McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo once again led the way on the second morning of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain, as Lewis Hamilton suffered a red-flag inducing spin.

Ricciardo, who also led the opening morning of the three-day test, traded fastest laps with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso throughout the four-hour-long morning session before claiming top spot by setting a 1m32.215s on Medium C3 tyres in his Mercedes-powered McLaren MCL35M.

Returning two-time world champion Alonso - who is driving with titanium plates after sustaining a jaw fracture in a cycling accident last month - was just 0.124s off Ricciardo’s benchmark on the Hard C2 compound as he continued Alpine’s impressive start to pre-season testing, logging a half-century of laps.

Sergio Perez was third-quickest on his Red Bull pre-season testing debut, ahead of Nicholas Latifi and Yuki Tsunoda, who set their best laps on Soft C5 and C4 tyres respectively to round out the top five for Williams and AlphaTauri.

There was no sign of a repeat of the sandstorm which resulted in tricky conditions on the opening day as the Sakhir skies cleared, but Mercedes’ early troubles to 2021 continued despite enjoying a cleaner morning of running.

While Hamilton was able to complete more laps than the team’s entire Day 1 total with 58, his issue-free morning run was disrupted by a slow speed spin at Turn 13 which resulted in the seven-time world champion becoming beached in the gravel and caused the first red flag of the day.

The off meant Hamilton lost around 45 minutes of running, though he did re-appear to clock some further mileage before he hands over to teammate Valtteri Bottas for the afternoon session during the lunch break.

Mercedes once again opted against setting any headline-grabbing times, with Hamilton ending the morning only eighth in the leaderboard, behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz who had a big spin at Turn 7, and Haas rookie Nikita Mazepin, who logged the most laps with 76.

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi was ninth on the leaderboard, while Sebastian Vettel was only able to complete 10 laps after Aston Martin was forced to change the gearbox in his car after encountering an issue that is not believed to be related to the problem Mercedes had on Day 1.




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