The two Mercedes pilots Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton dominated the first free training in Bahrain at will and showed the competition the limits.
After the first 90 minutes on the Bahrain Sakhir Circuit Nico Rosberg led the classification with a time of 1:32294 minutes. More than half a second behind the Wiesbaden, Lewis Hamilton landed in place two (+0505 seconds). The third best time at unexpectedly cool”22-degree air temperature drove Ferrari pilot Kimi racks. The Finnish, however, was already 1834 seconds behind Rosberg.
Again the two Red Bull drivers left a good impression. Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat finished the first session in squares four and five. As the second best German Nico Hilkenberg landed in his Force India in rank six (+2307 seconds).
For four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel it was only enough for the eleventh place in the first of all three free trainings. After the end of the 90-minute 2779 seconds the Heppenheimer was behind the best time and stayed behind expectations.
Pascal Wehrlein, who steered his bolts around the course in 1:36371 minutes and thus occupied the 17th place, had a really strong performance. Novel Stoffel Vandoorne, who sat for the defeated Fernando Alonso in the McLaren, landed in rank 18.
The second, also a half-hour unit, on Friday night is more meaningful due to the identical starting time for the race on Sunday (17-hour). Also the qualifying on Saturday, which will be held again after the controversial new elimination mode, begins only at this time. Then the twilight sets in Sakhir, and the artificially lit course cools off clearly.