Reigning world champion, Lewis Hamilton emerged fastest across Friday Practice as Formula One headed to Sakhir for the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix weekend.
Hamilton arrived here with his seventh title confirmed last time out in Turkey as Pirelli brought along 2021 test tyres which provided teams with a new challenge on top of gathering usual data for this weekend’s race.
Throw in both Friday sessions being held in contrasting conditions then it certainly proved to be an eventful Friday Practice, as we bring a full round-up.
Several drivers chose to head out within the opening minutes with Hamilton setting the pace with a 1m 31.014 ahead of Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas, before improving on his next flier to 1m 30.503 with Kvyat soon afterwards slotting into second.
Pierre Gasly then knocked Bottas off third-place until Max Verstappen switched to the soft tyre to go second and 0.049 seconds off Hamilton’s best time, only for Alex Albon to go quickest with a 1m 30.426 which was soon bettered by Bottas then Hamilton who did a 1m 30.133.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean suffered a wide moment through turns five and six just after the 30 minute mark in which he narrowly avoided the barriers before continuing on his way, just moments before Charles Leclerc spun on exit of Turn Two after getting on the throttle too early.
Come the halfway mark, Hamilton led from Sergio Perez, Bottas, Verstappen, Albon and Lance Stroll with them six split by just 0.427s until Gasly went top on mediums with a 1m 30.049 which was soon bettered by Bottas and Hamilton who posted a session topping 1m 29.033.
Perez ultimately was third fastest ahead of McLaren’s Carlos Sainz as Gasly, Verstappen, Albon, Esteban Ocon, Stroll and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten.
Majority of drivers opted to get the six timed lap test tyres out of the way early with Carlos Sainz initially setting the pace on a 1m 30.989, as the Ferrari pair of Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel quickly switched to mediums to go third and fifth before Kimi Raikkonen went top with 1m 30.928.
Verstappen soon bettered the Finnish driver’s effort with Gasly and Albon going second and third respectively before Perez climbed to second, whilst Kvyat slotted into fourth until several drivers switched to their soft runs with Verstappen’s 1m 29.318 on mediums proving enough for second overall come end of session.
Perez went second behind Verstappen ahead of both Mercedes drivers attempting soft runs of which Bottas climbed to second but 0.018s slower than Verstappen’s effort, whilst Hamilton failed to post a soft tyre time before Albon lost control at Turn 15 to brutally crash into the outside barriers and bring out a ten minute red flag.
As soon as the session resumed, the red flag was waved once again as a stray dog ran riot around the track before swiftly scarpering behind the barriers, with Hamilton going sixth quickest on his first soft flier before ultimately winding up fastest with 1m 28.971 which was set whilst others were on race simulations.
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1m 29.033|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 0.449|
|3||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 0.967|
|4||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 0.985|
|5||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 1.016|
|6||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 1.269|
|7||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 1.269|
|8||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 1.351|
|9||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 1.393|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 1.475|
|11||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 1.556|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 1.595|
|13||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.699|
|14||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 1.799|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 1.821|
|16||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.863|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri||+ 1.987|
|18||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 2.359|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 3.439|
|20||Roy Nissany||Williams||+ 3.768|
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1m 28.971|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+ 0.347|
|3||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+ 0.365|
|4||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+ 0.432|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+ 0.491|
|6||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+ 0.580|
|7||Lando Norris||McLaren||+ 0.870|
|8||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+ 0.900|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri||+ 0.929|
|10||Alex Albon||Red Bull||+ 1.043|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Renault||+ 1.114|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+ 1.139|
|13||Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+ 1.300|
|14||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+ 1.436|
|15||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.656|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+ 1.878|
|17||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+ 1.957|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+ 2.022|
|19||Romain Grosjean||Haas||+ 2.148|
|20||George Russell||Williams||+ 2.665|