Charles Leclerc has been the quickest driver in the opening session of the F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain.

After a two-week break, the teams came to the Bahrain International Circuit for the final three days of the pre-season testing.

The on-track activity began on Thursday morning. However, Haas was forced to miss the session due to late freight arrival.

As soon as the pit lane was opened, several drivers hit the track. Lewis Hamilton was among them and there was a lot of emphasis put on the Mercedes car because of an aggressive decision in the sidepod area. In fact, the Briton got to the top of the timesheets straightaway. A bit later, Sebastian Vettel beat Hamilton’s time by almost 2 seconds.

Turn 10 had always been a tricky section for the drivers and testing was not an exception as there were numerous lock-ups. Porpoising was still a concern as well.

Meanwhile, Sergio Perez became the new session leader. Eventually, Charles Leclerc showed Ferrari’s form and set the new fastest lap. A couple of minutes later, he improved his result.

Almost 50 minutes into the session, Lando Norris left the garage for the first time. He was replacing Daniel Ricciardo, who felt unwell.

The lap times were improving, but no one was able to reach Leclerc at the halfway point of the session. Guanyu Zhou stopped at the pit lane for an unknown reason.

The drivers continued their programs as they were learning the new machinery, so there were no dramatic changes in the standings. In he end, Leclerc remained the leader. Alexander Albon was second, while Vettel completed the top 3.

The results of the day 1 morning session of the Bahrain pre-season testing:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1Charles LeclercFerrari1:34.531
2Alexander AlbonWilliams+0.539
3Sebastian VettelAston Martin+1.175
4Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+1.446
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes+1.834
6Esteban OconAlpine+2.237
7Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo+2.633
8Lando NorrisMcLaren+3.049
9Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+3.357

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