Mercedes and Russell top final day of Bahrain test

Arnold Nichols
April 4, 2019

Mick, who joined the Ferrari academy in January, was the only debutant on track in a rain-hit session that followed Sunday's second grand prix of the season.

He is to have a second test day, this time for Alfa Romeo, on Wednesday. "I really enjoyed today", he said.

"The SF90 is incredible because of the power it has, but it is also smooth to drive, and that's why I enjoyed myself so much", said Schumacher.

Two-time champion Alonso is driving a contemporary F1 auto for the first time since last year's Abu Dhabi finale. I was feeling like I could even brake at the 50-meter board at turn 1, but obviously that's not possible.

Despite some wet weather and the track being completely dirty from a sandstorm that hit the area surrounding the circuit only on Monday, the young Schumacher was a natural in the auto, in this case Ferrari's 2019 F1 challenger, the SF90.

This time it was Mick Schumacher, the son of the most-decorated F1 driver of all time, Michael Schumacher, but he wasn't actually racing.

Double world champion Fernando Alonso, who left Formula One at the end of last season, was back in a McLaren testing tyres for Pirelli.

Schumacher is backed strongly by Ferrari, for whom his father won five world championships, and managed by Nicolas Todt, the son of FIA president Jean Todt.

In 24 hours, Russell improved his best lap time by more than four and a half seconds, ending a 101-lap outing with a best time of 1:29.029.

Schumacher had refused to be distracted by the prospect of his first F1 test prior to the weekend, as he was preparing for his F2 debut - in which he took two points finishes in eighth and sixth positions.

Schumacher senior has not been seen in public since he suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident in the French Alps in December 2013. Schumacher Jr first took to the wheel in karting in 2008.

McLaren rookie Lando Norris set the third fastest test time, completing 22 laps.

Racing Point's Lance Stroll and George Russell, running on Wednesday with Mercedes, completed the morning's top-three.

Alonso is driving as part of Pirelli's tyre testing programme, though, so will be following its guidance rather than working through McLaren developments.

Note, Mick Schumacher has previously driven an F1 auto, though not during an official F1 event.

"Well obviously it's a step forward in every aspect of the vehicle", he said.

Schumacher's rival from last year's F3 championship, Dan Ticktum, made his F1 test debut in the Red Bull. The vehicle has more grip, the auto is less draggy on the straights, the engine is a big step better as well.

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