Mercedes fastest again as Alonso has tyre mix-up

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix first practice

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Mercedes took up their increasingly familiar positions at the top of the times sheets in the first practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton set the pace at the beginning of the session with a 1’38.395. Team mate Nico Rosberg, who had a problem with a flat battery on one of his early runs, came within a tenth of a second of his team mate.

Ferrari briefly took over the fastest time when Fernando Alonso went out with 15 minutes to go, setting a 1’37.953.

But the silver cars returned to the track once more shortly afterwards to reclaim the top spots as first Rosberg, then Hamilton lowered the best lap time, leaving it at 1’37.502.

Alonso had a minor drama early in the session when his Ferrari was sent from his garage with three medium tyres and a single soft, on the front-left. He came to a stop in the pit lane and was pushed back to his box to have the incorrect tyre replaced.

Two more Mercedes-powered cars followed Alonso in the final classification: Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren. Button and team mate Magnussen reported braking problems early in the session.

Kimi Raikkonen was next for Ferrari despite running very wide at turn one – which has been renamed after Michael Schumacher – when he locked up on one lap.

Behind Magnussen was Daniil Kvyat, who enjoyed a more productive session in his Toro Rosso than his team mate. Jean-Eric Vergne repeatedly complained about problems with inconsistent power delivery from his Renault V6 turbo.

Sergio Perez was ninth for Force India and Sebastian Vettel completed the top ten for Red Bull, who on this first indication seem to be further off the pace at this track than Sepang.

Giedo van der Garde made his return to an F1 cockpit, driving for Sauber in place of Esteban Gutirrez. Felipe Nasr and Robin Frijns made their first appearances in an official F1 practice session, the latter outpacing team mate Marcus Ericsson by three tenths of a second.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’37.502 14
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.733 0.231 13
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.953 0.451 17
4 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’38.122 0.620 10
5 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.636 1.134 16
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’38.783 1.281 12
7 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.949 1.447 15
8 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’39.056 1.554 24
9 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’39.102 1.600 21
10 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.389 1.887 16
11 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’39.533 2.031 11
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’39.862 2.360 26
13 40 Felipe Nasr Williams-Mercedes 1’40.076 2.574 14
14 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’40.406 2.904 19
15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.652 3.150 20
16 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’40.793 3.291 31
17 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’40.889 3.387 20
18 36 Giedo van der Garde Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.913 3.411 20
19 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’41.036 3.534 24
20 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’41.794 4.292 20
21 46 Robin Frijns Caterham-Renault 1’42.417 4.915 35
22 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’42.711 5.209 21

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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76 comments on Mercedes fastest again as Alonso has tyre mix-up

  1. David Not Coulthard (@davidnotcoulthard) said on 4th April 2014, 14:29

    Guys, stop reading that much into times, it’s practice.

    • ECWDanSelby (@ecwdanselby) said on 4th April 2014, 14:54

      Yeh, I agree.

      We all love a bit of information, but really, many of us should know by now that this is merely an indicator, not the absolute real pecking order.

    • Corrado (@corrado-dub) said on 4th April 2014, 14:56

      So ?!? Actually, nowadays, the FPs shows a lot more the true speed of the cars. They’re running the same cars, so it matters in order to have a better image of what’s going on exactly.

  2. Matt (@mattf1f) said on 4th April 2014, 14:33

    Wow that Force India was flying, looking at the speed trap Hulkenberg hit 327.8 km/h. Ferrari almost 20km/h slower and RB 30 km/h slower. I can´t remember seeing this big speed differences for a while. Well it was only FP1 so lets wait and see FP2

  3. Jimmy Hearn (@alebelly74) said on 4th April 2014, 14:36

    So the sabotage of Nico begins. Events are unfolding before our very eyes that so mirror the plight of Mark Webber, who was ultimately forced out of the sport because of Sebastian and his German contacts. Now Nico finds himself behind the same underhanded gamesmanship. You all saw that look of sadistic mirth on face of Lewis after his last win. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that Red Bull is behind all of this.

  4. Breno (@austus) said on 4th April 2014, 15:22

    Frijns faster than Ericson, and Nasr two places behind Massa. Have either of them driven the cars before?

  5. Meander (@meander) said on 4th April 2014, 15:59

    Where is Williams? :(

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