Friday’s running for the Bahrain Grand Prix is now complete, all drivers having completed both free practice sessions at the Sakhir circuit. During the 90 minute afternoon session, drivers continued to acclimatise themselves to the new cars and also to the altered layout of the Bahrain International Circuit, this year utilising the extended loop in the first half of the lap. Maximising their lap time after lunch was Nico Rosberg, who managed the fastest tour of the track and completed 23 laps.
Returning world champion Michael Schumacher underlined the performance of the Mercedes MGP-W01 by completing the third fastest lap of the afternoon, sandwiching McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton in P2. Jenson Button continued the theme by going fourth fastest in the MP4-25. Nico Hulkenberg once again impressed with a fine performance to finish in P5, again beating his much more experienced team mate Rubens Barrichello, who could only manage P13. Barrichello was just under a second off Hulkenberg’s pace, while the top four drivers were separated by just over 0.6s.
Other notable positions from the second free practice session were the Ferraris, Felipe Massa finishing his day in P7 and Fernando Alonso slipping down to P9, the red cars sandwiching rookie Vitaly Petrov in P8. Both Saubers ran well, Pedro De La Rosa going tenth quickest closely followed by team mate Kamui Kobayashi in P11, the pair separated by 0.1s.
Red Bull Racing endured problems during the afternoon, and although Sebastian Vettel managed to go P5, he did take a couple of excursions over the run-off areas. Mark Webber fared less well and could only complete 12 laps due to a drive shaft problem on his RB6. Sister team Scuderia Toro Rosso also had their fair share of problems, with Sebastien Buemi spending the afternoon in the garage with a suspected gearbox problem and Jaime Alguersuari narrowly missing the armco barrier as he gracefully spun on the bumpy section at the top of the course.
Of the new teams, Lotus lead with Heikki Kovalainen in P18 and Jarno Trulli in P19, the pair followed by Virgin Racing in P20 and P21, Timo Glock out-performing his rookie team mate Lucas Di Grassi. Bruno Senna finally got Hispania’s campaign underway by completing 17 laps, although the Brazilian driver did stop on-track at the very end of the session, his rear-right wheel coming loose and the nut flying off as Senna braked. Unfortunately, Karun Chandhok had to once again sit in his garage and look at the proceedings on television.
|1.||Nico Rosberg Mercedes||1m55.409s||23 Laps|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton McLaren||1m55.854s||22 Laps|
|3.||Michael Schumacher Mercedes||1m55.903s||23 Laps|
|4.||Jenson Button McLaren||1m56.076s||28 Laps|
|5.||Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing||1m55.459s||18 Laps|
|6.||Nico Hulkenberg Williams||1m56.501s||26 Laps|
|7.||Felipe Massa Ferrari||1m56.555s||30 Laps|
|8.||Vitaly Petrov Renault||1m56.750s||26 Laps|
|9.||Fernando Alonso Ferrari||1m57.140s||25 Laps|
|10.||Pedro De La Rosa Sauber||1m57.255s||24 Laps|
|11.||Kamui Kobayashi Sauber||1m57.352s||27 Laps|
|12.||Adrian Sutil Force India||1m57.361s||29 Laps|
|13.||Rubens Barrichello Williams||1m57.452s||21 Laps|
|14.||Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India||1m57.833s||29 Laps|
|15.||Robert Kubica Renault||1m58.155s||29 Laps|
|16.||Jaime Alguersuari Scuderia Toro Rosso||1m59.799s||31 Laps|
|17.||Mark Webber Red Bull Racing||2m00.444s||12 Laps|
|18.||Heikki Kovalainen Lotus||2m00.873s||23 Laps|
|19.||Jarno Trulli Lotus||2m00.990s||14 Laps|
|20.||Timo Glock Virgin Racing||2m02.037s||3 Laps|
|21.||Lucas Di Grassi Virgin Racing||2m02.188s||21 Laps|
|22.||Bruno Senna Hispania Racing||2m06.968s||17 Laps|
|23.||Sebastien Buemi Scuderia Toro Rosso||No Time||1 Lap|
|24.||Karun Chandhok Hispania Racing||No Time||0 Laps|
[…] now sports 12 squads and 24 drivers, potentially increasing to 13 teams next year. Looking at the opening free practice sessions in Bahrain earlier, Hispania Racing are clearly struggling with […]
[…] Chandhok was forced to remain in the garage on Friday and again on Saturday morning. Team mate Bruno Senna fared a little better, managing to complete 17 laps in the afternoon and then adding a further 11 this morning. […]