Hamilton fastest in FP1 at Bahrain

By on Friday, April 20, 2012

Hamilton was fastest in the first practice session in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton has started his Bahrain Grand Prix weekend in fine form, ending the session three tenths ahead of reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel. Paul di Resta came 3rd for Force India, running on the softer Pirelli tyre towards the end of the session.

As ever at a Grand Prix on the Friday, the session was a slow starter as French rookie Jean-Eric Vergne became the first driver on the track. The field completed their installation laps, with some drivers wishing to complete more than one installation lap. The first timed laps were completed by the Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Paul di Resta, before the Lotus of Romain Grosjean set a 01:34.847 to go quickest overall. Grosjean’s team-mate Kimi Raikkonen then flew to the top, with a 01:34.609 as the Finn hunts for his first podium of his F1 return.

Sebastian Vettel became the first of the front runners to set a timed lap, with a 01:34.311. The Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher slotted into 2nd and 3rd places respectively, as the majority of the field began setting their first true timed laps of the day.

World Championship leader, Lewis Hamilton, then flew to the top of the timing sheets with a 01:33.572. The 2008 World Champion has yet to win a race this season, however with three consecutive 3rd place finishes already in 2012, he leads the Championship from his team-mate Jenson Button who won in Australia.

After setting the initial pace earlier on in the session, the Force India’s began showing signs of pushing too hard as Paul di Resta ran wide whilst his team-mate locked up his tyres extensively into turn 10.

Prior to the weekend, Pirelli explained that dust and sand could play a significant role in tyre wear throughout the weekend. However, during the first session it became apparent the dust and sand wasn’t as troublesome as first thought. However, with the hugh winds that are notorious at the Sakhir International Circuit, the dust and sand could well be a recurring factor this weekend.

As the session came to close, Paul di Resta was spotted exiting the pit-lane with the soft (yellow) Pirelli P-Zero tyres on his Force India. This enabled the Scot to propel himself up to 3rd place, only several tenths off the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton.

Timo Glock ended the session with a spin at turn 1, spinning the wheels in ferocious fashion to get his car pointing back in the right direction once again. However, as the checkered flag emerged, Lewis Hamilton was quickest for McLaren. The Woking based outfit have never won at the Sakhir circuit before, and will be eager to break that trend this weekend.

The F1 cars will return to the track later on in the day for the second practice session, before the seriousness of qualifying tomorrow.

Pos Driver                Team                   Time                Laps
 1. Lewis Hamilton        McLaren-Mercedes       1m33.572            11
 2. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m33.877s  + 0.305  21
 3. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m34.150s  + 0.578  26
 4. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m34.249s  + 0.677  23
 5. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m34.277s  + 0.705  14
 6. Nico Hulkenberg       Force India-Mercedes   1m34.344s  + 0.772  26
 7. Michael Schumacher    Mercedes               1m34.483s  + 0.911  17
 8. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m34.552s  + 0.980  22
 9. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m34.609s  + 1.037  17
10. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m34.847s  + 1.275  20
11. Sergio Perez          Sauber-Ferrari         1m35.024s  + 1.452  22
12. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m35.268s  + 1.696  24
13. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m35.436s  + 1.864  21
14. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1m35.497s  + 1.925  24
15. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m35.719s  + 2.147  19
16. Kamui Kobayashi       Sauber-Ferrari         1m35.929s  + 2.357  24
17. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m36.195s  + 2.623  20
18. Heikki Kovalainen     Caterham-Renault       1m36.330s  + 2.758  11
19. Vitaly Petrov         Caterham-Renault       1m36.484s  + 2.912  18
20. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m36.591s  + 3.019  20
21. Charles Pic           Marussia-Cosworth      1m37.467s  + 3.895  17
22. Timo Glock            Marussia-Cosworth      1m38.006s  + 4.434  18
23. Pedro de la Rosa      HRT-Cosworth           1m38.877s  + 5.305  19
24. Narain Karthikeyan    HRT-Cosworth           1m39.996s  + 6.424  23

If you liked this post then share it with your friends on social media websites. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the latest F1 news.