Raikkonen leads Ferrari 1-2 in first Bahrain practice

Kimi Raikkonen set the fastest time in free practice one for the Bahrain Grand Prix, leading a Ferrari one-two as the Mercedes cars languished near the bottom of the timesheets.

Raikkonen leads Ferrari 1-2 in first Bahrain practice
Marcus Ericsson Sauber C34.
Daniil Kvyat Red Bull Racing RB11.
Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG F1 W06.
(L to R): Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari with Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1
Roberto Merhi, Manor F1 Team
Sebastian Vettel, Scuderia Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 with Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing RB11.

The times were hugely misleading, even by FP1 standards, with Mercedes opting to treat it as a test session so Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton ended down in 15th and 16th places respectively.

Raikkonen set his 1m37.827s with seven minutes remaining, two tenths ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest for Williams, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and Max Verstappen in the second Toro Rosso.

Vettel had earlier set the fastest time 25 minutes into the session, but then reported a “sudden loss of power” and was told to slow down.

He toured back to the pits very slowly, getting out of the car on his return.

The problem recurred on his next run, although the team told him to stay out, and he went on to set the second-fastest time.

Low-grip track conditions

Following the recent sandstorm in Bahrain, and track conditions vastly different than those expected for qualifying and the race, most teams elected to treat this as more of a test session rather than a usual race-weekend data-gathering exercise.

Reigning champion Mercedes was a good indicator of this, as the team used its ‘free’ set of Pirelli tyres of the session very early in the opening 30 minutes, and did not run at all when the track was at its cleanest.

Hamilton and Rosberg went out on track together right from the start, with Rosberg suffering a degree of front locking on a very dusty circuit and high track temperatures of 52C.

Hamilton again complained of his “seat burning” during the middle part of the session. Mercedes was most likely using this session for hot-weather running data, following its defeat at the hands of Ferrari at Sepang.

More trouble at McLaren

Jenson Button spun to a halt his first flying lap at Turn 1 when his McLaren's Honda engine shut down due to an electrical issue, while Fernando Alonso required a pre-session technical fix to allow an engine pump shaft seal to be rectified.

"It was just an electrical issue, so the car shut down and it took us some time to understand it, and then it was too late to get back on track," said McLaren's Eric Boullier.

"We hope to be ready for P2."

Alonso briefly cheered the team when he went fastest in the session just after the halfway point. He slipped to seventh by the end, just 0.7s off the pace.

F1 - Bahrain GP 2015 - Free Practice 1
 PosDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
01   K. Raikkonen   Ferrari 1:37.827   13
02   S. Vettel   Ferrari 1:38.029 +0.202 12
03   V. Bottas   Williams 1:38.390 +0.563 23
04   C. Sainz   Toro Rosso 1:38.447 +0.620 14
05   D. Ricciardo   Red Bull 1:38.455 +0.628 17
06   M. Verstappen   Toro Rosso 1:38.504 +0.677 22
07   F. Alonso   McLaren 1:38.598 +0.771 18
08   F. Nasr   Sauber 1:38.628 +0.801 17
09   D. Kvyat   Red Bull 1:38.661 +0.834 17
10   F. Massa   Williams 1:38.790 +0.963 21
11   S. Perez   Force India 1:38.793 +0.966 15
12   P. Maldonado   Lotus 1:38.842 +1.015 23
13   N. Hulkenberg   Force India 1:39.187 +1.360 20
14   J. Palmer   Lotus 1:39.283 +1.456 31
15   N. Rosberg   Mercedes 1:39.293 +1.466 23
16   L. Hamilton   Mercedes 1:39.532 +1.705 22
17   M. Ericsson   Sauber 1:39.534 +1.707 21
18   W. Stevens   Manor 1:42.973 +5.146 12
19   R. Merhi   Manor 1:44.265 +6.438 15
20   J. Button   McLaren no time   2
shares
comments
Tyres key to Ferrari's advantage over Williams - Massa
Previous article

Tyres key to Ferrari's advantage over Williams - Massa

Next article

Bahrain Grand Prix FP1 results: Raikkonen tops timesheets

Bahrain Grand Prix FP1 results: Raikkonen tops timesheets
Load comments
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021