The opening morningBahrain in-season Formula 1test had Daniel Ricciardo setting the pace as Red Bull focused on trying to extract more single-lap speed from its car.
Australia’s Ricciardo whose programme just before the lunchbreak was to make a series of short runs, went on to set the best time of 1m32.349s during one of these run, thus knocking Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes off the top of the timesheets.
Hamilton whomade the bounce back from an early morning problem that brought out a red flag, continued with his intense programme.
Mercedes was hoping to make a better use of this week’s running to get a better understanding of tyre management. However, their day did not start on a good note as just 15 minutes into running, Hamilton’s W08 came to a halt with an ‘electrical disconnection’.
The team was plagued by further frustration after it took track officials almost 15 minutes to get his car back into the pits. However, the issue was quickly resolved and he got back to running.
In the end, he came off with a best lap time of 1m32.822s, one which was 0.473 seconds slower than Ricciardo.
Ending up third fastest was Nico Hulkenberg who spent the morning conducting aerodynamic testing for Renault.
Lance Stroll of Williams was fourth fastest and he had his main focus on tyre management. He spent the morning experimenting so as to find ways to better manage and understand the Pirellis.
Trying new products from brake supplier Carbone Industrie, was Romain Grosjean who recently returned to action for Haas.
Apart from that caused by Hamilton, the only other red flag of the first morning was from Sean Gelael, Toro Rosso’s test driver whose car suffered a suspected engine failure after four laps.