Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024

Hamilton quickest as Mercedes set pace in second practice

Formula 1

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Mercedes ended the first day of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix quickest of all with Lewis Hamilton ahead of George Russell.

Running under the floodlights for the first time in the weekend, Hamilton’s 1’30.374 set on soft tyres was two tenths quicker than Russell with Fernando Alonso in third.

After seven of the ten teams avoided the soft compound through the first hour of practice, everyone made sure to run them in the cooler, more representative conditions of the night session. The majority of the field ran solely on the red-walled tyres throughout the session.

With teams eager to focus on high-fuel runs for the later phase of the session, drivers’ quickest times were set at the middle phase of the hour. Hamilton topped the times with a push lap of a 1’30.374, with team mate Russell closest to him.

Alonso was the nearest to the Mercedes in third ahead of Carlos Sainz Jnr’s Ferrari. Oscar Piastri was fifth for McLaren ahead of world champion Max Verstappen. After being slowest in first practice, Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Haas, with Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez the top ten.

Aside from typical grumbles about traffic, the only major incident of note during the session occurred at the start when Valtteri Bottas appeared to cross the pit exit light under a red light before practice began. The Sauber driver is currently under investigation by the stewards.

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2024 Bahrain Grand Prix second practice result

144Lewis HamiltonMercedesW151’30.37425
263George RussellMercedesW151’30.5800.20623
314Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-MercedesAMR241’30.6600.28622
455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariSF-241’30.7690.39525
581Oscar PiastriMcLaren-MercedesMCL381’30.7840.41027
61Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB201’30.8510.47725
727Nico HulkenbergHaas-FerrariVF-241’30.8840.51023
818Lance StrollAston Martin-MercedesAMR241’30.8910.51726
916Charles LeclercFerrariSF-241’31.1130.73926
1011Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda RBPTRB201’31.1150.74126
1123Alexander AlbonWilliams-MercedesFW461’31.3330.95926
123Daniel RicciardoRB-Honda RBPT011’31.5161.14226
132Logan SargeantWilliams-MercedesFW461’31.7151.34127
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas-FerrariVF-241’31.7641.39027
1522Yuki TsunodaRB-Honda RBPT011’31.8811.50729
1610Pierre GaslyAlpine-RenaultA5241’31.9511.57725
1777Valtteri BottasSauber-FerrariC441’32.0011.62724
1831Esteban OconAlpine-RenaultA5241’32.0271.65325
1924Zhou GuanyuSauber-FerrariC441’32.0481.67428
204Lando NorrisMcLaren-MercedesMCL381’32.6082.23425

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2024 Bahrain Grand Prix

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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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29 comments on “Hamilton quickest as Mercedes set pace in second practice”

  1. It is good to see these times are much closer together than in FP1. Anyone know if Norris had a problem? He did roughly the same nuber of laps as everyone else. Maybe he just didn’t do a quali sim run and everyone else did.

  2. Messed up his qualy simulation lap

    1. Thanks. That is a key detail to making sense of those times, surprised I couldn’t find it in the article.

    2. It is confirmed engineers also did not allow RBR or RB to run even close to full power. Less known, but highly suspected is that SF was also way dialed back on power.

      1. Is it confirmed or pure speculation that Mercedes were turned up on power? So far it looks like speculation. On the F1TV broadcast I believe Palmer mentioned that the speed traps weren’t that dissimilar among the teams. Something that gets lost in the shuffle is that due to the limitations of the 2022 and 2023 Mercedes cars, the engine was rarely – if ever – turned up to full power. So we might be seeing this new Mercedes at its baseline.

        1. Why would they not turn the engines to full power due to inefficient aero? It would make more sense to turn them all the way up

      2. oh stop it. it is just practise. wait for qualifying. all assumptions until then.

  3. Max was an easy 0.4 faster all through the long run, sorry!

    1. Zann, thanks, another helpful detail which could have been usefully included.

    2. What are you sorry for? RB20 is still the faster race car and Max with his skill is using it to the max (excuse the pun). The other just need to work harder. Or is your sorry a sly sarcastic remark against fans of other drivers?

      1. yes rude comment. they are just as fast as him.

    3. Yeah, the RedBull race pace looks next level. I expect they had plenty of fuel in the tank on their “low fuel” runs too.

      Let’s see how close the others can get to RedBull.

    4. Yet here they state that “Mercedes sets pace.” So unprofessional and misleading.

      1. Absolutely. How dare people report the times on the timesheet as if they were meaningful!

      2. The pace is the fastest time set in a session and Mercedes set it, so it’s not unprofessional or misleading.

  4. Attn: Keith

    Can you please add a column to the practice/qualy results with the type of tyres used?

    1. and maybe the ‘long run pace’?

    2. Just about everyone was on Soft.

  5. From what I remember, LIberty showed that Max’s long run pace was 36.6, whereas Hamilton’s was 37.1. I might be wrong though.

    1. That’s what the graphic said their average stint times were. Verstappen did around 12 laps and only just started to drop into the low 37’s. Hamilton did 9 laps and only 3 were in the 36’s with 2 cooldown laps in the 38’s. Overall no one is getting close to matching the RedBull race pace. Surprisingly Alonso was actually the closest over the stint, but still some off.

      1. Yeah, exactly. That 6th place by Max is such a far cry from reality, or at least I hope it is.

      2. also mercedes were seen removing some sand sacks :) from the car after each long run trials… we dont know for sure what were inside each drivers’ sand sacks (pun intended)…
        we ll see at end of saturday who are geese and who are asparagus.

    2. how much fuel did each car have? what engine setting?

  6. I wonder how did Bottas manage to jump start by four seconds.

    1. Jere, I imagine it was a communication error with the engineer, with Bottas thinking the session had already started and busy looking at the dash, and not realising he needed to be looking for a red light green light. Easily done. It isn’t as if he was trying to make a jump start, so i hope the FIA will be lenient, and not so a trend for penalising every inconsequential error.

      1. & ultimately only a driving reprimand, which is fair.

  7. It was noted on the sky coverage that Red Bull’s top end speed wasn’t that different between his low & high fuel runs which suggests Red Bull never turned there engines up while everyone else did going by the speed trap data.

    If right then yhey still have a few tenths in hand.

  8. Representative times or not, the Mercedes looks pretty cool from the front.

    Hopefully it’s a bit closer than last year.

    1. That is for sure!

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