Pierre Gasly was fastest on the opening day of Bahrain testing, nearly half a second ahead of the Ferraris.
On the first day of the final Formula One pre-season test in Bahrain, Pierre Gasly led the pace for AlphaTauri after making an attempt in the late-session setting a benchmark time of 1m 33.902s flier under the floodlights. The Frenchman surged to the top of the timesheets on the soft C4 compound, finishing the day 0.457 seconds faster than Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.
The late gains for Gasly and Carlos Sainz relegated Charles Leclerc, who had been fastest for most of the day with a morning best of one minute, 34.531 seconds, to third.
Lance Stroll finished fourth for Aston Martin and was the last driver to break the 1m34s barrier.
Stroll was at par with Aston Martin colleague Sebastian Vettel’s time, and even managed to beat the sister AMR22. However, In the closing parts of the session, the Canadian got into an on-track brawl with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso.
Albon’s morning best earned him P5 overall, while Lando Norris, the only McLaren driver, finished sixth late in the day after a tumultuous practice marred by an apparent brake failure that also drove him off course multiple times.
George Russell, Fernando Alonso, and Valtteri Bottas were out for the evening session, while Carlos Sainz, Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly, Alex Albon, and Sergio Perez run their cars for the entire day. Daniel Ricciardo did not only miss time in the car today due to his illness, but he also missed the official photo sessions.
Valtteri Bottas was in action in the afternoon, and he put in a solid 66-lap performance on the Alfa Romeo C42, finishing sixth fastest.
Behind the Finn, Mercedes’ day of labor continued, with the Briton among those experiencing lock-ups during the session.
Sergio Perez of Red Bull rounded out the top ten, but brought the session to a premature end after he spun at Sakhir’s Turn 8 and pulled out the red flag with minutes to spare.
The first red flag of the Bahrain test came 45 minutes into the afternoon session, when Stroll’s aero rake became detached and became jammed against the tyres, eventually falling off altogether, resulting in a red flag.
Most of F1’s new cars appeared to be a hassle out on track, with drivers dealing with front-wheel lockups and more chronic porpoising for the majority of the afternoon.
Russell made his first appearance after an hour had gone; the British driver’s car had been in shambles in the Mercedes garage after lunch, but appeared to be in good shape once it got underway.
Pietro Fittipaldi put the freshly liveried Haas VF-22 out for its debut outing on the Bahrain track following a slow start to the afternoon with no cars on track for about 10 minutes. After missing the morning run, Chris Medland stated that the team had requested permission to run on Sunday to make up for the time they had lost.
However, after three teams objected, it appears that they will be entitled to stay on the track for an additional two hours on both Friday and Saturday after the official closing time.
Bahrain Pre-Season Test – Day 1
|4||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1m34.736s||C4||50|
|8||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1m35.706s||C3||39|
|10||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1m35.977s||C3||138|
|14||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||1m37.164s||C3||54|