Max Chilton, Marcus Ericsson and Adrian Sutil all encountered problems during the second practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix today, and will be keen on recovering the time lost tomorrow ahead of qualifying.
After setting an impressive pace on the soft tire in his Marussia, Chilton spun out at the final corner with a suspected brake failure. The new brake-by-wire system has been problematic for a number of drivers, and Chilton was perplexed by the incident, crying: “What on earth happened there!?” over the radio to his team following the incident.
Adrian Sutil’s Sauber was the next car to hit trouble when he too stopped on entry to turn four at the top of the hill. The team is yet to confirm what the problem what, but it only adds to the list of issues currently blighting the Swiss outfit.
With six minutes to go in the session, Marcus Ericsson became the third and final driver to hit trouble as his Caterham came to a stop on the side of the back straight.
“I was having power issues throughout most of the first run which meant I wasn’t really able to push,” the Swede explained. “The power was coming in and out in a way that wasn’t really predictable, so I didn’t know what was going to happen when I got on the throttle coming out of each corner.
“Unfortunately I didn’t get one lap without that issue so the final lap times really weren’t a clear guide to where we are performance-wise, but we’ll look at that in detail tonight.”
In contrast, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes enjoyed a very successful session and comfortably set the fastest time of FP2 on Friday as night fell in Bahrain.
All three drivers will be hoping to bounce back tomorrow during FP3 ahead of qualifying. The latter is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET.
Porsche will skip Saturday’s IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race with its two GTLM cars at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course after three positive COVID-19 tests were confirmed during the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
That resulted in Porsche choosing to pull out of the Nurburgring 24 Hour endurance race in Germany, electing to avoid sending any team members as a precautionary measure.
Porsche Motorsport announced Tuesday that its COVID-19 decision also would apply at Mid-Ohio to its No. 911 and No. 12 teams.
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Three of Porsche’s four IMSA GTLM drivers — Laurens Vanthoor, Frederic Makowiecki and Nick Tandy — also were racing in Le Mans. The trio has remained isolated in Europe and won’t be allowed to travel.
“Based on yesterday’s decision that no employee or racing driver of our Le Mans team will participate in the Nürburgring 24 Hours, we have today decided that this ruling will also apply to the upcoming IWSC race in Mid-Ohio,” Fritz Enzinger, vice president for Porsche Motorsport, said in a release. “This means that Laurens, Nick and Fred will not be traveling to the USA.
“This is very regrettable, but we would like to emphasize that in this case as well the health of all those concerned is the prime focus of the decisions we have taken.”
The decision also affects Earl Bamber, who teamed with Vanthoor to win the GTLM championship last year in the No. 912.
Porsche said its GTLM Porsche 911 RSR-19 entries will return for the Oct. 10 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval.
That will reduce the GTLM class to four cars — two Corvettes and two BMWs — this weekend at Mid-Ohio, in what could be somewhat of a 2021 preview. Porsche Motorsport announced earlier this year that it will leave IMSA after the 2020 season because of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.