Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2 in FP2


Ahead of today's second practice session the air temperature is 17 degrees C, while the track temperature is 23 degrees.

Ricciardo set the pace this morning, ahead of Norris, Piastri, Tsunoda and Alonso, however it should be noted that the RB and McLaren drivers were on softs, while the big guns teams, what with the session being unrepresentative due to the conditions, never used the red-banded rubber.

In terms of upgrades, Red Bull has brought a new Front Wing, Nose, Sidepod Inlet, Floor Edge, Louvres, Coke/Engine Cover and Front Wing Endplate, while Mercedes has a new Front Wing, Sidepod Inlet, Floor Body, Coke/Engine Cover, Beam Wing and Rear Wing and Ferrari a new Sidepod Inlet, Coke/Engine Cover and Rear Corner.

At McLaren there's a new Sidepod Inlet, Coke/Engine Cover, Floor Edge and Rear Wing, while Aston Martin brings a new Front Wing, Nose, Floor Body, Floor Edge, Sidepod Inlet , Coke/Engine Cover, Rear Suspension, Rear Corner and Beam Wing.

Alpine has a new Front Wing and Floor Edge, while Williams has a new Front Wing, Front Suspension, Floor Body, Floor Fences, Floor Edge, Sidepod Inlet, Coke/Engine Cover, Beam Wing, Rear Wing, Rear Suspension and Rear Corner, and RB a new Nose, Front Wing, Front Suspension, Front Corner, Floor Body, Floor Edge, Diffuser, Sidepod Inlet, Coke/Engine Cover, Cooling Louvres and Rear Wing.

Stake has a new Front Suspension, Coke/Engine Cover and Floor Body, while finally Haas brings a new Front Wing Endplate, Front Wing, Sidepod Inlet, Floor Body, Floor Fences, Floor Edge, Coke/Engine Cover, Front Suspension, Front Corner, Rear Suspension and Rear Corner.

The lights go green but unlike this morning there is no mad rush to get to work, indeed it is a couple of minutes before the first driver (Zhou) heads out, he is followed by Hulkenberg, Piastri and Albon.

As more drivers head out it's a mixture of mediums and softs.

Bottas is under investigation for a pitlane infringement.

Of the first wave, which includes all but Verstappen and Russell, Hamilton goes quickest (30.751), ahead of Leclerc, Perez and Sainz. All the big guns are on the red-banded rubber.

Alonso goes second with a 31.035 as Stroll goes fifth and Russell heads out.

"I'm bottoming a lot more than I was before," reports Norris, while Ricciardo is struggling with his front.

Russell goes seventh with a 31.821, with Verstappen posting a 31.271 shortly after to go fourth.

"I did a big mistake in the last corner," admits Leclerc who subsequently pits.

"There's too much air coming into my helmet," complains Verstappen.

All bar the RBs are on softs at present.

Hulkenberg goes quickest in S1, as Norris asks for a change of steering wheel before his next run. Hulkenberg crosses the line at 30.884 to go second.

On fresh softs Sainz goes second and Piastri third, both just a fraction off Hamilton's pace-setter.

"I locked up on the kerb at Turn 4," admits Leclerc.

On fresh softs Hamilton consolidates his top spot with a 30.374.

While Perez can only mange sixth on his fresh softs, Verstappen improves to fourth, but remains 0.477s off the pace.

"Lance was in the middle of the way in Turn 1, because they don't look in the mirrors," complains Leclerc. The Monegasque subsequently improves to seventh.

A 30.580 sees Russell go second to make it a Mercedes 1-2.

"They are all ******* sleeping tonight," moans Leclerc as the car ahead runs wide in a bid not to hinder the Ferrari.

Alonso goes third, just 0.286s off the pace.

We're not sure about fuel loads or engine modes, but as the qualifying sims come to an end and attention shifts to Sunday Verstappen is 6th, 0.477s off the pace, and Perez 0.741s down.

With 14 minutes remaining all bar Sargeant are on track.

Verstappen lapping in 36.4 while the Mercedes pair are around 36.8 and the Ferraris low 37s.

"I don't think Red Bull and Ferrari have turned their engines up yet," Zak Brown tells Sky Sports. "Let's see how it goes, we've got lots of data. We ultimately don't know, we'll look at the data when we're done but Mercedes certainly look strong, looks like they have a good car."

A big lock-up for Tsunoda.

As Verstappen continues to lap in the low to mid 36s, Hamilton's on a 39.2, most likely due to tyre deg.

That said, the seven-time world champion bangs in a 37.1 and his teammate a 37.5.

The session ends with Tsunoda having completed the most lap (28), ahead of Zhou (27), Piastri Sargeant and Magnussen on 26, while Alonso (21) has completed the fewest.

Hamilton is quickest, ahead of Russell, Alonso, Sainz, Piastri, Verstappen, Hulkenberg, Stroll, Leclerc and Perez.

Albon is eleventh, ahead of Ricciardo, Sargeant, Magnussen, Tsunoda, Gasly, Bottas, Ocon, Zhou and Norris.

Check out our Thursday gallery from Bahrain here.

Article from Pitpass (http://www.pitpass.com):

Published: 29/02/2024
Copyright © Pitpass 2002 - 2024. All rights reserved.