Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test

Sainz puts Ferrari quickest, 0.063s ahead of Sargeant halfway through test

2023 F1 season

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Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jnr put up the quickest time of pre-season testing so far in the early session on day two, but Logan Sargeant was less than a tenth of a second behind.

In an uneventful early session with no major dramas for any of the ten cars running, Sainz comfortably beat Max Verstappen’s best time of Thursday’s first day to go quickest overall. Sargeant was just 0.063s behind in second, with Fernando Alonso third fastest for Aston Martin.

Air temperature was a relatively comfortable 24C as cars began lining up at the end of the pitlane for the start of the second day of running. After Aston Martin announced Alonso would run the entire day for them, he was the first car out as the green light appeared to signal the beginning of the session.

Sergio Perez had sat out all of Thursday while team mate Verstappen enjoyed a full day in the Red Bull RB19, but he finally got his first real experience of the car during the early Friday session. Carlos Sainz Jnr set the first time of the day, but none of the ten teams were pushing anywhere near the limits during the opening minutes.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2023 pre-season test
Gallery: Pre-season testing day two in pictures
Kevin Magnussen was the first driver to set a remotely fastest lap, posting a 1’33.710 – seven tenths faster than Haas had managed over the opening day. Perez almost matched that on his first true push lap of the day, going just 0.041s slower than the Haas driver.

An hour into running, Sainz was sent out on C3 tyres and posted a 1’32.653 – the fastest lap of the test so far, almost two tenths of a second quicker than Verstappen’s benchmark set on Thursday. Alonso improved to second place to go more than half a second faster than his best time on Friday, but ran over a small piece of carbon fibre that appeared to come off the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton on the exit of turn three.

Sainz chipped 0.167s off his own best time 90 minutes into the running, while Zhou Guanyu moved second in the Alfa Romeo, six tenths off from the Ferrari. Then Alonso improved to break under the 1’33 barrier for the first time, getting within half a second of Sainz’s best.

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Williams rookie Logan Sargeant spent some extended time in the garage as the team worked on his front-left wheel hub. Once that was completed, he went back out and posted a time within a tenth of a second of Sainz’s best, putting him second in the standings.

There were no red flag interruptions throughout the four-and-a-quarter hours of running, except for a planned test of the race suspension procedure within the final 15 minutes of the session. A standing start test was run with seven of the ten cars on track, but some confusion led to Sainz almost running into the back of Lando Norris’s McLaren on the grid.

Yuki Tsunoda completed the most laps of the session despite being slowest of all, covering 85 laps in the AlphaTauri. Sainz, Sargeant, Alonso, Kevin Magnussen, Perez, Hamilton and Norris all completed at least a race distance, with Zhou’s Alfa Romeo and Esteban Ocon’s Alpine the only two cars who failed to do so.

2023 F1 pre-season Bahrain testing: Day two session one times:

Pos. Car number Driver Team Model Best time Gap Laps
1 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-23 1’32.486 70
2 2 Logan Sargeant Williams FW45 1’32.549 0.063 74
3 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin AMR23 1’32.969 0.483 64
4 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo C43 1’33.170 0.684 43
5 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas VF-23 1’33.442 0.956 67
6 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine A523 1’33.490 1.004 49
7 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull RB19 1’33.751 1.265 76
8 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 1’33.954 1.468 72
9 4 Lando Norris McLaren MCL60 1’35.522 3.036 65
10 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri AT04 1’35.708 3.222 85

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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2 comments on “Sainz puts Ferrari quickest, 0.063s ahead of Sargeant halfway through test”

  1. Some pretty average times in that session, especially from Mclaren and Mercedes. Hope they’re getting usable data because they’re surely not pushing all that hard.

    Nice to see at least Williams allowing their drivers to have a decent go.

  2. I don’t see why people bother with testing times. Williams being half a tenth of Ferrari, unknown fuel, unknown testing parameters and schedules

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