Bahrain FP2: Hamilton untouchable, Albon crashes, Ferrari poor

Lewis Hamilton stamped his authority on day one of the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, only a fortnight since he clinched his seventh Formula 1 world title, by topping both free practice on the day in which a crash and a stray dog triggered red flags.

The evening was marred by Alex Albon’s heavy crash during the evening FP2 session. The Red Bull driver, under pressure to retain his drive for next year, made an error exiting the final corner, lost control as his Red Bull speared into the wall.

A busy night awaits Red Bull as they scramble to get parts to rebuild the car for their errant driver by tomorrow. Alex was audibly shaken, when he reported over the radio: “I am fine, sorry guys” Full report here>>>

At the sharp end, Hamilton was in fine form, the only driver to dip into the 88-seconds-zone with his table-topping effort of 1:28.971, nearly four-tenths faster than Valtteri Bottas in the other Black car.

In stark contrast to his hapless Red Bull teammate, Max Verstappen split the Mercedes duo on the timing screens with his scorcher, albeit 0.347s down on Lewis but 0.018s faster than Bottas, suggesting the Dutchman may have a good package for the days ahead.

Sergio Perez was again Best of the Rest in the Racing Point, the Mexican fourth fastest and less than half a second down on Hamilton’s best shot. Notably, the Pinks found half a second in the package between session; earlier in FP2 Sergio was third quickest but a second down on the top time.

But it was not so for teammate Lance Stroll who was only good for eighth. The Canadian nearly four-tenths shy of Sergio at day end.

Daniel Ricciardo came alive in FP2 after a subdued FP1, to end the day fifth and fastest of the Renault-powered-brigade, within half a second of the benchmark time.

A tenth down on that was AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in sixth, three-tenths and a faster than teammate Daniil Kvyat in ninth.

Lando Norris was seventh, almost half a second faster than Carlos Sainz in the other McLaren in 13th.

Albon was shown as tenth quickest, despite the prang.

As is now custom, Ferrari were struggling all day with the SF1000 shitbox which simply has no grip or grunt, this time around Sebastian Vettel tamed it better ending 12th with teammate Charles Leclerc 14th.

Seb was 1.1 seconds slower than Hamilton’s top effort and a miserable weekend is upon the Tifosi unless there is a miracle in the desert on Sunday.

I closing, it’s worth mentioning that Lassie-lookalike dog impressed as it bolted across the track faster than a Williams before its 15-seconds of fame ended when it disappeared into the night. Immortalised and instantly meme-ed to death.

A brief interruption was required to prevent something really gory happening to it….

Report in progress…