Mercedes continued its dominance in the early weeks of the 2014 Formula 1 season on Friday by taking the two top speeds again in free practice 2 ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. According to Formula 1, drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg set the fastest times in FP2, just as they had in FP1. Drivers practiced under the lights in Bahrain, which is hosting its tenth and first night Formula 1 race this weekend.
Lewis Hamilton's fastest time in Friday's practice 2 was 1m 34.325s on the Sakhir International Circuit, while his team-mate set a time of 1m 34.690s. Third in speed in the second practice session was Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with 1m 35.360s. Red Bull's fourth fastest was Daniel Ricciardo at 1m 35.433s.
Four-time and reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull set the seventh fastest time in FP2 on Friday at 1m 35.606s behind Jenson Button of McLaren, celebrating his 250th Grand Prix this weekend, with a time of 1m 35.528s.
According to Red Bull racing, Vettel commented, "It was a solid day for us and we didn't have any problems with the car. We’re still learning a lot in terms of reliability and car set up, so it's important to do laps and not to have any problems."
According to the network, NBC's TV coverage from Bahrain allows Americans a reasonable viewing time, compared with the 4 a.m. ET race time for the Malaysian Grand Prix last weekend. Below is the TV schedule, according to NBC:
Saturday, April 5:
*11:00 a.m. Eastern -- Qualifying, CNBC -- LIVE.
12:30 p.m. Eastern -- Qualifying, NBCSN -- Re-broadcast.
Sunday, April 6:
*10:30 a.m. Eastern -- Bahrain Grand Prix, NBCSN -- LIVE RACE
The Bahrain Grand Prix is the third race in the 2014 season. Leading the drivers' championship so far is Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg with 43 points; second is his team-mate Lewis Hamilton with 25 points; third is Spaniard Fernando Alonso of Ferrari with 24 points.
In the constructors' championship, Mercedes is leading so far with 68 points; McLaren is second with 43; and Ferrari is third at 30 points.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Connie Ann Kirk, Ph.D. has been credentialed by the FIA to write about Formula 1. She is working on a book about racers and racing. See her blog, Motor Sport Muse.