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Lewis Hamilton quickest in first follow for the Bahrain Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton dominates in the desert to go fastest in first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the world champion’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas a distant second

  • Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes dominated first practice for Bahrain Grand Prix
  • The world champion was just under half-a-second quicker than Valtteri Bottas
  • Mercedes powered Racing Point of Sergio Perez was third fastest
  • Red Bull were over a second down on Hamilton’s time with Max Verstappen sixth 

Lewis Hamilton started life as a seven-time world champion in dominating fashion after going nearly half-a-second quicker than anyone else in first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Brit matched Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of Formula One titles in Turkey last time out with one of his greatest ever victories in the wet conditions, but he was just as untouchable in the dry desert at the Sakhir Circuit – ignoring the few spots of rain in the opening few minutes.

Setting a time of 1:29.033 he was 0.449 seconds clear of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, with Mercedes once again proving the class of the field.

Lewis Hamilton locks his front left tyre during first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix but still managed to go quickest by over half a second in the weekend's opening session

Lewis Hamilton locks his front left tyre during first practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix but still managed to go quickest by over half a second in the weekend’s opening session

The new seven-time world champion continued his dominance in Sakhir on Friday morning

The new seven-time world champion continued his dominance in Sakhir on Friday morning

It proved to be a Mercedes powered top three with Sergio Perez the best of the rest for Racing Point.

The only driver to get within a second of Hamilton’s time was Carlos Sainz in the McLaren.

All teams were given ‘prototype’ tyres which are a compound set to feature in 2021 and were told they had to at least run them for six laps during the session, 

It proved to be a frustrating start to the day for Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who after flat spotting his tyres following a spin at the final corner also damaged the floor of his car.

Spending the end of the session with his team fixing the damage, he was narrowly behind AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who impressed again, down in sixth. 

Verstappen’s team-mate Alex Albon was only eight thousandths of a second down in seventh while Lance Stroll was ninth sandwiched between the two Renaults led by Esteban Ocon in front of Daniel Ricciardo to complete the top 10.

Ferrari used the session to test many parts for the 2021 season and completed the morning session 11th and 12th with Charles Leclerc in front of Sebastian Vettel. 


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