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Formula 1

Second day of 2024 F1 testing halted in Bahrain - all you need to know

by Jack Benyon
3 min read

The morning session of Formula 1’s pre-season testing in Bahrain finished over an hour early after an issue with a drain cover, while Charles Leclerc went quickest for Ferrari.

Key moments

  • Leclerc quickest
  • Hamilton and Leclerc disturbed Turn 11 drain cover/kerbing
  • Around 16 people, some with hammers, grinders and welders, try to fix track

With just under an hour and 50 minutes remaining in the session, TV pictures showed Lewis Hamilton disturbing the entry kerb on the outside of the track and debris was thrown into the air.

Another replay showed Leclerc hitting the same piece of kerb and more debris was loosened, and it caused damage to Leclerc's floor. His Ferrari team will repair that before the afternoon running.

The red flag was called for a track inspection and a plain-clothed member of the track team kicked at the drain in question, and steadily more and more people arrived to help with the effort.

Over 30 minutes into the delay and with an hour and 10 minutes remaining, the session was ended.

Thursday was the first chance for Sergio Perez to get behind the wheel of Red Bull’s aggressive car evolution, but unlike Max Verstappen’s flawless Wednesday, Perez immediately hit trouble.

Credit: Diego Mejia

A brake fire on the front right of the car halted his early running, and most of the rest of the morning was spent doing very short almost exclusively restricted to two laps.

He did eventually get a run on mediums and went fourth quickest, but ended this session with only 20 laps complete compared to Verstappen getting over 60 yesterday morning.

That paved the way for a non-Red Bull session-topper and Leclerc did not disappoint.

He didn’t appear to get as many push laps as Max Verstappen on the first day of testing but while Perez remained mostly confined to the hard tyre for the morning, Leclerc was able to rip off three lap-bursts on the medium tyre and was just over three tenths off Verstappen’s Wednesday benchmark with a 1m31.750.

Oscar Piastri did a number of out-and-in laps for McLaren but finall delivered a number of times good enough for second, the best 0.578s adrift of Leclerc for McLaren. He’ll hand over to Lando Norris, who was the quicker of the two yesterday, for the afternoon.

Logan Sargeant stayed in the Williams following his afternoon running yesterday.

After a fuel issue curtailed Wednesday’s running, Sargeant got to run on a mixture of tyres and his soft-shod run helped him deliver the third fastest time, considerably quicker than his own Williams benchmark from yesterday by 1.304s.

Behind Perez in fourth, Fernando Alonso had a lower-key Thursday after his session-topping 77 laps yesterday, and he was ahead of Hamilton in the Mercedes who will not be happy with this delay impacting what should have been a full day of running in the car.

Hamilton and Sargeant are the only drivers scheduled to stay in their respective cars this afternoon.

Zhou Guanyu was seventh, the last car inside two seconds of Leclerc’s benchmark, while Pierre Gasly’s Alpine looked a handful on the hard tyres, his medium tyre run was good enough for eighth.

Nico Hulkenberg and Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the top 10, with Tsunoda complaining of gusty wind but delivering the most laps in the session with 40, albeit over six seconds off Leclerc's pace.

The afternoon session will now start at 2pm local time and run until 7pm, effectively absorbing the final hour of the morning.

Thursday morning times

1 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1m31.750s, C3 tyre, 36 laps
2 Oscar Piastri (McLaren) +0.578s, C3, 35 laps
3 Logan Sargeant (Williams) +0.828s, C4, 30 laps
4 Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +1.129s, C3, 20 laps
5 Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) +1.303s, C3, 31 laps
6 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.475s, C3, 39 laps
7 Zhou Guanyu (Stake) +1.965s, C3, 38 laps
8 Pierre Gasly (Alpine) +2.054s, C3, 33 laps
9 Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) +5.759s, C3, 31 laps
10 Yuki Tsunoda (RB) +6.324s, C2, 40 laps

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