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 fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:37.827 13
2. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:38.029 + 0.202 12
3. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:38.390 + 0.563 23
4. Carlos Sainz es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:38.447 + 0.620 14
5. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:38.455 + 0.628 17
6. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:38.504 + 0.677 22
7. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:38.598 + 0.771 18
8. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:38.628 + 0.801 17
9. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:38.661 + 0.834 17
10. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:38.790 + 0.963 21
11. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08 1:38.793 + 0.966 15
12. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:38.842 + 1.015 23
13. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08 1:39.187 + 1.360 20
14. Jolyon Palmer uk Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:39.283 + 1.456 31
15. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:39.293 + 1.466 23
16. Lewis Hamilton uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:39.532 + 1.705 22
17. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:39.534 + 1.707 21
18. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:42.973 + 5.146 12
19. Roberto Merhi es Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:44.265 + 6.438 15
20. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 no time 2

Image via XPB Images

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