18/03/22 - 12:00
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Bahrain Grand Prix
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Bahrain International Circuit • Free Practice 1
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Free Practice 1

Follow the Bahrain Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 12:00 on 18 March 2022. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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Highlights 
 
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SESSION IS OVER

The chequered flag is out and Gasly ends the first official session of 2022 quickest. The track conditions experienced in that session may not be completely representative, but that's still an impressive marker put down by Gasly and AlphaTauri.

Elsewhere, Hulkenberg put in a lot laps as he tries to learn what these new cars are all about.

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MORE PAIN FOR BOTTAS

After venturing back out on track briefly, Bottas has returned to the garage. The second free practice session this afternoon is going to be so important for him.

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BOTTAS REJOINS

After suffering with a misfire problem earlier in the session, the Bottas is back out on track and on the C3 soft tyre.

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"WHAT A LAP"

Pierre Gasly goes quickest with a 1:34:193, which pleases his engineer, who comes on the radio full of praise for the French driver.

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LECLERC SPINS

You get the impression that the teams and drivers are starting to push more now, as Leclerc goes for a spin on the exit of turn 11.

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LAP TIMES STILL SLOWER THAN FINAL DAY OF TESTING

As we head into the final 20 minutes of this opening free practice session, we're still yet to see the lap times we saw on the final day of pre-season testing in Bahrain last Saturday.

McLraen team principal Andreas Seidl has said the reasons why may be because the cars are running more fuel, the engines may be turned down and the wind may also be affecting the drivers a lot more. He's confident we'll see more representative lap times as the day progresses.

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OCON IS BACK OUT

After a shaky start to the session, the French driver is back out on track and goes fourth fastest on the soft compound (C3) tyres. The rest of the field have mainly been running on the hard tyres as they look to focus on gaining more mileage.

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"THE CAR FEELS VERY AFFECTED BY THE WIND"

George Russell has just been on the radio complaining about the wind, as he goes eighth quickest.

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THE WORLD CHAMPION GOES QUICKEST

Max Verstappen goes quickest with a 1:34:783, four-tenths of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso's Alpine.

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GREEN FLAG

The session has now resumed with pretty much everyone back out on track to make up for lost time as a result of that red flag.

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NOT A GREAT START FOR ALPINE

Alpine were hoping for a strong start to the season this weekend - this wouldn't have been the way they wanted it to begin.

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MISFIRE FOR BOTTAS

Valtteri Bottas reported a misfire on the radio just before the red flag came out. Hopefully, it's an easy fix for Alfa Romeo and the Finnish driver can get back out on track when the session resumes.

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RED FLAG

With around eight minutes gone of this opening free practice session, the red flag has come out after one of the Esteban Ocon lost a part of his sidepod down the home straight. Lando Norris currently tops the time sheets for McLaren.

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STEEP LEARNING CURVE

After Sebastian Vettel tested positive for Covid-19 last night, Aston Martin reserve driver Nico Hulkenberg replaces him. It's going to be a steep learning curve for the German who is yet to drive one of these new generation cars in any sort of anger.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez however, has admitted that Formula 1 drivers should be allowed to race, even if they test positive.

12:00

GREEN LIGHT!

And away we go!

Charles Leclerc is the first car out on track for what is going to be a vital free practice session for all the teams and drivers.

11:55 

FORMULA 1 IS BACK!

Welcome to Eurosport's live text commentary from the first free practice session at the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix. We're set for 60 minutes of on track action, kicking off in five minutes time.