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Hamilton fastest in testing as McLaren struggle

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MANAMA, Bahrain – The turmoil at McLaren deepened on Tuesday when development driver Oliver Turvey missed most of testing in Bahrain with an engine leak, as Lewis Hamilton went fastest in his Mercedes.

At the past weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso complained he had never raced with so little power, while his teammate Stoffel Vandoorne had no power at all after engine failure prevented him from even starting Sunday’s race, which was won by Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

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Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was again in top form during testing on Tuesday. Photo: Hamad I Mohammed, ReutersMercedes technicians cool down the tyres of Lewis Hamilton’s car in Bahrain. Photo: Hamad I Mohammed, Reuters

During in-season testing on the same circuit on Tuesday, McLaren detected a water leak on the first lap and worked all day to repair it, completing only 17 laps and two timed runs.

“I’m really grateful for giving me the opportunity to drive here in Bahrain. It’s frustrating to have had an issue this morning, which cost us a lot of track time,” Turvey said having waited all day to get back behind the wheel.

Stoffel will complete the testing on Wednesday.

McLaren have produced a promising chassis this season, but have been unable to show its potential because of Honda’s failure to deliver a reliable engine.

Mercedes, by contrast, completed 97 laps and Hamilton was fastest on the day at 1min 31.358sec, ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi for Ferrari at 1:31.984 and Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull at 1:32.349.

“Today was tricky with it being so hot and very gusty, but we still managed to get through plenty of work,” said Hamilton, who finished second to Vettel on Sunday.

“Our focus was on advancing our understanding of the tyres and also the rear of the car so that we can improve our long runs.”

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas will be behind the wheel on Wednesday.

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