Gasly fastest on first day of Official Pre-Season Test in Bahrain
Pierre Gasly was fastest for AlphaTauri on Day 1 of Bahrain's Official Pre-Season Test, ahead of Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc was top of the morning timesheets but he finished third overall after conditions cooled and grip improved after the sun set. Gasly capitalised to set the fastest lap of Day 1 under the lights with an effort of 1m 33.902s – Sainz going second overall late on.
Although Lance Stroll brought out the first red flag of the day when his Aston Martin jettisoned its aero rakes, the Canadian took P4 with an afternoon flyer – finishing ahead of Williams' Alex Albon in P5.
Stroll and Alpine's Fernando Alonso (12th) also enjoyed a duel with 25 minutes of the day remaining, their wheel-to-wheel bout hopefully a sign of things to come for the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.
McLaren's relatively anonymous showing was improved by a late flying effort from Lando Norris, who took sixth overall.
Valtteri Bottas took P7 in the evening for Alfa Romeo, more than 50 laps under his belt, after team mate Zhou Guanyu (14th) was briefly interrupted by a pit lane stoppage in the morning.
Eighth-place Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel set 39 laps in the morning, finishing ahead of George Russell (P9). Mercedes' new recruit took the wheel of the radically redesigned W13 in the afternoon – his team mate Lewis Hamilton 11th overall, having run in the morning.
Between the Mercedes duo was 10th-place Red Bull driver Sergio Perez – the Mexican having brought out the day's second red flag having spun and beached his car in the gravel out of Turn 8 minutes from the end.
Behind the Mercedes pair was Alpine's Alonso in P12, his team mate Esteban Ocon 13th with 42 laps at the start of the day.
With Alfa Romeo's rookie Zhou 14th, Haas rounded out the standings as Pietro Fittipaldi took afternoon duties – the team having missed the morning due to a logistical issue.
Daniel Ricciardo was set to take the wheel on Thursday but had to sit the sessions out with an illness. He, along with Max Verstappen, Nicholas Latifi, Yuki Tsunoda, F1 returnee Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, are yet to drive a lap in Bahrain testing.
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