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.

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

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.