See how the second day of 2021 Testing unfolded

Date published: March 13 2021

Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Testing

The curtain has come down on the second day of F1 pre-season testing in 2021. See how things panned out in Bahrain…

Main headlines: Another Mercedes-powered car in the form of Aston Martin suffers gearbox problems; Hamilton red flags morning session after spinning and getting stuck in the gravel trap; Another Red Flag comes out in the afternoon after Perez’s engine cover falls apart on-track; In the hands of Bottas, the W12 tops the timesheets for the first time this year

Day Two timesheet

Timesheet: 1. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:30.289, 58 laps, C5 tyres; 2. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, +0.124, 87 laps, C5 tyres; 3. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, +0.171, 71 laps, C5 tyres; 4. Lando Norris, McLaren, +0.297, 52 laps, C4 tyres; 5. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, +0.471, 125 laps, C5 tyres; 6. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, +0.597, 73 laps, C5 tyres; 7. Nicholas Latifi, Williams, +1.383, 132 laps, C4 tyres; 8. Sergio Perez, Red Bull, +1.393, 117 laps, C2 tyres; 9. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, +1.926, 52 laps, C3 tyres; 10. Fernando Alonso, Alpine, +2.050, 128 laps, C2 tyres; 11. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, +2.395, 57 laps, C4 tyres; 12. Mick Schumacher, Haas, +2.594, 88 laps, C4 tyres; 13. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, +2.783, 56 laps, C3 tyres; 14. Nikita Mazepin, Haas, +2.812, 76 laps, C4 tyres; 15. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +3.110, 58 laps, C2 tyres; 16. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, +8.560, 10 laps, Test tyres

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Live updates (local time):

1908; We’ll be here covering everything that happens from 10:00 local time, so we’ll see you then. Thanks for joining us today, and enjoy your evening.

1904: So, we’re now two-thirds of the way through pre-season testing, and there’s plenty to talk about. We can hold off on jumping to conclusions for another 24 hours though, because we have one final day of action tomorrow.

1858: Day 2 is done and dusted. Stroll improved late on to take P3 from Norris, and that proved to be the last improvement of the session.

1854: Interestingly, Checo has only done 16 laps today on a tyre other than hards, with those coming on mediums. Long runs clearly the priority for him.

1850: You can’t help but think that Perez would want to get a quick lap in before the end of the session. He’s currently in P8, almost a second down on Leclerc in P6.

1844: For what it’s worth, Bottas did his best lap on the softest compound available; Gasly was on mediums for his.

1840: Bottas takes Mercedes to the top of the timing sheets for the first time in 2021 with a 1:30.289. Well, crisis over. Probably.

1837: Much like yesterday, Aston martin have left it late to show some pace, with Stroll now moving up to P4. 20 minutes to go.

1835: Alonso hasn’t done too many quick laps this afternoon, but it’s been an excellent day back for him nonetheless. 118 laps with no issues. After well over 200 laps in total, that Alpine is looking bulletproof so far.

1831: The W12 is starting to come to life… Bottas goes P2, 0.047s slower than Gasly, with the soft tyre fitted.

1829: Leclerc goes just ahead of the Finn after putting in a decent time on softs.

1824: Bottas improves marginally, but stays in P4.

1815: The damage to Perez’s car has been fixed and he’s back out there on hard tyres.

1813: It’s Gasly though who knocks Norris off top spot, going just over a tenth faster.

1812: Bottas is heading out on fresh softs…

1802: With just under an hour to go, the times continue to drop. Norris and Gasly are both on C4 softs and the former has just gone purple with a 1:30.586. That’s the fastest time of testing so far.

1755: Bottas has just done Mercedes’s fastest time of testing so far, by quite some way. He goes P4 with a 1:31.3 on the prototype tyre.

1749: Straight away Giovinazzi takes back top spot before Gasly goes even faster with a 1:30.825.

1747: We’re back underway.

1743: That was a strange, strange incident. Still, testing is for discovering these kinds of things.

1740: Red Flag! There’s debris on the pit-straight courtesy of Perez whose engine cover seemed to fall apart as the wind hit it after he pulled out from behind the Williams of Latifi.

1737: Norris’s time is 0.6s slower than the fastest lap set yesterday courtesy of Verstappen. Will anyone get closer to the Dutchman in the final 80 minutes? Perez might fancy a go…

1733: After a long run, Gasly has set a quick time himself, going 0.3s slower than Perez.

1728: On the C2 hard tyre, Perez has set a personal best, jumping ahead of Ricciardo to take P3.

1724: Giovinazzi is the first driver today to hit 100 laps. He’s had a very tidy pre-season testing so far.

1708: Fast laps are like London buses, you wait two hours for one and then two come along at once… Giovinazzi goes top briefly before Norris does a lap 0.2s faster. Both are on softs.

1700: Maybe an unpopular opinion, but that Williams is starting to grow on me…

1656: He does! It’s not the most exciting move, but it’s a move nonetheless. God, I miss racing.

1654: Gasly is currently stuck behind Latifi on a long run and looks eager to pass. Go on Pierre, give us an overtake.

1644: Norris finally does his first flying lap of the day and, on mediums, goes straight to P13. Judging by that pace, he’s on a longer run, although it wasn’t the tidiest of laps.

1643: Schumacher has softs on and does a personal best to jump up to P7.

1637: Norris has yet to set a time today, but is heading out now. His team-mate currently tops the timesheet.

1630: He does a 1:33.581, marginally improving to move up to P11.

1628: The Mercedes has now left the pits again on the hard tyre.

1625: Long runs galore at the moment. Well, except for Bottas, who for some reason has yet to return to the track.

1619: Martin Brundle, who has been trackside for all of testing so far, says that those in the Red Bulls, McLarens and AlphaTauris look the most comfortable in their cars. Interesting…

1616: Giovinazzi, on mediums, has moved up to P4, under three tenths off of Ricciardo’s benchmark.

1613: Not too much happening in the way of lap times at the moment. Gasly is back out on a longer run, presumably as the second part of a race simulation.

1603: Leclerc and Gasly have both headed in after doing around 20 laps on hard tyres. The AlphaTauri driver had much better pace than the Ferrari man on average. Make of that what you will.

1602: The Finn still manages to go P12 before diving back into the pits.

1600: On his first flying lap, Bottas understeers and goes wide…

1558: Giovinazzi moves into the top 10, just above Hamilton, with a 1:33.145.

1555: Given Mercedes’s struggles so far in testing, you would have thought Bottas would be heading out ASAP, but he’s only leaving the garage now…

1542: Gasly and Perez both look to be on longer runs, while Schumacher and Norris are running mediums and setting faster times.

1535: Perez has headed to join them. He too is on hards.

1531: The Canadian and Gasly are the only ones on-track at the moment. The AlphaTauri man is on hard tyres.

1528: Latifi went P4 this morning on the softest compound and is running them again now.

1523: Leclerc is in P12 after his first few laps. Meanwhile, Alonso, who currently has the second-fastest time of the day, is heading out.

1516: With his first lap of the day, Mick Schumacher goes P9. The German only got 15 laps in yesterday due to an issue with his Haas, so will want to make up for that today.

1513: Perez, Giovinazzi, Latifi and Alonso remain from this morning. Every other team has their other driver at the wheel for this session.

1510: Unlike this time yesterday, a sandstorm hasn’t shown up and cars are getting out immediately. Charles Leclerc is the first man out.

1505: Hello and welcome back to live coverage of Day Two of pre-season testing.

Morning session:

1400: And that’s lunch. Ricciardo, just like he did after Friday’s first session, finds himself top of the timesheet before he hands the car over to Lando Norris this afternoon. Alonso and Perez round off the top three. Join us again in one hour for the afternoon session. We’re officially at the halfway stage!

1355: The red flags are waving again, but that’s because the FIA are performing some Safety Car protocols in the final five minutes. The drivers will be able to head back out after though for a practice start on the grid, if they wish.

1352: And Vettel has made it out again before the lunch break after the lengthy, lengthy delay due to a gearbox problem. He’s got eight minutes to add to his currently lap tally of six.

1348: A bit of a moment for Mazepin as he tries to slipstream his way past Giovinazzi only to pull out of the move and lose the rear of the Haas car. The first race is in two weeks, Nikita.

1340: There’s a chance we will see Vettel on track again before the end of the first session after a lengthy delay in the garage due to a gearbox issue. Signs of movement from Aston Martin.

1326: An update on today’s lap charts:

Haas, 55 laps
Alfa Romeo, 54 laps
AlphaTauri, 54 laps
Alpine, 51 laps
Mercedes, 47 laps
McLaren, 45 laps
Williams, 44 laps
Ferrari, 43 laps
Red Bull, 39 laps
Aston Martin, 6 laps

1314: Now it’s Perez’s turn to move to P3, 0.263s off the pace. He’s had a few little moments in the RB16B but is having a pretty nice time of it in his debut showing for Red Bull. He’s nearing the 40 lap-mark as we head towards the lunch break.

1304: Latifi moves up inside the top three after a run on the softest tyres available, the C5. He’s three tenths off Ricciardo’s 1:32.215.

1302: That almost didn’t last long as Mazepin nearly went into the back of Hamilton. Didn’t appear like Hamilton was aware of the Russian’s presence and could have done with a bit of a heads up over team radio.

1300: The Mercedes W12 has been given a clean down and a check over, and Hamilton is now back out on track for what he hopes will be the full final hour of the morning session.

1250: No more major dramas since Hamilton’s off, although Tsunoda has just kicked up a ton of sand after going wide at Turn 11.

1230: The session is back underway but there is no immediate rush from the teams to get back out there. Mazepin, in fact, has the track to himself at the moment.

1225: The black covers are around the W12 and it is being lifted onto the recovery truck. More precious track time lost for Mercedes.

1221: Hamilton had completed 35 laps up until that point. He’s out of the car and on his way back to the garage. Shouldn’t be too long before we are back underway.

1218: Red flag! Lewis Hamilton has become beached in the sand trap at Turn 13 and needs some assistance getting back on track. Certainly an increase in the number of the spins in the last 30 minutes or so!

1208: Nicholas Latifi has come to a complete stop at Turn 7/8 after a similar slide to what Sainz experienced a few minutes ago. He’s able to get going again but has completely shredded his tyres.

1201: A nervy moment for Sainz as he goes on a big slide off the track when trying to navigate his way through the middle sector. No damage to the car, though, apart from some pretty ruined medium tyres.

1150: Hmm, maybe Aston Martin aren’t over their early morning technical gremlins after all. Another Mercedes-powered car with gearbox issues…

1144: Ricciardo’s time at the top didn’t last particularly long as Alonso has retaken P1 with a 1:32.339 on the C2 tyres. Karun Chandhok, reporting from trackside, described the Spaniard as “metronomic” when watching him on one of his longer runs. It’s like he has never been away…

1139: A new pace-setter and it’s Ricciardo who knocks Alonso off top spot with a 1:32.598 on the medium tyres. Meanwhile, Aston Martin say the reason for Vettel’s quiet start was because of a “small electrical issue”. All looks to be ok now, though.

1135: A new personal best for Hamilton who is now up to 27 timed laps for the day so far. He moves up to P4.

1120: Ricciardo, Giovinazzi and Vettel are all on the timesheet now, slotting into P5, P9 and P10 respectively. We still haven’t fully recovered from the latter having an argument with Ted Kravitz on Friday over a piece of cheese. That particular conversation is here in all its glory.

1111: Movement at the top of the leaderboard and Alonso is now P1 after setting new fastest times in the first and third sectors. He goes three tenths clear of Sainz and was on the harder C2 compound.

1100: Well that was a very calm and serene first hour. The most notable storyline so far is Mercedes have made a much better start compared to yesterday, with Hamilton up to 13 laps compared to Bottas’ six in the first four hours of testing on Friday. The only drivers yet to set timed laps so far are Ricciardo, Vettel and Giovinazzi – but there are no suggestions of any problems regarding those three.

1045: Sainz ups the ante a little bit with what is quite comfortably the quickest lap in the opening 45 minutes so far. He went purple, purple through the first two sectors on his way to setting a 1:33.072 on the C3 tyres, 1.4 seconds ahead of P2.

1039: Improvement from Hamilton on his latest run on the hard C2 tyres. He moves to P5 and just a shade over half a second off the early pace.

1033: A new leader at the top…it’s Nikita Mazepin in the Haas who manages to shave 0.040s off Sainz’s best.

1025: Carlos Sainz lowers the benchmark with a 1:34.557 during an opening five-lap stint on the medium tyres. The Spaniard has been particularly vocal about the lack of testing time this year and has already said he does not feel he is going to be full prepared for the first race. It’ll be fine, Carlos…

1018: Perez pops himself up to P1 with a 1:36.113 but it’s nothing to get excited about just yet as it is a full six seconds behind Max Verstappen’s best time on Friday. Some very gentle running to start the day.

1012: And here comes Sergio Perez in his Red Bull. That still feels weird to type but we’re so glad we can. Meanwhile, Hamilton posted the first timed lap of the day – a 1:38.587 – with some huge aero rakes strapped on his W12. He’s headed back into the garage.

1009: Fernando Alonso is officially back! He’s just completed a quick installation lap in his new Alpine A521. Nostalgia overload with the colour scheme on his helmet.

1005: After finishing bottom of the lap count on Friday, Lewis Hamilton is wasting no time and cracking straight on with his programme as Mercedes look to made up for lost time yesterday. The remnants of the afternoon sandstorm are still clear to see; the track is very dusty.

1000: Green light! Day 2 is officially underway and amongst the first to show are Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.

0945: And in case you missed the first day of testing on Friday (where were you?!), here’s a quick reminder of how the day unfolded. Not a good day for Mercedes…

F1 2021 Testing Day One Timesheet

1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 139 laps, 1:30.674 C3
2. Lando Norris, McLaren, 46 laps, +0.215 C3
3. Esteban Ocon, Alpine, 129 laps +0.472 C4
4. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, 46 laps, +1.108 Prototype
5. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, 57 laps, +1.245 C3
6. Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, 68 laps, +1.271 C3
7. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, 45 laps, +1.529 C2
8. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, 74 laps, +1.557 C3
9. Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri, 37 laps, +2.053 C2
10. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 42 laps, +2.238 C2
11. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari: 59 laps, +2.568 C3
12. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo: 63 laps, +2.646 C3
13. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, 51 laps, +3.068 Prototype
14. Roy Nissany, Williams, 83 laps, +4.115 C3
15. Nikita Mazepin, Haas, 70 laps, +4.124 C3
16. Mick Schumacher, Haas, 15 laps, +5.453 C2
17. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 6 laps, +6.176 C2

F1 2021 Testing Day One Lap Counts

1. Red Bull 139
2. Alfa Romeo 131
3. Alpine 129
4. Ferrari 116
5. AlphaTauri 111
6. Aston Martin 97
7. McLaren 91
8. Haas 85
9. Williams 83
10. Mercedes 48

0935: Here’s a quick run through of which drivers you can expect to see in action throughout the second day:

Mercedes: HAM/BOT
Red Bull: PER
McLaren: RIC/NOR
Aston: VET/STR
Alpine: ALO
Ferrari: SAI/LEC
AlphaTauri: TSU/GAS
Alfa: GIO
Haas: MAZ/MSC
Williams: LAT

0930: Hello and welcome back to the Sakhir desert for the second day of pre-season testing. The action gets underway in 30 minutes’ time, so go pop the kettle on, grab some snacks, and strap yourselves in.

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