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Bahrain Testing Day 2: Leclerc top shortened morning session

Bahrain Testing Day 2: Leclerc tops shortened morning session

Bahrain Testing Day 2: Leclerc top shortened morning session

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped the morning session of the second day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain as running was cut short due to a loose drain cover.

With less than two hours remaining from morning session, a drain cover came loose at Turn 11, with Leclerc in the Ferrari running over it, prompting him to head back to the pits for the mechanics to have a look at the floor of the SF-24, with memories of Las Vegas 2023 definitely in the backs of their minds.

The Red Flag was raised as a result and with track inspections taking too much time, the FIA stewards decided to the end the session prematurely, with the evening session scheduled for an earlier start.

The session took place on clear but windy conditions, with several drivers being caught out by tail wind while in the corners, but all keeping it together, off-track excursions being the only consequence.

Leclerc ran 36 laps around the Sakhir circuit his best time being a 1:31.750, good enough to be the best time in the AM ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri who was 0.578s behind the #16 Ferrari with 35 laps on the board.

Logan Sargeant who shared driving duties with teammate Alex Albon on Day one, is planned to be the sole runner for Williams on Day 2, he ended the morning session third fastest, 0.828s slower than Leclerc and with 30 laps.

With Max Verstappen running the full first day for Red Bull Racing, Sergio Perez took over the RB20 on Thursday morning, and was fourth fastest at the end of the shortened session, 1.129s down on the top time and with only 20 laps to his name.

Perez will be on driving duty for the full day so he shouldn’t be affected by the shortened morning session.

Fernando Alonso drove 31 laps, posting the fifth fastest time in the Aston Martin. The Spaniard will definitely be annoyed by the shortened session, especially as he has been vocal recently about the limited testing time. His best time was a 1:33.053.

Lewis Hamilton gets his first proper taste of the W15

Lewis Hamilton got his final season with Mercedes going as he took over the W15 from teammate George Russell who drove the full first day.

The Briton managed 39 laps as he got to acclimatize himself with the 2024 Mercedes F1 car, but was only sixth fastest, 1.475s off the pace. Mercedes’ pace was not stellar on Day 1 of testing as well. Trouble or sandbagging?

Zhou Guanyu was the seventh fastest driver in the Sauber, with a 1:33.715 having driven 38 laps on the morning session, six more the Alpine’s Pierre Gasly who was eighth fastest, 0.89s behind the Chinese driver.

Both Zhou and Gasly will hand their cars over to teammates Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Ocon respectively for the afternoon running.

Nico Hulkenberg was ninth fastest in the Haas, and will relinquish his driving duties to Kevin Magnussen, while Yuki Tsunoda who drove the most laps, 40, was tenth and will hand over the VCARB 01 to Daniel Ricciardo later in the day.

The afternoon session will restart at 11:00am GMT / 14:00 local time for an extended five-hour session.

Morning session times and lap count