Hamilton paces opening day of Bahrain test

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The first in-season test of the new Formula 1 season is underway with a mostly busy day at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Lewis Hamilton paced the runners in his Mercedes with a best time of 1:31.358. More to the point of the test, he was one of the busiest drivers on the day with 97 laps completed.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson led the way with 106 laps in the books, with Ferrari reserve Antonio Giovinazzi posting 93 in his first day in that car this year, Bahrain race winner Sebastian Vettel 89 laps and Haas driver Romain Grosjean 86, just a day after he turned 31 years old.

Yet more issues struck McLaren Honda, this time with test and development driver Oliver Turvey on board. The team detected a water leak in the ERS system, which prompted a full PU change to further investigate the issue. Turvey did make it out for some running near the end of the day.

Besides Giovinazzi and Turvey, other young drivers running today included Sean Gelael, the Indonesian rookie in his first day with Toro Rosso and Alfonso Celis Jr. with Force India.

Times are below, with the second day of running to come on Wednesday: