Bottas returns Mercedes to the top on second day of Bahrain F1 test

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas led the way on the second day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain, beating AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly in a rapid afternoon session.

Bottas returns Mercedes to the top on second day of Bahrain F1 test

The afternoon session got off to a slow start in Sakhir, with most teams initially opting for longer runs.

Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovinazzi was the first driver to improve on his morning time, while Mick Schumacher, Lance Stroll, Lando Norris and Pierre Gasly made their first appearances of the day.

Just under an hour into the afternoon session, Bottas took over the Mercedes W12 from Lewis Hamilton after being limited to six laps on Friday due to a gearbox failure.

Halfway into the session, lap times started to tumble. Giovinazzi marked his 100th lap of the day with a 1m31.533s on softs to take first place, but was immediately overhauled by McLaren driver Norris, who set a 1m31.239s on the same compound.

Giovinazzi improved to 1m31.323s, falling just 0.084s shy of the fastest time at that stage.

AlphaTauri driver Gasly jumped to third with a 1m31.683s on softs right before the first red flag of the afternoon came out with 80 minutes to go, when the engine cover on Sergio Perez's Red Bull fell off as he moved to pass Nicholas Latifi's Williams on the main straight and disintegrated.

After a brief clean-up, a flurry of activity led to the lead changing hands several times. Giovinazzi went top with a 1m30.881s on soft Pirelli tyres, but Gasly instantly replied by going quicker still with a 1m30.825s on the same tyre compound.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Norris then lowered the benchmark to 1m30.586s, only for Gasly to return to the top of the leaderboard with a 1m30.413s on Pirelli's softest C5 compound.

Meanwhile, Bottas had been making inroads with a 1m31.245s on unmarked medium tyres followed by a 1m31.172s on softs.

In the final 30 minutes, the Finn took on C5 tyres, which first netted him a 1m30.460s before grabbing the lead from Gasly with a 1m30.289s.

After a slow start on Friday, Mercedes got in a good number of laps on day two. Hamilton - who was 15th fastest overall - managed to complete 58 laps in the morning session despite losing time due to a spin, with Bottas bringing Mercedes' daily tally to 115 tours.

Stroll drove his Aston Martin, which had been parked in the garage for most of the morning with a gearbox issue, to third just 0.171s behind Bottas.

Norris' erstwhile leading time was good for fourth, while Giovinazzi secured fifth with a personal best of 1m30.760s on the softest compound.

With a new engine cover securely attached, Perez went back out and briefly demoted Charles Leclerc in the Ferrari, but a better lap time from Leclerc on C5 tyres moved the Monegasque driver back up to sixth.

Perez also had to yield seventh place to soft-shod Latifi, who had a highly productive day in the Williams FW43B, which also included an innocent spin under braking for Turn 1.

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Nicholas Latifi, Williams FW43B

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo's leading morning session time was good for ninth on the day in the McLaren.

On his first appearance since fracturing his jaw in a cycling accident, Fernando Alonso completed a trouble-free 128 laps for Alpine to round out the top-10, setting his best time before lunch.

AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda was 11th after his morning stint followed by Schumacher, who had taken over the Haas from Nikita Mazepin in the afternoon.

Morning runner Carlos Sainz Jr was 13th for Ferrari with Mazepin, Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel at the bottom of the timesheets. Vettel's gearbox issues limited the German to just 10 laps in the Aston Martin AMR21.

A late red flag for system checks brought the penultimate day of winter testing to a close, with two more four-hour sessions to follow on Sunday.

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap
1 Finland Valtteri Bottas 58 1'30.289  
2 France Pierre Gasly 87 1'30.413 0.124
3 Canada Lance Stroll 71 1'30.460 0.171
4 United Kingdom Lando Norris 52 1'30.586 0.297
5 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 125 1'30.760 0.471
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc 73 1'30.886 0.597
7 Canada Nicholas Latifi 132 1'31.672 1.383
8 Mexico Sergio Perez 117 1'31.682 1.393
9 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 52 1'32.215 1.926
10 Spain Fernando Alonso 128 1'32.339 2.050
11 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 57 1'32.684 2.395
12 Germany Mick Schumacher 88 1'32.883 2.594
13 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 56 1'33.072 2.783
14 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin 76 1'33.101 2.812
15 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 58 1'33.399 3.110
16 Germany Sebastian Vettel 10 1'38.849 8.560
shares
comments
Brawn: Sprint qualifying won't devalue Sunday F1 grand prix
Previous article

Brawn: Sprint qualifying won't devalue Sunday F1 grand prix

Next article

Hamilton: ‘No point getting worried’ over low F1 test mileage

Hamilton: ‘No point getting worried’ over low F1 test mileage
Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised Plus

Inside the Faenza facility where AlphaTauri’s F1 pragmatic vision is realised

AlphaTauri’s mission in F1 is to sell clothes and train young drivers rather than win the championship – but you still need a cutting-edge factory to do that. Team boss Franz Tost takes GP Racing’s OLEG KARPOV on a guided tour of a facility that’s continuing to grow

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons Plus

Connecting two of Ferrari's favourite F1 sons

Gilles Villeneuve's exploits behind the wheel of a Ferrari made him a legend to the tifosi, even 40 years after his death. The team's current Formula 1 star Charles Leclerc enjoys a similar status, and recently got behind the wheel of a very special car from the French-Canadian’s career

Formula 1
Jun 24, 2022
How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock Plus

How a 30cm metal wire triggered open warfare in the F1 paddock

Porpoising has become the key talking point during the 2022 Formula 1 season, as teams battle to come to terms with it. An FIA technical directive ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix and a second stay appearing on the Mercedes cars only served to create a bigger debate and raise tensions further

Formula 1
Jun 23, 2022
Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left? Plus

Does Verstappen have any weaknesses left?

Having extended his Formula 1 points lead with victory in Canada, Max Verstappen has raised his game further following his 2021 title triumph. Even on the days where Red Bull appears to be second best to Ferrari, Verstappen is getting the most out of the car in each race. So, does he have any weaknesses that his title rivals can exploit?

Formula 1
Jun 22, 2022
How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector Plus

How F1's future fuels can shape the automotive sector

In 2026, Formula 1 plans to make the switch to a fully sustainable fuel, as the greater automotive world considers its own alternative propulsion methods. Biogasoline and e-fuels both have merit as 'drop-in' fuels but, equally, both have their shortcomings...

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far Plus

The breakthrough behind Sainz’s best weekend of F1 2022 so far

OPINION: Carlos Sainz came close to winning in Monaco but needed that race’s specific circumstances for his shot at a maiden Formula 1 victory to appear. Last weekend in Canada, he led the line for Ferrari in Charles Leclerc’s absence from the front. And there’s a key reason why Sainz has turned his 2022 form around

Formula 1
Jun 21, 2022
Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Canadian Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

Plenty of high scores but just a single perfect 10 from the first Montreal race in three years, as Max Verstappen fended off late pressure from Carlos Sainz. Here’s Autosport’s assessment on the Formula 1 drivers from the Canadian Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022
Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP Plus

Why “faster” Ferrari couldn’t beat Red Bull in Canadian GP

On paper the Canadian Grand Prix will go down as Max Verstappen’s latest triumph, fending off late pressure from Carlos Sainz to extend his Formula 1 world championship lead. But as safety car periods, virtual and real, shook up the race Ferrari demonstrated it can take the fight to Red Bull after recent failures

Formula 1
Jun 20, 2022