Charles Leclerc sets the pace as second morning of pre-season testing ends early

When the second morning of pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit ended early due to a required track inspection, Charles Leclerc was leading for Ferrari.

Leclerc, who had clocked 1m 31.750s on Pirelli's medium C3 rubber, ran over a drain cover near Turn 11 and left some debris on the circuit.

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With red flags thrown, replays showed Lewis Hamilton – who was making his 2024 testing debut in a Mercedes W15 – also attacking debris, before Leclerc drove over him for a second time.

A track inspection was then initiated and, after a delay of approximately 40 minutes, the decision was taken to end the morning session an hour early and instead move the afternoon race – which would now take place from 1400 to 1900 local time.

Leclerc finished the session more than half a second ahead of McLaren's Oscar Piastri, with Logan Sargent's Williams, Sergio Pérez's Red Bull and Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin completing the top five.

READ MORE: Who's driving on day two of pre-season testing in Bahrain?

Pérez, who was also making his first appearance of the week, experienced some awkward moments when he came to grips with the RB20, getting heavily locked into the Turn 8 hairpin and then causing a slide through the high-speed Turn 7. Managed to catch.

Hamilton finished sixth after encountering debris, which led to extensive garage checks for him and Leclerc, followed by Kick Sauber's Zhou Guanyu and Alpine's Pierre Gasly.

The morning order was completed by Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg and RB's Yuki Tsunoda, covering the field by more than six seconds as the teams performed a variety of events.

Live coverage: Follow all the action from day two of pre-season testing

As of Wednesday's action, most teams will make driver changes during the lunch break, with only Hamilton and Sargent completing the day.

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