Kimi Räikkönen has finished two-tenths of a second ahead of fellow Ferrari teammate Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas in the Williams for the first practice session in Bahrain.
Many teams chose to alter their usual FP1 running strategy, as the first practice session in Bahrain is held during the day. Air temperature was 35 degrees, the track temperature was well over 50 degrees and grip levels were low due to a green track and dust conditions, which means it’s the most unrepresentative practice sessions of the season.
Vettel experienced troubles with his engine reporting a loss of power during his first stint, the Ferrari team managed to get on top of the issue and got him back out with 15 minutes left to run in the session.
GP2 champion Jolyon Palmer once again stood in for Romain Grosjean at Lotus and made very good use of his time on track. He completed the most laps of the session with 31 and four-tenths of a second behind Pastor Maldonado in the other Lotus.
The Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished well down the order in 15th and 16th position respectively. The team was running a different program – presumably a heavy fuel load test – as there isn’t too much they can learn from a track which temperatures will be completely different to the rest of the weekend.
McLaren had an interesting session that didn’t start too well. Jenson Button spun at Turn 1 on his second lap as his power unit cut out mid corner. The team is confident they have identified the issue although they failed to get him out again. This left Fernando Alonso to complete McLaren’s program, he finished the session seventh-fastest with 18 laps as well as spending time at the top of the table just after the halfway mark.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was the best of the Red Bull-backed teams in the Toro Rosso in fourth position, he was 0.6 seconds off Räikkönen’s benchmark and just a fraction quicker than Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.
|2015 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:37.827||13|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:38.029||+ 0.202||12|
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:38.390||+ 0.563||23|
|4.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:38.447||+ 0.620||14|
|5.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:38.455||+ 0.628||17|
|6.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:38.504||+ 0.677||22|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:38.598||+ 0.771||18|
|8.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:38.628||+ 0.801||17|
|9.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:38.661||+ 0.834||17|
|10.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:38.790||+ 0.963||21|
|11.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:38.793||+ 0.966||15|
|12.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:38.842||+ 1.015||23|
|13.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:39.187||+ 1.360||20|
|14.||Jolyon Palmer||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:39.283||+ 1.456||31|
|15.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:39.293||+ 1.466||23|
|16.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:39.532||+ 1.705||22|
|17.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:39.534||+ 1.707||21|
|18.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:42.973||+ 5.146||12|
|19.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:44.265||+ 6.438||15|
|20.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||no time||2|
Image via XPB Images