FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix has just come to and end and it’s safe to say there was a bit of drama on the track.
Merely 13 minutes in the session was red flagged after Esteban Ocon’s Alpine loses its sidepod on the straight forcing the cleanup crew to clear the tarmac.
“Esteban Ocon loses a big chunk of sidepod The debris litters the start-finish straight, so the session is paused as clean-up begins.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 18, 2022
Nico Hulkenberg was showered with carbon fibre as he drove through the incident, but no issues.
Valtteri Bottas had issues in his Alfa Romeo as the car started to suffer from a misfire and was pulled back in for the team to start troubleshooting. While they were doing this, Lando Norris set the fastest lap time of 1m36.584.
🗣️ "What a lap, that was nice!"
Pierre Gasly is the man in front with a time of 1:34.193 ⛽️ pic.twitter.com/IZ2HswTY1P
— Sky Sports F1 (@SkySportsF1) March 18, 2022
After the red flag was withdrawn, every driver apart from Ocon and Bottas joined with only 40 minutes of FP1 remaining. It’s safe to say the track was full, but Alonso was able to set a time of 1m35.247s before Verstappen swopped in with a 1m34.783s on the medium tyres.
Russel then set the fastest lap of 1m34.629 on the soft tyres, but this was quickly taken by Pierre Gasly who headed FP1 for the remainder of the session with a time of 1m34.193s on soft tyres.
Bottas eventually returned to the track but drove very slowly. It was clear that he was still having issues and Alfa Romeo hadn’t fully fixed the misfire issue. His ex-teammate Lewis Hamilton was struggling with his car, too, only setting the 7th fastest time on soft tyres.
Here are the times you care about:
1. Gasly (AlphaTauri) 1m34.193s, soft
2. Leclerc (Ferrari) 1m34.557s, medium
3. Sainz (Ferrari) 1m34.611s, medium
4. Russell (Mercedes) 1m34.629s, soft
5. Verstappen (Red Bull) 1m34.742s, medium
6. Stroll (Aston Martin) 1m34.814s, soft
7. Hamilton (Mercedes) 1m34.943s, soft
8. Alonso (Alpine) 1m35.000s, soft
9. Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) 1m35.028s, soft
10. Perez (Red Bull) 1m35.050s, medium
So what did we learn? Not a lot apart from Red Bull and Ferrari seem to be very potent and Hamilton doesn’t seem to be meshing with his car. Despite this, it’s very early days, so we’ll learn much more as the weekend progresses.