Sergio Perez, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2022

Perez puts new-look Red Bull fastest on final morning session

2022 F1 season

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Sergio Perez set the quickest lap time of the Bahrain test so far during the final morning session as Red Bull ran a revised RB18 with new sidepods.

His 1’31.105, set using the C4 tyre, is the fastest time over the three days of running so far. Perez ran 43 laps during the four-hour session as Red Bull debuted an overhauled sidepod design on the RB18.

Zhou Guanyu was second-quickest for Alfa Romeo with a fastest time almost a second slower than Perez, also set on the C4 tyres.

Before the morning session had officially begun, Haas were afforded an extra hour of running as part of the arrangement agreed by teams to allow them to make up for the loss of the Friday morning session. Kevin Magnussen, who set the quickest time of Friday in an additional hour after the main session, covered 17 laps in the VF-22 before the circuit opened to the other nine teams.

After a short delay, Red Bull sent out Perez in the heavily revised RB18, immediately going quickest of all. Guanyu then set a new benchmark time of the day in the Alfa Romeo, before Perez went quicker again later in the session to set what would become the morning’s fastest time.

Red Bull have new-look sidepods on their RB18
Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly spent multiple laps running in close proximity to each other. The Mercedes and AlphaTauri traded track position a number of times as both drivers looked to get a better feel for how their radically redesigned cars for the 2022 season behaved when following other cars.

At the end of the session, the FIA ran a test of their standing start procedure. Gasly, Perez, Guanyu
and Lance Stroll all took part in a dummy race start from the grid in the closing minutes before the lunch break.

Gasly covered the furthest distance of any of the ten drivers who went out in the session, clocking 91 laps. McLaren installed modified brake ducts on Lando Norris’s MCL36 in a bid to help combat the braking problems which had hampered their running through the first two days. Norris covered just 39 laps, the fewest of any driver bar Magnussen in the Haas, who got 38 laps of running before a water leak ended his session.

Nicholas Latifi took his repaired Williams FW44 out onto the track following the fire that had caused an early end to the team’s running yesterday. He managed 73 laps of running before the chequered flag and will be given a brief run in the early afternoon before handing over the car to team mate Alex Albon.

2022 F1 pre-season testing day six morning times:

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLaps
124Guanyu ZhouAlfa RomeoC421’33.95979
210Pierre GaslyAlphaTauriAT031’34.8650.90688
355Carlos Sainz JnrFerrariF1-751’34.9050.94668
414Fernando AlonsoAlpineA5221’35.3281.36954
54Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL361’35.5041.54539
66Nicholas LatifiWilliamsFW441’35.6341.67573
718Lance StrollAston MartinAMR221’36.0292.07050
844Lewis HamiltonMercedesW131’36.2172.25878
920Kevin MagnussenHaasVF-221’38.6164.65738
101Max VerstappenRed BullRB18

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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14 comments on “Perez puts new-look Red Bull fastest on final morning session”

  1. Someone finally got below the 2014 pole time.

  2. I’ve noticed that Hamilton seems to be running the yellow camera at the top of his car while Russell seems to be running the black? Is there a particular reason why? And is it only temporary or has Hamilton chosen being the “number 2”?

    1. Yellow camera has not necessarily meant „No.2“ for quite a while now. See Lando for example. Suppose it just goes well with Lewis‘ yellow „44“ as it does with Lando‘s helmet.

    2. Yellow T-bar is no longer an indicator of number 1 vs 2

      1. Hence the quotation marks.

    3. Dave (@davewillisporter)
      12th March 2022, 15:49

      @mashiat it looks like a tribute to Valentino Rossi, with the neon 44 front and back and neon front highlights. Lewis is a massive Rossi fan. He did a feature where Rossi drove his car and he drove Rossi’s bike together on the circuit at the same time. It was pretty cool! I suspect it will be back to black camera T and red numbers for Lewis come race weekend.

  3. From the distance you know who’s in the car. Their helmets are not very different.

  4. How is 1’33.959 almost a second slower than 1’31.105?

    1. RocketTankski
      12th March 2022, 12:46

      It must be the phenomenon of gravitational time dilation. Space and time is curved as it nears the Red Bull team. It’s all within the limits specified by the FIA :-)

  5. It was a 1:33.1, not a 1:31.1.

    1. Well, even so, perez’s time is missing on the timesheet!

  6. I’m going to need a side-by-side comparison to tell the difference in these new-spec sidepods from Red Bull.

  7. S’ok…Max now fastest and on mediums too.

    1. Now Leclerc but on softs.

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