Pierre Gasly ended up fastest on Day 1 of F1 Bahrain Test from Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

The first day of Bahrain F1 Test saw teams get some running under floodlights where Mercedes brought out a radically different looking car especially on the sidepod area. In fact, the car didn’t have the bulging or even box-like feature from Barcelona.

There were stories from Italian media of Mercedes bringing a car with no sidepod and it eventually happened with they took out the car for a pre-day photoshoot. It raised some alarm bells among its F1 rivals with chatter from Christian Horner.

While Red Bull noted those to be not ‘official’ but German publication AMuS stuck to its story. On-track though, it was AlphaTauri’s Gasly who set the pace with a 1m33.902s lap on the C4 compound where the Frenchman completed 103 laps in all.

He led the Ferrari pair where Sainz – who ran in the afternoon session – set a late 1m34.359s lap on the C3 tyres with 51 laps done in all. He pushed teammate Leclerc to third who set a 1m34.531s lap on C3 compound with 64 laps against his name.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll (1m34.736s, 50, C4) was fourth after taking over the car from Sebastian Vettel in the afternoon. The team caused the first red flag of the day when part of its test item broke off on track and had to be collected by a marshal.

Stroll had a bit of a racing moment with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso as well in the afternoon but nothing too big. Williams’ Alexander Albon (1m35.070s, 104, C4) was fifth from McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m3.356s, 50, C2), who had a full day in the car after Daniel Ricciardo felt ill.

They were supposed to share the duties, but Norris got a full day of running. However, it was not a clean run with the F1 team facing multiple issues. They seemingly were working on brakes and cooling side of the car which limited his running.

After the disaster in Barcelona, Alfa Romeo had a better run on Day 1 of Bahrain F1 Test with Valtteri Bottas (1m3.495s, 66, C3) slotting in seventh after taking over from Guanyu Zhou in the afternoon. Vettel (1m35.706s, 39) was eighth in the order.

The Top 10 was rounded out by Mercedes’ George Russell (1m35.941s, 60, C3) and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (1m35.977s, 138, C3), with the latter causing a session ending red flag with about eight minutes remaining. Earlier, they had a radiator leak too which was fixed.

The Mexican was followed by Lewis Hamilton (1m36.365s, 62, C3) who ran in the morning session as Alpine’s Alonso (1m36.745s, 24, C3) and Esteban Ocon (1m36.768s, 42, C2) slotted in 12th and 13th where the former ran in the afternoon session. But the team’s day wasn’t a smooth one either.

Alfa Romeo’s Zhou (1m37.164s, 54, C3) was 14th and caused a brief yellow flag after stopping in the pitlane, while Haas had its first run in the afternoon session with Pietro Fittipaldi (1m37.422s, 47, C2) driving. The team ran a revised livery from the Barcelona test with a predominant white and red colour scheme, shedding away the blue.

With the team having missed half a day of running due to freight delay, the FIA agreed to give them two hours each on Friday and Saturday after the official running as compensation. The idea of running half a day on Sunday was rejected after three teams opposed it.



Here’s the F1 Bahrain Test line-up