Max fifth in first Bahrain practice

Published on 29 March 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen finished the first practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix in fifth place. Charles Leclerc was quickest ahead of Ferrari team mate Sebastian Vettel. Max’ Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team mate Piere Gasly clocked the sixth fastest time.

The first session of the weekend starts in sunny and warm conditions (28 degrees air and 50 degrees track temperature). Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo, is the first driver out on track. Max makes his first appearance five minutes into the session with the customary installation lap.

It is another ten minutes before Max commits to a timed lap. When he does, he sets a 1:33.0 on the soft Pirelli compound.

The first yellow flag of the session is caused by Lance Stroll. The Canadian spins his Racing Point at the exit of turn four and hits the wall. Nevertheless, Stroll is able to make his way back to the pits and the yellow flag is short-lived. Meanwhile, the Ferraris set the pace, proving the Italian outfit will be a force to be reckoned with, despite their disappointing performance in Melbourne.

After all drivers hand in their first set of Pirellis, Max heads back out on another set of soft Pirellis. Despite setting the quickest lap, the youngster is unable to enjoy his lead for long as Valtteri Bottas and Mercedes colleague Lewis Hamilton set faster times.

Soon after, it is Ferrari that regains control with Leclerc quickest ahead of Vettel, whilst the Red Bull Racing mechancis work on Max' RB15 back in the pit box.

In the closing stages, Max heads back out for another timed effort. In an attempt to better his lap time, the Dutchman endures a minor excursion off-track meaning his quickest time remains a 1:31.673.

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Results first free practice Bahrain:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:30.354 20
2Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:30.617+0.263s21
3Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:31.328+0.974s26
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:31.601+1.247s23
5Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:31.673+1.319s21
6Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:31.815+1.461s17
7Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:31.952+1.598s28
8Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:32.040+1.686s17
9Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:32.339+1.985s24
10Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:32.385+2.031s23
11Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:32.401+2.047s19
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:32.602+2.248s21
13Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:32.874+2.520s24
14Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:32.885+2.531s20
15Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:32.945+2.591s29
16Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:32.949+2.595s22
17Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:32.994+2.640s22
18Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:33.518+3.164s16
19George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:34.188+3.834s26
20Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:34.253+3.899s27