Bahrain Test: Mercedes on top again from title leaders Ferrari
Bottas racks up over two race distances despite morning stoppage to outpace Vettel by 0.2s; under-pressure McLaren run reliably
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 19/04/17 9:34pm
Mercedes completed a Bahrain Testing double to set the pace ahead of Ferrari, as McLaren finally enjoyed a productive day of running in the desert.
On the second and final day of F1 2017's first in-season test, Valtteri Bottas took over the Mercedes W08 from Lewis Hamilton and set the pace with a best lap of 1:31.280.
Although the quickest of the test, it was over two seconds slower than his pole position time from last weekend.
Mercedes, running without the T-wing on the rear of their car for the first time since the start of pre-season, have spent the test focusing on rear tyre management after defeat by Ferrari in last Sunday's race. Despite stopping on track in the morning, Bottas completed 143 laps - in excess of two Bahrain GP race distances.
Sakhir race winner Sebastian Vettel made a late surge to second place on the timesheet, 0.294s adrift, having been restricted to just nine laps in the morning as Ferrari shifted back to development work after carrying out Pirelli tyre testing duties on Day One.
Behind third-placed Carlos Sainz for Toro Rosso were McLaren, whose unreliability-plagued week in Bahrain delivered an overdue upturn with 81 laps for Stoffel Vandoorne.
Bahrain Test Day Two Timesheet
|1) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||143||1:31.280|
|2) Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||64||1:31.574|
|3) Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||68||1:31.884|
|4) Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||82||1:32.108|
|5) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||88||1:32.120|
|6) Esteban Ocon||Force India||60||1:32.142|
|7) Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||61||1:32.213|
|8) Gary Paffett||Williams||126||1:32.253|
|9) Sergey Sirotkin||Renault||90||1:32.287|
|10) Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||65||1:32.568|
|11) Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber||91||1:34.462|
|12) Sergio Perez||Force India||70||1:35.015|
McLaren's Honda power unit suffered four separate power unit problems across the Grand Prix weekend and then test driver Oliver Turvey was restricted to just 17 laps on the first day of the Test due to an ERS water leak.
But the MCL32 held together on Wednesday, allowing the team and beleaguered engine supplier to rack up some invaluable mileage.
Kevin Magnussen was fifth for Haas, ahead of Force India's Esteban Ocon and Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat, both of who ran only in the morning before handing over to their respective team-mates.
On his first F1 track outing since 2013, British test veteran Gary Paffett racked up an impressive 126 laps for Williams and finished within one second of Bottas's quickest time.
The 36-year-old, who continues to race in German touring cars, joined Williams as a simulator driver last year after his long association with McLaren ended in 2014.
Renault's Russian test driver Sergey Sirotkin completed his first F1 laps since last summer, racking up 90 in the RS17, while Red Bull reserve Pierre Gasly got his first taste of the RB13 as the team appeared to focus on long runs.
After returning to race action last weekend, Pascal Wehrlein continued his comeback with a strong haul of 91 laps in the Sauber, while Sergio Perez propped up the timesheet for Force India after only running in the afternoon.
F1 returns to action at the Russian GP on April 28-30, with the whole race weekend live on Sky Sports F1.
Don't miss the F1 Report: Bahrain GP Review on Sky Sports F1 at 8.30pm on Wednesday for the final word on the weekend's action