ferrari sainz testing f1 bahrain

Bahrain F1 Testing Day 2: Team & Driver Reports

ferrari sainz testing f1 bahrain

While most stuck to a harder Pirelli C3 tyre for day two of Bahrain Formula 1 Testing, Ferrari bolted on the C4s for their hot laps, the softest compound available on Thursday, to go on and ‘own’ the second day at Sakhir.

Charles Leclerc topped the morning session and Carlos Sainz followed his Ferrari teammate’s feat to end the day fastest of all on the softest Pirellis available in Bahrain. As expected the track got quicker as the day progressed.

Here is what drivers and team representatives had to say at the end of the second day of Bahrain F1 preseason testing:

Ferrari: We can’t say how competitive we are

ferrari sainz bahrain f1 testing

Team Report: The second day of Formula 1’s only pre-season test at the Bahrain International Circuit proved to be a productive one for Scuderia Ferrari, with a total of 141 laps (763 kilometres) with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the wheel. The numbers could have been higher but for a problem experienced by Charles which led to the session being stopped for everyone for quite some time.

One more day. For tomorrow’s final day of testing in Sakhir, Carlos will be first out on track, with Charles taking over for the afternoon.

Carlos Sainz: “Another day of testing completed according to plan and without issues. We managed to go through the whole afternoon programme smoothly, combining various tests with low and high-fuel runs, so it was interesting to get a feel for this year’s car in different configurations. Now I look forward to the last session tomorrow morning where we’ll keep focusing on the long runs.”

Charles Leclerc: “The first two days have gone well as we have run our full programme, although at this stage, we can’t say how competitive we are. I think the first time we will get an idea of where we stand will be in qualifying next week. We made some general changes to the car today and yesterday, with our focus shifting to fine-tuning our set-up on the last day of testing.

Red Bull: The RB20 is a step forward for the team

Hitting The Track Red Bull: The RB20 is a step forward for the team

Team Report: Sergio Pérez puts in the hours in Bahrain. At day two of pre-season testing Sergio Pérez was given the RB20 for the entire day and put in an energy-zapping 129 laps, whilst using 10 sets of tyres. After eight hours of track time, the Mexican Bull finished the day in P2, behind Carlos Sainz.

Sergio Perez: “It was unexpected to be in the car all day today but the delays meant my early runs were cut short, so the Team decided to extend my day and I am back in the car again tomorrow morning. Generally speaking, I think the RB20 is a step forward for the Team and we have gone in the right direction for us.
It is a tricky track here from morning to afternoon, dialing in set-up and getting to understand those different set-ups because the track is changing on every outing, so you must base a lot on your feeling. I have been working over the winter on understanding last season from a personal perspective, in order to start the season on an upward curve. You are always learning and always want to get better and that’s no different for me in 2024.”

Gianpiero Lambiase, Head of Race Engineering: “It was another solid day’s mileage for the Team. The red flag this morning led us to changing the driver swap we had planned for post-lunch, as it would have otherwise unfairly limited Checo’s early impression of the RB20. We are accumulating mileage at a good rate which is positive for reliability and systems sign-off, and beyond that, Checo was able to continue to evolve the setup to his liking having taken Max’s baseline from day one. We have plenty to analyse overnight ahead of what is an important final day of testing.”

Mercedes: We’ve clearly made an improvement with this year’s car

Mercedes: We've clearly made an improvement with this year's car

Team Report: Lewis enjoyed a full day behind-the-wheel of the W15 on Thursday at the Bahrain International Circuit. The morning was dominated by aero runs and data collection, although that session was cut short by a dislodged drain. To compensate for the lost running, an amended afternoon timetable added an extra hour on to the schedule. Lewis was able to complete a mixture of race stints along with some single-lap work at the end of the day. His best C3 tyre run ultimately a 1:31.066 which put him P3 on the day.

Lewis Hamilton: “It was a productive day out there,” Lewis said. “We gathered lots of learnings about the W15, both in our long-running and single-lap work. We’ve clearly made an improvement with this year’s car and it’s much nicer to drive. A big thank you to everyone at Brackley and Brixworth for the efforts they’ve put in to deliver that over the past year. I’m really grateful for all their hard work. We’ve still got progress to make of course. But this is a good foundation for us to build on. We’ll keep our heads down and continue to work to find improvements, both over the rest of the test and into next week. I’m looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow morning and continuing that learning.”

Alpine: It’s been a good day for the team

alpine f1 testing bahrain

Esteban Ocon: “It was a very long session today with the extended running in the afternoon. We missed some track time in the morning due to the stoppage, but we managed to get it back and finish the programme we wanted to complete in the morning. We improved the car throughout the day, and it was nice to try the car in different conditions, which are more reflective of what we’ll see next weekend in the Grand Prix. We had a bit of racing towards the end which was also fun. This does not usually happen at testing but this time everyone was pretty eager and it was very exciting on the run down to Turn 1 with a number of cars side by side and sparks flying everywhere. I’ve definitely got the appetite to go racing now!”

Pierre Gasly: “It’s been a good day for the team in Bahrain with a lot of testing complete and a lot of data for us to analyse. On my side, unfortunately, our session was cut short with a red flag. That’s never ideal as we could not complete our full programme, but that is the way it is sometimes. I’m looking forward to being back in the car tomorrow afternoon and continuing to optimise the package. We continue to understand different things each time the car is on track and we are doing everything we can to maximise our learning before the first race of the season. After a shorter day than I expected, my time in the car tomorrow will be very important.”

McLaren: Another solid day

piastri mclaren

Lando Norris: “Another day of testing done. We ran into some small issues that set us back today so we couldn’t get all the running we wanted to do in the second session, especially at high fuel. There’s still some work to do on the balance of the car but there were still a lot of things learned which is good. We have plenty to look into tonight and some different things to try and examine tomorrow.”

Oscar Piastri: “A slightly shorter morning than planned today due to the red flag, however, it was still a very useful session. We worked through a lot, focussing on set-up work whilst dialling the car in. The pace seems reasonable and we’re making decent progress with our test programme. Another solid day and I look forward to getting more laps in tomorrow.”

Jose Manuel López, Head of Testing: “Another day of testing completed in Bahrain. Whilst it was less straightforward due to the red flag caused by an issue with the circuit, we still collected a lot of data and learned more and more about the MCL38. With Oscar, we completed some rake work to collect data for our aerodynamics team as part of a combined programme across both mornings, as well as some set-up work. We then used the extra time in the afternoon session with Lando to collect more aerodynamic data and study some characteristics. We also focused on short runs on soft tyres, car set-up, performance runs and race runs, before we ran into a small fuel system issue which we fixed and went out again. We’ll have a good debrief this evening and prepare with the engineers, mechanics, drivers, and support team back at the factory, before taking all of our learnings into the final day of testing.”

Williams: Logan’s pre-season testing is now complete

williams f1 testing bahrain speed

Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance: “We completed over 100 laps today, including a full race simulation. For most of the day the car behaved well, and we were able to make good progress. We did experience a couple of issues which meant that we finished each session a little earlier than intended. However, both issues were minor and are now understood so we will resolve them tonight. Logan’s pre-season testing is now complete. He did a good job today and now hands the car over to Alex for the final day of testing before the race season starts next week. We still have a lot of work that we want to do but if we can have another productive day tomorrow then we’ll be in a good position ahead of FP1 on Thursday.”

Logan Sargeant: “We still had a couple of issues throughout the day but the red flag definitely helped with the extended session. It was generally a positive day; we made good headway in the right direction and know where we’re heading. There are lots of positives despite there being some things for us to fix, but I’m looking forward to getting back into the rhythm as I started to feel more comfortable throughout the day. I’m fighting the car a little more than I’d like but those things will come together soon. It’s still a great day of experience ahead of next weekend. Testing went by quickly and I definitely would’ve liked another day but it will be great to see Alex in the car tomorrow and for us to keep testing the car.

Haas: It seems like a step forward and an improvement

haas f1 testing bahrain

Team Report: MoneyGram Haas F1 Team drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen completed a total of 124 laps on the second day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit. Hulkenberg got his first taste of early running in Bahrain as he drove the VF-24 in the opening session of the day. The afternoon program began an hour earlier than originally scheduled, giving teams back some of the time that was lost previously. Magnussen was back behind the wheel for the extended session, focusing once again on long-run performance, this time doing comparison work in cooler temperatures.

Kevin Magnussen: “I think it’s been another solid day for us, focusing on race runs and high-fuel performance, addressing the same issues as yesterday. Our tire issues from last year are our main focus and it’s been very interesting. I think we’ve made some progress, and for sure there’s a lot of work to do, but they’re going in the right direction. I’m not sure how fast we are, I’d be surprised if we’re in a very different position to last year, but I think we’re in slightly better condition on tires. It’s very hard to conclude from running in one set of conditions, on one track. But for now, there are positive signs on the issues from last year.”

Nico Hulkenberg: “Yesterday was quite good as it was a lot of work, a lot of laps we got in, and some quality work. This morning was cut short with the track issue they had, so we obviously lost a bit of time but so far, so good. I think we’ve got some good work done already and it seems like a step forward and an improvement compared to 12 months ago which is good news, but it’s still going to be a challenging time.”

Ayao Komatsu, Team Principal “Following on from yesterday, we continued our program on tire management and high-fuel performance. Nico drove in the morning, and even with the disruption he had that made the session a bit shorter, I think we got the basic answer we wanted. We handed over to Kevin in the afternoon and he ran for five hours, and it was a pretty good session again. We got lots of good data and confirmation on what we wanted to run, so I’m pretty happy with the last couple of days. Tomorrow, because we’ve had two decent days, we may change the program a little but I’m looking forward to another productive day of testing.”

Sauber: Another good and solid day of testing

sauber stake f1 team kick

Team Report: Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber enjoyed a positive second day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit. It was another productive day for the team, which followed the direction set yesterday and accrued another good amount of mileage and data for the engineers to work with. It was Zhou Guanyu’s turn to bring out the C44 on track this morning, with Valtteri Bottas following in the afternoon session. Despite a shortened morning session, due to a red flag caused by a loose piece of drain cover, the team still managed to complete its full programme for the day, also including some performance runs and race simulation in the final part of the afternoon.

Valtteri Bottas: “Today has been another good day on track; we gathered a large amount of data over 130 laps, and the driving felt smooth, even better than yesterday with cooler track conditions – as I took part in the afternoon session, which is closer to what we’re going to experience next week. Balance-wise, I believe we moved forward and found some more performance, which surely gives us a nice feeling. Still, there’s always room for improvement, and that’s the direction we’re aiming for tomorrow, trying to get everything out of the final day of testing.”

Zhou Guanyu: “We had another solid day of testing today; we have definitely seen some progression compared to yesterday and were able to collect more valuable data and insights. Unfortunately, our morning run had to end early due to the red flag, but luckily, we still managed to get through our anticipated programme without having to cut anything short. Tomorrow is one more day to get a better feel for the car before our first race next weekend.”

In progress update as teams deliver their reports…