F1 Bahrain GP practice results: Verstappen fastest on Friday

Reigning Formula 1 world champion Max Verstappen was fastest for Red Bull in Bahrain Grand Prix practice on Friday, ahead of the opening round of the 2022 season.

F1 Bahrain GP practice results: Verstappen fastest on Friday

Pierre Gasly was fastest in the slower FP1 session for AlphaTauri, before Verstappen set the quickest time of the day – under the floodlights in FP2 – at 1m31.936s.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc led the chase, just 0.087s slower, ahead of team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr and Mercedes’ George Russell. His teammate Lewis Hamilton could only manage ninth, complaining of porpoising and brake issues.

Bahrain Grand Prix FP1 results: Gasly fastest from Leclerc

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 France Pierre Gasly 23 1'34.193     206.843
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc 22 1'34.557 0.364 0.364 206.047
3 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr 23 1'34.611 0.418 0.054 205.929
4 United Kingdom George Russell 23 1'34.629 0.436 0.018 205.890
5 Netherlands Max Verstappen 22 1'34.742 0.549 0.113 205.644
6 Canada Lance Stroll 22 1'34.814 0.621 0.072 205.488
7 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 17 1'34.943 0.750 0.129 205.209
8 Spain Fernando Alonso 14 1'35.000 0.807 0.057 205.086
9 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 20 1'35.028 0.835 0.028 205.025
10 Mexico Sergio Perez 23 1'35.050 0.857 0.022 204.978
11 China Guanyu Zhou 20 1'35.053 0.860 0.003 204.971
12 France Esteban Ocon 15 1'35.151 0.958 0.098 204.760
13 Canada Nicholas Latifi 15 1'35.644 1.451 0.493 203.705
14 Germany Nico Hulkenberg 23 1'35.815 1.622 0.171 203.341
15 Thailand Alex Albon 17 1'35.923 1.730 0.108 203.112
16 United Kingdom Lando Norris 22 1'36.304 2.111 0.381 202.309
17 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 20 1'36.402 2.209 0.098 202.103
18 Germany Mick Schumacher 23 1'36.536 2.343 0.134 201.823
19 Denmark Kevin Magnussen 21 1'36.804 2.611 0.268 201.264
20 Finland Valtteri Bottas 2        

What happened in Bahrain GP Free Practice 1?

First practice took place in daytime, meaning it was not fully representative of either qualifying or the race, both of which will occur in cooler conditions in the evening.

The McLarens of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo set the early pace on, as the new-look 2022 cars were put through their paces in anger in an official F1 session for the first time.

A red flag was soon required to clean up the debris from Esteban Ocon’s Alpine that shed its right sidepod soon after he opened the DRS on the start/finish straight – showering the following Nico Hulkenberg’s Aston Martin with carbonfibre pieces.

The session resumed with Alpine’s Fernando Alonso going fastest on soft tyres, before Verstappen beat that by 0.464s using mediums – lapping in 1m34.783s and then 1m34.742s.

As more teams gravitated to running softs, George Russell’s Mercedes – which earlier lost a chunk of bodywork – went to the top on 1m34.629s, just as Leclerc spun his Ferrari.

With 13 minutes to go, Gasly took top spot for AlphaTauri on 1m34.193s, followed by the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz – who were both running mediums to Gasly’s softs.

Verstappen slipped back to fifth, but didn’t run softs at all like the Ferraris. He was however ahead of those that did, including Lance Stroll (Aston), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Alonso and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri). Sergio Perez’s Red Bull rounded out the top 10 with a time also set on mediums.

Bahrain Grand Prix FP2 results: Verstappen fastest from Leclerc

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 20 1'31.936     211.921
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc 20 1'32.023 0.087 0.087 211.720
3 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr 22 1'32.520 0.584 0.497 210.583
4 United Kingdom George Russell 25 1'32.529 0.593 0.009 210.563
5 Spain Fernando Alonso 24 1'32.877 0.941 0.348 209.774
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas 30 1'32.951 1.015 0.074 209.607
7 Mexico Sergio Perez 20 1'32.958 1.022 0.007 209.591
8 Germany Mick Schumacher 24 1'33.085 1.149 0.127 209.305
9 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 23 1'33.144 1.208 0.059 209.172
10 Denmark Kevin Magnussen 23 1'33.183 1.247 0.039 209.085
11 United Kingdom Lando Norris 27 1'33.280 1.344 0.097 208.867
12 France Esteban Ocon 25 1'33.360 1.424 0.080 208.688
13 France Pierre Gasly 24 1'33.621 1.685 0.261 208.107
14 Japan Yuki Tsunoda 26 1'33.789 1.853 0.168 207.734
15 China Guanyu Zhou 27 1'33.953 2.017 0.164 207.371
16 Canada Lance Stroll 25 1'33.958 2.022 0.005 207.360
17 Germany Nico Hulkenberg 28 1'34.061 2.125 0.103 207.133
18 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 12 1'34.166 2.230 0.105 206.902
19 Canada Nicholas Latifi 28 1'34.486 2.550 0.320 206.201
20 Thailand Alex Albon 22 1'34.735 2.799 0.249 205.659

What happened in Bahrain GP Free Practice 2?

From the start of FP2 under the floodlights, Leclerc set the benchmark at 1m33.121s – already a second faster than Gasly’s FP1 time – on mediums. He led an early Ferrari 1-2 from Sainz, with Alonso third ahead of Alpine team-mate Ocon.

Verstappen took second place on his first flyer on mediums, 0.5s off Leclerc, while Hamilton took fifth but complained of porpoising on the straights. Valtteri Bottas jumped to fourth for Alfa Romeo, bouncing back from a troubled first session due to engine issues, ahead of a late-running Perez.

The soft tyres made an appearance as the halfway point loomed, with Kevin Magnussen going second for Haas, just 0.062s off Leclerc's medium time. Alonso then briefly took over the top spot on softs, with 1m32.877s, while Sainz lapped 0.188s off that after running wide at the final two corners.

Leclerc retook his place at the head of the timesheet with 1m32.263s on softs, 0.6s clear of Alonso, with Bottas surging to third and Perez taking fourth.

Verstappen reset the bar with 28 minutes to go, setting 1m31.936s that would remain the fastest lap of the day. Leclerc responded with 1m32.023s on his second push lap, just 0.087s slower.

Sainz pitted but later went third after taking another run on his softs, albeit 0.584s off the pace. Russell ended up fourth, ahead of Alonso, Bottas, Perez, Mick Schumacher (Haas), Hamilton and Magnussen.

FP1 pacesetter Gasly could only manage the 13th quickest time, 1.685s off the pace.

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F1 Bahrain GP: Verstappen fastest from Leclerc by 0.087s in FP2
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