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Gasly leads the first practice session at the Bahrain Grand Prix

Pierre Gasly finished on top of the time charts in the first free practice session 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir, Bahrain.

Charles Leclerc finished in second position ahead of his team-mate Carlos Sainz at the end of the first practice session.

The first free practice session of the opening race of the 2022 FIA Formula 1 World Championship started at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir with air temperatures at 20 degrees C and track temperatures at 36 degrees C.

The brand new 2022 challengers under the new regulations looked strikingly different from the cars of last season. Each car was a unique interpretation of the regulations as the new 2022 season was underway.

Nico Hulkenberg replaced Sebastian Vettel, who has tested positive for Covid19, for the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team. Daniel Ricciardo was back at the wheel of the MCL36 after missing the second test with Covid19-related illness.

Leclerc for Scuderia Ferrari was the first driver on the track. Lando Norris set the early pace with a lap time of 1m36.584s.

Esteban Ocon lost a significant amount of bodywork from his sidepods on the start-finish straight. The session was red-flagged as the debris strewn across the track was retrieved.

The session was restarted with forty minutes to go. Fernando Alonso went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m35.247s. But Max Verstappen went 0.437 seconds faster to move into first position.

Sergio Pérez moved up the time charts and was in second position behind team-mate Verstappen, just 0.308 seconds slower. Alonso and Ocon were behind the two Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers on the time charts.

The two Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team drivers were off the pace with Lewis Hamilton in eighth position, 1.625 seconds slower than Verstappen. New team-mate George Russell lost some body work and was in tenth position.

With twenty minutes to go, more drivers came out on the soft compound tyres. Russell went to the top of the time charts with a lap time of 1m 34.629s, 0.113 seconds faster than Verstappen.

But the Briton was soon displaced by Pierre Gasly, Leclerc and Carlos Sainz at the top of the time charts.

Gasly with a lap time of 1m34.193s was 0.436 seconds faster than Russell. The session ended with Gasly on top ahead of Leclerc and Sainz,

Russell finished in fourth position with Hamilton in seventh position. Verstappen was fifth fastest, but the lap was set on the medium compound tyres. Team-mate Pérez finished in tenth position.

Lance Stroll was in sixth position with Hulkenberg in fourteenth position for the Aston Martin team. A good performance from Hulkenberg as he is driving the new generation cars for the first time.

The BWT Alpine F1 Team drivers, Alonso and Ocon, finished in eighth and twelfth positions as the team had a good practice session.

Yuki Tsunoda was in ninth position, 0.835 seconds slower than his team-mate Gasly.

Zhou Guanyu was in eleventh position for the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN even as team-mate Valtteri Bottas did not set a timed lap with engine issues.

Nicholas Latifi had a good start to the season as he finished in thirteenth position. New team-mate Alexander Albon was in fifteenth position for the Williams Racing team.

The two McLaren F1 team drivers, Norris and Ricciardo, finished only in sixteenth or seventeenth positions. The team is sorting out brake issues and do not show their true pace in Friday practice sessions.

The two Haas F1 Team drivers, Mick Schumacher and Kevin Magnussen, languished in eighteenth and nineteenth positions as the team is looking for a better season after finishing last in 2021.

2022 Bahrain Grand Prix Free Practice 1 (FP1) Results:
Pos No Driver Nat. Team Time Gap Laps
1 10 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:34.193 23
2 16 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1:34.557 +0.364s 22
3 55 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1:34.611 +0.418s 23
4 63 George Russell GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:34.629 +0.436s 23
5 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:34.742 +0.549s 22
6 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:34.814 +0.621s 22
7 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:34.943 +0.750s 17
8 14 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:35.000 +0.807s 14
9 22 Yuki Tsunoda JAP Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:35.028 +0.835s 20
10 11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:35.050 +0.857s 23
11 24 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo Racing 1:35.053 +0.860s 20
12 31 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:35.151 +0.958s 15
13 6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1:35.644 +1.451s 15
14 27 Nico Hulkenberg GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:35.815 +1.622s 23
15 23 Alexander Albon THA Williams Racing 1:35.923 +1.730s 17
16 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1:36.304 +2.111s 22
17 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1:36.402 +2.209s 20
18 47 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 1:36.536 +2.343s 23
19 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 1:36.804 +2.611s 21
20 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo Racing 2

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