April 20, 2024


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Sainz starts the second day of pre-season testing with improvement compared to his Ferrari teammate Leclerc

Sainz starts the second day of pre-season testing with improvement compared to his Ferrari teammate Leclerc

Carlos Sainz achieved the world lead on the second day of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, where the Spanish driver was able to improve the lead of his Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc in the morning as the sun began to set in the desert.

Sainz recorded a time of 1min 29.921sec on C4 Pirelli tires – the second softest in the group – as some teams begin to shift their attention from collecting data and driving long distances on stiffer compounds to starting to push their new packages.

READ MORE: Leclerc sets the pace as pre-season testing ends early on the second morning

It turned out to be a productive afternoon for Ferrari, with Sainz clocking 84 laps – on top of the 54 Leclerc managed this morning – when the session was ended due to track inspection, due to Leclerc running over a drain cover and spraying debris on the approach. To round 11.

To make up for lost time, Leclerc returned to the track in the afternoon to boost his lap count – running an alternate pitch – before handing the car over to Sainz, who finished the day 0.758 seconds ahead of Red Bull's Sergio Perez.

Red Bull had intended to appoint Verstappen to replace Perez in the afternoon – with the Mexican having a full day on Friday – but after the upset, the world champions opted to keep Perez in the car to maximize track time.

Aside from losing some time, due to a brake fire and a potential power issue, Perez comfortably covered a century of laps to give Red Bull more data to process overnight.

Watch: What we learned on the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton got his first real taste of the 2024 machinery when he got behind the wheel of a Mercedes, with the seven-time world champion putting on a full day of running and topping 100 laps on his way to the third fastest time.

McLaren's Lando Norris finished fourth – the Briton losing time in the afternoon while the team investigated a small problem with the fuel system – after taking over from teammate Oscar Piastri.

Bahrain, Bahrain - February 22: Sergio Perez from Mexico driving the (11) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB20
Sergio Perez came in second place in the second session of the day

Daniel Ricciardo continued the right-back's encouraging start in pre-season testing with the fifth-best time (he was fourth on day one), trailing the Australian only slightly behind Norris – 1.440 seconds off the pace.

Leclerc's best time earlier in the day was enough to keep him sixth, ahead of Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon and Valtteri Bottas, while Oscar Piastri closed out the top ten.

Technical Analysis: Why Red Bull's dominant opening test day wasn't all it seemed

Logan Sargeant had another down day, with the American experiencing some issues on track, including exiting Turn 10 – while the Williams team had some mechanical faults to fix as well.

However, Sargent still completed a total of 117 laps to conclude his session, and team-mate Alex Albon completed the team's campaign with a full day in the car on Friday.

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