until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Everything that happened on day two of F1 testing

by Jack Cozens
3 min read

Carlos Sainz put Ferrari on top on the second day of 2024 Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain with a new fastest time of the week.

Key moments

  • Ferrari 0.7s up on Red Bull with tyre offset
  • Norris's running restricted
  • Perez, Hamilton and Sargeant all clear 100 laps

Sainz's best lap, a 1m29.921s, ensured the Ferrari stayed on top after team-mate Charles Leclerc headed the truncated morning session in the SF-24.

But his 0.758-second advantage over Sergio Perez's Red Bull was not quite as it appeared, as Perez's best time of 1m30.679s - set in the final five minutes of conventional running - was set on the mid-range C3 tyre, one step harder than the C4 used by Sainz.

Perez was only due to be in the car in the morning session but he had only completed 20 laps by its conclusion, a consequence of that running ending early while a loose drain cover was repaired and time lost after his first installation laps when his right-front brake caught fire.

Red Bull therefore adjusted its plan and gave him the full day in the RB20, with Perez adding a far more convincing 109 laps to his tally in the extended five-hour afternoon session.

Ferrari also made a slight adjustment to its plan, giving Leclerc - who dislodged the drain cover in the morning session - an extra half hour in the car before he handed over to Sainz, who completed 84 laps.

Like Perez, Lewis Hamilton spent the entire day in the Mercedes. He ended up third fastest, four tenths behind the Red Bull on the same compound of tyre.

Hamilton, who also cleared the 100-lap marker, attempted one final qualifying simulation on the C3 tyre late on in the session but ran wide exiting the Turn 13 right-hander that leads onto the back straight, meaning a personal best in sector two ultimately counted for nothing.

Lando Norris was limited to just 52 laps in the afternoon session but did return to the cockpit of the McLaren for the final part of the session after the team investigated a fuel system issue.

He ended up fourth-fastest, two tenths behind Hamilton and one tenth up on former team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was the fifth and final driver to beat Leclerc's morning benchmark.

That Ricciardo effort was set on the softer C4 compound towards the end of the session but although that 1.4s gap to Sainz looked solid if unspectacular, the pace of the RB on long-run simulations using the mid-range C3 - which will be the soft tyre at next weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix season opener - appeared impressive.

Lance Stroll was seventh fastest for Aston Martin with the Alpine of Esteban Ocon, who spent much of the afternoon running on the harder C1 compound, eighth after an improvement on the C3 later in the session.

Valtteri Bottas (Sauber) was ninth ahead of Oscar Piastri.

Williams's Logan Sargeant was the third driver to spend all of the second day in the car and clocked 117 laps, setting the 11th-fastest time.

The final 15 minutes of running was dedicated to checks of the FIA procedures.

Thursday test times

1 Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 1m29.921s, C4, 84 laps
2 Sergio Perez (Red Bull) +0.758s, C3, 129 laps
3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +1.145s, C3, 123 laps
4 Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.335s, C3, 52 laps
5 Daniel Ricciardo (RB) +1.490s, C4, 88 laps
6 Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1.829s, C3, 54 laps
7 Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) +2.108s, C3, 96 laps
8 Esteban Ocon (Alpine) +2.140s, C3, 78 laps
9 Valtteri Bottas (Sauber) +2.306s, C3, 97 laps
10 Oscar Piastri (McLaren) +2.407s, C3, 35 laps
11 Logan Sargeant (Williams) +2.657s, C4, 117 laps
12 Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) +3.132s, C3, 31 laps
13 Zhou Guanyu (Sauber) +3.794s, C3, 38 laps
14 Pierre Gasly (Alpine) +3.883s, C3, 33 laps
15 Kevin Magnussen (Haas) +6.690s, C3, 93 laps
16 Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) +7.588s, C3, 31 laps
17 Yuki Tsunoda (RB) +8.153s, C2, 40 laps

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