Ferrari started the first practice at Bahrain seemingly in the form they ended winter testing, as Leclerc easily went fastest during the first 90 minutes of running.
Leclerc had started the weekend, claiming that Ferrari had not been able to show their true pace at the first race in Melbourne, Australia. And once on track, that appeared to be true, despite the team admitting they still don't really know why the Ferrari performed less than expected in Albert Park.
At Sakhir, Leclerc led his teammate Sebastian Vettel by 0.263 seconds, and interestingly nearly a second faster than Valtteri Bottas, who ended up third in the Mercedes. World Champion Lewis Hamilton was 4th fastest, a few tenths down on the Finn.
The Red Bull duo, Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly followed up in 5th and 6th, ahead of Carlos Sainz in the fastest McLaren. The Spaniard changed to a new MGU-K after the first one caused an engine failure early on during the Australian Grand Prix.
Daniil Kvyat and Kimi raikkonen made sure Toro Rosso and Alfa Romeo were also present in the top 10.
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:31.328||+0.974s||26|
|4||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:31.601||+1.247s||23|
|5||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:31.673||+1.319s||21|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:31.815||+1.461s||17|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:31.952||+1.598s||28|
|9||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:32.339||+1.985s||24|
|10||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:32.385||+2.031s||23|
|12||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:32.602||+2.248s||21|
|13||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:32.874||+2.520s||24|
|14||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:32.885||+2.531s||20|
|15||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:32.945||+2.591s||29|
|16||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:32.949||+2.595s||22|
|17||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:32.994||+2.640s||22|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||1:33.518||+3.164s||16|
|19||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:34.188||+3.834s||26|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:34.253||+3.899s||27|