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Sainz fastest as Ferrari respond to Red Bull speed at testing

Carlos Sainz set the fastest time on day two of Formula 1 pre-season testing as Ferrari offered an impressive response to Red Bull’s strong start in Bahrain.

After reigning world champion Max Verstappen had topped the timesheet by more than a second on the first of three days of testing in Sakhir, Sainz was 0.7s clear of the Dutchman’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez on Thursday.

While Sainz’s leading effort came on the softer – and theoretically faster – C4 tyre than the medium C3 compound used by Perez, the performance suggested Red Bull may not be quite as far ahead as they had seemed 24 hours earlier.

Lewis Hamilton, who like Perez drove in both of Thursday’s sessions having not driven on Wednesday, was third for Mercedes as he finished the best part of 0.4s back from the Red Bull.

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Anthony Davidson analyses the Mercedes W15 under Lewis Hamilton’s control during the second day of testing

Lando Norris was fourth for McLaren despite a fuel system issue costing the Brit valuable track time during an afternoon session that was extended after the opening period had to be suspended because of a loose drain cover on track.

Daniel Ricciardo rounded out a top five filled exclusively with times set in the cooler and faster conditions of the evening session, but like Sainz used the softer C4 tyre.

Bahrain pre-season test: Day Two timesheet

Driver Team Time Laps Tyre
1) Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:29.921 84 C4
2) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.758 129 C3
3) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1.145 123 C3
4) Lando Norris McLaren +1.335 52 C3
5) Daniel Ricciardo RB +1.440 88 C4
6) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1.829 54 C3
7) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +2.108 96 C3
8) Esteban Ocon Alpine +0.xxx 78 C3
9) Valtteri Bottas Sauber +2.306 97 C3
10) Oscar Piastri McLaren +2.407 35 C3
11) Logan Sargeant Williams +2.657 117 C4
12) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +3.132 31 C3
13) Zhou Guanyu Sauber +3.794 38 C3
14) Pierre Gasly Alpine +3.883 33 C3
15) Kevin Magnussen Haas +6.690 93 C3
16) Nico Hulkenberg Haas +7.588 31 C3
17) Yuki Tsunoda RB +8.153 40 C2

* the C5 tyre is the softest – and theoretically fastest – compound, while C1 is the hardest – and theoretically slowest – compound

More to follow…

Sky Sports F1’s pre-season testing schedule

Friday February 23 – Day Three

  • 6.50am-11.05am: Morning Session
  • 11.55am-4.05pm: Afternoon Session
  • 8pm: Testing Wrap
  • 8.30pm: Ted’s Testing Notebook
  • 9pm: Development Corner

When is the first F1 race?

Just one week after testing, the opening race of the 2024 season will begin with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29 to March 2.

Due to the Muslim holy period of Ramadan, the Bahrain and, seven days later, the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, will be held on a Saturday.

This means practice one and two will take place on Thursdays, with final practice and qualifying on Fridays.

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Watch pre-season testing live and then every round of the new season, starting with the Bahrain Grand Prix from February 29-March 2. Stream every F1 race and more with a NOW Sports Month Membership

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