Alonso tops FP2 from the Red Bull pair

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finished fourth in a session where the top 13 drivers finished within a second of each other, the Mercedes drivers were locked in the pack and Nico Hulkenberg put in a leading effort for Haas.

With temperatures dropping from 5C to 22C at night under the lights, many teams immediately went out on the soft tires they had avoided in the hot FP1 run earlier on Friday afternoon.

This included Alpine, with Esteban Ocon using the softs to break away to a 1m32.415s that undercut Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who had set the benchmark for first place at 1m33.624s in the middle moments earlier .

The Ferrari drivers then breezed through the first five minutes of the hour-long session with their first runs on the soft – Sainz taking pole position with a 1m31.843s before Leclerc took the lead with a 1m31.843s, gaining time for his team – mate in the second half of the round.

Leclerc’s time was fastest for 20 minutes – the next with several close calls between the drivers as Perez had to swerve left and avoid the rear of Leclerc when he met the Ferrari at the Turn 8 downhill hairpin, while Oscar Piastri McLaren had a pair lock up at Turn 1.

The first came after Piastri tried to outrun Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri on the main straight before they came to Stroll moving slowly past the right-hand hairpin in the middle of the track, with the McLaren diving right but grabbing his right front brake as he did. he did it.

Moments later, Piastri pulled away at the same spot having caught the flatspot on that right front tire suffered in the first incident, which resulted in McLaren bringing him in for a fresh tyre.

The second round of performance series began approaching the 25-minute mark, with Sainz closing in on Leclerc’s predecessor’s time but failing to better it before Stroll made his first appearance on the softs.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

He dropped ahead of the Ferrari with a 1m31.450s before being joined minutes later by Haas’ Hulkenberg, who clocked a 1m31.376s.

But that only lasted as a benchmark for a few moments as Perez took first place with Red Bull’s first run on the softs – the Mexican driver set a 1m31.078s that Leclerc couldn’t match, while the second-placed flyer on the softs he came within 0.289s of Perez. .

But both with a mixed back – first from Alonso, who broke through with a 1m30.907s which was the first time by the end of the session.

Then came Verstappen, who was among the leaders to match the softs as he complained that his RB19 was “jumping a lot more than it did in testing” also in Bahrain a week ago.

He beat Perez and Leclerc but was unable to head Alonso – Verstappen creating only a purple sector in the middle third and ending up 0.169s behind the Spaniard’s effort.

The pack then headed back to the pits before completing the final third of the session completing the standard long data collection exercises of the final FP2.

These included Alonso locking up heavily and exiting the double left-hand turn 9/10 cluster at the start of the race simulation, while his team-mate revealed he could not follow Aston’s advice to ‘compromise’ the exit of Turn 1 to has a wider. better line in turn 2 due to his injured left hand.

Stroll was spotted taking his left hand off his steering wheel as he braked for the first turn and turning with the palm of that hand pushing the wheel instead of just turning in the standard way.

Hulkenberg’s soft-flyer finished good enough for fifth ahead of Stroll, Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton, who was 0.636 seconds behind his former McLaren team-mate’s top spot.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris and Zhou Guanyu completed the top 10 ahead of Ocon, Valtteri Bottas and George Russell in the second Mercedes – the Briton during mid-season qualifying simulations needing his team to check his floor after running over the curbs exiting the fast. downhill right-left of turns 6-7 and approaching the hairpin of turn 8.

Sainz’s second driver on the softs dropped to 14th, with the Spaniard the first driver to finish within a second of Alonso.

Now FP2 is complete, the stewards will investigate an incident in the pitlane from mid-course where Norris had to hit his brakes in response to Nyck de Vries’ AlphaTauri breaking loose in his path.

De Vries finished 19th in his first FP2 appearance for sister team Red Bull.

F1 GP Bahrain – FP2 results

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