First day of F1 testing in Bahrain: Red Bull drives most laps

Formula 1 Bahrain

The first day of the Formula 1 ‘pre-season test’ in Bahrain has come to an end. Red Bull can at least look back on the day with satisfaction, as Sergio Perez drove 138 laps for the team. Mercedes-AMG surprised friend and foe with a radically different W13 than had been seen on the track during the previous test days.

The first day of testing in Bahrain does not yet provide a very good indication of the speed of the new cars. The teams took it pretty easy, especially Red Bull and Mercedes-AMG did not show their backs. In the morning session, Charles Leclerc set the fastest time with 1:34.531, his teammate Carlos Sainz and AlphaTauri driver Pierre Gasly even surpassed it in the afternoon. In the end, the latter was the fastest man of the day with a time of 1:33.902. Sergio Perez set the fastest time at 1.35.977. Mercedes drivers George Russell and Lewis Hamilton clocked 1:35.941 and 1:36.365 respectively. This means that the effect of the far-reaching adjustments that Mercedes-AMG has made to the W13 cannot yet be properly assessed.

During the test days, however, the lap times are not that important. It is mainly about driving a lot of laps and collecting a lot of data. Perez was in the RB18 in both the morning and afternoon sessions today and completed 138 laps. With this, Red Bull has completed the most laps of the day. Mercedes is just behind with 122 laps, of which Russell drove 59 and Hamilton 62. In terms of number of laps, Alfa Romeo comes in third with 120 laps, giving the small team a pretty productive day. Closer in this area is Haas, who could only complete 47 rounds today. This is partly due to the fact that certain materials arrived late due to a delayed cargo plane.

Max Verstappen can go on the track for Red Bull all day tomorrow. On Saturday, the Dutchman and the Mexican alternate in the morning and the afternoon.

The lap times, the tire on which the fastest lap was driven and the number of laps completed per driver today:

  1. Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri, 1:33,902, C4 – 103 laps
  2. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari, 1:34,359, C3 – 52
  3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 1:34.531, C3 – 64
  4. Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, 1:34.736, C4 – 50
  5. Alexander Albon, Williams, 1:35,070, C4 – 104
  6. Lando Norris, McLaren, 1:35,356, C2 – 50
  7. Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo, 1:35,495, C3 – 66
  8. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, 1:35.706, C3 – 39
  9. George Russell, Mercedes, 1:35.941, C3 – 60
  10. Sergio Perez, Red Bull, 1:35.977, C2 – 138
  11. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:36.365, C3 – 62
  12. Fernando Alonso, Alpine, 1:36.745, C3 – 24
  13. Esteban Ocon, Alpine, 1:36.768, C2 – 42
  14. Guanyu Zhou, Alfa Romeo, 1:37.164, C3 – 54
  15. Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas, 1:38.527, C2 (prototype) – 47

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