Guanyu Zhou led Alfa Romeo to the top of the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain after setting the fastest time on the softest Pirelli tyres in the afternoon session, with Max Verstappen finishing second for Red Bull.

Zhou switched to the softest Pirelli C5 tyres half an hour before the end and set the fastest time of the test 1:31.610 to clear Verstappen from the top by four hundredths after the reigning world champion took over the Red Bull RB19 from Sergio Perez.

The Chinese spent the whole day in the Alfa Romeo C43 and drove 133 laps while Verstappen and Perez drove a combined 123 laps for Red Bull.

After yesterday’s second fastest time for Aston Martin, Alonso was again near the top of the standings with the third fastest lap on C3 tyres, but six tenths behind the fastest Zhou, while de Vries finished fourth for AlphaTauri on C4 compound.

Hulkenberg took the Haas VF-23 from Magnussen in the afternoon and finished fifth on C4 tyres to push morning leader Sainz into sixth for Ferrari.

Sargeant completed an impressive 154 laps in the Williams, the most of any driver on day two, and finished seventh fastest ahead of Leclerc who completed a total of 138 laps with Sainz for Ferrari.

Piastri took over the McLaren MCL60 from Norris in the afternoon and set the ninth fastest time with a total of 139 laps for McLaren, with Magnussen finishing 11th for Haas to separate two Alpine drivers Gasly and Ocon who completed a combined 108 laps, second worst laps count behind Mercedes .

Mercedes drivers Russell and Hamilton finished only 13th and 15th, more than two seconds adrift, after Mercedes missed the final hour and a half due to a hydraulic problem that stopped Russell and stuck his car in fourth gear, causing the only red flag of the day.

That’s why Mercedes completed just 98 laps in total, the fewest of all, while Russell was more affected with just 26 laps completed in the afternoon. The end of the day was marked by two problems for Williams and Alfa Romeo – Sargeant and Zhou had technical problems while in the pitlane.

The last day of pre-season testing starts tomorrow at 08:00 CET.


  Zhou Guanyu   Alfa Romeo C43   Ferrari 066/10   1:31.610   133   
  Max Verstappen   Red Bull RB19   Honda RBPT H001   1:31.650   47   
  Fernando Alonso   Aston Martin AMR23   Mercedes F1 M14  1:32.205   130   
  Nyck de Vries   AlphaTauri AT04   Honda RBPT H001   1:32.222   74   
  Nico Hülkenberg   Haas VF-23   Ferrari 066/10   1:32.466   68   
  Carlos Sainz Jr.   Ferrari SF-23   Ferrari 066/10   1:32.486   70   
  Logan Sargeant   Williams FW45   Mercedes F1 M14  1:32.549   154   
  Charles Leclerc   Ferrari SF-23   Ferrari 066/10   1:32.725   68   
  Oscar Piastri   McLaren MCL60   Mercedes F1 M14  1:33.175   74   
10   Pierre Gasly   Alpine A523   Renault E-Tech RE23   1:33.186   59   
11   Kevin Magnussen   Haas VF-23   Ferrari 066/10   1:33.442   67   
12   Esteban Ocon   Alpine A523   Renault E-Tech RE23   1:33.490   49   
13   George Russell   Mercedes F1 W14 E Performance   Mercedes F1 M14  1:33.654   26   
14   Sergio Pérez   Red Bull RB19   Honda RBPT H001   1:33.751   76   
15   Lewis Hamilton   Mercedes F1 W14 E Performance   Mercedes F1 M14   1:33.954   72   
16   Lando Norris   McLaren MCL60   Mercedes F1 M14  1:35.522   65   
17   Yuki Tsunoda   AlphaTauri AT04   Honda RBPT H001  1:35.708   85   
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