Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest lap as he and his Ferrari team-mate Charles Leclerc dominated Friday’s floodlit second free practice for this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The four-time world champion clocked a best lap in one minute and 28.846 seconds to outpace his new Monegasque partner by 0.035 seconds at the top of the time-lists, the pair winding up six-tenths clear of third-placed Lewis Hamilton.
Hamilton, the defending five-time world champion, was unable to match Ferrari’s pace in his Mercedes as he took third ahead of team-mate Finn Valtteri Bottas, winner of the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
In the 999th Grand Prix meeting in the history of the Formula One world championship, Vettel’s form also endorsed the speed delivered by Ferrari when they finished first and second in the opening session, led by Leclerc.
Vettel, who has taken pole three times before at the Sakhir circuit, is seeking to become the first driver to win three Bahrain races in succession.
His compatriot Nico Hulkenberg was an encouraging fifth for Renault ahead of Max Verstappen of Red Bull, Kevin Magnussen of Haas and British rookie Lando Norris of McLaren.