Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2017

Vettel quickest but turbo problem stops Raikkonen

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix first practice

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Ferrari topped and tailed the times sheets after the first practice session in Bahrain.

Sebastian Vettel set the quickest time in his SF70H on a scorching hot track. The track temperature was a punishing 47C at the start of the session.

But the heat took its toll on the team’s other car. Kimi Raikkonen was sidelined with an overheating turbo after just half-a-dozen laps.

He wasn’t the only driver experiencing motor problems. Stoffel Vandoorne stopped his McLaren with another suspected Honda problem.

Neither Mercedes driver seemed to approach a representative time, ending the session tenth (Lewis Hamilton) and fourteenth (Valtteri Bottas). Conditions are expected to be much cooler during qualifying and the race.

In their place the two Red Bull drivers completed the top three, Daniel Ricciardo getting within four-tenths of a second of Vettel’s benchmark.

Sergio Perez took fourth for Force India ahead of an unhappy Felipe Massa. The Williams driver suffered an apparent brake failure approaching turn 13 which pitched him into a high-speed spin. He and team mate Lance Stroll, sixth, continued to complain of a lack of grip from the FW40.

The second Force India of Esteban Ocon was seventh despite being vexed by his former team mate Pascal Wehrlein late in the session. Fernando Alonso got his McLaren into the top ten ahead of Romain Grosjean and the first of the Mercedes.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’32.69721
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’33.0970.40022
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’33.5660.86923
411Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’34.0951.39822
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’34.2461.54924
618Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’34.3221.62525
731Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’34.3321.63523
814Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’34.3721.67514
98Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’34.5641.86721
1044Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’34.6361.93928
1126Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’34.8382.14113
1227Nico HulkenbergRenault1’34.9272.23013
132Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’34.9972.30010
1477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’35.0022.30527
1530Jolyon PalmerRenault1’35.0682.37119
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’35.5792.88221
179Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’35.8883.19123
1894Pascal WehrleinSauber-Ferrari1’35.9593.26223
1955Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’36.0793.38216
207Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’42.3339.6366

First practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’32.697

+0.400 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’33.097

+0.869 Max Verstappen – 1’33.566

+1.398 Sergio Perez – 1’34.095

+1.549 Felipe Massa – 1’34.246

+1.625 Lance Stroll – 1’34.322

+1.635 Esteban Ocon – 1’34.332

+1.675 Fernando Alonso – 1’34.372

+1.867 Romain Grosjean – 1’34.564

+1.939 Lewis Hamilton – 1’34.636

+2.141 Daniil Kvyat – 1’34.838

+2.230 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’34.927

+2.300 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’34.997

+2.305 Valtteri Bottas – 1’35.002

+2.371 Jolyon Palmer – 1’35.068

+2.882 Kevin Magnussen – 1’35.579

+3.191 Marcus Ericsson – 1’35.888

+3.262 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’35.959

+3.382 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’36.079

+9.636 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’42.333

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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12 comments on “Vettel quickest but turbo problem stops Raikkonen”

  1. so Macca the slowest car? Still no confirmation.

  2. Now that’s a very, very tight midfield! hope it stays the same with the cooler temperatures of the night.

  3. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
    14th April 2017, 13:35

    Was Mercedes running different tyres, respect to Ferrari especially? It’s strange to see them so low in the timetable.

    1. No, they ran softs as well. Probably less fuel and/or performance runs plus they were done earlier than others’ laps.

  4. Mercedes know they lack a bit in really hot temps. I think they chose to do their work without showing their hand (weakness) to Ferrari. They know things will come back to them with the cooler temps tomorrow. I think we have a great fight on our hands this season. I just hope there are some great battles in the process. If Ferrari can find a bit in their qualifying engine modes, things are going to get intense. :)

  5. Wow! The McLaren’s are quicker than the Mercs

  6. Ferrari have a new front wing and a new floor. Good to see the Scuderia being very agressive in terms of developement pace.

  7. FP1 Force India teamradio

    Ocon to engineer: “I don’t know what Wehrlein is doing”

    Engineer to Ocon: “Wehrlein doesn’t know what Wehlein is doing, so don’t worry about him”

    Ouch…. Now we know for sure Force India hates Wehrlein and went with Ocon!!

    1. @jeffreyj That’s how I read it as well, rather than how sky read it. A Merc junior team and former teamate rivalry would make sense if the engineer hadn’t said that.

    2. Hate’s a little strong. They just chose the better of the two drivers.

  8. Wonder what’s Mercedes strategy, they were like 2 seconds slower than Ferrari… with the same tyre! That’s a looooooot of sandbaging.

  9. I wonder whether Ferrari checked their turbo and the whole of their PU after China, Kimi was complaining about some strange glitches on power. Now at the same spot as last years another turbo failure, they also had one in aus 2015, I know Ferrari doesn’t make their own turbos but is it a weak point?

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