FP2: Rosberg’s Bahrain run continues


Friday’s running in Bahrain belonged to Nico Rosberg as Mercedes once again held the 1-2 while Jenson Button surprised for McLaren in third place.

As the sun set over the Sakhir circuit and the flood lights came into effect, the drivers were quickly into the action.

Nico Hulkenberg, Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz all had a brief spell in the P1 slot on the medium tyres before Rosberg came flying through with a 1:32.173. The Championship leader had the soft Pirellis bolted to his W07.

As seen in the day’s earlier session Lewis Hamilton was unable to match his team-mate’s opening gambit, slotting into second place, 0.210s down. Sebastian Vettel, also using the soft tyres, went third. He was 0.477s off the pace.

Many of the drivers opted to get their qualifying simulations on the super-softs over even before the halfway mark.

Despite swapping rubber it was still all about Mercedes as Rosberg posted a 1:31.001 with Hamilton only managing a 1:31.242.

The surprise of the session came from Jenson Button as the McLaren driver jumped to third place, 1.280s down, while Max Verstappen went fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

The four-time World Champion’s evening ended with 15 minutes still on the clock at his reported “something is wrong” with his SF16-H. He pulled over onto the side of the track and turned the car off. He told Ferrari that the “rear left” was not on tight.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed as marshals cleared the Ferrari. Minutes later the VSC was out again as a result of debris at Turn 13 from Romain Grosjean’s Haas.

The night’s top ten was completed by Red Bull and Williams with Daniil Kvyat ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa.

Stoffel Vandoorne missed out in 11th place with his 1:32.999 seven-tenths slower than Button’s best.

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:31.001 38 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.242 +0.241 32 laps
3 Jenson Button McLaren 1:32.281 +1.280 32 laps
4 Max Verstappen  Toro Rosso 1:32.406 +1.405 31 laps
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:32.452 +1.451 38 laps
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:32.650 +1.649 26 laps
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing 1:32.703 +1.702 34 laps
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:32.792 +1.791 39 laps
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:32.870 +1.869 23 laps
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:32.873 +1.872 36 laps
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:32.999 +1.998 30 laps
12 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 Team 1:33.129 +2.128 31 laps
13 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:33.177 +2.176 36 laps
14 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team 1:33.384 +2.383 23 laps
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:33.406 +2.405 35 laps
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:33.447 +2.446 34 laps
17 Nico Hulkenberg  Force India 1:33.570 +2.569 37 laps
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:33.640 +2.639 35 laps
19 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Racing 1:33.953 +2.952 21 laps
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:34.224 +3.223 31 laps
21 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:34.477 +3.476 34 laps
22 Rio Haryanto Manor Racing 1:34.562 +3.561 33 laps