Hamilton tops first day of in-season Bahrain test

By on
F1 Test, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

The first in-season test of the 2017 campaign got underway at the Sakhir Circuit today, with several teams encountering technical issues throughout the day. Lewis Hamilton did not, and ended the day on fastest with a solid 97 laps under his belt.

At Ferrari, Antonio Giovinazzi had his first taste of the SF70H, completing nine hours of testing. Running went smoothly for him, setting a best lap of 1’31”984 on Supersoft tyres, although he spent more time running the Mediums and also when downloading information with his engineers.

Sebastian Vettel was also in action in another SF70H, however he was completing duties for Pirelli as part of a programme to develop 2018 tyres. All teams will share tyre testing duties throughout the year.

Third fastest today was Daniel Ricciardo for Red Bull Racing. He enjoyed a good morning session, during which the team managed to "do a lot of data gathering in the first hour, which all went to plan, and that’s important for the guys, even though for a driver it’s not the most thrilling thing, as you’re just trundling around really!". Further set-up adjustments were found "interesting" as the team tried "some bigger set-up steps than you might do on a race weekend". For Red Bull, the afternoon session was compromised by an undisclosed power unit issue which ended the day early.

Romain Grosjean had a productive day for Haas and was slightly faster than Felipe Massa, who shared driving duties at Williams with his racing team mate Lance Stroll. Splitting both Williams teammates' times was Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault.

Indonesian F2 driver Sean Gelael ran an F1 car for the first time, going 8th fastest in the Toro Rosso. Marcus Ericsson completed the most laps, 106 for Sauber.

At the bottom of the timesheet is McLaren test driver Oliver Turvey, who returned to the cockpit for the first time in two years. It turned out a troubled day however, with the team experiencing more power unit issues early on in the day. Honda found a water leak issue from the ERS just after completing the installation laps, which happened in a similar place to the issues from the weekend. The team went on to replace the new specification unit with another new one, allowing Turvey to go out again towards the end of the day to total 17 laps.


Pos.DriverTeamBest TimeGapLaps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:31.358-97
2Antonio GiovinazziFerrari1:31.984+0.62693
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:32.349+0.99145
4Romain GrosjeanHaas1:32.452+1.09487
5Felipe MassaWilliams1:32.509+1.15156
6Nico HulkenbergRenault1:33.624+2.26674
7Lance StrollWilliams1:33.729+2.37135
8Sean GelaelToro Rosso1:33.885+2.52778
9Sebastian Vettel*Ferrari1:33.894+2.53689
10Alfonso CelisForce India1:33.939+2.58171
11Marcus EricssonSauber1:34.550+3.192106
12Oliver TurveyMcLaren1:35.011+3.65317

* Vettel was conducting a dedicated 2018 tyre development programme for official suppliers Pirelli, and was granted an additional three hours' testing due to technical difficulties - he therefore continued running alone after all other drivers were shown the chequered flag, hence his data is subject to change.