Carlos Sainz is fastest on troubled day two of 2022 pre-season testing in Bahrain

Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) set the fastest lap on the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain, a day punctuated by several red flags.

At noon, Sainz took over from his teammate Charles Leclerc and established the benchmark of 1m 33.532s on soft tires, in the middle of the afternoon. He finished half a second ahead of Max Verstappen, with the Red Bull driver finishing P2 on Friday.

With 40 minutes to go, the defending champion went wheel-to-wheel with Sainz, with the pair applying late braking late in the day.

Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll finished third to drop Lewis Hamilton to fourth, the Mercedes driver taking over from George Russell, who finished 13th with 67 laps in the morning.

READ MORE: ‘Typical Mercedes, typical George’ – Sainz ignores Russell’s claim Ferrari are strongest in pre-season testing

Fifth-placed Esteban Ocon stopped just over 90 minutes into the session – the morning leader pulled out the fourth red flag of the day with over 100 laps under his belt. He emerged later to bolster his lap count on a more promising day for Alpine.

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In P6 was Ferrari’s Leclerc, his time was good for second place in the morning before the conditions started to cool and the 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 remaining. In P7, he again took the wheel all day in the absence of a sick Daniel Ricciardo.

READ MORE: Norris says brake issues hampered McLaren in Bahrain testing – and warns ‘it won’t be an easy fix’

Sebastian Vettel finished eighth after taking morning duty for Aston Martin, a reliability issue seeing him stop off track. When he came out to finish the morning session, the FIA ​​red flag test signaled a quick pit lane retirement for the four-time champion. At the end of the day, another red flag emerged – this time resulting in a flying start from practice for the peloton to end all but Haas’ sessions.

Kevin Magnussen made his return to the cockpit and then continued to chase after the checkered flag, with Haas making up for lost time after encountering cargo delays that kept them out of the race on Thursday morning.

Magnussen would actually end up setting the fastest lap of the day, posting a 1m 33.207s during his solo laps of the Bahrain International Circuit in the evening.

His team-mate Mick Schumacher was 12th, meanwhile, an exhaust problem seeing the young German exit the car prematurely before lunch.

The top 10 was completed by AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, who completed more than 100 laps during the day.

F1 2022 pre-season testing: Latifi becomes firefighter after Williams catches fire

In the morning, Valtteri Bottas pulled out the third red flag of the day, stopping off track just after the FIA ​​red flag test to end the session early. The Alfa Romeo driver handed over duties to Zhou Guanyu for the afternoon, with the rookie driver finishing 15th and last in the table – but recording a solid half-century of laps.

READ MORE: Bottas ‘much happier’ after Alfa Romeo enjoys productive opening day at Bahrain testing

Behind Russell was former team-mate Nicholas Latifi – the 14th-placed Williams driver who pulled out Friday’s first red flag when his car’s brakes caught fire and caused him to spin and then jump at Turn 12. The race of Williams was effectively terminated by the resulting damage, although they cited a “minor” issue for the brake fire.

The heat is certainly on the cards in Bahrain, and with just one day of pre-season testing, the teams have everything they need to perfect their machines ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 20. Perhaps we’ll also see new updates adorn the cars on Day 3.

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