If Ferrari was happy to have appeared at the top of the timesheets in the opening Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix practice session, the Italian outfit would have been thrilled to repeat the dose under floodlights. Sebastian Vettel edged teammate Charles Leclerc by just 0.035 seconds, with the duo well clear of rivals Mercedes to the tune of over six-tenths of a second.
With the evening’s conditions much more representative of what the drivers will experience in Saturday’s qualifying and Sunday’s race, the Ferraris pulled clear of the rest of the field around the Bahrain International Circuit. Vettel’s session didn’t go completely to plan, however, with the defending Bahrain winner having a spin at Turn 2 in the final twenty minutes of the session.
The Mercedes’ of defending champion Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas – winner of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix – were a distant third- and fourth-fastest.
The surprise performer of the session was Renault’s Nico Hülkenberg, whose qualifying-style lap was just over one-tenth of a second shy of Bottas’ quickest time. The German broke into the ‘big three’ ranks by edging Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen into sixth-fastest.
The Haas F1 Team had a solid session, with the duo of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean seventh- and ninth-fastest respectively. The pair sandwiched Lando Norris, with the McLaren youngster having an impressive session at the same track where he won his maiden Formula 2 Championship race a year ago.
Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten in his Toro Rosso Honda.
The session saw a number of more-fancied drivers struggle for pace. While their respective teammates featured comfortably inside the top half of the timing screens, Pierre Gasly (P12) and Daniel Ricciardo (P15) both struggled by comparison and were considerably slower than their stablemates.
FP2 was a nightmare for the Alfa Romeo and Racing Point squads. The former saw their drivers of Kimi Räikkönen and Antonio Giovinazzi restricted to a total of 16 laps between them after water leaks were discovered on both cars. Räikkönen also had an embarrassing spin on his maiden lap from the pits after lighting up his rear tyres at the exit of Turn 2.
The two Racing Point cars also spent plenty of time in the pit lane. Lance Stroll clobbered a kerb and had to have his floor repaired, while Sergio Pérez’s car had a right-front suspension or handling issue seen to.
|FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX 2019 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 2|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF90||1:28.846||32|
|2.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF90||1:28.881||+ 0.035||32|
|3.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:29.449||+ 0.603||33|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10||1:29.557||+ 0.711||36|
|5.||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:29.669||+ 0.823||32|
|6.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB15||1:29.725||+ 0.879||34|
|7.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:30.000||+ 1.154||33|
|8.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL34||1:30.017||+ 1.171||25|
|9.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-19||1:30.068||+ 1.222||34|
|10.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:30.093||+ 1.247||36|
|11.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL34||1:30.192||+ 1.346||33|
|12.||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing RB15||1:30.429||+ 1.583||31|
|13.||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:30.458||+ 1.612||36|
|14.||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point F1 Team RP19||1:30.716||+ 1.870||32|
|15.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team RS19||1:30.848||+ 2.002||30|
|16.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C38||1:31.088||+ 2.242||6|
|17.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP19||1:31.129||+ 2.283||31|
|18.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C38||1:31.144||+ 2.298||10|
|19.||George Russell||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:31.904||+ 3.058||32|
|20.||Robert Kubica||ROKiT Williams Racing FW42||1:32.932||+ 4.086||37|
Image via Scuderia Ferrari