2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice


2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice

Location: Bahrain

Circuit: Bahrain International Circuit

Race Weekend: Bahrain Grand Prix

Let’s take a look at what happened during the FREE PRACTICE sessions today – ahead of the Formula 1 2018 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

Even though FP1 doesn’t provide the best feedback for the teams, given the daylight hours and high temperatures – FP2 does as the temperatures drop, track conditions cool and the sky gets darker.

MERCEDES – 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice

Lewis Hamilton

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:32.272

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:30.472


Lewis Hamilton: “It’s been a normal Friday, we’ve got through our programme and it looks very close between all the teams and we definitely have some work to do to try and see if we can eke out to be ahead of the others.”

“The tyres have felt the best they’ve felt in years – very stable and with less degradation. The track is great and it’s amazing at night time. The hospitality here is really second to none, it’s an enjoyable stay and a great place to work.”

Valtteri Bottas

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:31.364

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:30.380


Valtteri Bottas: “This weekend is difficult because the track improves so much from one session to another. We could already see it today, you feel more grip with every single lap and the car balance is changing so we always had to make estimates for the next session and the next runs.”

“It will be the same for tomorrow. Our main goal today was to get the softer compounds to work. On the supersoft we did pretty much the same time as on the soft, so getting the most out of that compound is the key thing for tomorrow.”

“The car feels okay, but we still need to find some pace, especially for a single lap. So we still have some work to do.”

James Allison – Technical Director:  “Although we were untroubled by any reliability issues, and we ran through our programme as expected, it wasn’t our best day from a performance point of view.”

“We’ve got more to do overnight and in the session tomorrow to give us a car that will allow us to have a good fight in qualifying and on Sunday.”

“The base is okay but we have not yet found the sort of edge that we had in Melbourne.”

FERRARI – 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice

Sebastian Vettel

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:31.470

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:29.828


Sebastian Vettel: “It is difficult to say where we are just from one day of practice but we did make some progress. In the long runs we can do better, so let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

“We made some mistakes here and there, but we tried to get the rhythm for qualifying. This is the time you need to try and take the car to the limit, especially this evening because conditions are the same as those you will have tomorrow and on Sunday night.”

“I don’t have any conclusions to draw after the results we got today.”

“We focus on ourselves and mostly try to get a better feeling with the car, as we still have some work to do, but I think we can improve further.”

Kimi Raikkonen 

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:31.458

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:29.817


Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a pretty straightforward day and the car felt ok. As on any Friday, we tried different things, tested and learned as much as possible.”

“The feeling was pretty much the same everywhere, but in certain zones of the track we want to do better. If we look purely at lap times it was OK, but that doesn’t tell you much; It’s only the first day and it’s impossible to know what the others were doing.”

“At the end of the second session, right after the pit-stop, I felt some vibrations in the car and the team told me to slow down and park the car.”

“We found out that the front wheel was a bit loose, so we had to stop. For sure we still have to improve; tonight we’ll put all the data together to try and do even better.”

RED BULL RACING – 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice

Daniel Ricciardo 

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:31.060

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:30.751


Daniel Ricciardo: “Overall it wasn’t a bad day. Obviously, this morning was pretty strong but the evening session was not as good; we made some changes that didn’t work as well as we hoped.”

“I don’t just want to go back to the Practice One car as I think we can still make it better. We can find a happy medium on the balance and the overall feeling is not too bad. I don’t think the position this evening is too important.”

“I got traffic on the first lap, so I had to go for the second lap, and for sure I lost a bit of lap time there. Mercedes will still turn it up in Qualifying but we will be closer than where we were tonight.”

“I’m confident that we will have a good car and tomorrow I’m sure we can be better than sixth and hopefully even better again in the race.”

“I also just want to say that I don’t want Valtteri to get a penalty. This is Practice and it’s frustrating but I don’t think anyone agreed with my penalty last week and I don’t want to start that game.”

“I believe he wasn’t told on the radio, so it’s probably not his fault.”

Max Verstappen 

Free Practice 1 Time: No Time Set

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:30.745


Max Verstappen: “We had a small issue this morning. These things happen so it doesn’t concern me looking ahead to the rest of the weekend.”

“It was not ideal to miss so much track time, it meant that I spent the beginning of the second session searching for the balance of the car which took a while.”

“For such a short time in the car I managed to find quite a good balance and the long run pace looked pretty positive. I was also happy with how the tyre degradation looked at the end of that session.”

“Come race day it will depend a lot on strategy, you can follow at this track better than others so with the right planning and a bit of luck you can get a good result.”

“I think Practice 2 is the most important as it’s the closest conditions to the race, the others are a bit warm. Tomorrow we need to fine tune the short run pace in order to put ourselves in contention on Sunday, I’ll try to improve the feeling and balance to put myself in the best position possible.”

MCLAREN – 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice

Fernando Alonso

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:33.223

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:31.282


Fernando Alonso:“Today was a case of ‘so far, so good’.

“The weekend has started in a positive way and there’s nothing in particular to worry about. There is a lot of analysis that we need to do concerning some of the new parts we have on our two cars, so I think we need to put everything together now and find the best compromise for tomorrow.”

“Our aim for qualifying is to be in Q3 – a target we missed in Australia – and we need to deliver and do a perfect lap, so that we can beat some of the cars in front of us.”

“It’s good that we completed our programme today. It’s always very important, especially in the evening session, to do as many laps as possible and understand the tyres, as we probably had higher degradation than we expected and we need to take this into account for Sunday.”

“There’s a little bit more to extract from the car and hopefully we’ll do that tomorrow.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:33.364

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:31.422


Stoffel Vandoorne: “Today has been a pretty good Friday for us.”

“We have a few new bits on the car which we went through and evaluated in FP1 and FP2. FP2 is really the most valuable session for us in terms of preparing the car for qualifying tomorrow and for the race.”

“The feeling was positive. Like in Australia, we are in this group where the lap-times are very close, and every tenth or hundredth we can find in the car will boost us further up the grid.”

“Qualifying is always very tight and everyone puts their car at 100 per cent performance. We’re looking to do that as well tomorrow and we’ll see where we end up. The tyres are quite sensitive to this circuit and we know from the past few years that it’s quite harsh on degradation.”

“There’s a lot of performance to be gained or lost in that area, so it’s an extra challenge, but the same for everyone.”

“Despite our result in Australia, for us it’s just business as usual. We haven’t really changed our expectations, and we’ve put a lot of effort into preparing the car and making sure we maximise everything this weekend.”

“Hopefully that will pay off and tomorrow will be a positive day for us. There’s a bit of work to do overnight but we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

RENAULT – 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice

Nico Hulkenberg

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:33.104

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:31.220


Nico Hulkenberg: “A pretty routine Friday, where we made progress through the day, and hopefully learnt sufficient for us to find further pace overnight to take into tomorrow.”

“I’m reasonably happy with the car but there’s definitely potential for improvement and that’s what we’re targeting.”

Carlos Sainz

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:32.885

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:31.601


Carlos Sainz:“Quite a challenging Friday, as always in Bahrain, as we worked on our understanding of the car in both the sessions.”

“We did gain a lot of grip over the day and it was tricky to handle the rear of the car with the right balance for all the different corner speeds, but overall I think we have a good starting point for the weekend.”

SAUBER – 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice

Marcus Ericsson

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:33.508

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:32.733


Marcus Ericsson: “It was a busy session today. FP1 was quite good – I focused on mechanical set-up work.”

“During FP2 I lost the rear of the car, which was not ideal, but as the session progressed the balance improved and the car felt good towards the end.”

“It seems that we are moving in the right direction. We will be analysing the data tonight and will see what we can do for tomorrow’s qualifying.”

Charles Leclerc

Free Practice 1 Time: 1:33.379

Free Practice 2 Time: 1:32.372


Charles Leclerc: “In general, it was quite a positive day for us. The qualifying performance was good and the car felt good to drive. At the end of the second session I completed a red flag practice.”

“We will be looking at what we learned during today’s sessions, and build on that for FP3 and qualifying. I look forward to being back in the car tomorrow.”

Thank you to the teams for images and interviews – more to come over the weekend so make sure you keep checking back for all the latest. In the meantime, you may also want to check out our Formula 1 2018 Bahrain Grand Prix RACE PREDICTION.

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂

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