Bottas heads the field on final test day in Bahrain

by Paul Hensby

Valtteri Bottas ensured the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team remained on top during the second and final day of the first in-season test of the season at the Bahrain International Circuit on Wednesday.

The Finn, who took pole position for last weekend’s race at the same circuit and finished third, completed a remarkable 143 laps in the W08, more than two and a half race distances, and set a best time of 1:31.280s, beating Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, the race winner on Sunday, by 0.294 seconds.

Whereas Bottas was able to complete a huge amount of laps, Vettel on the other hand was restricted to only 64 laps due to spending significant amount of time in the pits, first off with a hydraulics leak and then with a data-logging problem.

Scuderia Toro Rosso split their day between their race drivers having run Sean Gelael on day one, and Carlos Sainz Jr finished third fastest, 0.604 seconds down on Bottas, while Daniil Kvyat was seventh, only 0.327 seconds further back.

The McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team enjoyed a much better day two in Bahrain after technical issues restricted test driver Oliver Turvey to just seventeen laps on Tuesday, with race driver Stoffel Vandoorne completing 81 laps and setting the fourth fastest time of the day, just 0.828 seconds off the outright pace.

After taking over duties from team-mate Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen continued the Haas F1 Team’s testing programme with their new brake suppliers Carbone Industrie, and finished fifth fastest, just ahead of Esteban Ocon, who drove the morning session for the Sahara Force India F1 Team and focussed on performance running.

His team-mate Sergio Perez took over for the afternoon and worked more on long runs, meaning the Mexican brought up the rear of the field in twelfth.

Test driver Gary Paffett took over the running for the Williams Martini Racing squad on Wednesday, completing 126 laps, finishing eighth fastest, 0.973 seconds down on Bottas, but 0.034 seconds faster than Renault Sport Formula 1 Team test driver Sergey Sirotkin.

2016 GP2 Series champion Pierre Gasly saw his day in the Red Bull Racing RB13 hindered by an exhaust issue that required him to stay in the pits while it was repaired, and the Frenchman finished tenth fastest, ahead only of Pascal Wehrlein of the Sauber F1 Team and Perez.

Sebastian Vettel was second fastest on day two in Bahrain – Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Bahrain International Circuit In-Season Test Day 2 Result

177Valtteri BottasFINMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:31.280s
25Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari1:31.574s
355Carlos Sainz JrESPScuderia Toro Rosso1:31.884s
42Stoffel VandoorneBELMcLaren Honda Formula 1 Team1:32.108s
520Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1:32.120s
631Esteban OconFRASahara Force India F1 Team1:32.142s
726Daniil KvyatRUSScuderia Toro Rosso1:32.213s
841Gary PaffettGBRWilliams Martini Racing1:32.253s
946Sergey SirotkinRUSRenault Sport Formula 1 Team1:32.287s
1015Pierre GaslyFRARed Bull Racing1:32.568s
1194Pascal WehrleinGERSauber F1 Team1:34.462s
1211Sergio PerezMEXSahara Force India F1 Team1:35.015s

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