Ferrari red flag, although the Mercedes starts worse

The W12 ran out of laps in the first test session because of the gearbox. Leclerc was thrown, Sainz pilots in the afternoon. Ricciardo, the fastest.


During the previous one, it was repeated incessantly that after only three days of testing, reliability would be essential. Well, the first bell of the preseason has starred Mercedes, which has missed the first three and a half hours of the session due to a gearbox failure, according to the official version, which left Valtteri Bottas with hardly any filming this Friday. The Finn left for the last 30 minutes, but does not return in the afternoon because it is Hamilton's turn. They will solve it, because they are the reference (their sinuous flat bottom already causes a sensation), but these kinds of problems are not typical of the champion team.

Thus, the German team is delayed all the essential correlation work in the first hours. The champion will have to do it, although it does not seem that Sakhir's afternoon is going to accompany the weather. And it is that in Bahrain it will not snow, as it happened once in Barcelona, but the strong gusts of wind, the intense heat and the dirt of the track (sandstorm threat) do not facilitate the best possible test conditions either.

Otherwise, few incidents and only a red flag on the first morning of practice. It was Charles Leclerc at the wheel of the Ferrari SF21, due to a hitherto unconfirmed technical fault, in the last minutes of the morning. Fastest was Ricciardo in the McLaren Mercedes, but the times are irrelevant, five seconds behind Hamilton's pole in December 2020. Although the cars are now slower by regulation, that difference is excessive. The afternoon sessions will offer laps more representative than the morning desert heat.

Carlos Sainz will get on the Ferrari from 3:00 p.m. local time. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) completed more laps than anyone and Ocon also participated with the Alpine (Alonso drives on Saturday), Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and Vettel (Aston Martin). Also Nissany, who bought the test from Williams and reduces the kilometers of the starters, Russell and Latifi. Mick Schumacher closed the table and the number of laps (not counting Valtteri), there were problems in the Haas. In his case they are not so surprising; in Mercedes, yes. To avoid these errors in the assembly there are, and are used, the famous and apparently innocent filming day.

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