REPORT: Max Verstappen fastest in FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix

26-03-2021 11:48
General
REPORT: Max Verstappen fastest in FP1 at the Bahrain Grand Prix

The first race weekend in 2021 is underway, and the first session of the season has been completed. McLaren looked fast, Alpine struggled and Max Verstappen went fastest just as he did in testing. Here is the report.

Good signs for Red Bull

After impressing the most in testing, Red Bull once again went fastest in FP1 with Max Verstappen quickest of all with his lap time of 1:31.394. The Dutchman looks set to challenge Lewis Hamilton for the championship and the early signs are good. Sergio Perez finished in 6th in his opening session for the team.

Sandbagging at Mercedes?

Mercedes ended the session in P2 and P4, with Norris separating Valtteri Bottas in 2nd and Hamilton in 4th. The team will be hoping to climb back to the top of the standings in FP2 this afternoon.

McLaren impress

After finishing P3 in the Constructors' Championship last year, McLaren look set for another impressive year this time around, and FP1 highlighted this. Lando Norris ended the session in P3 with a time of 1:31.897, with new driver Daniel Ricciardo finishing P9 with a 1:32.434 lap.

Improvement at Ferrari

After a woeful 2020 season, Ferrari will be looking to improve this year, and FP1 suggested that this has happened. Charles Leclerc was up to P2 at one point before finishing the session in P5 after putting in a 1:31.993 lap. Carlos Sainz, in his opening race weekend for his new team, finished 8th with a time of 1:32.366.

Alpine struggle

The team formerly known as Renault struggled in FP1, with both drivers unable to push close to last year's pace. They were P19 and P20 after half of the session and ultimately finished with Esteban Ocon in 15th and Fernando Alonso in 16th. However, Ocon in particular was doing some constant speed laps on the hard tire, and will no doubt go quicker in FP2.

As expected at Haas

Haas are expected to struggle this year, and this was evident in FP1. Mick Schumacher finished in 19th with Nikita Mazepin P20.

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