FP1 – I wonder if we’ll see interesting qualifying tactics this weekend
I.e. out lap, hot lap, hot lap, in lap or out/hot/cooldown/hot/in.
FP1 – Gasly’s right wing mirror has broken off
Or at least it’s hanging very loose. He’s holding onto it with his right hand and will come into the pits next time around. And he does.
FP1 – Current order now everyone has set a lap time
Three seconds between first and laps. A second between first and eighth. Half a second between 8th and 14th.
FP1 – Leclerc gets wide at turn four
Runs into the gravel but keeps it going… Verstappen up into second now. Russell putting the laps in now and improving.
FP1 – Bottas now into first place
With a 55.154s. He was on the softs. Traffic is going to be a problem in Q3 and possibly even Q2 this weekend, no doubt about that.
FP1 – A few cars out there now, Ricciardo quickest
His lap time was a 55.845s, on the soft tyres. Real mix of tyres out there at the moment. Leclerc pops up into second, 0.711s behind. Russell has now done eight laps and is eighth a second off the pace. Aitken 1.9s off the pace in 10th.
FP1 – Russell: “How was DAS usage?”
Russell asks Pete Bonnington, usually Hamilton’s race engineer. He’s told it was all good. That’s the Dual Axis Steering tyre warm-up system that Mercedes have this season where the driver moves the steering wheel to adjust the angle of the wheels to help with tyre temperatures.
FP1 – Russell out on track for the first time
Likely just the usual out/in/out three sectors. No? He continues on and goes fifth, 2.320s off the pace. Don’t think he’ll be driving at 100 per cent quite yet though.
FP1 – At least the McLaren blokes are getting in some laps
Nine for Sainz and eight for Norris so far. Nobody else has done any more than three.
FP1 – Again very little action in the first 10 minutes
I am still not sure why we have 90 minute sessions when such little running happens early on.
FP1 – Sainz the first driver to set a time
It’s 1:04.259 which is probably eight or nine seconds slower than we will see today. Perhaps. Well, he goes over the line on his second lap of 56.631s so it’s about 7.5s quicker than that. Reckon we could see a time in the 53s today, then.
FP1 – VSC deployed
No idea why. Don’t think anybody has stopped on track. They haven’t and it is now ending. How strange.
FP1 – No surprise that Pietro Fittipaldi is one of the first on track
He has driven in tests before but never in an F1 weekend.
90 minutes to go. How low will they go? 54 seconds for pole? Or will we see that in practice? Where will Russell place? We’re about to find out…
Right, nearly ready to get going…
Can’t wait for this. Not sure I’ve been more excited for an F1 practice session.
Who is Jack Aitken?
Aitken is Williams’ current reserve driver and has taken part in an F1 Grand Prix weekend on one previous occasion, in FP1 for the Styrian Grand Prix. He has a decent if not outstanding record so far. He finished runner up to George Russell in the 2017 GP3 championship — having finished fifth in 2016, the year Charles Leclerc won.
In his first year in F2 he finished 11th with one sprint race victory. 2019 was a better year, where he finished fifth after three sprint race victories and four other podiums. 2020 has been more difficult, though, currently 14th without a victory. Still, this is a brilliant opportunity for him to showcase his talents.
Onboard with Mick Schumacher in the F2 car for a lap around this new layout
It’s going to be super-quick in the F1 cars. It’s quite bumpy in the new bit of the track, though. At the speeds these cars get up to that could be interesting…
Oliver Brown: Mazepin’s arrival at Haas shows that F1 is all talk when it comes to striving for a more egalitarian grid
At this rate, the Formula One grid in 2021 promises to be about as inclusive as the Italian Grand Prix of 1934, when second place belonged to Hermann zu Leiningen, a Bavarian prince and son of a grandnephew of Queen Victoria. Next year’s 20-strong field will feature three sons of billionaires, in the shape of
Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, and now Nikita Mazepin, whom Haas have recruited purely for his pedigree in feeder series and not at all because his chemical magnate father, Dmitry, is among the richest men in Russia and poised to invest heavily in the United States-based team.
Good afternoon F1 fans
And welcome to our coverage for the Sakhir Grand Prix in Bahrain. It’s a different layout to the track we used last week for the Bahrain Grand Prix – and the one that has been used every time since 2010 — but with the week we’ve had in F1, it’s probably only about the fourth most interesting thing about this weekend. It’s going to be a high-speed blast around 13 corners, with lap times likely to be well under a minute.
The first news was that Romain Grosjean would miss this race after his horrific crash at the start of the race last week. We can be thankful that he escaped with only burns on his hands and feet. There were some heartwarming scenes at the track yesterday when he returned to the F1 paddock and met some of the fire marshals that were first on the scene to his crash.
The other, and biggest news, is that Lewis Hamilton is missing this weekend due to contracting coronavirus. This was confirmed on Tuesday and on Wednesday George Russell was confirmed as taking his place, with Williams releasing him from his duties. Russell is still a Mercedes-contracted driver and was the better choice for the team, with Stoffel Vandoorne — their official reserve driver — not having driven an F1 car since the end of the 2018 season.
It is the opportunity of a lifetime for the young Briton who has so far out-qualified his team-mate in all of his 36 Grands Prix but has yet to score a point, largely due to Williams being the slowest car of the lot. F2 driver Jack Aitken takes his place at Williams for the weekend, which is also an excellent opportunity for the British-Korean driver.
In other huge F1 news — it has been quite the week for it — Haas confirmed their driver line-up for 2021, with Nikita Mazepin being confirmed first and then Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time champion Michael Schumacher, alongside him. Schumacher junior currently leads the F2 championship and, were he to win it, would join George Russell and Charles Leclerc in graduating to the highest form of motorsport.
Anyway, first practice gets underway at 1.30pm GMT. An FP1 when the season is already over is normally quite a boring hum-drum thing. But the combination of the above factors should make it one of the most interesting of the entire season. We’ll be here for both sessions. Cannot wait.
Source: The Telegraph Travels