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Sergio Perez

Perez leads Alonso in FP1, troubles for Stroll

Sergio Perez put Red Bull at the top of the timing sheets in FP1, finishing ahead of Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and teammate Max Verstappen.

Perez Bahrain
To news overview © XPBimages

Sergio Perez continued Red Bull's fine Bahrain form by setting the fastest lap of free practice one, ahead of Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

The Mexican benchmark 1:32.758 was set on the soft-compound tyres but, with rivals holding back, the opening practice session was a difficult one to read into.

Fernando Alonso raised hopes of Aston Martin edging towards the front of the grid by setting the second-fastest time of the morning session.

He placed his AMR23 four tenths of a second behind the lead Red Bull, and ahead of the second Red Bull belonging to Max Verstappen, who was six tenths off the pace.

Lando Norris attempted to inject some positivity and ease fears of McLaren's lack of pace with the fourth-fastest time, also set on the soft tyre.

The anticipated front runners of Ferrari and Mercedes elected to not set any representative lap times on the soft tyres, with Leclerc's time being 1.4 seconds off the pace on the medium tyre.

Stroll's recovery hampered by car issues

Lance Stroll, who was only confirmed to be competing in the Bahrain Grand Prix on the Thursday before the season-opener, was denied an opportunity to maximise the opening practice session by a car issue.

Having only completed 2 laps within the first 20 minutes of the session, the Aston Martin team confirmed that his AMR23 was suffering from an ignition issue.

However, when he was finally allowed to get warmed up on track, he registered a time good enough for P6, around one second away from teammate Alonso's pace.

Kevin Magnussen completed a soft-tyre run to put Haas in P7, ahead of the Alfa Romeo duo of Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas.

Lewis Hamilton was the highest placed Mercedes in P10, also avoiding competitive soft-tyre runs, with teammate George Russell behind in P11.

Oscar Piastri put his McLaren in P12, and had a snap-oversteer moment early on in the session as he continues to wrestle with his first Formula 1 car.

There was a heart-stopping moment for Carlos Sainz, who lost control of his car under braking for the double-left of Turns 9 and 10.

The Ferrari driver lost the rear of the car after driving over a bump under braking for the corner. He completed a 360-degree spin, but avoided the barrier and returned to the pits with flat-spotted tyres. He finished in P20.

Also interesting:

Ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, RacingNews365.com journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth analyse where each of the F1 teams stands after pre-season testing.

F1 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix RN365 News dossier


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