Kimi Raikkonen quickest in first practice for Bahrain GP

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Kimi Raikkonen has finished fastest in the first free practice session ahead of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix after posting the quickest time in a rather mixed-up FP1 on Friday afternoon.

The Ferrari driver recorded a fastest lap of 1:37.827 to finish ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel and Williams’ Valtteri Bottas as the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton finished outside of the top ten.

With the rest of the race weekend being run later in the day under floodlights, the conditions in FP1 are far from representative of what the drivers can expect to face during qualifying and the race later in the weekend.

Most of the drivers focused on their long run pace at the beginning of the session before saving their tires and posting a fastest time in the final few minutes of FP1, when the track was at its coolest and therefore most representative.

P1 was shared around by many drivers as the track continued to evolve, with Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen all topping the timesheets at some point during the session.

In the final ten minutes of FP1, Raikkonen and Vettel ventured out to post fast lap times, with the Finn edging out his teammate by two-tenths of a second at the top of the timesheets.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton opted not to post a fast time in the final part of the session, leaving themselves down in 15th and 16th place respectively.

Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen continued Toro Rosso’s good form in fourth and sixth place, whilst Daniel Ricciardo split the rookies in P5.

Fernando Alonso finished the session in P7 for McLaren, suggesting that the team has made a step forwards since China, but teammate Jenson Button saw his session come to an end after just three minutes thanks to a spin at the first corner. Felipe Nasr, Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten behind Alonso.

Be sure to join us for FP2 live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 11am ET today. For full broadcasting details for the Bahrain Grand Prix, click here.