Sakhir, FP1: Gasly tops opening practice session for Bahrain GP

2022 Formula 1 season gets underway


By Olivier Ferret

18 March 2022 - 14:09
Sakhir, FP1: Gasly tops opening (...)

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly went quickest in the first practice session for this weekend’s season-opening FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix. The French driver was some four tenths of a second faster than the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and third-placed Carlos Sainz.

Gasly set his best time of the one-hour session using the soft C3 compound tyre on offer from Pirelli for this first event of 2022. The AlphaTauri went out in the last quarter of an hour and posted a lap of 1:34.193. That left him 0.364 ahead of Leclerc 0.481 ahead of Sainz.

At the start of the session Leclerc was the first to take to the track, with Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas following behind. The Finn was soon back in the pits, however, after reporting a misfire.

There was trouble too for Esteban Ocon. Just seven minutes into the session, the Alpine driver was travelling down the pit straight when his right sidepod suddenly disintegrated and the track was showered with debris. The session was red flagged to allow marshals to clear the pieces of the French driver’s car.

The session got going again after a 13-minute delate and soon after Fernando Alonso in the other Alpine moved to the top of the order with a C3 time of 1:35.247 effort. World champion Max Verstappen then used yellow-banded C2 medioum tyres to take top spot with a time of 1:34.783.

He worked his way down to 1:34.742 as team-mate Sergio Péres moved up to P2 on the same tyre, three tenths of a second behind.

George Russell then emerged on C3 softs tyres. The Mercedes drive battled bouncing on the straights that caused bodywork to break off his car but despite the damage he was able to go quickest with a lap of 1:34.629 15 minutes left on the clock.

Sainz them moved ahead before being outstripped by Leclerc and ultimately by Galsy.

Russell held on to fourth place ahead of Verstappen who stayed on mediums in the final stages of the session.

Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll finished as the sixth fastest man ahead of Lewis Hamilton in seventh, while Alonso and the second AlphaTauri of Yuki Tsunoda were eighth and ninth respectively ahead of Pérez.

01 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:34.193 23
02 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:34.557 22
03 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:34.611 23
04 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:34.629 23
05 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:34.742 22
06 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:34.814 22
07 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:34.943 17
08 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:35.000 14
09 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:35.028 20
10 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:35.050 23
11 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:35.053 20
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:35.151 15
13 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:35.644 15
14 Nico Hülkenberg Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:35.815 23
15 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:35.923 17
16 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:36.304 22
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:36.402 20
18 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:36.536 23
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:36.804 21
20 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 -:—.--- 2

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