Indonesian driver sets fastest lap time at Bahrain International Circuit.
The second day of testing at Bahrain International Circuit opened this morning under overcast skies and in cooler temperatures. Jolyon Palmer, Takuya Izawa and Stoffel Vandoorne were quick to take to the track, but it was Conor Daly who topped the timesheets on soft Pirelli tyres early into the session.
Fellow countryman Alexander Rossi became the first man to dip under 1m41s today, but Daly went even quicker and lapped the track in 1:40.233. It was then Mitch Evans who found some extra pace to break under the 1m40s barrier. His laptime was bettered by Palmer by two hundredths, the Briton clocking in a time of 1:39.854.
A few drops of rain fell over the track, but most of the field opted to put on the softer compounds and it was Rio Haryanto’s time to shine: the Indonesian driver managed to set a blazing laptime of 1:39.129 – three tenths quicker than last year’s pole position.
After the lunch break, the temperatures rose and Daniiel De Jong was the early pace setter. He remained top for most of the session as drivers focused on race simulations and pitstop practices. With one hour left on the clock, Daniel Abt went quickest on Hard compounds, but De Jong on Soft Pirelli tyres soon improved on the German’s laptime and regained control of the timesheet.
In the closing stages, laptimes started to tumble down and the fight for the top spot saw Jon Lancaster, Vittorio Ghirelli and Johnny Cecotto successively hit the front, but at the chequered flag, De Jong reclaimed P1 with a 1:40.508 – two tenths quicker than Cecotto (also on Soft compounds). Leal was able to find some extra pace on Hard Pirelli tyres to move up to third in the dying minutes ahead of Ghirelli, Lancaster, Simon Trummer, Facu Regalia, Abt, Felipe Nasr and Arthur Pic.