Pre-Season Testing: Ricciardo Tops Morning Session While Mercedes & Ferrari Hit Trouble

Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas completed the fewest laps in the morning session of day one of pre-season testing.

Daniel Ricciardo pre-season testing Bahrain -

Daniel Ricciardo topped the time sheet for the morning session of the first day of the three days of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Ricciardo, who joined McLaren from Renault at the end of 2020, completed 45 laps around the Bahrain International Circuit and set a best time of 1:32.203 using Pirelli’s new C2 tyres.

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Pierre Gasly recorded the second-fastest lap time – with his best effort being just 0.028s slower than Ricciardo’s fastest time – and completed 74 laps in his AlphaTauri, the most of anyone.

Max Verstappen finished the morning session in P3, with him completing 60 laps but struggling with the seemingly wind-sensitive Red Bull RB16B.

“I’m at Turns Six and Seven, where the cars in the intermediate stages suffer a lot from the wind,” Karun Chandhok said during Sky Sports’ coverage of pre-season testing today.

“You can see that some cars are more sensitive to the wind than others. Verstappen has already had a few moments in the mid-stage of this corner.

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“That car is fast, but also very tricky in this section. AlphaTauri is just very strong in this section. Pierre Gasly really goes into this corner with a lot of confidence,” the ex-F1 driver added.

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Valtteri Bottas completed just six laps in the Mercedes W12 due to a gearbox problem, while 2020 F2 Champion and Haas rookie Mick Schumacher managed just 15 laps due to a “hydraulic issue.”

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc brought out the red flags after his SF71, which was unveiled by the Scuderia just a couple of days ago, ground to a halt with seven minutes of the morning session remaining.  

2021 Pre-Season Testing – Friday Morning Classification

1. Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren, 45 laps, 1:32.203

2. Pierre Gasly, Scuderia AlphaTauri, 74 laps, +0.028

3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull, 60 laps, +0.042

4. Esteban Ocon, Alpine, 55 laps, +0.756

5. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, 59 laps, +1.039

6. Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo, 63 laps, +1.117

7. Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin, 51 laps, +1.539

8. Roy Nissany, Williams, 39 laps, +2.586

9. Mick Schumacher, Haas, 15 laps, +3.924

10. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 6 laps, +4.647

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