Bottas turns F1 testing on head as 'not worried' Hamilton spins off

·3-min read
Ups and downs: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas on Saturday at Sakhir

Valtteri Bottas set the fastest time on the second day of pre-season testing in Bahrain on Saturday while world champion teammate Lewis Hamilton said there "was no point being worried" despite spinning off the dusty Sakhir circuit.

Bottas clocked 1min 30.289sec off 58 laps in his Mercedes, 24 hours after finishing the opening day at the bottom of the time charts due to a gearbox problem that restricted him to just six laps.

Seven-time world champion Hamilton, who was down in 10th place on Friday, was 15th on Saturday.

Only four-time champion Sebastian Vettel, in his first season with Aston Martin after leaving Ferrari, was slower.

Hamilton suffered a rare spin in the morning session before Bottas took over driving duties under the lights in the afternoon.

"It's very gusty, as I found out into Turn 13. The rear doesn't feel particularly great but we are trying to find the sweet spot," said the Briton.

"It's day two of testing so we're just focused on understanding the car so there is no point being worried just yet."

Pierre Gasly, in an AlphaTauri, was second fastest, ahead of McLaren's Lance Stroll.

Vettel, like Hamilton, preferred to shrug off the trials of testing, insisting March 28, the date of the opening race in Bahrain, is the key performance indicator.

"Unfortunately, we did not have a very productive morning," said Vettel.

"It's a long season (23 races) and I am sure that everything will be fine."

Another former world champion Fernando Alonso also took to the track after two years away.

The Spaniard was 10th fastest after completing 128 laps in the Alpine car.

Making it to the Gulf is an achievement in itself for the 2005 and 2006 world champion who is competing with two titanium plates in his upper jaw following a cycling accident last month.

"He is in great shape, he is sharp," confirmed Alpine executive director Marcin Budkowski.

Day two times:

1. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Mercedes) 1:30.289 (58 laps), 2. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpha Tauri-Honda) 1:30.413 (87), 3. Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:30.460 (71), 4. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:30.586 (52), 5. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:30.760 (125), 6. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:30.886 (73), 7. Nicholas Latifi (CAN/Williams-Mercedes) 1:31.672 (132), 8. Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull-Honda) 1:31.682 (117), 9. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:32.215 (52), 10. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Alpine-Renault) 1:32.339 (128), 11. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/Alpha Tauri-Honda) 1:32.684 (57), 12. Mick Schumacher (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:32.883 (88), 13. Carlos Sainz (ESP/Ferrari) 1:33.072 (56), 14. Nikita Mazepin (RUS/Haas-Ferrari) 1:33.101 (76), 15. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:33.399 (58), 16. Sebastian Vettel (GER/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:38.849 (10)

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