bahrain fernando alonso bahrain alpine test f1 2021

Bahrain Test Day 2: Ricciardo tops as Alonso steals morning show

fernando alonso bahrain alpine test f1 2021

Although Daniel Ricciardo topped the timing screens at the end of the second morning of 2021 Formula 1 testing in Bahrain today, it was Fernando Alonso’s morning to shine in the Alpine.

The Spaniard was on it from the moment he stepped into the car, fast and precise he looked sharper than most in trying the conditions as if he was never away at all and doing 59 laps in the process. It was an impressive homecoming.

Although the sun was shining, Sakhir was in hangover mode in the wake of the nasty sandstorm that struck the island kingdom on Friday. Saturday was not as treacherous but still tricky enough to catch out seven times F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Alonso in contrast was plugged-in and playing at the level he belongs with a pretty handy Alpine at his disposal it seems, the two-time F1 world champion plonked it second fastest for good measure.

Ricciardo’s transformation into a McLaren driver has been seamless and clearly relishing Mercedes power for the first time and, like yesterday, he was the fastest man on track during his stint of 52 laps.

Red Bull ‘new boy’ Sergio Perez also had a good showing in his first official shift for the team finishing third quickest on what was a solid start for the Mexican in Blue. he might have wanted more than 39 laps though…

In testing, times are increasingly meaningless as drivers and teams set about a busy programme for the three days that is unlikely to coincide with hunting hot laps but more in familiarising themselves with their new packages and getting it all to peak for when it matters, namely Q3 at the Bahrain Grand Prix in a couple of weeks time.

Nevertheless, it will be encouraging for Williams that Nicolas Latifi managed 47 laps and the fourth-fastest time, while Toro Rosso rookie Yuki Tsunoda did not take long to win hearts with his feisty shift in the morning. He was the fifth fastest and impressive.

Intentionally or not Ferrari, Mercedes and Aston Martin have been underwhelming.

  • Carlos Sainz seemingly uncomfortable in his new Red car, even though the Spaniard was good for sixth on the timing screens;
  • Hamilton spun on his own accord, beaching the Merc and requiring a stoppage to retrieve the beached W12;
  • Sebastian Vettel never really got going in the Aston Martin with only nine laps on his board and no significant time posted by the German.

In contrast, Ferrari-powered Haas and Alfa Romeo had a good AM stanza with Nikita Mazepin seventh fastest with a handy 75 laps for the rookie which was more than any driver on Saturday morning; while Antonio Giovinazzi delivered 73 laps for his team.

Bahrain Test Day 2 lap times morning


Graphic: KartCMP1

Saturday Morning