Bahrain test, day-2: the news of the morning
There is the Red in front
Day 2 of Sakhir, which would then be the fifth day out of six overall of the 2022 winter tests, represented a confirmation of what we have seen starting from the first day in Barcelona: that is to say a consistent Ferrari, very reliable and apparently already at good point in terms of set-up, although Leclerc, after morning tests, we talked about a balance that still needs to be optimized (read here). For sure this F1-75 he is fully respecting the work schedules set by the team, since the car has never experienced any problems in terms of reliability. From here to give the Rossa as a favorite, and this regardless of the best time of the day brought home by Sainz in 1’33 “532, fastest time in the first two days in the Persian Gulf. Certainly the clues are encouraging: the Spaniard took home the reference of the day with C4 tires, although he went a bit more “down” of the engine compared to his previous time with the C3 tire, a figure acquired from the speed trap of the two fastest laps; in the time trial set with the C4 Sainz reached a slightly lower top speed than in the previous step, and this despite the wake of another car, in this case Hamilton’s Mercedes.
Unlucky then the Red to run into the double red flag in the second part of the afternoon, the first due to Or with and the second a Norris: this imposed on Ferrari a simulated race simulation in reduced form, with only 50 minutes overall to allow Sainz to practice in the race set-up.
RB18 strong in traction
While it’s not at the top of today’s timesheet, the Red Bull deserves maximum credit in these tests. On pure performance it is still premature to unbalance, but at the level of pure driveability RB18 it seems already in good shape: the strong point of Newey’s single-seater, today brought to the track by Verstappen, seems to be the rear, with an already enviable traction. From a purely performance point of view, as mentioned, no one can be absolutely sure, but visually Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be in the best conditions. Finally, thanks for it show: Sainz and Verstappen exchanged some overtaking while they were both engaged in a long run, a situation in which Max, on a free track, set respectable references.
Mercedes, an enigmatic W13
And the Mercedes? There W13 the unknown factor of these winter tests remains, at least so far. Even in the afternoon, with Hamilton on board, the Star’s house suffered from porpoising, a problem that in the team headed by Toto Wolff it seems that it is more difficult to resolve. Russell did not look for the time in the morning, while Hamilton in the afternoon four hours tried an attack on the stopwatch with the C5 (assuming everyone has tried it all the way) about 45 minutes from the end of the session. For now, the 2022 car of the reigning Constructors’ champions has shown some problems to solve, at least in terms of set-up, but in the last hour the team has shown that it has already taken a good step forward in terms of balance. Compared to RB18 and F1-75, perhaps the W13 is still missing something from the point of view of driveability, but we are facing a completely dynamic situation.
Good AlphaTauri, bad Alpine and McLaren
Said of the three teams that finished in the first three places of the 2021 team rankings, among others, great consistency by theAlphaTauri, definitely well put on the track. With Tsunoda the team replicated Gasly’s work yesterday, and this time too AT03 he rode with full regularity, snatching good times (always bearing in mind that the stopwatch, for now, does not say everything). In the mileage in Faenza they again soared, covering 120 laps and resulting in the team that ran the most, as opposed to Alpine and especially McLaren.
The French had actually been a constant presence on the track until the problem that knocked out the team A522, today with Ocon at the wheel: the stop came about 90 minutes from the end of the session, when Esteban was the only one, together with Tsunoda, to have exceeded 100 laps per day. Esteban had to stop at 103 laps, which later became 111, but for Alpine it is therefore legitimate to raise the reliability alarm given that the French car has repeatedly suffered from breakdowns. The same goes for a McLaren that when it manages to turn it doesn’t even look bad, but between yesterday and today it has turned very little: Norris he remained in the garage for a long time and then found himself on foot again just over an hour from the checkered flag, although luckily for him he stopped at the pit lane exit, which allowed him to be able to quickly bring back the car in the pits to resume work. With a new fund just arrived in the pits, the MCL36 he would need to shoot more. For Lando only 60 turns today: very few.
– Formula 1 (@ F1) March 11, 2022
Haas in the rear?
If in front of making a clear ranking it seems difficult exercise to the limit with the bet, in the end the situation appears a little clearer, at least in the rear. And today almost everyone is inclined to put the Haas VF-22 at the bottom of the grill. In the morning Schumacher he did very little, covering just 23 laps, while in the afternoon Magnussen concluded 39 laps, even if from the onboards the car gave the impression of being very nervous and therefore far from the optimal condition to face the first GP of the year. The team headed by Steiner will have additional time on the track at the end of the 8 hours a day of testing, and will be fundamental hours to recover lost work.
– Haas F1 Team (@ HaasF1Team) March 11, 2022
1. Sainz (Ferrari) – 1’33 “532 (C4) – 60
2. Verstappen (Red Bull) – +0 “479 (C4) – 86
3. Stroll (Aston Martin) – +0.532 (C4) – 70
4. Hamilton (Mercedes) – +0 “609 (C5) – 47
5. Ocon (Alpine) – +0 “744 (C4) – 111
6. Leclerc (Ferrari) – +0 “834 (C3) – 54
7. Norris (McLaren) – +1.0.077 (C3) – 60
8. Vettel (Aston Martin) – +2 “488 (C3) – 46
9. Magnussen (Haas) – +2 “973 (C3) – 39
10. Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – +3 “270 (C3) – 120
11. Bottas (Alfa Romeo) +3 “455 (C2) – 25
12. Schumacher (Haas) – +4 “314 (C2) – 23
13. Russell (Mercedes) – +5.053 (C2 prototype) – 67
14. Latifi (Williams) – +6 “313 (C2 prototype) – 12
15. Zhou (Alfa Romeo) – +6 “452 (C2) – 48