VALTTERI Bottas kept Mercedes in first place as the second day of Formula 1 in-season testing came to an end this evening at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
A day after Lewis Hamilton set the pace, Bottas took over his team’s driving duties and registered the day’s fastest lap of one minute 31.280 seconds. He not only was the quickest for the day, but was also the busiest, as he tested for 143 laps.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished right behind 0.294 seconds off the pace, while Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso was ranked third after going 0.604s slower.
Stoffel Vandoorne steered his McLaren to fourth on the timesheet with a best lap 0.828s behind Bottas’s fastest mark.
Kevin Magnussen (+0.840s) for Haas followed in fifth while Esteban Ocon (+0.862) of Force India rounded out the top six.
Ranked seventh through 12th, respectively, were Daniil Kvuat (+0.933s) of Toro Rosso, Gary Paffett (+0.973s) of Williams, Sergey Sirotkin (+1.007s) of Renault, Pierre Gasly (+1.288s) of Red Bull, Pascal Wehrlein (+3.182s) of Sauber and Sergio Perez (+3.735s) of Force India.
The two-day BIC test marked the first of two in-season sessions this Formula 1 season. The other is scheduled for August 1 and 2.
According to FIA regulations, from 10 days before the start of the season to the end of the calendar year, the teams are permitted to take part in two team tests of no more than two consecutive days at circuits where an event has just taken place.
These tests must commence no less than 36 hours after the end of said event.
Silverstone was initially lined up to host the second in-season group test, as in 2016, but this was switched to the Hungaroring, the final action before the sport’s summer break.
The in-season test in Bahrain will also help assist Formula 1 tyre suppliers Pirelli with warm weather tyre development.