Vettel Tops FP2 Despite Technical Gremlins

Credit: Scuderia Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel - Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Continuing his fine form from the first practice session, Scuderia Ferrari‘s Sebastian Vettel topped the second practice however it was not without issue for the German as he slowed on track due to a suspected electrical issue.

Vettel ended the session 0.041 seconds quicker than Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull Racing‘s Daniel Ricciardo was a mere 0.025s behind the Finn.

Having set the fastest time before the half-hour mark despite saying he struggled with the brakes during the second half of the lap, Vettel later suffered what he called a “complete shutdown”.

The four-time world champion managed to coast back to the pits where his team were able to repair his SF70H affectionately named ‘Gina’ meaning he was able to complete his crucial race-simulations.

Kimi Raikkonen ended the session in fourth after having finished the first session in last place as a result of his turbo breaking and prompting a new internal combustion engine.

The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton could only go fifth fastest, setting his fastest lap on his third attempt which left him 0.284s off Vettel’s pace.

After aborting his first attempt as a result of a big oversteer moment the Briton then ran off track after locking up whilst trying to pass Nico Hulkenberg – which has been investigated by the stewards with no action warranted.

In what was a relatively scrappy session for Hamilton where it is felt his true pace has not been shown, the Brit appeared to have a small advantage over the other drivers on the super-soft and soft tyres during his long runs.

Coming into this round, Hamilton and today’s pacesetter Vettel find themselves tied on points at the top of the championship after a win and a second place apiece thus far, meaning it is vital for Hamilton to rediscover some pace.

Toro Rosso‘s Carlos Sainz‘s day ended 15 minutes into the session after he was forced to park up on the side of the track in a cloud of smoke, prompting the deployment of the virtual safety car.

McLaren rookie Stoffel Vandoorne had a late start to the session who had his engine changed following stopping in FP1, the Belgian then suffered technical issues meaning he completed just eight laps.

Vandoorne’s team-mate Fernando Alonso ended the day in 15th place, 1.587s off of the pace.

The most controversial moment of the session came when Bottas’ T-wing fell off his Mercedes which resulted in damage to Max Verstappen‘s Red Bull prompting the team to change the floor – a roughly £50,000 repair job.

Christian Horner is calling for the wing to be banned, which he has done since the opening race of the year, as a result of the damage the Dutchman sustained which could have been a lot worse.

Red Bull’s stance on these wings is clear, with the team being one of few not to run them on their car.

Hulkenberg ended the session in an impressive sixth place – behind the front runners of Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull.

Williams‘ Felipe Massa was just behind the German in seventh. Verstappen ended the session in eighth after the problem with his floor.

Romain Grosjean and Daniil Kvyat rounded off the top ten.

After handing his seat over to Antonio Giovinazzi in the opening two rounds of the session at Australia and ChinaPascal Wehrlein‘s season officially got underway today, ending the day almost three seconds off the pace in 19th place.

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix – FP2 Results

15Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m31.310
277Valtteri Bottas FINMercedes 1m31.351
33Daniel Ricciardo AUSRed Bull Racing 1m31.376
47Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m31.478
544Lewis Hamilton GBRMercedes 1m31.594
627Nico HulkenbergGERRenault1m31.883
719Felipe MassaBRAWilliams1m32.079
833Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing 1m32.245
98Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas1m32.505
1026Daniil Kvyat RUSToro Rosso 1m32.707
1120Kevin Magnussen DANHaas1m32.854
1231Esteban OconFRAForce India1m32.875
1330Jolyon Palmer GBRRenault1m32.876
1414Fernando Alonso ESPMcLaren1m32.897
1511Sergio PerezMEXForce India1m33.319
1618Lance StrollCANWilliams1m33.361
179Marcus EricssonSWESauber1m33.944
1855Carlos SainzESPToro Rosso 1m34.072
1994Pascal WehrleinGERSauber1m34.117
202Stoffel Vandoorne BELMcLaren1m34.230