Max Verstappen leads the field as porpoising seems a big problem at Ferrari, Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes is behind the Williams of Albon, as winter testing began in earnest this morning in Bahrain.
The first day of the pre-season test in Bahrain started at 09:00 UK time. Today, reigning world champion Max Verstappen will be in action all day in the new RB19. Fellow dutchman and rookie Nyck de Vries stepped into the AlphaTauri AT04 this afternoon. Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes took to the wheel this morning along with Charles Leclerc at Ferrari who has issues with bouncing with his Ferrari.
Halfway through the second hour of the afternoon session, Max Verstappen already recorded his 100th lap. The Dutchman has driven as over 550 kilometres on the Bahraini tarmac. Verstappen is the only driver to drive all day, so it is no surprise that the Red Bull driver drove the most laps on the circuit.
Charles Leclerc and Kevin Magnussen both struggled to keep their cars on track. Lewis Hamilton, on the other hand, drove his laps consistently around the Bahrain International Circuit despite a tricky filming day in Silverstone when suspension failure hit the W14.
Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Alexander Albon and Guanyu Zhou still made up the top four. Lewis Hamilton is the fastest driver driving only in the afternoon session. He keeps teammate George Russell and Charles Leclerc behind him. Nyck de Vries has to concede three-and-a-half seconds to compatriot Max Verstappen.
At McLaren, they were working hard to get the car ready for Lando Norris. At the time of writing, the British are still hard at work on the right front wheel of the MCL60.
The Sakhir circuit is known for its bumpy nature on the straights, which is why some teams are again suffering from porpoising. Ferrari and Alpine in particular have been bouncing down the straight all day.
Overall lap time standings
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m32.959s 106
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m33.253s 72
3 Alex Albon Williams 1m33.671s 74
4 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1m33.723s 67
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m33.901s 20
6 George Russell Mercedes 1m34.174s 69
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m34.352s 29
8 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1m34.424s 51
9 Felipe Drugovich Aston Martin 1m34.564s 40
10 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1m34.671s 46
11 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1m34.780s 10
12 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1m34.822s 60
13 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1m34.888s 52
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1m35.206s 21
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1m35.448s 21
16 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri 1m36.434s 25
17 Logan Sargeant Williams 1m36.556s 24
18 Lando Norris McLaren 1m36.872s 5
19 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1m38.541s 19