Following the declaration that the double decker diffuser gang (Brawn, Toyota and Williams) are running legally, the other teams are rushing to introduce their own versions. McLaren, Renault and Force India are all sporting new interim versions at the Bahrain Grand Prix, and they seem to be working well.
We can never be sure what fuel loads are being carried and therefore how representative the practice times are, but most teams are unable to resist the temptation to do at least a few laps under sprint conditions, just to see how they will perform in qualifying.
The first practice session saw World Champion Lewis Hamilton the first of the new double decker diffuser members posting the fastest time in his Vodafone Mercedes McLaren, following rather lack lustre performances so far this year.
The second practice session saw ex World Champion Fernando Alonso another of the new double decker diffuser members posting the second fastest time in his Renault, just 0.2 seconds behind Nicco Rosberg’s Williams.
The big surprise in the second practice session was the vastly improved performance of the Force India cars of Adrian Sutil and Giancarlo Fisichella ending up seventh and twelveth, both within 0.6 seconds of fastest man Nicco Rosberg. It wasn’t that long ago that the slower cars were being prevented from competing if they were not with 7% (or 6.5 seconds) of the leaders. In practice 2 today the slowest, Nick Heidfeld’s BMW was within 1.55% of Nicco Rosberg.
So… well done to the Force India team, for a magnificent effort.
Ferrari had a torrid time with both of their cars failing to do any better than 16th!