Bahrain GP: Vettel also tops Practice 2

Vettel was fastest in both practice sessions
Vettel was fastest in both practice sessions

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel again turning the fastest lap in practice for the Bahrain GP with a lap of 1m31.310s. Close behind was Valtteri Bottas just 0.041s in his Mercedes.

Daniel Ricciardo was third for Red Bull just 0.066s back ahead of the 2nd Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen in 4th.

Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top-5 in the 2nd Mercedes.

Shortly before his long run, the German survived a frightening moment when his car went into a ‘complete shutdown’ and stopped on track. Some quick thinking enabled the four-time world champion to coast back to the pits, where his machine was repaired so he could complete his crucial race-simulation runs as planned.

After his own issues in FP1, Vettel's team mate Kimi Raikkonen enjoyed a more productive session, clocking 34 laps on his way to fourth on the timesheet, just ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton who struggled to get a representative time on the supersoft tires.

Hamilton had already had several aborted attempts when he was baulked by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg as he rounded turn 10 on a hot lap – an incident that will be investigated by the stewards.

The top ten was rounded out by Williams’ Felipe Massa, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, Haas’s Romain Grosjean and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat.

Kimi pleased with team fixing the car in time for P2

"It’s far too early to say what we can do here and conditions were tricky today. We had an issue that stopped us in very early part of the first session; this issue had nothing to do with the engine, but rather with the turbo area. The guys did a good job in fixing the car in order to be ready for the second practice. The day could have been a bit better, but that’s how it goes. I like this circuit, but there’s nothing more special here than in other places. Obviously it’s very hot and this can be a little bit tricky for the tires. As usual on Friday there’s a lot of work to be done to be ready tomorrow."

QUOTES

Mercedes GP

Valtteri Bottas (2nd, 1:31.351): "Today overall went well. Obviously, it's difficult to learn much in FP1 with the extremely high temperatures, as the main sessions are under the lights in the evening when it's much cooler. But we got some good data out of FP2 with short runs and long runs. The car was feeling good. We can definitely make it better but it was a positive start and I'm looking forward to qualifying. It was very hot today and the track normally improves quite a lot as you lose some of the sand, so I'm sure tomorrow we will go a lot quicker. How quick, we will find out. It's definitely tougher than before, driving in the heat with these new cars. But I'm used to being in a Finnish sauna, so it's no problem! It seems like the same trend continues here with it being so close with Ferrari. But Red Bull are looking good too and the whole pack is pretty close, if you look at the top six particularly. It looks like every little thing that we are going to be fine tuning today with the setup and anything extra we can find is going to be crucial for qualifying and the race."

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton (5th, 1:31.594): "A pretty normal Friday, really. It was incredibly hot early on, with some of the very toughest conditions – both physically and in terms of working with the tires. We got through that and then it was much cooler in the afternoon, giving us a much better representation of what qualifying and the race will be like. I was able to get a much better understanding of where the car is in FP2. It was very close, with Ferrari fastest. In race trim they seem a couple of tenths quicker, so I'm expecting a great battle tomorrow and then again on Sunday. We'll work as hard as we can to try to close that gap. I have a great group of fans here and I tried to wave to them every time I went out. Their smiles really make a big difference."

James Allison, Technical Director: "This is a pretty tough circuit at the best of times. But it is unseasonably hot this year, which made it a brutal day for both the cars and the drivers. Despite the heat, we had a very good look at the car this morning on a really hot track, before running through our normal FP2 program in conditions more like those that we expect to see during qualifying and the race. I think we can see that it is going to be another really tight weekend between ourselves and Ferrari – a weekend where the smallest of mistakes could make the difference between the outcomes. It's so exciting to be part of this fight, which is so tight and fought between two great teams. I hope that we can get everything together so that we are the ones that come out on top."

Red Bull-Tag Heuer

Daniel Ricciardo (3rd, 1:31.376): "Today was good. FP1 is always a tricky one here in order to set the car up, because it's so hot and the race is so cool so you have to be careful not to get carried away with what you learn during that first session. FP2 looked alright though. Normally the grip gets a lot better when the track cools down in the late afternoon, so that helped but the wind changed and the way the wind turned actually made the track slower. I think the low fuel pace looks competitive, but probably too competitive for now. I do like it but I expect Ferrari and Mercedes to sneak further ahead tomorrow. But in general it was a good day. We couldn't really ask for more. The long runs looked like they had a bit more pace so that was probably a bit more representative. I think we did what we had to do today so I'm happy. Let's make tomorrow a good one also."

Max Verstappen (8th, 1:32.245): "I was struggling a bit with the balance today and I didn't quite have the grip I wanted from the rear of the car. The first practice you cannot really count or read into because of the high temperatures but now in FP2 I lost track time after hitting someone's T-wing. It was unfortunate and to be honest I'm surprised how much damage it actually did to the floor. The team did a great job to change it so quickly and check the car over before I went back out on track. The other side of the garage looks quite competitive and now we need to review which configuration was better from the two cars and then apply that for tomorrow. My aim in FP3 will be to get as many laps in as possible to make up for the lost time today and then I will have a better idea of our target for the weekend."

Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:31.310):

Kimi Raikkonen (4th, 1:31.478):

Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal:

Force India-Mercedes

Esteban Ocon (12th, 1:32.875):

Sergio Perez (15th, 1:33.319):

Dr. Vijay Mallya, Team Principal:

Jakob Andreasen, Chief Engineer:

Otmar Szafnauer, Chief Operating Officer:

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal:

Williams-Mercedes

Felipe Massa (7th, 1:32.079): "It was a positive day. I'm happy with the performance of the car on the new tires and especially the old tires as it's quite consistent with race simulation. We've shown quite reasonable performance today. We need to concentrate on everything we've done this evening and prepare the car even better for tomorrow evening, as well as Sunday. I'm really looking forward to a good weekend."

Lance Stroll (16th, 1:33.361): "In FP1 I got into the car and immediately felt very comfortable and confident. In FP2 I was struggling with the car and we have to see if anything was wrong with it, but no worries as this was only practice. Then at the end of the session there was some burning in my feet. We will have to investigate to see what it was as I had to get out of the car. The positives are getting into the car in FP1 and feeling good, but we need to see what happened in FP2 as it seemed a bit of a bizarre session."

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: "Well this was a big contrast weather wise from China! It's extremely hot here, with incredibly high surface temperatures on the track in FP1 especially. We first ran on the Medium and I think we were similar to all the other teams in finding that a very difficult tire. Remarkably, it's roughly two to three seconds slower than the Soft compound tire, which we fitted just after. So that's an interesting result which will need to be understood. On the Soft tires both cars performed reasonably well. It was particularly great for Lance who set his first purple sector of his Formula One career in Sector 1 during the session. Unfortunately, Felipe had a brake failure at the end of FP1, which was due to an issue that we have now understood and resolved. Then we went into FP2, which is our main practice for qualifying and the race due to the evening conditions. Both drivers ran on the Soft and Supersoft tires on low and high fuel. Felipe's performance in particular was very strong, on every run. In contrast Lance struggled throughout the session, which wasn't the case in FP1. So we need to understand that ahead of tomorrow. Overall, I think it was a good day and we will do our work tonight and see what we can achieve in qualifying tomorrow."

McLaren-Honda

Fernando Alonso (14th, 1:32.897):

Stoffel Vandoorne (20th, 1:34.230):

Eric Boullier, Racing Director:

Yusuke Hasegawa, Honda:

Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault

Daniil Kvyat (10th, 1:32.707): "It was a very busy FP2 after not doing many laps in the first practice session because it was very hot and the race here takes place at night… So we did many things this evening – long runs, short runs – and I think we covered everything we wanted to do. We now have a lot of data to go through overnight and we believe we can make a step forward for tomorrow and the rest of the weekend. We will try and do our best and be as well prepared as possible – the weekend has started positively for us and hopefully it will carry on this way."

Carlos Sainz (18th, 1:34.072): "Quite a frustrating start to the weekend here in Bahrain for me. Today's FP2 was very important and to only be able to do a couple of laps is quite unfortunate. This is a bit of a setback for the weekend, but we will try and analyze and pick-up as much information as possible from the others, cover this lack of data that we have right now, and try to recover it tomorrow. Unfortunately FP3 isn't a very representative session either, which means we will go blind into qualifying and the race, but this is the situation right now. I'm confident that we can end up doing a good job."

Jody Egginton, Head of Vehicle Performance: "Today has been challenging in some respects, with a combination of high temperatures and low grip in FP1 which made running difficult, and a car issue in FP2 ending the running early for Carlos. However, we have collected important long-run data in the evening session which both drivers will benefit from. In terms of run program, FP1 was fairly standard with the normal checks and sweeps being conducted. However, with low grip conditions and medium tire, the amount of meaningful running we could conduct was limited. With FP2 taking place in conditions more aligned to qualifying and race, we had a full run program prepared for both tires in order to map the Soft and Supersoft compounds in short and long run conditions. Unfortunately for Carlos, we suffered an exhaust failure during his first run of the session which ended his running due to the time required to replace the effected parts. For Daniil, the run program was completed and long-run performance was fairly encouraging. However, there is still work to do to get the car optimized, especially for short-runs, but we have a good idea of what is required to extract the performance from the car and we will be working hard overnight analyzing the data to allow us to make a step forwards in tomorrow's sessions and ultimately the race."

Haas-Ferrari

Romain Grosjean (9th, 1:32.505): "It was a pretty solid day. It was very warm – the first time we've had those conditions this year. We need to keep working on the car. Clearly, tires are having a tough time on the long runs. A qualifying lap is only a lap, so it's pretty fun. There's a lot of work to be done for tomorrow, but as I said, it's the first time we've had the warmer conditions this year. There's a lot to learn from today, and hopefully we can find a little bit of performance for tomorrow."

Kevin Magnussen (11th, 1:32.854): "We had a decent day. We have some interesting things to look at for tomorrow, but so far things are not too bad."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "It was a good day for us. For sure, it was our best Friday this year. We completed our programs in FP1 and FP2. The car seems to be competitive, as well, for points. Now we'll go look and see what we can do better and come back tomorrow."

Renault

Nico Hulkenberg (6th, 1:31.883):

Jolyon Palmer (13th, 1:32.876):

Alan Permane, Sporting Director:

Nick Chester, Technical Director:

Sauber-Ferrari

Marcus Ericsson (17th, 1:33.944): "We were able to run lots of laps today on different tires compounds, which was positive. Overall we gathered some good information. However, it is clear that we have to improve our performance. We need to analyze today's data and make steps forward for the rest of the weekend."

Pascal Wehrlein (19th, 1:34.117): "First of all, I am happy to be back in the car. Speaking about the lap times, they are not really significant at this stage. Today's focus was on getting used to the car and collecting mileage in order to make up for lost time. I am feeling comfortable in the car and also the procedures with the team work well. We did make a step forward from the first to the second free practice session, so I am already looking forward to tomorrow."

Results

POS NO DRIVER CAR-ENGINE TIME GAP LAPS
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari-Ferrari 1:31.310 +0.000s 29
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-Mercedes 1:31.351 +0.041s 35
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:31.376 +0.066s 28
4 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari-Ferrari 1:31.478 +0.168s 34
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-Mercedes 1:31.594 +0.284s 35
6 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault-Renault 1:31.883 +0.573s 37
7 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:32.079 +0.769s 37
8 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:32.245 +0.935s 18
9 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:32.505 +1.195s 34
10 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1:32.707 +1.397s 35
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:32.854 +1.544s 33
12 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:32.875 +1.565s 38
13 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault-Renault 1:32.876 +1.566s 38
14 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1:32.897 +1.587s 31
15 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:33.319 +2.009s 34
16 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:33.361 +2.051s 36
17 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:33.944 +2.634s 34
18 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso-Renault 1:34.072 +2.762s 5
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:34.117 +2.807s 29
20 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:34.230 +2.920s 8

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