AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly turned the fastest lap in opening practice for the Bahrain GP F1 season opener.
Gasly’s lap on the Pirelli soft tires of 1m34.193s was 0.364s faster than Charles Leclerc’s #16 Ferrari on the medium tires.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was third for Ferrari, also on the medium tires, 0.418s behind.
George Russell was 4th for Mercedes on the soft tires, while Max Verstappen rounded out the top-5 on the medium tires for Red Bull.
Just three teams opted not to sample the soft tires there – Red Bull, Ferrari and Haas. Everyone else gave the Medium rubber a go, with very mixed results.
At the back were the two Haas slugs, 2.3 and 2.6s off the pace.
Valtteri Bottas never put a time in as his Alfa Romeo had an engine issue.
The war of words has already started, with all sorts of interesting assessments coming out from some of the drivers. But as for the two title protagonists from last season, Hamilton has declared he is going to be more aggressive, while Verstappen is asserting that Mercedes are sandbagging and not as off the pace as they appear.
“We did make some progress [with porpoising] and we did play around with ride heights in the session, What we do need to do is find some more car performance,” said Mercedes Trackside Engineer Andrew Shovlin
Another hour of practice under the lights in cooler temperatures await. That’s the only representative running before qualifying, so it should be a busy one.
Practice 1 Results
|3||55||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1:34.611||+0.418s||Medium||22|
|5||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:34.742||+0.549s||Medium||21|
|6||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:34.814||+0.621s||Soft||21|
|8||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:35.000||+0.807s||Soft||13|
|10||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||1:35.050||+0.857s||Medium||22|
|11||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:35.053||+0.860s||Soft||19|
|12||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:35.151||+0.958s||Soft||14|
|13||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:35.644||+1.451s||Soft||14|
|14||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:35.815||+1.622s||Soft||22|
|15||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:35.923||+1.730s||Soft||16|
|16||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes||1:36.304||+2.111s||Soft||21|
|17||3||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes||1:36.402||+2.209s||Soft||19|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:36.536||+2.343s||Medium||22|
|19||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:36.804||+2.611s||Medium||20|
|20||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||No Time||–||2|