Verstappen edges Leclerc to top second practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen led the second free practice session of the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.

Charles Leclerc finished in second position, just 0.087 seconds slower than the Dutchman. Team-mate Carlos Sainz finished in third position at the end of the session.

The second free practice session of the opening race at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir started with air temperatures at 17 degrees C and track temperatures at 22 degrees C. The conditions were chilly and the session was at a time more representative of the qualification session and race.

Most of the drivers came out on the medium compound tyres. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers set the early place with Leclerc at the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m33.121s.

Verstappen was out on the track ten minutes into the session. Verstappen slotted into second position with his first effort with a lap time of 1m33.621s .

Valtteri Bottas moved into fourth position after missing out on most of the first practice session.

After twenty-five minutes of the session, the drivers switched to the soft compound tyres. Nico Hulkenberg continued his impressive return as the super substitute as he slotted into fifth position on the first run on the soft tyres.

Fernando Alonso went fastest with a lap time of 1m32.877s. But Leclerc soon displaced the Spaniard from the top with a 1m32.263s lap.

Verstappen then went quickest with a lap of 1m31.936s, 0.327 seconds faster than Leclerc. But Leclerc with his second effort closed the gap to just 0.087 seconds to Verstappen.

Sainz then slotted into third position with a 1m32.520s lap. The two Scuderia Ferrari drivers continued the impressive form of the Italian team.

George Russell slotted into fourth position, 0.593 seconds slower than Verstappen. Lewis Hamilton complained about his front brakes and only managed ninth position.

Alonso finished in fifth position even as Esteban Ocon finished in twelfth position. Bottas finished in sixth position, 1.015 seconds slower than the fastest lap.

Sergio Pérez finished in seventh position and seemed well off Verstappen’s pace. Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen finished in eighth and tenth position for the Haas F1 team. This was a vast improvement in performance after languishing at the bottom of the time charts in first practice.

Lando Norris was in eleventh position even as his McLaren F1 team-mate Daniel Ricciardo finished in eighteenth position. Ricciardo’s session was cut short due to reliability issues.

The fastest man in first free practice Pierre Gasly had to be content with thirteenth position as the pace disappeared in the cooler conditions. Scuderia AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda was in fourteenth position.

Zhou Guanyu could only manage fifteenth position ahead of Lance Stroll. Nico Hulkenberg was in seventeenth position as the Aston Martin Racing team lost performance in the cooler conditions.

The two Williams Racing team drivers, Nicholas Latifi and Alexander Albon, finished last on the time charts.

The Red Bull Racing team and Verstappen seem to have more performance in hand after Friday free practice. Ferrari look to be their main challengers led by Leclerc.

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix Free Practice 2 Results:
Pos No Driver Nat. Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:31.936 20
2 16 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1:32.023 +0.087s 20
3 55 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1:32.520 +0.584s 22
4 63 George Russell GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:32.529 +0.593s 25
5 14 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:32.877 +0.941s 24
6 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo Racing 1:32.951 +1.015s 30
7 11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:32.958 +1.022s 20
8 47 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 1:33.085 +1.149s 24
9 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:33.144 +1.208s 23
10 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 1:33.183 +1.247s 23
11 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1:33.280 +1.344s 27
12 31 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:33.360 +1.424s 25
13 10 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:33.621 +1.685s 24
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda JAP Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:33.789 +1.853s 26
15 24 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo Racing 1:33.953 +2.017s 27
16 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:33.958 +2.022s 25
17 27 Nico Hulkenberg GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:34.061 +2.125s 28
18 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1:34.166 +2.230s 12
19 6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1:34.486 +2.550s 28
20 23 Alexander Albon THA Williams Racing 1:34.735 +2.799s 22