Lewis Hamilton quickest in Bahrain Friday practice

Lewis Hamilton quickest in Bahrain Friday practice

FP2

Lewis Hamilton went quickest in the second practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, as Red Bull Racing Alex Albon crashed out of the session.

 

Albon’s team-mate Max Verstappen led the way for a large part of the session with a time set on medium tyres, but a late run on soft tyres allowed Hamilton to push past the Dutchman and claim top spot by more than three tenths of a second. Third place in the session went to Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas. 

 

At the start of the night-time session drivers again ran on Pirelli’s 2021 tyres but when teams began to switch to the tyres on offer for this weekend Verstappen soon established pre-eminence with his lap 1:29.318. 

 

Verstappen then attempted a soft tyre run but his pace flagged in the final sector. Bottas too experienced the same outcome when he attempted a flying lap on the red-banded rubber. 

The session was then brought to a halt when Albon crashed heavily in the final corner. 

The Thai driver had enjoyed a good opening to his lap but pushing hard he went wide in Turn 14 and with one side of the car on the dust and the other on track he spun and slide hard into the wall damaging his car severely. 

 

The session was red flagged for 10 minutes as his wrecked RB16 was removed but it had to be halted almost as soon as it resumed when a stray dog wandered onto the track. 

 

Following a five-minute delay the action resumed and Hamilton then put in best lap of the session with 15 minutes left on the clock, setting the benchmark at 1:28.971s.

The lap put him 0.347s clear of Verstappen, with Bottas third, 

Sergio Perez was fourth for Racing Point ahead of Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris, was seventh for McLaren ahead of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll was eighth in the second Racing Point, while Daniil Kvyat and Albon rounded out the top 1. 

2020 FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.971 28 218.983
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:29.318 0.347 34 218.132
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:29.336 0.365 30 218.089
4 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 1:29.403 0.432 32 217.925
5 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:29.462 0.491 27 217.781
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:29.551 0.580 36 217.565
7 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1:29.841 0.870 30 216.863
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1:29.871 0.900 32 216.790
9 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1:29.900 0.929 34 216.720
10 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1:30.014 1.043 17 216.446
11 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:30.085 1.114 30 216.275
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:30.110 1.139 35 216.215
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1:30.271 1.300 33 215.830
14 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:30.407 1.436 30 215.505
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.627 1.656 33 214.982
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:30.849 1.878 27 214.456
17 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.928 1.957 34 214.270
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:30.973 2.002 32 214.164
19 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:31.119 2.148 28 213.821
20 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:31.636 2.665 29 212.615

 

FP1

 

Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheet in the opening practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix with the champion-elect finishing half a second ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes dominated proceedings.


The opening phase of the session saw teams testing the 2021-specification Pirelli tyres homologated by the FIA after the test in FP2 at Portimão in Portugal last month but after running quickest on the unmarked test tyres, Hamilton later confirmed his place at the top of the order when he moved to medium tyres. 


The Briton set his fastest lap, a 1:29.033s on the yellow-banded compound, finishing 0.449s ahead of Bottas who also used medium tyres for his best effort. Racing Point’s Sergio Pérez took third place for though the Mexican driver was nine-tenths of a second off the pace set by Hamilton and a step softer on compound. 


Fourth place in the 90-minute session, which was held under uncharacteristically grey skies and following rain in the morning, went to McLaren’s Carlos. The Spaniard’s best lap was 0.985 behind the lead Mercedes leaving him as the last man within a second of the P1 time. 


Pierre Gasly completed the top five with time of 1:30.049, with the AlphaTauri driver finishing more than two tenths clear of Max Verstappen of sister outfit Red Bull Racing. The Dutch driver struggled for balance on the green circuit and had a spin in the final corner as the session edged towards its final third. 


By contrast, Verstappen’s team-mate Alexander Albon seemed to find a groove more quickly and he ended the session in seventh place and just eight thousandths of a second slower than the Dutchman.


Renault's Esteban Ocon took eighth place ahead of the second Racing Point of Lance Stroll. The Canadian edged Daniel Ricciardo in the second Renault car by just under a tenth of a second.
 

Elsewhere, Kimi Räikkönen’s Alfa Romeo was taken over by Robert Kubica with the Polish driver finishing 13th and a tenth of a second ahead of the second Alfa of Antonio Giovinazzi who finished 16th. George Russell’s place at Williams was taken by Roy Nissany who finished in last place three tenths of a second behind regular Williams driver Nicholas Latifi. 


2020 FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.033 40 218.831
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:29.482 0.449 41 217.733
3 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 1:30.000 0.967 31 216.480
4 Carlos Sainz McLaren/Renault 1:30.018 0.985 31 216.436
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:30.049 1.016 34 216.362
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:30.294 1.261 18 215.775
7 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1:30.302 1.269 34 215.756
8 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:30.384 1.351 28 215.560
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1:30.426 1.393 30 215.460
10 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:30.508 1.475 30 215.264
11 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:30.589 1.556 29 215.072
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:30.628 1.595 24 214.979
13 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.732 1.699 24 214.733
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:30.832 1.799 28 214.497
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:30.854 1.821 29 214.445
16 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.896 1.863 27 214.346
17 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1:31.020 1.987 37 214.054
18 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1:31.392 2.359 27 213.182
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:32.472 3.439 29 210.692
20 Roy Nissany Williams/Mercedes 1:32.801 3.768 27 209.946


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