F1 – Gasly Tops Opening Practice Session For Bahrain Grand Prix As 2022 Formula 1 Season Gets Underway

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.


2022 FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice
1 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 23 1:34.193
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 22 1:34.557 0.364
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 23 1:34.611 0.418
4 George Russell Mercedes 23 1:34.629 0.436
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 22 1:34.742 0.549
6 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 22 1:34.814 0.621
7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 17 1:34.943 0.750
8 Fernando Alonso Alpine 14 1:35.000 0.807
9 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 20 1:35.028 0.835
10 Sergio Perez Red Bull 23 1:35.050 0.857
11 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 20 1:35.053 0.860
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine 15 1:35.151 0.958
13 Nicholas Latifi Williams 15 1:35.644 1.451
14 Nico Hulkenberg Aston Martin 23 1:35.815 1.622
15 Alex Albon Williams 17 1:35.923 1.730
16 Lando Norris McLaren 22 1:36.304 2.111
17 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 20 1:36.402 2.209
18 Mick Schumacher Haas 23 1:36.536 2.343
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas 21 1:36.804 2.611
20 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 2

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