F1 Testing | Day 2: Zhou tops session but Red Bull look quickest

Spread the love

By Connor Bacon

With day 2 of testing completed a clearer image can be drawn from who has the pace and who is struggling a little more.

Despite Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu setting the fastest time – on a set of C5 tyres and most likely lower fuel – Red Bull were the pacesetters with Sergio Perez completing a solid long run in the morning and Verstappen taking over in the afternoon to go 0.040s shy of the Alfa Romeo’s lap time on the C3 compound.

Photo: Alfa Romeo Stake F1 Team

Mercedes missed out on the last 90 minutes of running due to a hydraulic failure meaning Russell could only complete 26 laps in the afternoon, however, the W14 is showing no indication of porpoising which plagued them this time last year.

The Brit said in the press conference that mid-corner balance was an issue but reiterated that it is a “nice problem to have” as it will be easier to solve than the limitations of last season.

Ferraris Carlos Sainz’ went quickest in the morning session with his teammate Charles Leclerc taking over in the afternoon. The pair did a total of 138 laps as the SF-23 had small amounts of porpoising which F1’s chief technical officer Pat Symonds told Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz they could see in the data.

Fernando Alonso once again finished the day in the top 3 and after a full day Of running clocked 130 laps before he will split tomorrow’s duties with Felipe Drugovich who is replacing the injured Lance Stroll.

Behind the Spaniard came De Vries and Hulkenberg who both set laps on the softer C4 and C5 tyres respectively, and in seventh Logan Sargeant who like Alonso drove in both sessions and lapped the Sakhir International circuit 154 times before practicing the evacuation procedure from a car with hybrid failure.

As teams begin to correlate the data between simulation and the real world, everything has to be taken with a pinch of salt – although after day 3 we will have a reasonable idea of the pecking order as we head into the first race of the season.