Valtteri Bottas heads second day of Bahrain F1 test
Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas clocked the quickest time during the concluding day of running at the opening in-season test in Bahrain.
Bottas, who claimed pole position for last weekend’s race before slipping to third, kept Mercedes on top, despite a brief stoppage on-track, caused by a mechanical issue with the steering wheel.
Bottas, running without a T-wing on the W08, set a best of 1:31.280, having also recorded the most laps (143).
Sebastian Vettel’s running was limited during the morning amid suspected technical issues but he enjoyed a productive afternoon, winding up second, 0.294s behind Bottas, completing 64 laps.
Toro Rosso split its efforts between Carlos Sainz Jr. and Daniil Kvyat, with the Spaniard piloting the STR12 in the afternoon, finishing in third position.
After Tuesday’s restricted running, due to a lengthy power unit change, McLaren-Honda’s fortunes improved, with Stoffel Vandoorne completing 81 laps in the MCL32, placing fourth.
Kevin Magnussen was fifth for Haas, in front of Force India’s Esteban Ocon and the aforementioned Kvyat.
Williams simulator driver Gary Paffett participated in an official F1 test session for the first time since mid-2013, when he competed with McLaren, and amassed 126 laps en route to eighth spot, as the last driver to finish within a second of Bottas.
Sergey Sirotkin (Renault) and Pierre Gasly (Red Bull) both received their first runs in 2017 machinery to place ninth and 10th, while Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein continued to get up to speed in the C36-Ferrari, completing 91 laps, his best effort 3.1s behind Bottas' quickest time.
Sergio Pérez completed the afternoon session for Force India, taking over from team-mate Ocon, and finished at the foot of the standings.