Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas finished both practice sessions in the top five during a frenetic Friday in Bahrain.
- First practice took place in dry and warm conditions, with cooler temperatures for second practice as day turned to night.
- Valtteri was second quickest in FP1, putting in a 1:31.364 on the Soft tyre and completing 24 laps in total.
- Lewis ended first practice in fifth place, also setting his best time - a 1:32.272 - on the Soft compound. He managed 21 laps.
- Running in FP1 was largely unrepresentative, due to how different conditions are compared to Qualifying and the race.
- Under the bright floodlights of the Bahrain International Circuit, Valtteri was third quickest in the second session with a 1:30.380 on the SuperSofts. The Finn completed 31 laps.
- Lewis got caught in traffic in the final sector during his quickest SuperSoft lap and had to settle for fourth with a 1:30.472, with a tally of 32 laps in FP2.
- Overall, it was a productive and largely trouble-free first day in Bahrain for the team, with plenty to take away from the two 90-minute practice sessions.
What Did We Learn?
While it was a busy Friday of running for the team in Bahrain, there's still work to do ahead of Qualifying and Sunday's race.
The battle at the front of the field looks to be close. As Technical Director James Allison explains, there's more to find if we want to take the fight to our rivals.
"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," he said.
"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."
What Did the Drivers Think?
Lewis: 'It's been a normal Friday, we've got through all our programme.
"It looks very close between all the teams and we definitely have got 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 here 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: '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."