Gasly tops first day of Bahrain pre-season F1 test

By on
F1 Test, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly ended today's testing at Bahrain fastest, more than 4 tenths faster than Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and the fastest man of the morning session, Charles Leclerc.

Gasly used the softest tyre compound available (C5) to complete a lap around Sakhir International Circuit in 1:33.902s. As the sun set and the track cooled, the Frenchman made best use of the conditions while no other attempted to hit the top time.

Both Ferraris sat well in second and third, both setting their times on the C3 compound.

But it wasn't all sunshine, as several teams hit trouble. Aston Martin for instance caused a stoppage after an aero rake broke off of Lance Stroll's car.

Sergio Perez was the other man to cause a brief stoppage, or in fact an early end to the session as he spun at Turn 8, without damage. On a cooldown lap, amid a trial Virtual Safety Car period, Perez lost the rear of the RB18 exiting Turn 8 and crept into the gravel trap, beaching the car. It was a disappointing end of the day for Perez who nonetheless racked up 138 laps, thereby topping the mileage chart of the day.

Haas made up for lost time after its delayed start to the day, with test driver Pietro Fittipaldi completing 47 laps in the VF-22.

With that tally, they were only three laps shy of McLaren. The Woking-based team had a very subdued day, similar to Alpine that continued to lack pace and reliability. Alonso, taking over from Ocon for the last few hours did make a quick first sector on medium tyres but ended up more than 3 tenths down on Gasly's, following which the Spaniard aborted the lap and had a bit of an on-track fight with Stroll.

Mercedes were better off, but their highly updated W13 still showed serious porpoising on the straights and a handful to drive in corners. Hamilton was frequently seen beyond the track limits while also lifting off the throttle as soon as the car started bumping on the straights due to the varying ground-effect downforce levels.