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FP2: Hamilton fastest from Russell as Mercedes set the pace in second practice in Bahrain

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Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of action at the Bahrain Grand Prix on top after setting the fastest lap in the second free practice hour, leading team mate George Russell in a Mercedes one-two.

Taking place at 1800 local time, the drivers took to the track under the floodlights in more representative conditions of qualifying and race day than Thursday’s earlier session.

READ MORE: FP1: Ricciardo tops first practice in Bahrain as 2024 F1 season officially kicks off

With the majority of teams – barring McLaren, RB and Kick Sauber – opting to save the soft tyre for these cooler conditions rather than using it in FP1, many opened their FP2 running on that compound as they carried out early qualifying simulation runs.

Bahrain 2024

Practice 2 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1HAM1:30.374
2RUS+0.206s
3ALO+0.286s
4SAI+0.395s
5PIA+0.41s
View Full Results

It was Hamilton who set the initial pace, working his way down to a 1m 30.374s as the session reached its halfway point. This effort from the Briton remained unbeaten as teams turned their attentions to longer runs, with Hamilton’s lap 0.206s ahead of Russell.

Fernando Alonso was just eight hundredths back from Russell in third, and Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri were the leading drivers for their respective squads in P4 and P5 respectively.

AS IT HAPPENED: Follow all the action from first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Max Verstappen set the sixth quickest time – nearly half a second back from Hamilton’s lap – while Nico Hulkenberg, Lance Stroll, Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.

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Verstappen ended the session in sixth place

Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant ended the session in 11th and 13th for Williams, with the RB of Daniel Ricciardo – who had earlier topped FP1 – sandwiched between them in 12th. Kevin Magnussen was the leading Haas in P14, with Yuki Tsunoda behind in P15.

Tsunoda’s former team mate Pierre Gasly was 16th for Alpine, followed by Valtteri Bottas, who was under investigation over a pit lane infringement at the start of the hour.

NEED TO KNOW: The most important facts, stats and trivia ahead of the 2024 Bahrain Grand Prix

Esteban Ocon and Zhou Guanyu were 18th and 19th, while Lando Norris ended the day in last place, having aborted his earlier flying lap due to a mistake.

With the opening day of action now complete, the teams will now assess the data ahead of the third and final practice session on Friday at 1530 local time before qualifying takes place later in the evening.

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