misfire, while Raikkonen had a spin on his out lap as the session began and set just six timed laps for the session.

The second Alfa Romeo, that of Antonio Giovinazzi, also had limited running as the team beavered away in the garage on both cars.

In the earlier session, a half spin for Lance Stroll saw the Canadian tag the tyre barrier with his Racing Point’s front wing.

There was also a spin for George Russell in a session that was held in much hotter conditions than will be seen in either qualifying or the race, and therefore provided little value to teams who left much of the meaningful race set-up work until Practice 2.

A final practice session on Saturday preludes qualifying (0200 AEDT Sunday) before the race itself gets underway in the early hours of Monday morning (0210 AEDT).

Results: Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice 2

Pos Num Driver Team Time Diff Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:28.846 32
2 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:28.881 +0.035s 32
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.449 +0.603s 33
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:29.557 +0.711s 36
5 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:29.669 +0.823s 32
6 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda 1:29.725 +0.879s 34
7 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:30.000 +1.154s 33
8 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:30.017 +1.171s 25
9 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:30.068 +1.222s 34
10 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda 1:30.093 +1.247s 36
11 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:30.192 +1.346s 33
12 10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda 1:30.429 +1.583s 31
13 23 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso Honda 1:30.458 +1.612s 36
14 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes 1:30.716 +1.870s 32
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:30.848 +2.002s 30
16 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:31.088 +2.242s 6
17 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:31.129 +2.283s 31
18 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:31.144 +2.298s 10
19 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:31.904 +3.058s 32
20 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:32.932 +4.086s 37

Results: Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice 1

Pos Num Driver Team Time Diff Laps
1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:30.354 20
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:30.617 +0.263s 21
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.328 +0.974s 26
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.601 +1.247s 23
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:31.673 +1.319s 21
6 10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Honda 1:31.815 +1.461s 17
7 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault 1:31.952 +1.598s 28
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:32.040 +1.686s 17
9 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda 1:32.339 +1.985s 24
10 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:32.385 +2.031s 23
11 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:32.401 +2.047s 19
12 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:32.602 +2.248s 21
13 23 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso Honda 1:32.874 +2.520s 24
14 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point Mercedes 1:32.885 +2.531s 20
15 4 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:32.945 +2.591s 29
16 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:32.949 +2.595s 22
17 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:32.994 +2.640s 22
18 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes 1:33.518 +3.164s 16
19 63 George Russell Williams Mercedes 1:34.188 +3.834s 26
20 88 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes 1:34.253 +3.899s 27

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