Vettel tops FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Sport360 staff 14/04/2017

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel topped the times again for Ferrari in Friday's hotly-contested second free practice ahead of this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix.

Having lapped quickest to top the opening session in very hot conditions, the four-time champion remained the man to beat in cooler temperatures in the floodlit session at the Bahrain International Circuit where the sport's former commercial supremo Bernie Ecclestone made his first appearance at a race since new owners Liberty Media took over the sport.

Vettel clocked an early best lap in one minute and 31.310 seconds during a run on super-soft tyres, a time that left him 0.041 seconds ahead of nearest rival Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.

The Finn, who replaced retired 2016 champion Nico Rosberg in the champion team, was second 0.025 seconds clear of third placed Daniel Ricciardo of Red bull, the front three all separated by just 0.066 seconds.

Kimi Raikkonen, the 2007 champion, was fourth quickest in the second Ferrari ahead of Mercedes' three-time champion Lewis Hamilton, who shares the title race lead with Vettel after two races so far this season.

The Briton was unable to clock a truly competitive lap on his super-soft runs and had to take evasive action when he came upon Nico Hulkenberg idling on the racing line in Turn One.

"These drivers are so dangerous, man," said Hamilton, on his team radio, as he backed off and aborted his lap.

The incident was reported to the stewards and was due for investigation post-session. Vettel also had problems mid-way through the session when his Ferrari lost power.

"Complete shutdown," he told his team as he nursed his car back to the pits.

The German rejoined for the long race-simulation runs in the final part of the session. Verstappen's efforts were also thwarted by problems when he ran over the 't-wing' that flew off Bottas's Mercedes and damaged the floor of his Red Bull car.

The session was run in track temperatures of 35 degrees Celsius and air temperatures of 34 degrees, some 14 degrees cooler than it had been in the opening session.

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Alonso to miss Monaco GP and race in Indianapolis 500

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A change of scenery for Alonso.

The news comes as somewhat of a surprise but the Spaniard has been told he has the full backing and support of McLaren and engine partner Honda.

Alonso will hit the speedway circuit in Indiana on Sunday, May 28 – the same day the prestigious Monte Carlo F1 race takes place.

The veteran will be racing for the Honda-powered Andretti team.

After a shaky start to the 2017 season, McLaren have yet to announce who will replace Alonso behind the F1 wheel – but there is a possibility that Jenson Button could return.

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Listen to this week's Inside Line F1 podcast!

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Scroll down to listen to this year's podcast.

After the quite incredible Chinese Grand Prix, the Inside Line team wonder what most Ferrari fans would – why did the team not ask Kimi Raikkonen to move over and let Sebastian Vettel pass?

Our hosts are happy that Ferrari let their drivers race, however, in keeping with the same tactics being used by Red Bull and Mercedes in keeping things competitive.

All this and more is in this week’s episode which you can listen to below, as the team enjoy the fruits of a double racing weekend.

Oh, and that we’re gearing up for one of the tightest title races in F1 history.

Subscribe to the Inside Line F1 Podcast on iTunes and audioBoom for your weekly dose of Formula 1.

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