Bahrain Day 1 Practice Sees Haas to the Bottom and Mercedes to the Top

February 29, 2024Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Formula 1 action kicked off today in Bahrain as the start of the 2024 season has finally arrived. FP1 and FP2 took lace today and Mercedes appears to be the front runners. No one in the F1 paddock expected Mercedes to start off so strong. Given the performance of their 2023 car many questions were raised as to how they would fair this season. Mercedes finishing 1-2 in FP2 well ahead of 2023 champion Max Verstappen.

Mercedes Drivers Comment on the Session

Lewis Hamilton

“It was very windy in FP1, and the track was very different to during the test. We didn’t know exactly where we would stack up against everyone else, but we had a positive FP2 session. The car was feeling good, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves. We know there is more to extract, and our long run pace isn’t in the fight with the Red Bulls.”
Overall though, I’m feeling much happier with the car than last year. We’ve made some good improvements and it feels much more like a race car. It’s a really good platform for us to build from. We just need to keep our heads down and keep chasing.

George Russell

“We’re not going to get carried away after one day of practice. Our qualifying pace did look strong. We made some changes from the test and the improvement exceeded our expectations. But ultimately our long run pace is where it counts. Verstappen looked comfortably quickest, and it was very tight with the Ferraris, the McLarens, and the Aston Martins. So we’ve likely got a real fight on our hands there.
Nevertheless, we’re pleased with how our day has gone; the car is performing well. We will sit down and understand where the main improvements came from and try to sustain that. We want to be fighting for good positions on Saturday night.”

The Aston Martin’s again looked strong in the session with Fernando Alonso finishing third fastest. FP3 will be more telling regarding true pace as the teams will begin testing their qualifying pace setups ahead of qualifying. Haas continues to struggle running at the bottom of the table despite a change in leadership with Guenther Steiner’s exit. More to come from this weekend.

Full FP2 Results from the Bahrain Grand Prix Weekend

144Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:30.37425
263George RussellMERCEDES1:30.580+0.206s23
314Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:30.660+0.286s22
455Carlos SainzFERRARI1:30.769+0.395s25
581Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:30.784+0.410s27
61Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:30.851+0.477s25
727Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:30.884+0.510s23
818Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:30.891+0.517s26
916Charles LeclercFERRARI1:31.113+0.739s26
1011Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:31.115+0.741s26
1123Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:31.333+0.959s26
123Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:31.516+1.142s26
132Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:31.715+1.341s27
1420Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:31.764+1.390s27
1522Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:31.881+1.507s29
1610Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:31.951+1.577s25
1777Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:32.001+1.627s24
1831Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:32.027+1.653s25
1924Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:32.048+1.674s28
204Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:32.608+2.234s25