Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took command of the times in the first free practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Australian set a time of 1:31.060s late in the session in jump Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas and the Ferraris of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel. Lewis Hamilton had a quiet session, with a lock-up on his flying lap leaving him fifth fastest and over a second off Ricciardo's pace.
However it was not all good news for Red Bull. Max Verstappen ran only two laps in the session before coasting to a halt with electrical issues which could not be resolved in the time remaining.
Bahrain Grand Prix - Free Practice 1 results
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:31.060s||14|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||1:31.364s||+ 0.304s||24|
|3||Kimi Räikkönen||Ferrari||1:31.458s||+ 0.398s||18|
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||1:31.470s||+ 0.410s||17|
|5||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:32.272s||+ 1.212s||21|
|6||Romain Grosjean||Haas||1:32.516s||+ 1.456s||23|
|7||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:32.779s||+ 1.719s||26|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Renault||1:32.885s||+ 1.825s||21|
|9||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||1:32.971s||+ 1.911s||19|
|10||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault||1:33.104s||+ 2.044s||18|
|11||Fernando Alonso||McLaren||1:33.223s||+ 2.163s||24|
|12||Charles Leclerc||Sauber||1:33.278s||+ 2.218s||20|
|13||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren||1:33.364s||+ 2.304s||25|
|14||Lance Stroll||Williams||1:33.379s||+ 2.319s||22|
|15||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams||1:33.467s||+ 2.407s||29|
|16||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:33.497s||+ 2.437s||27|
|17||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber||1:33.508s||+ 2.448s||22|
|18||Sergio Pérez||Force India||1:33.662s||+ 2.602s||26|
|19||Esteban Ocon||Force India||1:33.794s||+ 2.734s||23|
|20||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||2|
The session was held in the bright sunshine of the middle of the afternoon. That immediately made it less relevant to teams focussed on preparing for qualifying and the race which will be held after dark under floodlights.
When the track opened for business it was the Force India pair of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon who were the first to set times.
However Verstappen's problems started early when his Red Bull coasted to a halt within the first 15 minutes of the session. He stopped within site of the the pit lane entrance, and with the help of several marshalls he was able to push the RB14 the rest of the way.
The team worked hard to tackle the electrical issues with the Renault power unit, but in the end ran out of time. Having lost all of the first session, the Dutch driver will now need to work extra hard in the evening practice.
Verstappen's departure was handled under local waved yellows and did not disturb the session. There were no other major incidents, although both Lance Stroll (Williams) and Charles Leclerc (Sauber) went for harmless spins in turn 8 after losing the back end of their cars at the half hour mark.
By the time the teams handed back their first set of medium tyres, Hamilton and Bottas had taken control of the session ahead of the two Ferraris. The Briton led the way with a time of 1:32.532s at the mid point of the 90 minute practice. When the cars headed back out on soft tyres, McLaren's Fernando Alonso was able to jump into third place.
Hamilton's flying lap was thwarted by a lock-up at turn 10, which left him nine tenths off the latest lap of 1:31.364s from his team mate Bottas. The Ferraris were able to put in better times, with Raikkonen going second just a hundredth off the Finn. Vettel was close behind, and a whisker over a tenth back.
The times looked to have been settled when Ricciardo gave Red Bull reason to cheer by punching in the fastest lap of the afternoon with a time of 1:31.060s with a quarter of an hour to go, which proved unassailable by his rivals in the remaining time before the chequered flag.
Romain Grosjean was sixth fastest for Haas albeit on supersofts, with his similarly-shod team mate Kevin Magnussen ninth fastest. Pierre Gasly overcome early traction issues to put Toro Rosso seventh on soft tyres, ahead of Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard was on supersorts, as was his Renault team mate Nico Hulkenberg who rounded out the top ten.