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Live: F1 Bahrain GP commentary and updates – FP1 & FP2

Follow the live action as the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix gets going with Friday practice.

Live: F1 Bahrain GP commentary and updates – FP1 & FP2

After the intense three-day pre-season test at the same track last week, the 2023 F1 season begins this weekend with the Bahrain GP.

Having missed the pre-season test due to a wrist injury, Lance Stroll will make his comeback for Aston Martin alongside Fernando Alonso while back-up drivers Felipe Drugovich and Stoffel Vandoorne remain on standby.

Bahrain GP first practice begins at 11:30am GMT followed by second practice which starts at 3:00pm GMT. Qualifying takes place on Saturday at 3:00pm GMT to decide the starting grid for the race on Sunday at 3:00pm GMT.

By: Haydn Cobb, Megan White, Jake Boxall-Legge, James Newbold


  • Alonso tops F1 Bahrain GP second practice under the floodlights, edging the two Red Bulls on soft tyre runs
  • Verstappen is 0.169s behind Alonso in second, with Perez beating Leclerc and returnee Hulkenberg
  • Stroll sixth in FP2 on his return to action for Aston Martin after missing pre-season test with wrist injury - reports struggling with his hand through Turn 1/2 complex
  • Hamilton is only eighth in lead Mercedes, Williams and AlphaTauri bring up the rear
  • Strong day for resurgent Aston comes after Alonso split the Red Bulls in FP1, with Perez heading Verstappen in third

1. Alonso, Aston Martin - 1m30.907s
2. Verstappen, Red Bull - 1m31.076s
3. Perez, Red Bull - 1m31.078s
4. Leclerc, Ferrari - 1m31.367s
5. Hulkenberg, Haas - 1m31.376s
6. Stroll, Aston Martin - 1m31.450s
7. Gasly, Alpine - 1m31.475s
8. Hamilton, Mercedes - 1m32.543s
9. Norris, McLaren - 1m31.570s
10. Zhou, Alfa Romeo - 1m31.586s
Status: Stopped
And that's all from us today! We'll see you tomorrow for our first qualifying session of the season - until then, enjoy the rest of your day.
Russell reported "lots of disturbance aerodynamically down the straight", as he doesn't seem entirely happy with the balance of his Merc. Could be bumps, could be other sensitivity - we can only speculate.
It's Alonso from Verstappen, then, with Perez and Leclerc next up. Hulkenberg, Stroll, Gasly, Hamilton, Norris and Zhou complete the top 10.
There's the chequered flag, and Alonso's headliner from earlier remains the FP2 benchmark.
Hamilton comes in for a pitstop and collects new soft tyres. He's told "outlap critical", and the prevalence of the softest compound suggests it's going to be a popular choice over the rest of the weekend.
"Lance, we need to compromise Turn 1 for a better line in Turn 2," Stroll is told. "I can't with the hands," comes the reply, suggesting mobility is creating a slight problem for the Canadian.
Only Magnussen is not currently on track as things stand. De Vries, who is staring down the barrel of an investigation after that Norris pitlane mix-up, goes wide at Turn 10 after a lock-up.
Perez seemed to have some bother in navigating the modes on his steering wheel. Engineer Hugh Bird is offering some guidance, but Perez is understandably frustrated. "We cannot have this, man," he says.
The majority of the field is out on the soft tyres, aiming to see how long they last around the Bahrain circuit. Bottas and Albon are out on medium and hard tyres respectively.
After some changeover time in the pits, it appears that our 20 intrepid track-botherers are set for race-run mode. Sainz, running along the start-finish line, enjoys a bouncy ride along the bumps.
"Please check the floor, I went a bit wide on the exit of Turn 7," says Russell, decked out in his new Incredible Hulk-coloured helmet but with none of the temperament. He's the kind of guy to always remember his Ps & Qs in a radio message.
Verstappen pings his Red Bull into second place, 0.169s off of Alonso's benchmark.
And there's Alonso, first into the 1m30s this weekend with a 1m30.907s. Can we officially say now that the Aston Martin has some pace?
Hulkenberg goes top for about a second, before Perez drops a 1m31.078s to return to the uppermost echelon of the timing board.
Norris almost gets clobbered by de Vries in the pitlane, AlphaTauri doing an unremarkable job of getting the Dutch rookie out in clear air.
Bottas moves into P2, before Zhou relegates his team-mate down a position with a lap 0.1s off Stroll's best.
Broken wrist nor lack of testing shall sully him - Stroll does a 1m31.450s to go fastest so far.
Sainz grabs a 1m31.956s to inch ever so slightly closer to Leclerc's pace. Stroll' on a quick one, however...
Albon fires his Williams into sixth, 0.597s off Leclerc's pace. Nice effort from the Anglo-Thai racer, on a set of softs.