Bahrain GP

Vettel fastest, Raikkonen sidelined, McLaren engine woes continue

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap-time in opening practice session for Bahrain Grand Prix, his teammate Kimi Raikkonen to finish at the rear-end of the timesheets due to an overheating issue with the turbo.

Mercedes divers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas posted tenth and fourteenth fastest time. Hamilton set their best times earlier than most.

Daniel Ricciardo set third fastest ahead of his team-mate Max Verstappen. Sergio Perez ended the session fourth for Force India, with Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll following in fifth and sixth. Perez’s teammate, Esteban Ocon, was seventh.

Fernando Alonso boosted McLaren into the top 10 with another strong performance, finishing eighth, but teammate Stoffel Vandoorne was forced to stop on-track due to an engine issue that caused a loss of power – the reliability problems as an ERS-related fluid loss.

Romain Grosjean followed Alonso in ninth place for Haas, with Championship leader Lewis Hamilton rounding out the top 10.

“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.”

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