Mercedes Duo Fast Again In Bahrain
SAKHIR, Bahrain — Sunshine or darkness, it didn’t matter.
Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, who split the first two Formula One races of the season, dominated both practice sessions Friday night for the Bahrain Grand Prix at Sakhir Int’l Circuit.
Hamilton was fastest on Pirelli’s medium compound tire and even quicker on soft tires, turning a one minute and 34.325-second lap, besting his teammate by .0365 seconds.
“It’s been a pretty decent day for us,” Hamilton explained. “The car felt good from the outset which allowed us to spend time getting to grips with the tires. The softs in particular seem to be working well and we saw a fair difference in lap time between them and the mediums. The focus today was on the second session as the timing and conditions reflects that of the rest of the weekend and the difference in temperature between the sessions was quite large. The key was to not react too much to that change in terms of our approach to set-up and we seemed to manage that well.
“It was great driving under the spotlights here,” Hamilton continued. “The circuit looks even better at night and you don’t really notice a difference in terms of visibility. It’s actually quite nice to be driving in cooler conditions too. As always there are still some tweaks we can make to improve the car, but overall I’m feeling good. I heard the update about Michael after P2 and we are all thinking of him and his family.”
Fernando Alonso, Mercedes’ closest opposition in the Ferrari, was just over a second behind Hamilton.
It was a difficult day for Red Bull, from which Daniel Ricciardo salvaged fourth place, while Felipe Massa was fifth for Williams.
Sebastian Vettel lost a little time with a downshift problem early on and wound up seventh at the end of the day.