Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton ended Friday practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix with the fastest time in an FP2 session that was disrupted by a massive accident for Alex Albon and a stray dog on track.

The second 90-minute session, which was held in the most representative conditions of the three practices, was interrupted by two red flags - the first of which was caused when Albon lost control of his Red Bull and slammed into the barriers at high-speed.

Having been unable to catch a big wobble at the exit of the final corner, Albon speared into the wall rearwards. The impact caused significant to the right-hand side of his RB16, particularly the front-right suspension and rear-end, leaving Red Bull with a big repair job on its hands.

It acted as the latest blow for the under-pressure Thai racer, who has just three races remaining to secure the second seat at Red Bull alongside Max Verstappen for 2021 as the team continues to weigh up its options.

No sooner had practice got back underway and the red flag was flown once again when a stray dog found its way onto the circuit at Turn 1, leading to a second, albeit much shorter stoppage.

The interruptions compromised at least half of the grid’s fast lap simulation runs in conditions that will best replicate the scenario drivers will face during qualifying on Saturday evening.

Newly-crowned seven-time world champion Hamilton had not been able to get in a flying lap prior to the session twice being halted, before completing his qualifying simulation run much later than most others.

The Mercedes driver turned in a 1m28.971s on Pirelli’s softest tyre to end FP2 0.347s clear of Verstappen, who had spent the majority of the session at the top of the timesheets in his Red Bull prior to Hamilton’s late flyer.

Valtteri Bottas was just 0.018s behind Verstappen, with Racing Point’s Sergio Perez fourth and within half a second of Hamilton’s benchmark having ended the morning third-quickest.

Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top five for Renault, ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Lance Stroll’s Racing Point, Daniil Kvyat and Albon - with positions 6-10 split by half a second.

FULL SECOND PRACTICE RESULTS FOR THE F1 2020 BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX.

 

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