Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen was fastest on Day 1 of Bahrain F1 Test ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon as sandstorm hampers running in the afternoon.
While things were a bit smooth in the morning at Bahrain International Circuit to start the 2021 F1 pre-season testing, it turned to worse in the afternoon with the sandstorm, which limited the running for most of the drivers, whereby only few managed to have few laps.
Even with the weather constraints, some managed to improve, as Red Bull’s Verstappen (1m30.674s, C3) ended up the fastest ahead of McLaren’s Norris (1m30.889s, C3) as he pushed Alpine’s Ocon (1m31.146s, C4) to third after a late flying lap.
Verstappen had an spin in the morning session, but it was harmless as he managed to continue, with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (1m31.782s, Prototype) slotting in fourth ahead of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz (1m31.919s, C3). The Spaniard had a moment too.
Behind them was Alfa Romeo Racing’s Antonio Giovinazzi (1m31.945s, C3) in fifth ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m32.203s, C2), as the AlphaTauri duo were next with Pierre Gasly (1m32.231s, C3) in eighth and Yuki Tsunoda (1m32.727s, C2) ninth.
The Top 10 was rounded out by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton (1m32.912s, C2), who caused a late Virtual Safety Car period after an off at Turn 10 and then also at Turn 1. The former corner caught out Norris too just after the seven-time F1 champion did so.
Finishing outside the Top 10 was Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (1m33.242s, C3), who caused a red flag in the morning session after he came to a halt at Turn 4. Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m33.320s, C3) was 12th then from Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (1m33.742s, Prototype)
The German caused a VSC too early on after his stop. Williams’ Roy Nissany (1m34.798s, C3) then slotted in 14th from Haas duo of Nikita Mazepin (1m34.708s, C3) and Mick Schumacher (1m36.127s, C2) – where the former had a spin too at Turn 11.
The table was rounded out by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (1m36.850s, C2), whose day was cut short after the team found a gearshifting issue. Not only the manufacturer had to change the gearbox, even Haas were forced to do so after hydraulic issue.
Here’s full F1 Testing timing with number of laps:
Here’s the Bahrain F1 Test line-up