Bahrain GP Practice One: Sebastian Vettel on top, but Kimi Raikkonen breaks down
Mixed start for pacesetters Ferrari as Mercedes keep a low profile in searing Bahrain temperatures; McLaren's Vandoorne stops on track
By James Galloway in Bahrain
Last Updated: 28/04/17 10:20am
Sebastian Vettel has taken early bragging rights for Ferrari at the Bahrain GP by setting the pace in Practice One - but team-mate Kimi Raikkonen's car broke down in scorching desert temperatures.
In by far the hottest track session of F1 2017 so far, with ambient temperatures approaching 40 degrees, Ferrari made the early running while Mercedes seemingly focused on heavier-fuel runs and set-up work.
Vettel set the pace from the Red Bulls by four tenths of a second with a best lap of 1:32.697, with fellow championship leader Lewis Hamilton down in 10th place, nearly two seconds off the pace. Ferrari ran a new front wing in the session.
Practice One in Bahrain is usually one of the least representative sessions of the whole season owing to the fact it takes place in the middle of the afternoon, whereas qualifying and the race happen under floodlights in cooler evening conditions.
"Of all the sessions, this is probably the one that has least relevance to what you do over the weekend," said Sky F1 analyst Pat Symonds. "They were using this very experimentally. I think they were setting a few reference points for next week's test."
The high temperatures appeared to afflict the power unit on Raikkonen's SF70-H with the Finn forced out of the session after just six laps with an overheating turbo.
McLaren also ran into reliability problems as an ERS-related fluid loss stopped Stoffel Vandoorne's car out on track. Team-mate Fernando Alonso, whose decision to race in the Indy 500 instead of the Monaco GP next month has dominated talk in the build-up to the weekend, fared better and finished eighth.
Felipe Massa spun late on his Williams with a possible braking issue, but both he and rookie team-mate Lance Stroll finished in the top six.
Sergio Perez, who has starred in Bahrain before, was fourth in a Force India car which featured a number of aero upgrades in the session.
Bahrain GP Practice One Timesheet
1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:32.697
2. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bulll, +0.400
3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, +0.869
4. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1.398
5. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1.549
6. Lance Stroll, Williams, +1.625
7. Esteban Ocon, Force India, +1.635
8. Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda, +1.675
9. Romain Grosjean, Haas, +1.867
10. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +1.939
11. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, +2.141
12. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, +2.230
13. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, +2.300
14. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, +2.305
15. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, +2.371
16. Kevin Magnussen, Haas, +2.882
17. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, +3.191
18. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, +3.262
19. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +3.382
20. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +9.636
*All times set on soft tyre bar Raikkonen on mediums
Watch the Bahrain GP live on Sky Sports F1 and in incredible Ultra HD! The race begins at 4pm on Sunday. Check out all the ways to watch F1 on Sky Sports for subscribers and non-subscribers - including a NOW TV day pass for £6.99!