George Russell set the fastest lap yesterday on the second and final day of Formula 1 in-season testing at Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) in Sakhir.
The 21-year-old British rookie showed his true potential following his early season struggles with his full-time Formula 1 team Williams. He was testing yesterday in the W10 car of reigning constructors’ World champions Mercedes. Russell was previously a Mercedes junior driver before joining Williams.
Following a rain-hit first test day on Tuesday that caused multiple delays, the drivers and teams enjoyed clear and sunny skies the entire day to register plenty of uninterrupted running.
Russell made the most of his day’s opportunity by setting a best lap time of 1m 29.029s. He had his quickest lap with just under 10 minutes to go in the afternoon session, while completing a total of 101 laps for the entire day.
“Timings don’t mean a lot in testing; however, it’s always a special experience to be on top of the timesheets,” said Russell. “We had a very productive day today, the team learned a lot of things to help them progress.
“Driving a different car than usual, I personally also learned a lot which I can take back to further improve my driving.”
A majority of the field were doing long runs and race simulations yesterday, allowing many to rack up the laps.
Russell was marginally quicker than Sergio Perez of Racing Point, who had a best lap time of 1m 29.095s. The Mexican completed 61 laps as he participated in only the afternoon session of testing.
Sebastian Vettel continued Ferrari’s strong showing at BIC with a lap of 1m 29.319s while completing 103 laps for the day.
Carlos Sainz put McLaren fourth on the timesheet with a best lap of 1m 29.795s in 21 laps during the afternoon. He had earlier started the day in the team’s Pirelli tyre test car, in which he had the 16th best time. The Spaniard then tested in McLaren’s regular car in the final 70 minutes of the afternoon session.
Following Sainz in fifth and seventh, respectively, were the Toro Rosso pair of Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon. Kvyat was running in the team’s Pirelli tyre test car and he had a fastest time of 1m 29.911s in 111 laps of work. Albon’s best was 1m 30.037s with a massive 143 laps completed, the most for any driver yesterday, in Toro Rosso’s regular car.
Sandwiched between them was Mick Schumacher, who continued his impressive debut days in a Formula 1 cockpit by clocking a lap of 1m 29.998s. He tested yesterday in an Alfa Romeo Racing challenger, before running with Ferrari on Tuesday when he went second-fastest on the times. The youngster went for 70 laps yesterday in his Alfa Romeo.
Lance Stroll had the eighth-best time of 1m 30.049s. He began the day in the Racing Point car before handing over the duties to teammate Perez.
Dan Ticktum of Red Bull Racing was ninth with a 1m 30.856s time and 135 laps, the second most mileage for yesterday.
Romain Grosjean in the Haas car rounded out the top 10 with a best lap pf 1m 30.903s and 87 laps of work in the afternoon session. Grosjean stepped in to test after Haas test driver Pietro Fittipaldi participated in the morning session, during which he had the day’s 12th best time of 1m 31.209s with 48 laps.
Fernando Alonso was classified between the Hass dup in 11th. Alonso had a best time of 1m 31.006s in the McLaren Pirelli tyre test car, in which he completed 69 laps.
Lando Norris clocked the 13th best time before Sainz took over for him late on in the regular McLaren. Jack Aitken was 14th in the Renault challenger, while Nicholas Latifi was classified 15th in the Williams car. Both Aitken and Latifi tested the entire day, completing 103 and 100 laps, respectively.