Pierre Gasly finished on the top of the timecharts on the first day of the second pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit at Sakhir in Bahrain. This is the second and final test after the first test took place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in Spain.
The second test is taking place at the venue of the first race of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship starting on March 20, 2022. The teams have brought a final set of updates for this test before the season begins.
This final three day test at this hot and dusty venue will reveal the contours of the pecking order for the opening races of the season.
Lando Norris replaced a sick Daniel Ricciardo on the opening day of testing for the McLaren F1 team. The Haas F1 team did not participate in the morning session as the freight did not reach on time.
Pietro Fittipaldi handled testing duties in the afternoon for the American team. Kevin Magnussen, the late replacement for Nikita Mazepin, will join the team later.
The Mercedes W13 challenger unveiled a radical new concept at this test with the “zero sidepod” design. As usual any new radical design on the new cars and its legality will be debated and challenged by the other teams.
Gasly recorded the fastest time of the day for the Scuderia AlphaTauri team with a lap time of 1m33.902s. The time was set on the C5 tyres, the softest compound tyres in the Pirelli range.
The Scuderia Ferrari team had a strong session in the morning as Charles Leclerc set the fastest time of the session. The team ended the day with Carlos Sainz in second position and Leclerc in third position respectively.
The times were set on the C4 Pirelli tyres by the Ferrari drivers. The Italian team continued its strong form in testing.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell split testing duties for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team on the opening day of testing. The team kept its powder-dry and did not reveal its hand as the drivers logged in a combined 122 laps and were in eleventh and ninth positions on the timesheets.
Sergio Pérez drove for the Red Bull Racing team and brought the day to a close ten minutes before the end as he beached his RB18 in the gravel at Turn 8 under Virtual Safety Car conditions. The Mexican was tenth on the time charts as he recorded 138 laps and continued the team’s solid run in testing.
Lance Stroll took over the testing duties from Sebastian Vettel for the Aston Martin Formula One Team in the afternoon and he finished the day in fourth position. The Canadian briefly brought out the red flags as the aerodynamic rakes on his car broke loose on the straights and littered debris on the track. Vettel finished in eighth position as the two drivers combined to rack up 89 laps on the day.
Alex Albon finished in fifth position as he did over 100 laps for the Williams Racing team. Albon did not improve upon his time set in the morning session and his session was truncated due to a hydraulics issue.
Norris was sixth fastest but could only do 50 laps because of brake issues on the McLaren MCL36.
Valtteri Bottas finished in seventh position and was able to complete 66 laps for the Alfa Romeo Racing team. The Finn had taken over from rookie driver Guanya Zhou in the afternoon session. The two drivers combined to complete 110 laps after the team had very limited running due to reliability issues in the first test.
The two Alpine F1 team drivers, Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon, languished in twelfth and thirteenth position and could only complete 66 laps due to reliability issues.
Fittipaldi brought up the bottom of the time charts as the Haas F1 team started testing in the afternoon session. The team’s request to extend their testing to Sunday to make up for the lack of running in the morning session has been denied. The American team will be able to make up for the four hours lost with extended sessions in the three days of testing.