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Perez fourth in shortened second test in Bahrain

Published on 22 February 2024 by Florence Cobben

During the morning session of the second test day in Bahrain, Sergio Perez placed fourth in the timesheets. Oracle Red Bull Racing faced an uphill climb this session, battling braking problems. To add insult to injury, the drivers did not get much time to test their new cars; a red flag brought the session to an end an hour and three quarters early.

The second test day immediately started with problems for Perez and Red Bull Racing. A small fire had to be extinguished at the right front brakes, leaving the Mexican out of the car for a long time. It’s not an ideal start for Perez, who is testing the car for the first time after teammate Max Verstappen took it for a spin on the first day of testing. The reigning world champion will be back in the car tomorrow. Once the problem is addressed, Checo manages to drive the car for 20 laps, with his fastest lap securing him fourth place.

The fastest man on track this morning was Charles Leclerc. Ferrari made the most of their time, getting in 36 laps and setting a fastest time of 1.31:750. Yet bad luck seems to not be far behind - Leclerc is involved in a red flag incident. When braking into turn eleven, the Monegasque drives far onto the kerbstones, causing a piece of it to fly off. When Lewis Hamilton drives over it later, some of it shoots up. The red flag is waved immediately, and the session is halted with an hour and three quarters to go.

Yuki Tsunoda is the least affected. Despite the short session, he managed to get in 40 laps around the circuit. That is about 70% of the Bahrain International Circuit race. Nevertheless the driver’s best lap was over 6 seconds behind that of Leclerc.

After a half hour, with still an hour and eleven minutes left on the clock, race control announces it will terminate the session. As a result, the afternoon test session is pushed forward an hour and will begin at 12 o’clock, European time. Perez will be replacing Max for the afternoon session to compensate for some lost time.