Pre-season testing 2 – Pierre Gasly ended the first day of Bahrain testing on top, almost half a second faster than the Ferraris.
It was a quiet start to the afternoon with no cars on track for nearly ten minutes before Pietro Fittipaldi took the freshly liveried Haas VF-22 out for its debut appearance on the Bahrain track. After missing the morning running, Chris Medland reported that the team had asked to be allowed to run on Sunday so they could make up the missed time. However, after three teams objected to that, it appears that they will instead be able to continue on-track for an additional two hours after the official end time on both Friday and Saturday.
Update on this: Haas was denied running on Sunday after three teams objected, but is now allowed to make up the time across each evening of the three days of the test.
— Chris Medland (@ChrisMedlandF1) March 10, 2022
Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon and Sergio Perez remained in their cars for the full day, while George Russell, Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas were out for the sunset session. With Daniel Ricciardo feeling unwell today not only did he miss time in the car but also the official photo sessions.
The first red flag of the Bahrain test came around 45 minutes into the afternoon session when Stroll’s aero rake got dislodged and was stuck against the tyres before one fell off completely, which was the reason for the stoppage.
Russell made his first appearance after an hour of the session had passed, the British driver’s car had been in pieces in the Mercedes garage after lunch but seemed to be doing fine once it got going.
While Albon was racking up the laps on track, it was not a problem free afternoon as the Williams spent a good bit of time in the garage as the Williams mechanics looked into what was thought to be a steering issue.
Charles Leclerc’s time from the morning had held the top of the charts until just inside the final hour when Gasly, who had set the slowest time in the earlier session, put AlphaTauri on into P1 with a 1:34.010. The Frenchman then shaved more time off that in the final half hour with a 1:33.902.
There was some fierce battling between Aston Martin’s Stroll and Alpine’s Alonso in the last part of the day with the two showing some great side-by-side and overtaking action as they fought over track position.
After only 21 laps in the morning, McLaren managed just a bit more than that during the afternoon as they struggled with brake issues leading Norris to spend a lot of time in the run-off areas.
The session then ended a few minutes early after Perez spun on track and as he was recovering, the rear of the car rolled into a gravel trap, stranding the Red Bull where it was.
Sainz ended the day P2 after setting a time half a second slower than Gasly, but nearly two tenths faster than his teammate managed in the morning. Despite his gravelly ending, it was a good day for Perez as he was on track for a total of 138 laps, much more than any of the others. While Alonso did just set a faster time than his teammate, he only got to set 24 laps as the Alpine spent most of its time in the garage being worked on.