Scuderia Ferrari bounced back from a tough Australian Grand Prix by topping the timing sheets through Charles Leclerc in Free Practice 1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel was second quickest with the two Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport in third and fourth but Valtteri Bottas was almost a second behind the cars in red. Lewis Hamilton was three tenths slower than his team-mate with the Max Verstappen ahead of Pierre Gasly.
Carlos Sainz Jr. was best of the rest in seventh in his McLaren F1 Team ahead of Nico Hülkenberg, Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Räikkönen who rounded out the top ten.
Daniel Ricciardo just missed out on the top ten as he was eleventh quickest in the Renault F1 Team with Kevin Magnussen twelfth.
Alexander Albon was thirteenth in the second Scuderia Toro Rosso ahead of Sergio Pérez and Lando Norris.
Antonio Giovinazzi was ahead of Romain Grosjean and Lance Stroll with the two Williams Racing at the back.
The session started slowly as many drivers did not want to be the first to set a lap on the very dusty Sakhir International Circuit. Verstappen, who had a slight issue with his Red Bull Racing car before the green light even went on at the end of the pitlane was the first to set a lap time in the session followed by the two Williams and McLarens.
Bottas replaced the Dutchman as the fastest driver as he went six tenths quicker before Vettel went quickest after half an hour of the session.
Stroll was the first driver of the weekend to have an off as he spun across the track on the exit of turn four and clipped the wall. The Canadian limped his Racing Point F1 Team back to the pits but after a change of front wing and floor, he returned to the track later in the session.
Drivers were struggling to keep their car on the track with Gasly and Hamilton the most high profile drivers running wide over the kerbs.
After the usual quiet track time around the forty-minute mark as everyone handed back their first set of tyres, the two Red Bulls got the track to themselves and Verstappen went back quickest as he went a tenth faster than the Ferrari’s before the Mercedes of Bottas went three tenths quicker than the Red Bull.
The times kept falling throughout the session before the two Ferraris put down a big marker with Vettel and Leclerc going almost a second clear of the Mercedes duo of Bottas and Hamilton.
The final moments of the session saw some action as there was a close call between Albon and Räikkönen with the Alfa Romeo Racing being pushed off track and George Russell went for a spin on the exit of turn two.
Grosjean’s front wing endplate collapsed on a kerb and he slowly made his way back to the pits before Hülkenberg hit Giovinazzi as he tried to stay out of the way during the S section in the second sector.
A big and important session for Ferrari as they try to bounce back from a very disappointing opening round of the season and Mercedes now have a gap to close for rest of the weekend.
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