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Kimi Raikkonen has opened the 2015 Bahrain Grand Prix with the quickest time in a scorching FP1 session around the Bahrain International Circuit, ahead of Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

With the session starting in 35 degree heat (53 degree track temperature), considerably higher than the more ambient temperatures that will greet the drivers in qualifying and the race, FP1 saw teams adopt a variety of test strategies as a result, with Mercedes in particular focusing on longer runs.

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As such, Ferrari would emerge quickest of all, Raikkonen leaping to the top of the timesheets with just under ten minutes of the session remaining, two tenths quicker than Malaysian Grand Prix winner Vettel, who was second despite sitting out the first half of the session initially with apparent technical issues.

One of several drivers to run off under braking at the tricky turn 10 left-hander, Valtteri Bottas was nonetheless quick enough for third fastest in the Williams, ahead of Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz and Renault-powered counterparts Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Briefly quickest mid-way through the session, Fernando Alonso gave McLaren a positive start to the weekend in seventh position. However, there was trouble for team-mate Jenson Button, who missed the entire 90mins after the car cut out on his first lap and pitched him into a spin at turn one.

Behind Alonso, Felipe Nasr, Daniil Kvyat and Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten, all three less than a second off the ultimate pace.

Mercedes, meanwhile, used the hot temperatures of FP1 to concentrate on long runs and tyre durability in the wake of its struggles in Malaysia, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton ending the session in an unfamiliar 15th and 16th place respectively.

Force India and Lotus filled the positions directly ahead, with Jolyon Palmer getting another FP1 run and ending the session a respectable four tenths behind Pastor Maldonado.