The Bahrain Grand Prix weekend began with a free practice session where we witnessed the debut of two drivers: Stoffel Vandoorne, who is replacing Alonso in McLaren, and Alfonso Celis Jr., with Force India. The Mercedes drivers were very far ahead of the rest in this session.
The session started with some teams such as McLaren and Renault testing with sensors on their cars. Once again, the new tyres regulation allowed the drivers to have different tyre options, so some chose the medium and some the soft.
Halfway through the session, the Mercedes were on top of the time sheet with Rosberg ahead of Hamilton. Button followed them on 3rd, while Hülkenberg, Bottas, Verstappen, Räikkönen, Vettel, Grosjean and Sainz completed the top 10.
Magnussen was the first one to set a timed lap on the second part of the session and went up to 4th with used softs. Ricciardo made a big jump as well to get 3rd place on the time sheet, followed by Kvyat. Both Red Bulls were about 0,9 behind the Mercedes.
Finally, Rosberg was fastest 0,5s ahead of Hamilton. Räikkönen was the only driver who finished less than 2s behind the Mercedes (+1,8s). The top 10 was completed by Ricciardo, Kvyat, Hülkenberg, Sainz, Verstappen, Grosjean and Massa. Vettel was on P11, but his time was set with the medium tyre.