F1 Testing Day 2: Ricciardo leads, Hamilton and Vettel have troubles

McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo once again led the way on the second morning of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain, as Sebastian Vettel ran into gearbox troubles with the same gearbox the Mercedes team had issues with on Friday.

Vettel lost almost the entire morning. While the Mercedes team have appeared to put their gearbox issues behind them, Lewis Hamilton spun off into the gravel trap midway through the morning causing a red flag.

Vettel waits for mechanics to complete a gearbox change

Ricciardo traded fastest laps with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso throughout the four-hour-long morning session before claiming top spot by setting a 1m32.215s on Medium C3 tires in his Mercedes-powered McLaren MCL35M.

Returning two-time world champion Alonso  was just 0.124s off Ricciardo’s benchmark on the Hard C2 compound as he continued Alpine’s impressive start to pre-season testing, logging 50 laps.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Alpine F1 Team A521 – 2nd quick.

Sergio Perez was third-quickest on his Red Bull pre-season testing debut, ahead of Nicholas Latifi and Yuki Tsunoda, who set their best laps on Soft C5 and C4 tires respectively to round out the top five for Williams and AlphaTauri.

Vettel was tenth and last after sitting out most of the morning session. In a repeat of Bottas’ woes on Friday, the German only managed six laps before encountering a Mercedes gearbox issue on his AMR21.

Aston managed to get Vettel back out shortly before lunch for three more laps, but a second red flag with five minutes to go – for a race control systems test – then brought the session to a close.

Not a good start for Vettel and his new team.

Morning Times

1 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m32.215s 36
2 Fernando Alonso ESP Alpine F1 Team 1m32.339s 44
3 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1m32.541s 40
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. ESP Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow 1m33.072s 32
5 Nikita Mazepin RUS Uralkali Haas F1 Team 1m33.101s 42
6 Sergio Perez MEX Red Bull Racing 1m33.248s 32
7 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1m33.399s 37
8 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 1m34.411s 46
9 Antonio Giovinazzi ITA Alfa Romeo Racing Orlen 1m37.911s 41
10 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team 1m38.849s 6