Bahrain Grand Prix practice: Vettel fastest, Mercedes sandbagging?

Bahrain Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel came out at the top for Ferrari at Bahrain Grand Prix first practice while Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished 10th and 14th for Mercedes.

The german, Vettel who is at par with Briton Hamilton in leading the championship took 1m 32.697s for the fastest lap, in evidently the hottest track of the session so far, with temperatures soaring up to 38 degrees.

On the other hand, teammate Kimi Raikkonen’s car broke down and Smoke poured out due to an overheated turbo, cloaking just six laps. (SF70-H can’t be red and hot together?)

Defending champion Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton was 1.9secs down in 10th, and Valtteri Bottas seemed to be taking a stroll finishing two seconds later. Both were on soft tires early in a session that experienced rapid track evolution as more rubber was not preferred.

During the early laps, the Silver Arrows had the practice race by the neck. And Vettel running on a new front wing and cooling installments, was one-fifths back of Hamilton’s best time on Pirelli’s mediums – 1m 36.708s to 1m 36.934s. However, the German went ahead to 4 seconds down on the softs later in the session.

But there’s a catch both Mercedes drivers made their fastest laps in the hottest part of the day whereas Vettel pulled his fastest nearly half an hour later.

Pos.DriverTeamTime (fastest lap)
1 SEBASTIAN VETTELFERRARI1:32.697
2DANIEL RICCIARDORED BULL RACING 1:33.097
3 MAX VERSTAPPENRED BULL RACING 1:33.566
4SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA1:34.095
5 FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS 1:34.246
6LANCE STROLL WILLIAMS 1:34.322
7ESTEBAN OCON FORCE INDIA1:34.332
8FERNANDO ALONSOMCLAREN 1:34.372
9 ROMAIN GROSJEAN HAAS1:34.564
10LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES 1:34.636
11Daniil Kvyat TORO ROSSO 1:34.838
12 Nico Hulkenberg RENAULT 1:34.927
13 Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN 1:34.997
14 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 1:35.002
15 Jolyon Palmer RENAULT1:35.068
16 Kevin Magnussen HAAS 1:35.579
17 Marcus EricssonSAUBER 1:35.888
18Pascal Wehrlein SAUBER 1:35.959
19 Carlos SainzTORO ROSSO 1:36.079
20Kimi Räikkönen FERRARI 1:42.333

Red bull Boys’ Daniel Ricciardo and  Max Verstappen, the youngest F1 driver settled for second and third. Ricciardo was just 0.4 slower than Vettel.

Random Grid girl!

Ferrari’s Raikkonen wasn’t the only one to walk back to the pits on foot early in the session, Stoffel Vandoorne stalled his McLaren after turn 9 after a suspected ERS problem, while William’s Felipe Massa ended his running prematurely after suffering a forced spin at Turn 13. Later, the Brazilian said it occurred due to a brake issue.

Force India’s driver 20-year-old Esteban Ocon finished strong at seventh with 1m 34.332s ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso

 

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