Pre-season testing Day 1 review: Red Bull leads, Ferrari has issues, Stroll finishes 4th

All 10 teams and 17 drivers took the track for the first of three days off practices in Bahrain

By Yuri Coghe
@yuricoghe
Max Verstappen finished the day on top, with no driver beating his 1:30.674 lap time set on medium tires (Photo: F1/Twitter)

Day one of three is done.

The Friday 2021 pre-season testing session in Bahrain saw Red Bull create a good first impression, Ferrari, Mercedes and Haas face mechanical issues and Lance Stroll land a late fourth place.

Max Verstappen finished the day on top, with no driver beating his 1:30.674 lap time set on medium tires. He completed 139 laps, making Red Bull the team with the most mileage on Friday.

Lando Norris (+0.215) and Esteban Ocon (+0.472) took the now Mercedes-powered McLaren and Alpine to the second and third positions, respectively. They both used hard tires to set their Friday fastest laps.

Lance Stroll, driving an Aston Martin in an official session for the first time, landed a late fourth place using soft tires, setting a lap time 1s108 slower than Verstappen.

Ferrari’s new signing Carlos Sainz Jr. (+1.245, medium tires) completed the top 5, but the Italian team faced mechanical issues with Charles Leclerc’s car. That was the end of the first day of pre-season testing for the Monaco driver.

Antonio Giovinazzi, Daniel Ricciardo, Pierre Gasly, Yuki Tsunoda and Lewis Hamilton completed the top 10.

Just like rookie Mick Schumacher, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas had to retire due to gearbox issues. Lewis Hamilton completed 42 laps to take the team count to 48 but struggled with grip late in the session.

All 10 teams and 17 drivers took the track for the first of three days off practices in Bahrain. Williams decided to let test driver Roy Nissany take the wheels on Friday instead of the starting duo George Russell and Nicholas Latifi.

Also as scheduled, Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez and Alpine’s Fernando Alonso did not take the track.

Further reading: Check the times and driving schedule ahead of this weekend’s pre-season testing

A sandstorm hit the Bahrain circuit in the afternoon

Check the full results of the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain below:

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