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Carlos Sainz goes quickest for Ferrari as drain cover damages Hamilton and Leclerc’s cars

F1 testing, day two live: Latest updates after drain cover damages Hamilton and Leclerc's cars
Lewis Hamilton did not appear to be trying to set the world alight with his lap times on the second of three days of testing - Getty Images /Mark Thompson

By Luke Slater

Ferrari showed their hand on day two of testing as Carlos Sainz set the quickest time so far.

The Spaniard, who will be replaced by Lewis Hamilton at the end of the season, became the first driver to go under the 90-second barrier with a 1:29.921 on the C4 tyre.

Hamilton in the Mercedes appeared to focus on long runs and data collection rather than performance.

In the morning session, Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton ran over a loose drain cover on a kerb and a subsequent red flag meant testing finished an hour early.

Teams have only three days of testing – one and a half per driver – before the first race in Bahrain on March 2.


02:52 PM GMT

Ferrari hit back on day two

That’s a wrap on our day two coverage. Click here for the latest news and analysis from Bahrain.


02:49 PM GMT

Day two times so far

  1. SAI 1:29.921

  2. NOR +1.335

  3. PER +1.540

  4. LEC +1.829

  5. STR +2.108

  6. BOT +2.306

  7. HAM +2.352

  8. PIA +2.407

  9. SAR +2.657

  10. ALO +3.132

  11. RIC +3.185

  12. ZHO +3.794

  13. GAS +3.883

  14. OCO +4.321

  15. MAG +6.690

  16. HUL +7.588

  17. TSU +8.153


02:32 PM GMT

Social media reaction


02:12 PM GMT

Closing in on 100 laps for the day

Hamilton is on 98, while Perez is on 95 as he comes out for another stint.

The sun is beginning to set in Bahrain and we could see some quicker times.


02:00 PM GMT

Alex Albon reacts

In all seriousness I am genuinely excited about Williams. We have taken a huge risk this year, the feeling in the car has changed so much. That’s why we’ve been late delivering this car.

I think there is a big push for 2026, it feels like there is such a gear up to get everything in place and these next two years are where the foundations of that are laid. We are trying to gear up for the regulation changes as everyone is – there are building sites as you drive into Silverstone, as everyone gets ready.


01:45 PM GMT

Ferrari showing their speed

Sainz goes under the 90-second barrier with a 1:29.921.


01:33 PM GMT

Have your say!


01:21 PM GMT

Problems for Perez

The Mexican is driving very slowly out of turn 13. Looks like he is trying to coast through into the pits.

He’s stuck in first gear driving 20mph. He makes it back to the pits and is wheeled back into the garage.

Perez has done 80 laps today and sits in ninth place.


01:12 PM GMT

Sainz goes quickest

Sainz is the first driver on the C4 softs. Two-tenths up in the first sector. He’s got so much grip. Six tenths up in the middle sector and his finishes his lap with a 1:30.686.

It’s the fastest lap of testing so far. Let’s see if anyone else tries a quick lap in the final three hours of the session.


01:05 PM GMT

Everything you need to know about the W15


12:58 PM GMT

Mercedes does not look easy to drive

Hamilton struggling to turn his W15 and fights the wheel as he attempts a quick lap. The Mercedes looks a handful as it understeers on entry into the corners. And his time is half a second slower than his personal best.

Meanwhile, Sainz moves to the top of the timesheet with a time of 1.31.397. Verstappen’s time yesterday is 1.31.344.


12:46 PM GMT

Leclerc still quickest

It’s a Ferrari one-two with Leclerc’s time of 1:31.750 from this morning yet to be beaten.

Team-mate Sainz is not far behind after a 1:31.856.

The Ferrari’s have looked strong so far in testing.


12:37 PM GMT

Russell on his possible team mate for 2025

Ultimately, the decision is with Toto [Wolff] and the board.

We’ve already had conversations and I’ve been with Toto a lot this winter, so seeing the drivers’ names pop up on the telephone has been quite funny.

Even on my phone as well, I’ve had a few phone calls and text messages so it’s been quite interesting. As a team, we’ve got a good opportunity and we’re in a really good position to go into this next chapter, [after] there’s been so much success with Lewis and Mercedes.


12:19 PM GMT

More from Russell

It does feel step in the right direction but there is no hiding the fact that our competitors have done a really great job. We knew we had a mountain to climb with the performance Red Bull showed last year.

The car is feeling nice to drive. Red Bull seem to have done a really great job. They are favourite and definitely a step ahead of everyone else here in Bahrain.


12:11 PM GMT

Interesting conversation about the power dynamics at Mercedes

At what point will Mercedes move away from Hamilton and start developing the car for Russell?

With the rate of development, surely the team will be taking Russell’s advice more than Hamilton given his impending departure to Ferrari.

Meanwhile, Hamilton puts in a quick time of 1:32.273.


12:00 PM GMT

'Sent to Fred Vasseur'


11:51 AM GMT

Afternoon session line-up

Sergio Perez - Red Bull
Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes
Carlos Sainz - Ferrari
Lando Norris - McLaren
Lance Stroll - Aston Martin
Esteban Ocon - Alpine
Daniel Ricciardo - RB
Valtteri Bottas - Sauber
Kevin Magnussen - Haas
Logan Sargeant - Williams

F1 testing, day two live: Latest afternoon session updates
Sergio Perez looks on in the garage on day two testing - Getty Images/Mark Thompson

11:41 AM GMT

Leclerc's day is over

Leclerc got some more time in the Ferrari this afternoon after the track issues earlier. But he’s now done for the day and handed over the reins to Carlos Sainz.

It will be interesting to see how he performs this year with Hamilton replacing him next year.


11:36 AM GMT

George Russell reacts

Red Bull are definitely the favourites and definitely a step ahead of everyone here in Bahrain.

Ominous comments for the rest of the F1 grid


11:26 AM GMT

Tom McCullough, Aston Martin Performance Director reacts

We are trying to get all the data we need not just to optimise the car but also develop the car. We’ve had aero rakes on to measure the pressures. This front wing is more back to what we had in 2022, you are always evolving and understanding as you try to optimise performance.

F1 testing, day two live: Latest afternoon session updates after drain cover causes red flag
Fernando Alonso in action on day two - Getty Images/Ayman Yaqoob

11:17 AM GMT

Mercedes to show their hand?

Hamilton is back out in the W15. After finishing sixth in the morning, I’m personally looking to see a bit more pace from the Merc.

The plan for this afternoon is for a qualifying simulation before doing a full race simulation to finish.


11:09 AM GMT

Here we go!

Hello. It’s Uche Amako, taking over from Luke Slater for the afternoon session on day two.

After losing an hour this morning, this session has been extended to five hours.


10:04 AM GMT

Morning session classification

  1. LEC 1:31.750 - 36 laps

  2. PIA +0.578  - 35 laps

  3. SAR +0.828 - 30 laps

  4. PER +1.129 - 20 laps

  5. ALO +1.303 - 31 laps

  6. HAM +1.475 - 39 laps

  7. ZHO +1.965 - 38 laps

  8. GAS +2.054 - 33 laps

  9. HUL +5.759 - 31 laps

  10. TSU +6.324 - 40 laps


10:02 AM GMT

MORNING SESSION WILL NOT RESTART

I think this is more of a logistical issue as they have rejigged the sessions. They are in effect having the hour interval an hour earlier which means the afternoon session starts at 11am and will finish at 4pm UK time. May as well not waste any running time.


09:51 AM GMT

We are still under red flag conditions, I'm afraid

Nearly a 30-minute stoppage now. 1h18min left on the clock for this session.


09:43 AM GMT

Still plenty of work going on there at T11

About 10 people standing round, and the Safety Car pulled up with its hazards on.


09:42 AM GMT

Watch: Hamilton and Leclerc run over drain cover


09:40 AM GMT

Mercedes are looking at the underside of Hamilton's car

Leclerc dislodged the drain cover, but it was Hamilton who took the worse hit. He went over it with his right tyres though it could obviously have caused some nasty damage to the underside of the floor and that will need to be checked out.


09:33 AM GMT

Repairs are happening on track

Replays show that Leclerc and then Hamilton ran over the dislodged drain cover on entry to turn 11.


09:24 AM GMT

RED FLAG

Some debris on track. Quite possibly because of this:

1hr45min remain on the clock.


09:11 AM GMT

With two hours remaining, here is the order

  1. LEC 1:31.750  - 29 laps

  2. PIA +0.578 - 29 laps

  3. SAR  +0.828 - 30 laps

  4. PER +1.129 - 20 laps

  5. ALO +1.303 - 25 laps

  6. HAM +1.475 - 33 laps

  7. ZHO +1.965 - 38 laps

  8. GAS +2.054 - 31 laps

  9. HUL +5.759 - 25 laps

  10. TSU +6.956 - 34 laps


09:07 AM GMT

Hamilton finishes his run

It’s an 11-lap run on the medium compound which sees him move up to sixth, +1.475sec off Leclerc’s fastest time.


09:04 AM GMT

The front wing of the Mercedes has been getting a lot of attention

In particular the construction and assembly of the top element:

Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 22, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain
Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team W15 on track during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 22, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain

There is now a noticeable gap between the nose and the innermost part of the top element, though the FIA and Mercedes say this is legal.


08:58 AM GMT

Perez soon moves up the order with his 18th lap

A 1:32.879 is his fastest lap of the day and that sees him up to fourth, 1.129sec off Leclerc’s fastest time of the day. Zhou has done the most laps so far today with 38, by the way.


08:57 AM GMT

Most teams with good mileage so far this morning

Alonso on 19 for Aston Martin and Perez on 16 for Red Bull are the lowest.

Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes on track during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 22, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain.
Fernando Alonso of Spain driving the (14) Aston Martin AMR24 Mercedes on track during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 22, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain.

08:44 AM GMT

Sargeant clocks up 30 laps

And is pretty pleased with the balance:


08:42 AM GMT

The floor detail on the Williams this year is a lot more intricate

Williams driver Alexander Albon of Thailand steers his car for a Formula One pre season test at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024
Williams driver Alexander Albon of Thailand steers his car for a Formula One pre season test at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024

Though it was the underside that was pretty rudimentary last year. With James Vowles having a year under his belt at the team you would expect that.


08:38 AM GMT

Hamilton does another lap

Quite a lot of corrections in the corners on the steering wheel from Hamilton on his latest lap, which is a 1:36.770. He stays out and then has Piastri for company behind.


08:32 AM GMT

Hamilton is about to complete his 22nd lap in the W15

Looks like a high-fuel run given he is more than four seconds off Leclerc’s ultimate pace.


08:24 AM GMT

Current order and lap count

  1. LEC 1:31.750 - 23 laps

  2. PIA +0.578 - 11 laps

  3. SAR +0.828 - 25 laps

  4. GAS +2.054 - 18 laps

  5. ALO +2.277 - 14 laps

  6. ZHO +2.365 - 23 laps

  7. HAM +5.385 - 15 laps

  8. HUL +5.784 - 21 laps

  9. TSU +7.620 - 10 laps

  10. PER +8.573 - 12 laps

Sargeant leading the lap count today, which is what is needed after he completed just 21 (the fewest of anyone) yesterday and Williams 61 (the fewest of any team).


08:21 AM GMT

That performance by Red Bull on Wednesday was an optimism destroyer

The usual caveats come with performances in pre-season testing but, given Red Bull’s fairly radical redesign for 2020, the teams might have hoped they would experience a slightly more difficult day than they did. There is still a long way to go and, again, teams who are feeling positive may be hiding their true pace (they are all to some extent). But you can’t see what happened yesterday and think “hmmm, maybe things will be closer in the first race”.


08:07 AM GMT

Lewis Hamilton watch

The Mercedes driver, in his final year at the team, has done 13 laps in the W15 and has a best time of 1:37.135, about 5.4sec off Leclerc’s quickest of the day. Fair to say those best times were not on comparable runs.


07:58 AM GMT

Charles Leclerc has improved again

It is marginally better than before: a 1:31.750. The quickest time in yesterday’s running was 1:31.344 and that was done in the evening session. The morning session’s fastest lap was a 1:32.548. Both were set by Max Verstappen.


07:53 AM GMT

Big aero rakes on the RB in their earlier run this season

Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 in the Pitlane during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 22, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain
Yuki Tsunoda of Japan driving the (22) Visa Cash App RB VCARB 01 in the Pitlane during day two of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on February 22, 2024 in Bahrain, Bahrain

I have backtracked on my decision from yesterday and will be referring to the team officially known as Visa Cash App RB as simply RB because that is the name of the chassis. Hopefully it will not be confused with Red Bull but this is a mess entirely of the teams’ own making.


07:49 AM GMT

Oscar Piastri moves up to second for McLaren

That is 0.624sec off Leclerc’s best for Ferrari. Both on medium compound tyres.


07:44 AM GMT

Here is the current order as Perez completes another lap

  1. LEC 1:31.822

  2. SAR +1.114

  3. GAS +1.982

  4. ZHO +2.293

  5. HAM +5.313

  6. HUL +5.712

  7. TSU +8.453

  8. PER +8.501

  9. ALO (NO TIME)

  10. PIA (NO TIME)


07:34 AM GMT

The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc runs over some debris on the pit straight

Not sure whether he left it there or it came off another car...


07:33 AM GMT

All 10 drivers have now completed laps

Though only seven have lap times. Leclerc and Sargeant the first two into double figures for Ferrari and Williams and they are also the top two fastest drivers so far, with Gasly moving into the top three for Alpine. Tsunoda becomes the first driver to run the soft tyres this test.


07:27 AM GMT

Logan Sargeant moves fastest...

But then Leclerc beats him with a 1:31.822 to go 1.7sec faster.


07:25 AM GMT

Just four drivers have set a lap time so far today

Nine drivers have been out. The RB of Tsunoda is the only one yet to get out of the pit lane.

  1. LEC +1:37.055

  2. HAM +0.709

  3. PER +3.268

  4. HUL +8.665

No real serious push laps yet. In fact, we will likely have to wait until tomorrow evening for that.


07:22 AM GMT

Who is doing the driving this morning?

Ferrari: Leclerc 
Mercedes: Hamilton 
Red Bull: Perez 
Haas: Hulkenberg 
Aston Martin: Alonso 
McLaren: Piastri 
Williams: Sargeant 
Alpine: Gasly 
Sauber: Zhou 
RB: Tsunoda


07:20 AM GMT

And a reminder of the lap times, lap count and order from yesterday

  1. VER 1:31.344 - 143 laps

  2. NOR - +1.140 - 72 laps

  3. SAI +1.240 - 69 laps

  4. RIC +1.255 - 51 laps

  5. GAS +1.461 - 60 laps

  6. STR +1.663 - 54 laps

  7. LEC +1.903 - 64 laps

  8. ALO +2.041 - 77 laps

  9. PIA +2.314 - 57 laps

  10. ZHO +2.527 - 63 laps

  11. SAR +2.538 - 21 laps

  12. RUS +2.765 - 122 laps

  13. TSU +2.792 - 64 laps

  14. BOT +3.087 - 68 laps

  15. ALB +3.243 - 40 laps

  16. OCO +3.333 - 60 laps

  17. MAG +4.348 - 66 laps

  18. HUL +4.562 - 88 laps


07:18 AM GMT

Speaking of Sergio Perez - some issues

Bit of a worry here. He had a fire on the front-right as he came into the pits and that means the front of the car is being taken apart...


07:17 AM GMT

It's Sergio Perez in the Red Bull today

He had a difficult season last year. He won two races which is as good a return as ever but he finished 51 points ahead of Lewis Hamilton in third and 290 points behind Max Verstappen in first. His first five races were far from disastrous, but he had far too many spells where he didn’t even finish second behind Verstappen and that is what cost him. It was like he was driving a different car.

Sergio Perez drives on track
Sergio Perez drives on track

07:13 AM GMT

This is a slightly longer than usual morning session

4hr10min in fact.


07:11 AM GMT

Here is a recap of the teams' lap count from yesterday

  1. Haas 148 laps

  2. Red Bull 143 laps

  3. Ferrari 133 laps

  4. Sauber 131 laps

  5. Aston Martin 131 laps

  6. McLaren 130 laps

  7. Mercedes 122 laps

  8. Alpine 121 laps

  9. RB 116 laps

  10. Williams 61 laps


07:04 AM GMT

Hamilton does his first timed lap of the test

It’s a 1:38.693, so a fair distance slower than what we saw from Verstappen yesterday.


07:02 AM GMT

GREEN LIGHT: We are underway on day two in Bahrain

Here we go...

There are a lot of drivers out there already - a car from every team apart from RB.


07:00 AM GMT

Good morning

Welcome to our live coverage of day of Formula One pre-season testing in Bahrain. Day one of testing is always interesting in some regard as we get to see the “proper” cars for the first time, away from the launch-spec models with things that the teams try to hide or with updates that merely have not been created yet.

It was certainly worth watching to see in closer in detail Red Bull and Mercedes, in any case. Despite winning all but one of the races last season, Red Bull’s RB20 has taken a pretty big step when it comes to design. And their performance yesterday was rightly labelled ‘ominous’.

Of course, there is a limited amount we can learn from outright lap times in testing but there is not nothing. Max Verstappen topped the timesheets by 1.1sec from McLaren’s Lando Norris and clocked in an enormous 143 laps over the day. That time will not be due to low-fuel glory runs, that is for sure. And for most of the day the car looked glued to the track, which is more than can be said for the Ferrari.

Still, I don’t necessarily think it changes expectations too much. Most teams would have expected, I believe, Red Bull to have a fairly sizeable advantage still come the first race. Even if they would have clearly hoped that it would have diminished. It would be a shame if 2024 ended up being a repeat of 2023 but we have to have the hope that even if Red Bull start off like a rocket, then in-season development from the other teams will pull them in somewhat.

Anyway, as with day one there will be a mix of drivers for both teams with only Red Bull and Mercedes putting one driver in their car for the whole day. Today it is the turn of Sergio Perez and Lewis Hamilton respectively.

The green light at the end of the pit lane is about to come on, so let’s get to the action.