Kimi Raikkonen sent the benchmark late into Day 2 of testing to send his Alfa Romeo C39 to the top of the leaderboard – before stopping out on track, bringing out the red flag with 15 minutes remaining.
Sergio Perez was the morning pace-setter, but Raikkonen, running the softer C4 compound tyre, dipped under Perez’s time to achieve a fastest time of 1:17.091 with an hour remaining in the session and completed 130 laps before parking up on the run-up to turn nine.
The most notable part of the session was the discovery of the Dual Axis Steering (DAS) device – a movable steering wheel which is believed to alter the attitude of the front wheels. This has raised questions over its legality. The FIA will ultimately determine its legality by the season opener in Melbourne on March 12.
Bottas took over Hamilton for the afternoon session, but would only manage 77 laps after an electrical issue sidelined the W11.
Daniel Ricciardo showed modest pace, over six-tenths down on Raikkonen in third place, having completed only 41 laps in the session, but not before clipping the turn nine kerb, damaging his R.S.20.
Alexander Albon had taken over driving duties for Red Bull Racing for the day, finishing in fourth place, competing 134 laps, and posting a best time of 1:17.912.
In fifth place was AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who almost collided with McLaren’s Lando Norris in the pitlane towards the end of the session.
The still flu-stricken Sebastian Vettel returned to the cockpit to complete an afternoon of testing and 73 laps for Ferrari. Charles Leclerc ran the morning session, finishing eighth-fastest, completing only 49 laps. Both Ferrari’s were split by the Williams of George Russell.
Haas’s Romain Grosjean struggled throughout the day with numerous lock-ups and nervous moments. Eventually, the Frenchman spun at turn dour, hitting the barriers and damaging his rear wing. This drew the ire of team boss Guenther Steiner. Nevertheless, Grosjean completed the highest lap count of all drivers on the day with 158 laps complete.