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Live: F1 Bahrain pre-season test - Day 2

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Bahrain pre-season test continues on Thursday.

The 2024 F1 season has arrived with pre-season testing in Bahrain.

All 10 teams have completed their launches and are trying to use as much track time as possible to prepare for the new season during the three-day pre-season test.

With Red Bull coming off a stunning 2023 season when it won all but one grand prix, can any of its rivals take the fight to the defending world champions? Signs were ominous after Max Verstappen dominated the opening day of the test.

The Bahrain pre-season test will run between 21-23 February, with each day’s track action starting at 7am GMT (10am local time).

By: Sam Hall, Haydn Cobb, Stefan Mackley, James Newbold

Summary

Summary
  • Ferrari's Carlos Sainz sets the pace on Day 2 with a 1m29.921s (C4 tyres) posted in the afternoon session
  • Red Bull's Sergio Perez recovers from a technical issue to end up P2 on the C3 rubber, 0.7s adrift of Sainz 
  • Lewis Hamilton ends up third fastest for Mercedes (C3), 1.1s off the benchmark pace
  • Morning session, topped by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, was red-flagged with 1h44m left due to a broken kerb and not resumed for track repairs
Leaderboard
  1. Sainz, Ferrari, 1m29.921s, C4 - 84 laps
  2. Perez, Red Bull, 1m30.679s, C3 - 129 laps
  3. Hamilton, Mercedes, 1m31.066s, C3 - 123 laps
  4. Norris, McLaren, 1m31.256s, C3 - 52 laps
  5. Ricciardo, RB, 1m31.361s, C4 - 88 laps
  6. Leclerc, Ferrari, 1m31.750s, C3 - 54 laps
  7. Stroll, Aston Martin, 1m32.029s, C3 - 96 laps
  8. Ocon, Alpine, 1m32.061s, C3 - 78 laps
  9. Bottas, Sauber, 1m32.227s, C3 - 97 laps
  10. Piastri, McLaren, 1m32.328s, C3 - 35 laps
  11. Sargeant, Williams, 1m32.578s, C4 - 117 laps
  12. Alonso, Aston Martin - 1m33.053s, C3 - 31 laps
  13. Zhou, Sauber, 1m33.715s, C3 - 38 laps
  14. Gasly, Alpine, 1m33.804s, C3 - 33 laps
  15. Magnussen, Haas, 1m36.611s, C3 - 93 laps
  16. Hulkenberg, Haas, 1m37.509s, C3 - 31 laps
  17. Tsunoda, RB, 1m38.074s, C3 - 40 laps
Status: Stopped
We'll have plenty of news and reaction from Bahrain coming to the website in the next few hours, so do keep an eye out. Thank you very much for joining us once again, and be sure to check in again tomorrow as we do it all over again. Until then, cheerio.
Before we bid farewell to you for the day, we would be remiss not to point out that the latest season of Drive To Survive will be available to view for Netflix subscribers tomorrow. Here is our full review of the latest offering from Box To Box Films, while Ben Edwards has spoken to producer Tom Rogers about the human focus he believes makes it a standout for sister title GP Racing. Plus subscribers can read that here.

What next then for the teams? Dinner perhaps, but there will be plenty o debriefing going on as they pour over the data from the day and feed back to base. The work of an F1 team doesn't stop when the flag comes out.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL38

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

If you missed any of the developments from testing this afternoon, then check out Fil Cleeren's full report here.
The day was of course disrupted earlier on by the drain problem, but starting the second session early made up for the time lost by the drivers who were only out in the morning. That factor explains why Hulkenberg and Alonso managed only 31 laps, rather than any serious technical issue of the kind that befell Williams on Wednesday.
Sargeant also got into triple figures for Williams, completing 117 laps on his way to 11th fastest.
Sainz then takes the glory for Ferrari with a 1m29.921s for Ferrari on the C4, beating Perez to the top spot with the Mexican clocking a 1m30.679s on the C3. Perez did complete the most laps of anybody, 129, with Hamilton in third next closest by that metric on 123 tours.
The clocks have ticked down to zero and the session is officially over. With two days down, there's one more day of testing to go.
With one minute on the clock, that will be it then for day two of testing. Sainz top for Ferrari will be the headlines, but he was on a softer compound when he set his time than Perez in second.
All the cars are back in the pits now, and it seems this time that most are garage-bound. It doesn't look like we'll get any more laps in, let alone improvements.
Nobody stalled or shunted, don't worry. It's just another procedural shindig.
Moments after the drivers lined up on the grid for practice starts, the red flags appear again.
The track all of a sudden looks rather busy with several cars congregated together after Hamilton led a dramatic-looking safety car restart simulation. That will have made the photographers happy at least.

Among the support races next week for the Grand Prix are usual staples Formula 2, Formula 3 and the Porsche Carrera Cup Middle East. But wouldn't it be fun to see Supercars join the fray too? This shot was taken in 2007, the second of three visits to the Gulf for the Desert 400, and wasn't on a GP weekend - hence the different circuit layout. 

Bahrain International Circuit

Bahrain International Circuit

Photo by: Mark Horsburgh / Motorsport Images

And there are the green flags, so Hamilton leads Norris and Bottas back out onto the circuit for the final 10 minutes of Thursday's running.
No cars are stopped on track, and several drivers are queued at the pit exit waiting to be allowed back out again.
Alas, we now have red flags out with 12 minutes to go.
Virtual safety car boards are displayed around the circuit. But don't worry, it's all routine stuff.
Perez has improved, but only by 0.005s after losing time in the middle sector. Sainz's place at the top is secure for now.

Golden hour has now very much given way to nightfall in Bahrain. But this picture was too good not to share.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-24

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Hamilton's last lap was just two tenths slower than his personal best today. Norris meanwhile is circulating around six seconds slower than what he managed earlier on.
Compared to the McLaren he's following, Hamilton's Mercedes is producing a heck of a lot more sparks down the main pit straight. It certainly looks dramatic, but is riding lower also faster? We shall see.
Ocon makes a flying visit to the pits for more rubber. Only Perez, Bottas and Sargeant are in the pits as the minutes tick away.
Ricciardo has come out to play for another go on the C4s, and though he improves to a 1m31.361s he remains fifth.
Sainz has been sitting pretty at the top of the charts for a while now, but his position may soon come under threat if that last effort from Perez is anything to go by. Using the C3 (remember, Sainz's best was on the C4), the Red Bull driver moves back into second ahead of Hamilton, just seven tenths shy of Sainz on a 1m30.684s.
It's not a glory run as such but Ocon does improve to a 1m32.061, again with the C3. It shaves around a tenth off his previous best, but isn't enough to move him up a spot.
Will anyone else elect to follow Ricciardo's lead and try a soft-shod glory run in the final 40 minutes of the day? It's perhaps a little early to be thinking about qualifying simulations yet.
Ricciardo is charging around on a set of C4s and puts them to use by moving up to fifth at the expense of Leclerc. It's a 1m31.411s for the RB driver.
Did he see this commenter's awful effort at an F3000 segue related to Sergio Perez's new helmet stickers earlier?
 
It has been confirmed that Sky F1 commentator David Croft will miss his first races this year since joining the broadcaster in 2012, when he steps back from three grands prix. He will be replaced by BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Harry Benjamin, who led Sky’s coverage on F1 Juniors last year, for the Emilia-Romagna, Austrian and Azerbaijan Grands Prix.
As we're into the final hour of running for the day, times are falling fairly regularly. Up to sixth goes Ricciardo on a 1m32.011s.
Meanwhile, slow-motion replays show Sainz's Ferrari porpoising down the straight and giving the driver a rough old time. Thankfully the phenomenon is rarer than it used to be, but it's unlikely to be fully eradicated under this rule set.
Ocon has also set a new personal best, moving his Alpine up to seventh on a 1m32.199s using the C3.
Yes indeed, Hamilton goes second to slot ahead of Norris and Perez on a 1m31.066s. That's still 1.1s shy of Sainz's effort on C4s earlier.
Hamilton has returned to the track on C3s and is setting personal best sectors. We may be about to see the Mercedes step things up a notch.
Perez improves but stays third on a 1m31.275s, a proverbial gnat's whisker behind Norris in second.
This time last year, you may recall that Stroll was in a race against time to make the first race after a cycling accident that resulted in wrist injuries. Felipe Drugovich got to take his place in testing, although didn't get the chance to race as Stroll recovered sufficiently to return to duty. The Canadian will be grateful of a much more straightforward pre-season this time around.
Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

With a little over an hour to go, Perez has re-emerged with some flow-vis applied to the right-hand sidepod area of his Red Bull.
A bit of a heart-in-mouth moment at Turn 4 there as Bottas sent one up the inside of Stroll, who was having none of it and stuck it out around the outside. Bottas got a bit of opposite lock on, and thought better of teaching the Aston Martin driver a lesson at risk of contact. Plenty of time for that next week, chaps.
As Sargeant continues to truck on, we are reminded that he revealed during the Williams livery launch that he gained five kilos over the winter after a draining 2023 debut season saw him completely rethink his training approach. The American said he felt "much more healthy and much more ready to go". He continued: "I feel like a different man, I feel like physically I am in the best shape I've ever been". All of that will be paying off today.

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