Sergio Perez once again topped the time sheets for Force India in Bahrain, as the Mexican ended up fastest of all for a second successive day.
The 24-year-old set a fastest time of 1:35.570 in the morning, just three tenths shy of his session topping time from day one, racking up 108 trouble free laps by the time the chequered flag fell in the afternoon.
Fernando Alonso ended the day as Perez’s closest challenger, his fastest lap just six hundredths adrift of the Mexican, as the Ferrari man completed an impressive haul of 122 laps at the wheel of the F14 T, the most of anyone on day two.
Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest on what was a progressive day for Red Bull.
The Australian lapped the Bahrain International Circuit in 1:35.743, the fastest time managed in six days of running in Sakhir with the RB10.
Felipe Massa added another 103 laps to Williams’ logbook, as he ended the day fifth, while Jenson Button ended the day just four tenths shy of the Brazilian, after a disrupted day for McLaren, having lost a lot of lap time due to a drive failure on the MP4-29.
Marussia has struggled to find reliability with their MR03 so far this year, but the Anglo-Russian squad experienced a positive second day in Bahrain, as Jules Bianchi completed 75 laps on the way to sixth fastest, the Frenchman’s lap some 2.5 seconds down on Perez’s session topping time.
A gearbox problem brought an early end to Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton’s day, but the pre-season favourites still managed to rack up a solid total of 89 laps, ending up seventh fastest having focused on long-runs for a second successive day.
Jean-Eric Vergne ended the day eight fastest for Toro Rosso, while Esteban Gutierrez completed 106 laps on his way to ninth overall in the Sauber C33.
It was another testing day for Lotus, who completed just 31 laps before a serial exhaust issue caused the E22 to catch fire, ending Pastor Maldonado’s afternoon prematurely.
A fire similarly ended Marcus Ericsson’s day early, with the Caterham stopping out on track late in the session leading to a fourth and final red flag on day two.
Bahrain – Day Two Classification:
1. Sergio Perez – Force India -1:35.570 – 108 laps
2. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:35.634 +0.064s – 122 laps
3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull Racing – 1:35.743 +0.173s – 66 laps
4. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:36.507 +0.937s – 103 laps
5. Jenson Button – McLaren – 1:36.901 +1.331s – 52 laps
6. Jules Bianchi – Marussia – 1:38.092 +2.522s – 75 laps
7. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:39.041 +3.471s – 89 laps
8. Jean-Eric Vergne – Toro Rosso – 1:39.636 +4.066s – 61 laps
9. Esteban Gutierrez – Sauber – 1:39.976 +4.406s – 106 laps
10. Pastor Maldonado – Lotus – 1:41.613 +6.043s – 31 laps
11. Marcus Ericsson – Caterham – 1:42.516 +6.946s – 55 laps
Images courtesy of Force India Formula 1 Team, Red Bull/Getty Images and Caterham F1 Team