Sakhir: March 11 (IANS) Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz set the fastest lap on day 2 of pre-season testing in Bahrain on a day interrupted by multiple red flags.
At lunchtime, Sainz substituted for his teammate Charles Leclerc and set the mark of 1m33.532s on soft tires in mid-afternoon. He finished half a second ahead of Max Verstappen, the Red Bull driver who finished P2 on Friday.
With 40 minutes to go, the reigning champion went wheel to wheel with Sainz, the pair putting on a late braking display on the day. Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll finished third to drop Lewis Hamilton to fourth, the Mercedes driver replacing George Russell who finished 13th with 67 laps in the morning.
Esteban Ocon, fifth, crawled to a stop with just over 90 minutes remaining in the session – the morning leader raised the fourth red flag of the day with over 100 laps under his belt. In P6 was Ferrari’s Leclerc, his time good for second place in the morning before conditions started to cool down and times dropped.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was briefly interrupted by a pit stop to bring out the fifth red flag with just over an hour to go. In P7, he took the wheel again throughout the day in the absence of an ill Daniel Ricciardo.
Sebastian Vettel finished eighth after taking over morning duties for Aston Martin, a reliability issue that saw him stop off track. As he headed out to complete the morning session, the FIA red flag test prompted a quick retreat to pit lane for the four-time champion.
Kevin Magnussen returned to the cockpit and continued racing into the evening as Haas made up for lost time encountering transport delays that prevented him from operating on Thursday morning. His teammate Mick Schumacher was 12th, an exhaust problem seeing the young German get out of the car prematurely before lunch.