The interim conclusion from Bahrain is that Ferrari is currently setting the pace, Red Bull Racing is still strong and Mercedes have already admitted the car will change before the first Formula 1 Gran Prix race in March.
Carlos Sainz in his Ferrari secured the fastest time in the first session of the second day of testing in Bahrain on Friday. Sainz clocked 1:32.486 minutes and pulverised Max Verstappen’s time from Thursday by 0.351 seconds.
Logan Sargeant (Williams/+0.063) was second ahead of Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), who will contest the entire test day on Friday. He was 0.483 seconds behind after 4:15 hours. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo/+0.684) was fourth and Kevin Magnussen (Haas/+0.956) fifth.
Although not at the top of the timesheets, the impression that Red Bull is currently in the best position is growing stronger. In the top speed measurement without DRS, Sergio Perez (7th /+1.265) was at the back of the pack, which indicates that Red Bull was running with the engine running at low power in the morning. In addition, the Mexican was obviously testing in race trim.
Incidentally, the best measured top speed was achieved by Sainz in the Ferrari (326 km/h). The dent on the tip of the nose, which had caused a stir on Thursday and was explained by Ferrari as an assembly error, no longer occurred on Friday morning.
Lewis Hamilton (+1.468) took eighth place. It is still difficult to assess how fast the Mercedes really is. But the first updates are already in the pipeline. When asked, the team confirmed that the rear wing Hamilton is driving today is not the one that will be used at the season opener on 5 March.