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F1 Testing | Ferrari lead the way as McLaren battle brake temperature issues

As the second day of official Formula 1 testing draws to a close, the running order remains a mystery, with Ferrari seemingly leading the way on pace and drivability while the teams battle continued porpoising and brake locking issues

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F1 Testing | Ferrari lead the way as McLaren battle brake temperature issues
Fuente imagen: Hasan Bratic - Motorlat

Morning Session

Alpine    Ocon 1:34.276 59 laps
Ferrari Leclerc 1:34.366 (+0.090) 54 laps
Red Bull  Verstappen  1:35.874 (+1.598) 45 laps
Aston Martin Vettel 1:36.020 (+1.744)  46 laps
Mclaren Norris  1:36.354 (+2.078) 29 laps
AlphaTauri Tsunoda 1:36.802 (+2.526) 44 laps
Alfa Romeo Bottas 1:36.987 (+2.711) 25 laps
Haas  Schumacher 1:37.846 (+3.570)  23 laps
Mercedes Russell 1:38.585 (+4.309) 67 laps
Williams Latifi 1:39.845 (+5.569) 12 laps

Friday’s morning session at the Bahrain circuit got off to a quiet start with only Norris, Russell and Tsunoda hitting the track early. Norris, still running in place of an unwell Daniel Ricciardo, set the initial time to beat with a 1:38.543 before the Ferrari at the hands of Charles Leclerc took the top spot.

As was the case yesterday, front locking proved to be a common issue up and down the grid, with turns 1 and 10 catching out many drivers, Max Verstappen for example went straight on at turn 1 early in the session.

The session ran relatively smoothly with only three cars suffering on track incidents, Latifi’s Williams, Vettel’s Aston Martin and Bottas’ Alfa Romeo. The incident involving Latifi saw the rear brakes of his FW44 catch fire leaving him stranded on track and bringing running to a halt under red flag. Unfortunately for the team, this was the end of their morning session with only 12 laps completed.

Alpine topped the morning time sheets, sporting their full pink livery, with Esteban Ocon at the wheel. The Frenchman had an uneventful morning with his A522 running smoothly, racking up 59 laps, only behind George Russell and Mercedes in terms of lap count. Their solid pace and reliability are a positive sign after their running in Barcelona failed to set anything other than the car alight.

Russell in the Mercedes, sporting it’s controversial sidepod design, managed an impressive 67 laps despite only managing a time good enough for P9. However, this may not be cause for alarm as the team have a history of not showing their true pace during testing. Their reliability contradicts their lack of outright pace indicating they are potentially more competitive than they are letting.

Haas and McLaren are two teams who had their running compromised by car issues. McLaren saw their brake issues from yesterday return, limiting them to 29 laps, and only completing 6 laps in the opening 90 minutes. An exhaust issue saw Mick Schumacher only manage 23 laps as Haas cut their running short, not ideal as the team waited almost an hour before getting on track at the start of the session. 

Closer to the front of the pack Ferrari and Charles Leclerc once again managed to occupy the top spots with a solid time good enough for P2 as well as a reasonable lap count. The Italian powerhouse has been quietly confident leading many to believe they could be a serious championship contender in 2022, an opinion which has only been backed up by their testing performances thus far.

A slow motion camera shot may have inadvertently revealed a problem with the Ferrari design however, as the floor of the red car could be seen violently oscillating as Leclerc suffered a lockup at turn 10.

Meanwhile, drivers’ champion Verstappen flew relatively under the radar, putting his Red Bull in p3, just over 1.5 seconds off the top spot, albeit on harder tyres than those around him. The young Dutchman is clearly confident in the team as he signed a surprise contract extension only a few weeks ago.

Aston Martin and Sebastian Vettel had a mixed session, managing a solid time and lap count, but suffering a failure on track less than an hour from the end which ultimately brought their session to an early end. Vettel stopped on track following a launch from the pitlane. Once the car was returned to the team they got back on track only to have their running curtailed by an FIA systems test of the red flag procedure 15 minutes from the end of the session.

Bottas in the Alfa Romeo also suffered a stop on track just moments from the end of the session, the subsequent red flag saw the session brought to an early end. The Finnish driver was unlucky to only manage 25 laps as the teams’ testing woes continued.

AlphaTauri with Yuki Tsunoda at the helm were a team to watch, following teammate Gasly’s impressive pace yesterday evening. The young Japanese driver seemed to focus on long run pace however, managing a good lap count and reasonable lap time good enough for P6.

Afternoon Session

Combined session times

Ferrari Sainz 1:33.535 60 laps
Red Bull Verstappen 1:34.011 (+0.479)  86 laps
Aston Martin Stroll 1:34.064 (+0.532) 70 laps
Mercedes Hamilton 1:34.141 (+0.609) 47 laps
Alpine Ocon 1:34.276 (+0.744) 111 laps
Ferrari Leclerc 1:34.366 (+0.834) 54 laps
Haas Magnussen  1:34.437 (+0.905)* 39 laps
McLaren Norris  1:34.609 (+1.077) 60 laps
Aston Martin Vettel 1:36.020 (+2.488)  46 laps
AlphaTauri Tsunoda 1:36.802 (+3.270) 120 laps
Alfa Romeo Bottas 1:36.987 (+3.455) 25 laps
Haas  Schumacher 1:37.846 (+4.314) 23 laps
Mercedes  Russell 1:38.585 (+5.053) 67 laps
Williams Latifi 1:39.845 (+6.313) 12 laps
Alfa Romeo Zhou  1:39.984 (+6.452) 48 laps

*Magnussen's position accurate at time of writing

Much like the morning session, the afternoon session of the second day of testing in Bahrain was relatively smooth sailing for most with a few exceptions. A loss of power for Esteban Ocon midway through the session brought out a brief red flag and brought the Frenchman’s day to an early end.

Later in the day Norris, still filling in for an unwell Ricciardo, stopped his McLaren immediately after exiting the pitlane once again bringing out a short red flag, the McLaren driver was back in the car and back on track shortly after however as the team were able to recover the car quickly. It was another difficult session in general for the Woking based team however, as they continued to battle brake issues which prevented them from getting much meaningful running.

After a slow start which saw Yuki Tsunoda make the most of a mostly empty track, Ferrari and Aston Martin jumped to the top of the timesheets at the hands of Sainz and Stroll respectively. Sainz managed to cling onto the top spot while Stroll eventually dropped to P3.

Williams’ woes continued as the team failed to get Nicholas Latifi out on track for the afternoon session following his fiery finish in the morning. The team finished the day second slowest with only 12 total laps on the board.

Lance Stroll’s performance was particularly noteworthy with the Aston Martin driver managing a P3 time in a car which has so far appeared difficult to drive. The Canadian also managed to complete a mammoth 70 laps in the afternoon, brining the teams total for the day to 116, a good sign in terms of reliability.

Slowest of the day was rookie Guanyu Zhou in the Alfa Romeo, however the chinese driver did manage to rack up 48 laps in the afternoon session, substantially more than his teammate managed in the morning giving the team some much needed data on the car.

Up and down the grid issues with front locking, especially at turns 1 and 10, and bobbing on the straights continued to plague the drivers, with many such as Tsunoda often seen off track. The AlphaTauri driver did however manage an impressive 120 laps between the two sessions, proving the cars reliability.

Elsewhere, returning hero Kevin Magnussen had his very first taste of 2022 Formula 1 machinery as he got behind the wheel of the Haas. The danish driver showed his skill as he quickly adapted to the new car and put in a time good enough for P7, and a lap count of 39 valuable laps (prior to the teams additional running) for the team who have had a difficult test so far.

Mercedes and Red Bull continued to have a somewhat muted test, the two rivals from last year not quite troubling the top spot in the timings but quietly getting on with their test programmes. Mercedes managed 114 laps between their two drivers, with Hamilton completing 47 in the afternoon on his way to a P4 time. Red Bull meanwhile had Verstappen working double shifts as the Dutchman put in a total 86 laps between the two sessions.

The session, much like the morning, ended with an FIA system test of it’s red flag procedures. Afterwards the Haas team continued for an additional hour, as they worked to catch up on the time they lost yesterday due to their freight issues. 

Testing continues into its final day tomorrow, ahead of the season opener in Bahrain next weekend.

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