Kimi Raikkonen leads Ferrari 1-2 in Bahrain FP1

Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest man in the first practice session ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Finn – who has impressed at the circuit before but never won – was two tenths faster than his team-mate by the end of FP1. The top 11 were within one second of the Ferrari pace with Valtteri Bottas half a second down on his fellow countryman’s pace.

A green track saw a number of drivers struggling to stop at corners and lock-up. The conditions in FP1 are also not representative of the rest of the weekend as the race goes from day to night while free practice takes place earlier in the day and therefore much warmer conditions. In the first thirty minutes of action – in which the drivers have an additional set of tyres which they must return after that time – Raikkonen lead the way from Vettel, Bottas, Daniil Kvyat, Marcus Ericsson and Sergio Perez.

It wasn’t all straight forward for the pacesetters as Vettel complained of a loss of power halfway into the session. With half an hour to go the timing screens showed Max Verstappen fastest ahead of Fernando Alonso, Perez, Pastor Maldonado and Raikkonen. Alonso ended the session seventh for McLaren while team-mate Jenson Button spun just three minutes into the session and failed to get out again. Vettel did get out in his car following his problems, however, as Raikkonen improved his time. Jolyon Palmer was in action for Lotus and finished just four tenths off team-mate Maldonado. Elsewhere the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg focused on long runs and tyre evaluation.

Free Practice 1 times:

  1. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:37.827 – 13 laps
  2. Sebastian Vettel – 1:38.029 – 12 laps
  3. Valtteri Bottas – 1:38.390 – 23 laps
  4. Carlos Sainz – 1:38.447 – 14 laps
  5. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:38.455 – 17 laps
  6. Max Verstappen – 1:38.504 – 22 laps
  7. Fernando Alonso – 1:38.598 – 18 laps
  8. Felipe Nasr – 1:38.628 – 17 laps
  9. Daniil Kvyat – 1:38.661 – 17 laps
  10. Felipe Massa – 1:38.790 -21 laps
  11. Sergio Perez – 1:38.793 – 15 laps
  12. Pastor Maldonado – 1:38.842 – 23 laps
  13. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:39.187 – 20 laps
  14. Jolyon Palmer – 1:39.281 – 31 laps
  15. Nico Rosberg – 1:39.293 – 23 laps
  16. Lewis Hamilton – 1:39.532 – 22 laps
  17. Marcus Ericsson – 1:39.534 – 21 laps
  18. Will Stevens – 1:42.973 – 12 laps
  19. Roberto Merhi – 1:44.265 – 15 laps
  20. Jenson Button – No Time Set – 2 laps
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