Hamilton fastest ahead of Giovinazzi on opening Bahrain test day

Lewis Hamilton was fastest for Mercedes on day one of the in-season test in Bahrain - Credit: Steve Etherington

Lewis Hamilton ended the opening day of the post-Bahrain Grand Prix test with the quickest time, despite an electrical issue affecting the early part of his day on Tuesday.

The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver, who finished second in Sunday’s race at the Bahrain International Circuit, set the best time of the day during the afternoon’s running, his time of 1:31.358s coming on the Soft Pirelli tyre compound.

But his early running was halted when a fault developed on his W08, but his mechanics worked hard to solve the problem, and he was soon back on track and set an impressive 97 laps across the day.

Hamilton ended up 0.626 seconds faster than Scuderia Ferrari’s reserve and test driver Antonio Giovinazzi, with the Italian, who made his Grand Prix debut for the Sauber F1 Team in the Australian Grand Prix earlier this year, completing 93 laps.

Third fastest was Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo, who only completed 45 laps but was concentrating more on aero tests and outright lap time, with work being done on both set-up and tyres. The Australian unfortunately was not able to complete his whole program however, with a power unit issue curtailing his day.

Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest for the Haas F1 Team, two days after scoring his first points of the season in Bahrain, with the Frenchman completing 87 laps, ending 1.094 seconds off Hamilton’s pace, but 0.057 seconds faster than Felipe Massa.

Massa and Williams Martini Racing team-mate Lance Stroll shared the running across the day, with the Brazilian setting the better of the lap times and completing more of the laps, the Canadian being restricted to just 35 laps in ending up seventh fastest, just behind Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver Nico Hülkenberg.

Sean Gelael had his first taste of Formula 1 machinery when he tested for Scuderia Toro Rosso, but despite completing 78 laps, he twice stopped on track with more Renault-related mechanical issues. The Indonesian racer, who is competing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Pertamina Arden in 2017, finished eighth fastest with a best time of 1:33.885s.

Sebastian Vettel ended ninth fastest for Ferrari as he undertook Pirelli tyre tests for the 2018 season, and after an interruption due to a mechanical issue, his time on track was extended to 9pm local time to make up for lost time.

Fresh off a podium finish in the World Series Formula V8 3.5 championship at Silverstone at the weekend, Alfonso Celis Jr was back in the Sahara Force India F1 Team’s VJM10 in Bahrain, and completed 71 laps in finishing tenth, 0.611 seconds faster than Marcus Ericsson, who completed a day high 106 laps for Sauber.

Bringing up the rear in both time and laps was the McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team, who saw another mechanical issue hit their MCL32 after only two laps in the morning session. Test driver Oliver Turvey was able to return to the track in the final hour, but the Briton could only complete 17 laps in total, and was 3.653 seconds off the pace.

The test concludes on Wednesday.

Antonio Giovinazzi finished second fastest on Tuesday – Credit: Scuderia Ferrari

Bahrain International Circuit In-Season Test Day 1

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:31.358s
299Antonio GiovinazziITAScuderia Ferrari1:31.984s
33Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull Racing1:32.349s
48Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas F1 Team1:32.452s
519Felipe MassaBRZWilliams Martini Racing1:32.509s
627Nico HulkenbergGERRenault Sport Formula 1 Team1:33.624s
718Lance StrollCANWilliams Martini Racing1:33.729s
8Sean GelaelINOScuderia Toro Rosso1:33.885s
95Sebastian VettelGERScuderia Ferrari1:33.894s
10Alfonso Celis JrMEXSahara Force India F1 Team1:33.939s
119Marcus EricssonSWESauber F1 Team1:34.550s
12Oliver TurveyGBRMcLaren Honda Formula 1 Team1:35.011s