Russell ends Bahrain test on top with Mercedes

George Russell improved late in the day to set the fastest time of Formula 1 testing in Bahrain, driving for Mercedes instead of his 2019 race team Williams.

Russell ends Bahrain test on top with Mercedes
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Russell drove for Williams on Tuesday at the post-Bahrain Grand Prix test before taking over from Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes, which retains close ties to its former junior driver.

An improvement in the final hour of the test allowed Russell to set a 1m29.029s, leapfrogging Racing Point's Sergio Perez by just 0.066s.

However, Russell's work was delayed by what Mercedes described as a "small water leak".

Mercedes chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin said: "That wasn't a quick fix, which delayed our afternoon programme quite considerably. Whilst we couldn't complete all our test items, we've done the important bits."

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel's early-morning time stood as the benchmark for most of the day, before Perez improved with less than two hours remaining.

Vettel never improved on his 1m29.319s, and slipped to third in the final standings.

The German was one of seven drivers to clear 100 laps as teams looked to make up for a disappointing day of testing on Tuesday, which was interrupted by persistent rain.

Among that septet was Red Bull's F1 test debutant Dan Ticktum, who racked up 134 laps – second only to Alex Albon's 143-lap tally.

Ticktum wound up ninth fastest, 1.8s off the pace, as he ticked off a major aim for 2019 by testing Red Bull's RB15.

His significant mileage will be a result of Red Bull seeking answers to its set-up problems that have held it back over the first two grands prix of the season.

Ticktum's lap count was nearly double that of his 2018 European Formula 3 title rival Mick Schumacher.

The son of seven-time F1 champion Michael swapped the Ferrari he made his own debut in on Tuesday for the Alfa Romeo on Wednesday.

Schumacher only completed 70 laps, though, on his way to setting the sixth-fastest time – a 1m29.998s.

That was the lowest tally of any driver who completed a full day of running.

Several drivers were able to pump in performance runs near the end of their programmes.

Daniil Kvyat jumped to fifth while completing Pirelli tyre testing duties, setting a 1m29.911s on the penultimate lap of his 111-lap day.

Likewise, fellow tyre tester Fernando Alonso posted a 1m31.006s on lap 68 of 69, sharing McLaren's Pirelli work with Carlos Sainz.

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 George Russell Mercedes 1'29.029   101
2 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1'29.095 +0.066s 60
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1'29.319 +0.290s 102
4 Carlos Sainz  McLaren 1'29.795 +0.766s 20
5 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1'29.911 +0.882s 111
6 Mick Schumacher Alfa Romeo 1'29.998 +0.969s 70
7 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso 1'30.037 +1.008s 143
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point 1'30.049 +1.020s 35
9 Dan Ticktum Red Bull 1'30.856 +1.827s 134
10 Romain Grosjean Haas 1'30.903 +1.874s 86
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1'31.006 +1.977s 69
12 Pietro Fittipaldi Haas VF-19 1'31.209 +2.180s 48
13 Lando Norris McLaren 1'31.303 +2.274s 72
14 Jack Aitken Renault 1'31.500 +2.471s 103
15 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1'32.198 +3.169s 100
Dan Ticktum, Red Bull Racing RB15
Dan Ticktum, Red Bull Racing RB15
1/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
2/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19
Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19
3/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14
Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14
4/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
5/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
6/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
George Russell, Mercedes AMG F1 W10
7/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90
8/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19
Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19
9/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
10/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Team VF-19
Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Team VF-19
11/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14 and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14 and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
12/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34
13/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing FW42
Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing FW42
14/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14
Alexander Albon, Toro Rosso STR14
15/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34 and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34 and Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
16/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
17/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Team VF-19
Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Team VF-19
18/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing FW42
Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing FW42
19/33

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
20/33

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Mick Schumacher, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
Mick Schumacher, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
21/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
22/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Dan Ticktum, Red Bull Racing RB15
Dan Ticktum, Red Bull Racing RB15
23/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL34
24/33

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL34
25/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19
Lance Stroll, Racing Point RP19
26/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Mick Schumacher, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
Mick Schumacher, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
27/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso STR14
Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso STR14
28/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo Racing C38
29/33

Photo by: Joe Portlock / Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing RB15 front wing detail
Red Bull Racing RB15  front wing detail
30/33

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF90
31/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Team VF-19
Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Team VF-19
32/33

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing FW42
Nicholas Latifi, Williams Racing FW42
33/33

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

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