Winter testing for the 2022 season has resumed in Bahrain. After three days in Barcelona two weeks ago, F1 found itself in Sakhir to begin three new days of testing, the last before the start of the season.
The morning was of course dominated by the evolution of the Mercedes W13, which shows a line with very inconspicuous pontoons, and the very nice entry. But technically, McLaren also drew attention to its floor.
It does indeed seem very flexible at any speed, and the FIA technical stewards should be tackling the subject this afternoon. The team also sported a revised livery, with a black hood promoting the Artura, the brand’s new hybrid supercar.
Ferrari also showed a change in its colors with the disappearance of Kaspersky. Scuderia’s sponsor and IT partner is a Russian company, which no longer wants the team on its single-seaters, helmets and suits.
And on the helmet side we could see new colors on Sebastian Vettel. The Aston Martin F1 driver has replaced the colors of the German flag with those of the Ukrainian flag, in support of the victims of the war. We also see the words of Imagine, John Lennon, and a dove, symbol of peace.
From a sporting point of view it was Charles Leclerc who set the best time of the morning, even though the lap times were far from significant. Indeed, his 1:34.531 was more than five seconds off the 2021 pole and more than seven seconds off the track record.
The Monegask was one of the most productive on the track, with over 60 loops in the morning. Alex Albon is second half a second behind Leclerc, with over 55 laps left for the Williams FW44.
Sebastian Vettel is third by just over a second, but Aston Martin F1 underperformed and failed to break the 40-lap mark for the morning. Sergio Pérez placed the Red Bull RB18 in fourth place by setting the lap record as he came close to 70 laps.
Lewis Hamilton finished fifth with the W13, which inevitably attracted a lot of attention over the 60 laps he completed. Sixth, Esteban Ocon spent part of the morning in the garage but was able to cross the 40-lap mark.
He is ahead of Guanyu Zhou, who has completed more than 50 laps with the Alfa Romeo, an important run for the team that hadn’t driven much in Barcelona. The Chinese continues to chain the bends and grasp his new environment.
Lando Norris finished eighth and the McLaren MCL36 was stuck in the garage for much of the morning, with the Briton just 21 laps away. He replaced Daniel Ricciardo at short notice, who was ill this morning.
Finally, Pierre Gasly closes this classification with 44 laps completed and a fairly long time. Haas F1 was out of action due to the week-long freight delay and has already had an agreement to make up for this lost half-day on Sunday morning.
Find the photos from the 1st day by consulting our gallery here. The gallery will be regularly updated until late tonight.
|01||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:34.531||64|
|02||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:35.070||53|
|03||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:35.706||39|
|04||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBP RB18||1:35.977||70|
|05||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:36.365||62|
|06||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:36.768||42|
|07||Guanyu-Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:37.164||54|
|08||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:37.580||21|
|09||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBP AT03||1:37.888||44|
|10||george russell||Mercedes W13||†||0|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari F1-75||†||0|
|12||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||†||0|
|13||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||†||0|
|14||Lance Walk||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||†||0|
|15||Pietro Fittipaldic||Haas Ferrari VF-22||†||0|