The Spaniard’s best lap was a tenth of a second faster than those of Verstappen and Checo Perez.
The second free practice session in Formula 1 is a pivotal moment for drivers to showcase their skills and prepare for the upcoming race weekend. During the session held in Bahrain, Fernando Alonso set the fastest time on the track.
MARCA reported that this session was a dress rehearsal for qualifying, meaning that drivers had the chance to test their speed and technique ahead of the crucial round. Alonso’s outstanding performance during this session has raised expectations for his performance in the upcoming races.
The recent Formula One testing at Sakhir saw teams holding back on their full engine power, resulting in comparable performances.
Despite this, Aston Martin showed their strength, while Red Bull and Ferrari held back even more. Fernando Alonso managed to secure P1, and his lap time would ensure him at least P5 on the grid for the upcoming race.
The Aston Martin’s easy-to-drive and high-speed capabilities have been widely acknowledged by even the most skeptical reporters. Despite this, some French reporters seemed hurt by Alonso’s departure from Alpine, although they appear to have forgotten that the team practically kicked him out in May 2022.
On the soft tires, Fernando Alonso had a faster race pace than Max Verstappen, with a minimal loss in rear tire performance and an outstanding speed. Despite Verstappen’s late surge, he finished only slightly better than the Spanish driver, and the gap between them remained almost constant.
Even though Alonso is not the best, he is certainly among the top two cars. If Red Bull Racing does not have any hidden race strategies, Alonso could become a serious challenger for the Sunday race.
However, it’s always possible for unexpected events to take place, and nothing is entirely certain until the checkered flag falls.
Verstappen in traffic
During the qualifying lap, Max Verstappen faced some traffic in the first sector and finished second, with just 0.169 seconds behind the leader, Alonso. However, Verstappen is still considered the favorite for the pole position, given his exceptional driving skills. In addition, Checo secured the third position, with just 0.171 seconds behind Alonso.
This year, he appears to be much closer to Verstappen than last year, and the RB19 car might suit his driving style better than the previous car. Overall, the qualifying lap showcased some impressive driving skills from the drivers, and the race promises to be an exciting one.
Leclerc finished fourth, with Sainz stuck in traffic
The recent race witnessed Charles Leclerc’s brilliant performance as he secured the fourth position with SF-23 and a clean lap. He even managed to maintain a lead of 0.460 from Fernando.
Despite his incredible win, the Italian team seems to have some reservations. They have to work on Friday night to rectify their weaknesses. Carlos Sainz’s day, on the other hand, was quite challenging as he finished 14th and was out of position.
He faced a spin in Free Practice 1 and got stuck in traffic during Free Practice 2. However, he’s confident about his talent and is all set to make a comeback in the upcoming races.
Russell is 13th, Hamilton is eighth
Mercedes’ struggles were apparent during the practice session, as several cars overtook Hamilton in the midfield, including Gasly’s Alpine. As a result, the Silver Arrows may not be competitive this weekend.
There is even a possibility that their start could be worse than last year, although that seems unlikely.
Ferrari dominated the first stint
The opening stint of the practice session saw Ferrari using the soft tires, with Charles Leclerc leading the pack followed closely by teammate Carlos Sainz. Meanwhile, Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez of Red Bull, along with Fernando Alonso of Alpine, opted for a race-style strategy using the medium tires, making their lap times irrelevant.
Lewis Hamilton used soft tires and came in third place, trailing behind Leclerc by 0.4 seconds. Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon secured fourth and fifth place respectively, both using the soft tires.
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