Ferrari’s Sainz fastest on second morning testing
SAHIR, Bahrain. Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz finished the second morning of pre-season testing in Bahrain with the best record.
Just three days before the first race on March 5, the teams had already reached the midpoint of the year’s pre-season testing.
Sainz’s best time was 1:32.486 on the C3 compound tyre, 0.35 seconds better than Max Verstappen’s from day one.
The Ferrari driver had completed 70 laps by lunchtime before handing over the car to teammate Charles Leclerc.
Williams’ Logan Sargeant was second fastest, just 0.063 seconds behind Ferrari, but the American set his time on Pirelli’s softest compound, the C5, which helps explain the rookie’s relatively high position on the protocols.
Fernando Alonso, who was second fastest on the first day of testing, finished third fastest for Aston Martin in the morning, 0.483 seconds behind Sainz.
The two-time champion will be driving all day due to Lance Stroll’s absence with a wrist injury, and has completed 64 laps by lunchtime.
Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez was seventh overall, 1.265 seconds behind Ferrari, but he was focused on finishing the race simulation before lunchtime rather than lowering Verstappen’s benchmark time from Thursday.
The race simulation, in which the teams tried to fix any major problems before the first race, seemed to go according to plan, with Pérez using C3, C3 and C1 lineups for 57 laps.
Lewis Hamilton was eighth overall, 0.2 seconds behind Pérez as Mercedes focused on a series of relatively short runs on C3 tyres.
On several occasions, body parts came off the Mercedes W14 due to bumps at the Bahrain International Circuit, but Hamilton still managed to complete 72 laps before lunch break.
His teammate George Russell, who will drive in the afternoon, said that Mercedes could “stretch a bit” in the fight for wins in the first race of the season, but echoed the team’s comments that the car was a good platform on which to build.
Test time on Friday morning
1. Carlos Sainz – Ferrari – 1:32.486 – 70 laps
2. Logan Sargent – Williams – 1:32.549 – 74 laps
3. Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin – 1:32.969 – 64 laps
4. Zhou Guangyu – Alfa Romeo – 1:33.170 – 43 laps
5. Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1:33.442 – 67 laps
6. Esteban Ocon – Alpine – 1:33.490 – 49 laps
7. Sergio Perez – Red Bull – 1:33.751 – 76 laps
8. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:33.954 – 72 laps
9. Lando Norris – McLaren – 1:35.522 – 65 laps
10. Yuki Tsunoda – AlphaTauri – 1:35.708 – 85 laps