Gasly leads 1st practice session for Bahrain GP

Frenchman Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri driver, was fastest on Friday and reigning Formula One champion Max Verstappen barely managed to move up to fifth in his Red Bull in the first practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix. , race that kicks off the season.

Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton got off to a slow start in seventh place when Mercedes seemed to be struggling with grip.

Gasly’s best time was 1 minute, 34.193 seconds, and he beat Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by .364 and Leclerc’s teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. of Spain by .418.

George Russell, the other Mercedes driver, was fourth best, .436 seconds behind Gasly.

Verstappen was .549 seconds slower than the leader and Hamilton finished the first session .75 seconds behind Gasly.

German driver Nico Hulkenberg drives for Aston Martin in place of four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel, who is recovering from coronavirus.

A second practice session is scheduled for later Friday at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir.

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