Bahrain test Day 2: Leclerc quickest in shortened morning session

© XPB 

Thursday’s morning session in Bahrain was cut short by an hour and 50 minutes after an apparent disturbed drain cover brought out the red flags.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc topped the disrupted session with a 1m31.750s that edged McLaren’s Oscar Piastri by 0.578s. However, the time was four-tenths short of benchmark lap time set by Max Verstappen on Day 1.

Teams were offered an early lunch break before the actions resumes at 2pm local time, with this afternoon’s running extended by an hour to make up for the lost track time.

Bahrain Pre-Season Test - Day 2, morning

1Charles LeclercFerrari1:31.750sC336
2Oscar PiastriMcLaren+0.578sC335
3Logan SargeantWilliams+0.828sC430
4Sergio PérezRed Bull+1.129sC320
5Fernando AlonsoAston Martin+1.303sC331
6Lewis HamiltonMercedes+1.475sC339
7Zhou GuanyuSauber+1.965sC338
8Pierre GaslyAlpine+2.054sC333
9Nico HülkenbergHaas+5.759sC331
10Yuki TsunodaRB+6.324sC240

Footage appeared to show Leclerc running over debris on the entry to Sakhir’s Turn 11, and then followed by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton which also threw up some debris while running over the kerb at the entry of the corner.

The incident triggered a red flag, while FIA race director Niels Wittich headed out on to the track to inspect the issue. It was then decided to abandon the session to allow track crews to undertake repair work and inspections.

Ferrari confirmed that Leclerc’s SF-24 had suffered minor damage to its floor.

Behind the Monegasque and McLaren’s Piastri, Williams charger Logan Sargeant set the third fastest lap onboard the team’s new FW46 which had encountered technical difficulties on Wednesday.

Sergio Perez sat fourth on the timesheet, over a second behind Leclerc, but the Mexican’s first morning was disrupted almost at the outset by a brake issue on Red Bull’s new RB20.

Max Verstappen is scheduled to take over from Perez this afternoon, but the latter’s limited mileage might compel Red Bull to change its run plans.

Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was fifth in the pecking order, trailing Leclerc's leading time by 1.3 seconds, while Hamilton was sixth, 1.475s adrift.

Zhou Guanyu in P7 added 38 laps to Sauber’s tally while Alpine’s Pierre Gasly stuck to the French outfit’s schedule from the previous day, circulating on the hard tire.

Alpine’s Pierre Gasly concluded his morning P8, the Frenchman heading Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg and VCARB’s Yuki Tsunoda who closed out the standings but accumulated the greatest number of laps with 40 tours under his belt.

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