Bottas closes out Bahrain F1 test fastest for Mercedes

However, other than the aesthetics, over the last two weekends the controversial devises have made headlines for other reasons, with Valtteri Bottas losing his T-wing in Shanghai and again this weekend in FP2 in Bahrain. The vehicle stopped on track at Turn 4 with a mechanical issue on the steering wheel in the early afternoon, causing a red flag, but it was back on track just 15 minutes after returning to the garage.

Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari was 0.294s off Bottas after a relatively limited day of 63 laps.

Kevin Magnussen finished fifth for Haas ahead of Force India's Esteban Ocon, who handed the VJM10 auto over to team-mate Sergio Perez for the afternoon. That led to an extended period of downtime before systems checks were carried out and the vehicle was able to reappear in the early afternoon to continue the team's testing programme. Perez propped up the timesheets in P12, 3.7 seconds off Bottas' fastest time.

Despite causing one red flag by stopping on track due to a mechanical problem just before lunch, Bottas got through an intensive programme and set his best lap of 1m31.280s in the final hour as track conditions cooled.

During in-season testing on the same circuit Tuesday McLaren detected a water leak on the first lap and worked all day to fix it, completing only 17 laps and two timed runs. However, if the team can sync its mapping and brake-by-wire system with the Carbon Industrie brakes, they could be introduced as soon as the Russian Grand Prix next week.

Russian 21-year-old Sergey Sirotkin was at the wheel with the Renault and completed 90 laps in his new role as the team's test driver.

Pierre Gasly is taking over for Red Bull, with Daniel Ricciardo's running on Tuesday having been cut short by an engine failure.

  • Loretta Pittman