Bahrain FP2: Vettel owns day one in the desert

Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel went quickest in the second free practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix, before a mid-session “complete shutdown” of his Ferrari that left him briefly stranded on the track.

The German’s P1 time came just before half an hour of the evening session, run under floodlights, had elapsed. Bolting on a set of supersofts, the Ferrari power to through a lap of 1:31.310.

Later, however, during a longer run in the final 40 minutes of the session Vettel’s car slowed dramatically before the German reported a “complete shutdown”.

He managed to coast towards the pit entry and after being pushed by marshals his car was brought back to the Ferrari garage. With 15 minutes left in the session the Ferrari crew managed to get Vettel back on track for a final burst of running.

In an earlier opening session also topped by Vettel, Mercedes has a muted outing, with Lewis Hamilton 10th and Valtteri Bottas 14th. In the more valuable second session run at a time and in temperatures comparable to the weekend’s crucial sessions, the defending champions showed their real pace, at least with one car.

Bottas finished second, just four hundredths of a second behind Vettel. Hamilton, though, was fifth after his qualifying simulation, almost three tenths adrift of the Ferrari driver.

Daniel Ricciardo, second quickest in the first session, again showed good pace in the evening, setting a best time of 1:31.376 to finish just 0.066s behind Vettel.

Fourth place went to Kimi Räikkönen in the second Ferrari, just under two tenths off his team-mate and with Hamilton next on the timesheet just 0.284s separated the top five drivers.

Sixth place was taken by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, with the German just shy of six tenths off the pace set by Vettel. Felipe Massa was seventh for Williams ahead of Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull. The Dutchman’s running was compromised however by a problem with the floor.

The top ten order was completed by Haas’ Romain Grosjean and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. Elsewhere, Carlos Sainz completed just five laps before pulling over with smoke pouring from his car.

Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir – Free Practice 2, Best Lap Times

15Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:31.310 29
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:31.351+0.041s35
33Daniel RicciardoRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER1:31.376+0.066s28
47Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI1:31.478+0.168s34
544Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:31.594+0.284s35
627Nico HulkenbergRENAULT1:31.883+0.573s37
719Felipe MassaWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:32.079+0.769s37
833Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING TAG HEUER1:32.245+0.935s18
98Romain GrosjeanHAAS FERRARI1:32.505+1.195s34
1026Daniil KvyatTORO ROSSO1:32.707+1.397s35
1120Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:32.854+1.544s33
1231Esteban OconFORCE INDIA MERCEDES1:32.875+1.565s38
1330Jolyon PalmerRENAULT1:32.876+1.566s38
1414Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN HONDA1:32.897+1.587s31
1511Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA MERCEDES1:33.319+2.009s34
1618Lance StrollWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:33.361+2.051s36
179Marcus EricssonSAUBER FERRARI1:33.944+2.634s34
1855Carlos SainzTORO ROSSO1:34.072+2.762s5
1994Pascal WehrleinSAUBER FERRARI1:34.117+2.807s29
202Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN HONDA1:34.230+2.920s8