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Vettel quickest but Ferrari reliability problems persist – FP2 Report

Bahrain Grand Prix – Sebastian Vettel was quickest in the evening practice session but Ferrari’s reliability problems continued.

After Kimi Raikkonen suffered an overheating turbo in FP1, it was Vettel’s turn to be hit with bad luck as his car shutdown at Turn 13 halfway through the session.

The German was just about able to bring the car back to the pits with the aid of the marshals, allowing Ferrari to identify and fix the problem and send him back out for the race runs.

The top three in the session consisted of three different manufacturers split by less than a tenth of a second, with Valtteri Bottas second fastest by just 0.041s and Daniel Ricciardo third, 0.066s off Vettel’s pace.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who was unable to put in a representative supersoft tyre qualifying run. He abandoned his first attempt after running wide at Turn 1, and was then blocked by Nico Hulkenberg at Turn 9 on his second lap in an incident that will be investigated by the stewards after the session for dangerous driving.

The Renault driver showed strong pace during the session, finishing sixth fastest and only half a second off the ultimate pace, ahead of Felipe Massa.

Max Verstappen was pushing the limits of the track at the final two corners, ultimately running wide at Turn 15 on his fastest lap which saw him just eighth fastest. He was delayed in completing his race runs as he needed work doing to the floor and rear of his Red Bull. The team believe that damage was caused by Bottas’ T-wing which flew off during the session for the second weekend in a row.

Romain Grosjean put his Haas inside the top ten, with Daniil Kvyat splitting the Frenchman and his team mate Kevin Magnussen.

The Dane, Esteban Ocon, Jolyon Palmer and Fernando Alonso were split by just four hundredths of a second.

Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll struggled in 15th and 16th respectively, ahead of Marcus Ericsson.

Team mate Pascal Wehrlein was 19th as he reacclimatises to the car having returned after recovering from the back injury he suffered at the Race of Champions in January. The German was hindered by a suspension issue that saw his front wheel lifting into the air at some corners.

Carlos Sainz Jr. had an engine problem, prompting the Spaniard to pull off at Turn 11 as smoke poured out the back of his Toro Rosso. He missed out on race preparation in what is the only truly representative practice session of the weekend, which could be costly in the tight midfield battle.

Stoffel Vandoorne missed half of the session as McLaren changed his power unit after an MGU-H issue in FP1. Further engine troubles were lurking in the background, however. The Belgian was 20th and last in the session.

Click here to see the results from FP2.

About Chris Stevens

Chris is one of the graduates of a new blogging era of journalism. Moving from that to fully blown websites, covering Formula One and Formula E, has seen him become an FIA accredited journalist. He also podcasts with various websites and recently was accepted onto the Autosport junior programme.

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