2023 Bahrain Grand Prix – Friday
WHAT WE LEARNED
- Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso went fastest today on the P Zero Red soft tyre. He stopped the clocks with a time of 1m30.907s ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who set a 1m31.076s, with his team mate Sergio Perez just two-thousandths behind. Perez was fastest in FP1 earlier today, recording a time of 1m32.758s.
- The top 13 drivers in FP2 were covered by one second, underlining the closeness of the competitive action on the same compound.
- Asphalt temperatures in FP1 remained consistent at 39-40 °C, dropping by 13 degrees by the start of FP2: representative of what the drivers will face during qualifying and the race. There were also some winds of 20-25kph in FP1, which calmed down in FP2 with only a light breeze remaining.
- Track evolution was high throughout the day, leading to better grip and faster times in FP2 compared to FP1.
- Pirelli’s new C1 compound made its race weekend debut, nominated as the P Zero White hard here in Bahrain. The fastest time set by this compound was 1m36.102s courtesy of Williams driver Logan Sargeant.
“The teams used today mainly to assess the performance of the P Zero Red soft in race conditions. Many of these soft compound runs were done on full fuel, to analyse degradation management on the C3. Apart from a few laps with Williams, the new C1 wasn’t really used today. As we expected, this latest hard compound is set to be a strong race tyre, which is why the teams wanted to hang onto it. Degradation is in line with our simulations as well as the data recorded during the three days of testing last week, on some of the most abrasive asphalt of the year.”
Number of the day. 1m30.907s.
Alonso’s fastest time in FP2 was nearly two seconds faster than the quickest time on the same compound in FP1 and more than one second quicker than the equivalent FP2 time from last year (1m31.936s). The quickest time seen so far this year in Bahrain was 1m30.305s from Perez on the final day of testing – but this was set in very different track condition using the softer C4 compound, which isn’t nominated this weekend.