Formula 1

Ricciardo tops the first Formula 1 test session of 2021

2 Mins read
Daniel Ricciardo - McLaren
Credit: McLaren

Welcome back to the FIA Formula 1 World Championship with the first session of pre-season testing at Bahrain Circuit where the weather conditions are warm with a chance of sandstorm.

In the morning session, ten drivers headed out on track testing all of the developments that have been brought in over the off-season.

Top of that pack was Daniel Ricciardo with a time of 1:32.203. The Australian driver has switched teams for 2021 and is now driving for McLaren F1 Team. We’re already seeing glimpse that it was a good decision for him, especially with a new Mercedes engine for the team.

Pierre Gasly was all fired up and continued on his fine form from 2020 in the Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda. He did find himself on the top spot at one point but ultimately had to settle for second.

Max Verstappen spun with just an hour of the session completed and continued to have issues with keeping his car on track as he struggled with grip. He still was able to put in a strong time and put himself third overall.

Alpine F1 Team opted for Esteban Ocon to be given the first opportunity to give the A521 its first major mileage, he finished a respectable fourth.

The session was red flagged with just under ten minutes left due to a mechanical issue from Charles Leclerc‘s car. The Scuderia Ferrari driver came halt as he car sounded like it was misfiring at Turn 4, adding to Ferrari’s woes from 2020. He finished the morning in fifth place.

Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN’s Kimi Räikkönen’s session started off strong, putting himself top of the timing sheet, he was unable to keep the pace up but still put in a good shift to finish sixth.

Sebastian Vettel also had an issue halfway through the session. He left the garage and as he was travelling through the pit lane came to a halt. Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team mechanics had to go and rescue him and wheel him back to the pit box. Aston Martin described his issue as ‘a little thing’. No other details were clarified, and he finished in seventh.

Roy Nissany was given a chance to take the Williams Racing car a run, the only driver on the track with weekend that is not one of the main twenty drivers. He kept his Williams off the bottom, finishing eighth.

It took seven laps before Mick Schumacher’s Uralkali Haas F1 Team car experienced issues. He came back into pits with a hydraulic issue, needing a gearbox change. He went back out with just under half an hour left and finished in ninth place.

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s day did not get off to a good start. As the car was fired up to send Valtteri Bottas out for his second run, the team found an issue with the transmission. Mercedes deemed that they needed to swap the gearbox there and then to solve the issue and to minimise time loss at testing. At the time, Bottas had only done one installation lap. The car was eventually ready for some running with forty minutes left of the session. He finished bottom of the pack in tenth.

Pos#DriverNat.TeamTimeGapLaps
13Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:32.20345
210Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:32.2310.02874
333Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing Honda1:32.2450.04260
431Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:32.9590.75655
516Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow1:33.2421.03959
67Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing Orlen1:33.3201.11763
75Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:33.7421.53951
840Roy NissanyISRWilliams Racing1:34.7892.58639
947Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:36.1273.92415
1077Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team1:36.8504.6476
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