FP2: Ferrari's Raikkonen and Vettel shine in the Bahrain night

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari SF71H. Bahrain Grand Prix FP1
© XPB 

Ferrari was on top form in the second free practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Kimi Raikkonen pipped his team mate Sebastian Vettel to Friday's honours by just over a hundredths of a second.

The Mercedes pair of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton were third and fourth fastest in the weekend's first run under the floodlights.

Max Verstappen bounced back from missing out FP1 to finish fifth fastest ahead of his Red Bull team mate Daniel Ricciardo, completing the Noah's Ark two-by-two team formation at the top of the timesheets.

Bahrain Grand Prix - Free Practice 2 results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:29.817s 32
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.828s + 0.011s 37
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:30.380s + 0.563s 31
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.472s + 0.655s 32
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:30.745s + 0.928s 32
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:30.751s + 0.934s 31
7 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:31.220s + 1.403s 34
8 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:31.232s + 1.415s 38
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:31.282s + 1.465s 29
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:31.422s + 1.605s 35
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:31.591s + 1.774s 33
12 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:31.601s + 1.784s 34
13 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:31.809s + 1.992s 31
14 Sergio Pérez Force India 1:31.868s + 2.051s 34
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:31.969s + 2.152s 35
16 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:32.372s + 2.555s 37
17 Lance Stroll Williams 1:32.382s + 2.565s 30
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:32.474s + 2.657s 37
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.733s + 2.916s 32
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:32.908s + 3.091s 38

The glaring light of day had coloured to the deep orange of dusk by the time that Formula 1 got back on track for the second 90-minute session at Bahrain International Circuit. The cooler conditions under floodlights for FP2 were much closer to those that teams will face in Saturday's qualifying and Sunday's race.

The Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were the first drivers to set lap times. The rest of the teams gradually roused themselves from their pit lane slumber. Kimi Raikkonen predictably claimed the early honours with a time of 1:30.689s, almost three seconds faster than anyone else in the first ten minutes.

Force India's Esteban Ocon soon shaved the gap to under two seconds, and the two Red Bulls then made further in-roads into the Finn's early advantage. However it wasn't until the Silver Arrows came out that Valtteri Bottas displaced his compatriot from the top spot with a lap of 1:30.447s.

His time at the top only lasted a few seconds before Sebastian Vettel went faster by four tenths on soft tyres. By comparison, Lewis Hamilton's opening effort was over a second slower than his title rival and only good enough for fifth. The Briton was still on the medium compound, and ended up running off at turn 1.

Max Verstappen also had a scrappy follow-up lap as he played catch-up having missed all of FP1 due to an electrical problem. While Hamilton immediately pitted, Verstappen asked his race engineer if he could stay out and run more laps to get used to the circuit.

Once Verstappen was done for the time being, Raikkonen returned to action having made the switch to supersofts. He immediately reclaimed the high ground with a time of 1:29.817s, albeit only two tenths faster than his team mate. Vettel's own supersoft run brought him back to within 0.011s of Raikkonen, while busier track conditions thwarted prospective fast runs from Bottas and Hamilton.

With their supersoft runs logged, teams settled into race distance simulations for the remainder of the session. Raikkonen's day ended early after the front right wheel on his car was improperly attached during a pit stop 15 minutes from the end. He was ordered to pull over and park the car as a safety precaution.

The top six on the timing screens didn't change. Renault's Nico Hulkenberg was the best of the rest in seventh ahead of Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly. The top ten was rounded out by the McLaren pairing of Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne.

There had been some excitement early in the session for Marcus Ericsson when the Sauber caught the kerb and was spun off into the gravel at turn 3. No harm was done and the Swede made his way back to pit lane to get the car checked out.

Midway through the session, Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin went for a spin into the run-off at the end of the back straight. Once again, there were no serious consequences. His team mate Lance Stroll had a minor scare of his own a few minutes later when he ran wide and his FW41 straddled the kerb.

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