ewis Hamilton‘s pre-season preparations hit another bump in the road after the world champion spun on the second day of testing.
And, after team principal Toto Wolff said the sport’s all-conquering team could ill-afford any further setbacks, Hamilton lost further valuable time after he beached his Mercedes in the gravel.
Hamilton lost control of his car through the right-handed Turn 13 and spun into the sand. Hamilton’s accident saw the session stopped as his Mercedes was taken back to the garage on a truck.
The 36-year-old, who is this season bidding to win an unprecedented eighth world championship, later returned to the circuit to complete 58 laps.
But Hamilton finished only eighth of the 10 runners, 1.184 seconds off the pace.
Valtteri Bottas will take over driving duties for Mercedes following the one-hour lunch break, with Hamilton back in the car on Sunday afternoon.
It will be Hamilton’s final running before he opens the defence of his title in the Gulf Kingdom on March 28.
Daniel Ricciardo continued McLaren’s encouraging pre-season form by heading the time charts.
The Australian finished 0.124 sec ahead of the returning Fernando Alonso.
Alonso is back on the grid following a two-year hiatus and his running in Bahrain was his first in a Formula One car since he suffered a fractured jaw in a road cycling accident last month.
But the double world champion, 39, showed few signs of rustiness as he completed a solid 59 laps for his Alpine team.
Red Bull newcomer Sergio Perez finished third, while there was trouble for Aston Martin as a gearbox failure restricted four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel to only nine laps.