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Live: F1 Bahrain GP updates - FP1 & FP2

The Formula 1 season-opening weekend begins with practice one and two for the Bahrain Grand Prix and you can follow all of the action here.

Max Verstappen and Red Bull have arrived at the Bahrain International Circuit as the clear favourites after testing. 

But with the Ferrari SF-24 showing pace in the hands of both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, and Red Bull enduring some reliability issues during pre-season, there is hope of a battle for the top step of the podium.

With the midfield appearing closer than ever, answers will begin to become clear as the action gets under way. 

FP1 will begin at 11:30 GMT (14:30 local) with FP2 following at 15:00 GMT (18:00 local).

By: Haydn Cobb, Sam Hall

Summary

Summary
  • Ricciardo tops FP1 in Bahrain for RB
  • Verstappen sixth after numerous car complaints
  • Hamilton fastest from Russell in FP2
Leaderboard
  1. Hamilton, Mercedes
  2. Russell, Mercedes
  3. Alonso, Aston Martin
  4. Sainz, Ferrari
  5. Piastri, McLaren
  6. Verstappen, Red Bull
  7. Hulkenberg, Haas
  8. Stroll, Aston Martin
  9. Leclerc, Ferrari
  10. Perez, Red Bull
Status: Stopped
With that we'll call time on this live text coverage of Bahrain GP practice. Final practice gets under way at 12:30pm GMT tomorrow with qualifying at 4pm GMT. Remember, qualifying is on Friday afternoon and the race is at 3pm GMT on Saturday. Until then, go well!
Mercedes on top with Red Bull struggling... we'll see how accurate that'll be come this time tomorrow and Saturday. Now it is time to crunch the numbers and come up with the answers.
 
Here's the full report on FP2 as Hamilton leads a Mercedes 1-2.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

"The upshifts in the start is just... so bad!" Verstappen tells Red Bull over team radio. Far from the smoothest day for the world champions.
Hamilton is the last to take the chequered flag as he tops the times. Just practice starts on the grid as the final order of the day.
So, a Mercedes 1-2 to end FP2. Nobody would've told you that was going to happen at the start of the day. Has Mercedes turned up its engines more than the rest at this point of the weekend? We'll probably find out the truth this time tomorrow.
The McLaren pair have switched to the medium tyres for a bit of late comparison running inside the final three minutes of FP2.
 
Tsunoda locks up into Turn 1 to dampen his run on these softs. Verstappen, Russell and Alonso are lapping in the high 1m36s with everyone else in the 1m37s or 1m38 region. But again, fuel loads and engine modes are largely unknown.
Norris, with a punch of DRS, gets by Ocon into Turn 1. Racing on a Thursday, it all happens in F1.
Norris is spending his race run tucked up behind Ocon's Alpine. It isn't entirely clear why but at least he's getting a good feel for his car in dirty air.
Sargeant is the only driver in the pits, which could be down to his earlier skip over the gravel, as everyone else banks the laps.
The lap times coming in are also reflecting the race run feel too. So, Norris didn't get a clean quali lap in at all in FP2, as he is bottom of the times and 2.2s off the pace. The rest, minus the Red Bulls, are close enough to where we would've predicted.
That looks to be it for the qualifying runs, as most drivers return for a stint on used softs and appear to be full of fuel. This is normally when everyone starts a race sim so in terms of outright lap time, that should be your lot.

The cause of Merecedes' sudden pace jump has been revealed...

Mercedes team members with the car of Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Mercedes team members with the car of Sir Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W15

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Alonso pops his Aston Martin into third with a 1m30.660s - nearly three-tenths off Hamilton's leading lap time.
"They are all ******* sleeping tonight," as Leclerc is held up by a coasting driver for the second time in this session.
Replays catch Sargeant going wide, off track and over a small gravel trap which his Williams mechanics won't thank him for.
Meanwhile Russell makes it a Mercedes 1-2 as he goes second with a 1m30.580s. Both Mercedes are running very low to the ground with a lot of sparks coming off the floor.
So, Red Bull, are the sandbags out or is this genuine?
Verstappen only goes fourth with a 1m30.851s - 0.477s off Hamilton's leading effort.
Perez improves on his softs but only goes sixth quickest, 0.741s back, so what can Red Bull team-mate Verstappen produce?
Hamilton sets a new benchmark of 1m30.374s which pushes his advantage to nearly four-tenths over Sainz.
Leclerc also messed up his latest lap, locking up on the kerb into Turn 4, so he stays seventh.
Sainz is now second with a 1m30.769s ahead of Piastri and Hulkenberg. Norris had a poor lap and remains 18th.
On fresh softs Hulkenberg pops up to second with 1m30.884s. Quick times incoming!
"Just a reminder I need to change my steering wheel for the next run," Norris reports over the team radio.
Everyone who is out on track is on soft tyres, so time for a bit of quali simulation. Whoopie.
"I have too much air coming into my helmet," Verstappen says over team radio. I bet if they asked Newey he could've seen that trackside.
Verstappen chips away at his personal best in this session to go third with a 1m31.161s. He's still got four-tenths to find to catch Hamilton but it is early days yet.
Almost everyone has pitted from their first runs, and at the bottom of the times is all the medium-shod runners - including the top four from FP1 who set their times on softs earlier.
Fuel loads, engine modes, blah blah blah. Almost nobody will be running full beans and with a light car until qualifying, but this isn't the order we would've expected going on testing.
Verstappen's first effort on the softs is a 1m31.271s to put the world champion fourth, one tenth ahead of his team-mate Perez.
Just like FP1, it is pretty blowy out on the track and remarkably chilly compared to what we're used to coming to Bahrain. Or, a British summer night, to give it an accurate description.
Alonso pops up to second with a 1m31.035s to go within a quarter of a second of Hamilton's leading effort. Verstappen has belatedly joined the fun and is on his out-lap.
TV replays prove our suspicions were correct with Bottas, he did just roll over the pit exit line while he prepared for a practice start. The pit exit lights turned green a few seconds later and then he got going. At most, that will probably be a reprimand for the Finn.
Leclerc takes over at the top with a 1m31.578s - but not for long as Hamilton posts a 1m30.751s which is a handy lap at this stage.
Bottas is now under investigation with the FIA stewards over his pit exit incident. Meanwhile, Perez goes top of the times with a 1m31.629s.
There is a pretty even split between those on softs and those on mediums at the start of FP2. Still no sign of Verstappen, Russell and either Aston Martin.

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