The reigning drivers’ and constructors’ champions are still not up to speed in the 2021 season as they endured another tough morning of testing in Bahrain.

Lewis Hamilton took the first session and had a run into the gravel which brought out red flags, and although he completed 54 laps he recorded the third-worst time of the morning.

Meanwhile, Daniel Ricciardo is continuing to look well at home at McLaren, as he calmly topped the timesheets for the second morning running with a 1:32.215.

But another new signing, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel, didn’t have such a successful session as a gearbox issue counted him out for most of the session.

He managed just six laps early in the session before returning to the garage, and only reappeared with ten minutes to go, adding another 4 circumferences of the Sakhir Circuit. His teammate Lance Stroll takes the keys to the AMR21 this afternoon.

The issue is further bad news for Mercedes – Vettel’s gearbox is the same model as the one that caused Valtteri Bottas issues yesterday and restricted the Finn to just six laps in the morning session. Overall yesterday Mercedes completed just 48 laps – well below anyone else and the only team not to break a half-century.

The day also featured Fernando Alonso’s first official outing for Alpine, after his cycling accident last month. It was a good morning for the Spaniard as he posted the second-fastest time and completed 55 laps.

Sergio Perez completed the top three – another driver to not get an outing yesterday – but he only managed 39 laps over the session.

Carlos Sainz didn’t seem at ease with his Ferrari and clocked the sixth-best time of the day, the Ferrari-powered Antonio Giovinazzi had a busy session as he racked up 73 laps, the second-most of anyone.

Nicholas Latifi and Yuki Tsunoda were the only drivers who set their fastest times on the soft tyres, and finished fourth and fifth respectively, both within half a second of Ricciardo’s leading time (which was set using the hard C4 compound).

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