F1: Alonso dominates FP2; “Czech” is the third

The second free practice session (FP2) of the Bahrain Grand Prix ended with veteran Spanish Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso fastest in fastest laps with a time of 1’30.907s and setting the fastest time under 1m37s00 in race testing.

Red Bull drivers The Dutchman Max Verstappen and the Mexican Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez completed the top three on Friday with at least two thousandths.

First up for round two was Canada’s Lance Stroll, who completed his first official FP1 laps on Friday morning after a wrist injury and set a benchmark with a time from first of 1:33.624, but that left him just seconds ahead.

After 10 minutes the two Ferraris were ahead of their rivals, with Leclerc at the front, bettering already the best time of the first free practice (1m32.758s) of Mexican Sergio ‘Checo’ Pérez, to 1m31.843s, 29.612 tenths… faster than his teammate Carlos Sainz.

On Pérez’s first sprint lap he set the fifth fastest time so far, but his spin was marred after Sainz fired into the middle of the track, forcing the Mexican to block his tire and lose his good pace.

After the first half of the second day of training on Friday, Spaniard Fernando Alonso consolidated his position as a candidate for the podium in Saturday’s standings by stealing the lead and beating Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and “Checo”, the top three in the standings season in the first half hour.

leclerc dropped to fourth while Nico Hülkenberg (Haas) surprised spearwalk (Aston Martin) and Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) in the top seven by half a race.

In the second half, several teams resorted to gathering race data on Sunday, changing the fast laps of Race Pace Tests, which are slower but more consistent around drivers’ corners.

Under race conditions, Alonso’s dominance was maintained and he surpassed the average time of Max Verstappen, the current Formula 1 champion, leaving the English and Austrian teams the only ones to consistently get under 1:37:00.

However, the Red Bulls were already firmly on track in the last minutes and predicted an exciting but interesting dispute on Sunday between the world champion team and the biggest surprise of the first week of the season (Aston Martin).

The second free practice of the Bahrain GP ended as follows:

1.Fernando Alonso ESP (Aston Martin)
2. Max Verstappen NED (Red Bull)
3. Sergio Perez MEX (Red Bull)
4. Charles Leclerc MON (Ferrari)
5. Nico Hulkenberg GER (Haas)
6. Lance Stroll ESP (Aston Martin)
7. Pierre Gasly FRA (Alps)
8. Lewis Hamilton GBR (Mercedes)
9. Lando Norris GBR (McLaren)
10. Guanyu Zhou CHN (Alfa Romeo)
11. Esteban Ocon FRA (Alps)
12. FIN by Valtteri Botta (Alfa Romeo)
13.George Russell GBR (Mercedes)
14.Carlos Sainz ESP (Ferrari)
15. Oscar Piastri AUS (McLaren)
16. Kevin Magnussen DIN (Haas)
17. Alexander Albon Tai (Williams)
18. Yuki Tsunoda JPN (Alpha Tauri)
19. Nyck de Vries NED (Alpha Tauri)
20. Logan Sargeant USA (Williams)

The first Grand Prix on the 2023 calendar continues on Saturday with the third free practice at 5.30am Central Mexico Time and qualifying at 9am. The race, in which the first points of the year are awarded, will take place on Sunday at 09:00.

Source: La Neta Neta