Charles Leclerc led the way for Scuderia Ferrari in the opening practice session of the 2019 Bahrain Grand Prix as he pipped his teammate Sebastian Vettel by 0.263 seconds.
After completing 20 laps in the first session as the team ran through checks, the Monegasque recorded a further 32 laps in the evening session, finishing 0.035 seconds behind Vettel as the Italian team fired a warning shot to their rivals.
With the second practice starting the same time that qualifying will start tomorrow the session was an important one as the team run low fuel qualifying simulations.
“I think it was a good Friday and balance wise I think we are definitely looking better than in Australia.” said Leclerc.
“Having said that, it’s better to keep our feet on the ground. I’m pretty sure our rivals didn’t show their real pace today, so tomorrow will not be an easy day for sure.”
Tomorrow will see a similar programme in the morning session with high temperatures limiting what will be characteristic of qualifying and the race.
“Overall I’m satisfied as we were able to run our full programme, including some fast laps in the second session, as Free Practice 3 will not be that representative because of the temperatures.
“I felt more comfortable in the car lap after lap. Now it’s all about putting everything together tomorrow”.