F1 2014’s status quo remained in place during the second free practice session ahead of Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Lewis Hamilton lead the way for Mercedes with team-mate Nico Rosberg in 2nd, over a second clear of Fernando Alonso who was again ‘best of the rest’ in 3rd.
Daniel Ricciardo beat team-mate Sebastian Vettel to take 4th, ahead of Felipe Massa and Jenson Button – Vettel was in 7th.
After setting times on the yellow-marked soft tyres the drivers moved to race simulations where again Mercedes looked the cream of the crop; their laptimes regularly hung around a second a lap quicker than Red Bull and Ferrari, sometimes bridging out to two seconds per tour as they hit the 1:40:0 mark. Red Bull again had a fuel sensor failure on Ricciardo’s car and also had balance issues, particularly for the Australian, allowing Ferrari to draw level with the Austrian team in race simulation pace.
Meanwhile Force India and McLaren look set to battle Williams for the lower points during the race after falling further behind in the darkness that coated the track in the first ever night session at Sakhir.
Britain’s Max Chilton had a scare when a faulty brake-by-wire system spat his Marussia off the track at turn four halfway through the session, while Adrian Sutil also had to walk back to the pits when his Sauber experienced a mechancial failure – though he did manage to get back out on track with five minutes to spare. Marcus Ericsson broke down in the dying minutes, but Caterham have yet to discover the cause of his stoppage.
CLASSIFICATION – FP2 – 2014 Bahrain GP