Alfa Romeo driver Guanyu Zhou caused a bit of a stir on the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain. A couple of tens of minutes before the end of the session, the Chinese driver showed the best time of the day, displacing Max Verstappen from the first row – 1.31.610. However, it is too early to talk about a mega sensation – Alfa Romeo at that time had the softest composition of C5 tires.
Aston Martin thinks of Drugovich, McLaren admits problems
Fernando Alonso worked the entire second day at the wheel of the AMR23. Aston Martin’s board took a day to think about what to do if Lance Stroll does not recover by March 3, when the first stage of the championship starts. Stroll’s condition is not exactly reported, but there is increasing talk in the paddock that the Canadian could miss the first race of the season. Then the question arises to replace it. The most incredible rumors were that Sebastian Vettel, who retired last year, would be called back for a race.
However, Drugovic remained at the team’s disposal. And the management decided to give him half of the third day of testing, which indicates the possibility that the Formula 2 champion will go to the first race of the season, and rumors about Vettel will remain, albeit beautiful, but rumors.
Alonso, on the other hand, completed 130 laps in one day and showed the third result of the day: 1.32.250 and with C3 tyres. Aston Martin’s management can be pleased with the winter work of the coaching staff.
But in Woking, everyone seems to be waiting for bugs to be fixed. McLaren boss Zack Brown acknowledged during a press conference that the MCL60 needs work and more time than expected to intervene in the lead fight. However, on Thursday Norris had the best – the fifth time of the day, and on Friday Piastri had the ninth time of the day – 1.33.175 (С3, 74 laps), Norris – 16 – 1.35.522 (С2, 65 laps) ).
Mercedes completed second day of testing ahead of schedule, at Ferrari without incident
Williams driver Logan Sargent covered the longest distance of the day at 154 laps. His fastest time, 1:32.549, is seventh overall. But he showed himself on C5 tires. Williams is trying to give as much opportunity as possible for the American rookie to quickly adjust to the pace of the race.
And we drive the bare minimum in a day in a Mercedes. And if Lewis Hamilton managed to complete 72 laps in the morning session, the 15th time of the day (1.33.954, C3), then George Russell’s day is down the drain. The young Brit was quicker than his eminent teammate-1.33.654, C3 tyres, 13th time of the day. But he only has 26 laps. Hydraulic problems in the W14 forced the Mercedes technicians to end the day early.
At Ferrari, the second day passed without incident. Sixth and eighth times of the day for Sainz and Leclerc, respectively, with C3 tyres. However, in the paddock it is becoming increasingly noticeable that the Scuderia cars have a clear problem with tire buildup and tire consumption.
Top 10 running backs from nine teams
According to the results of the day, the drivers of nine teams were among the top 10 (with the exception of Mercedes). Most teams used C3 tires, but Zhou and Sargent used C5 in their best attempts, and Haas’ Hulkenberg used C4.
The second day of testing gave a little more clarity about the alignment of forces of the teams, but nevertheless, one cannot but agree with the drivers, who all as one assured that everything is still ahead.
Top 10 of the second day of pre-season testing.
1. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo) – 1.31.610, С5 – 133 laps
2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 1.31.650 C3 – 47 laps
3. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) – 1.32.205, С3 – 130 laps
4. Nick de Vries (Alpha Tauri) – 1.32.222, C5 – 74 laps
5. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) – 1.32.466, C4 – 68 laps
6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 1.32.486, C3 – 70 laps
7. Logan Sargent (Williams) – 1.32.549, C5 – 154 laps
8. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 1.32.725, C3 – 68 laps
9. Oscar Piastri (McLaren) – 1:33.175, C3 – 74 laps
10. Pierre Gasly (Alpin) – 1.33.186, С3 – 59 laps