Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.-, EMail:
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day…

2024 F1 Bahrain pre-season testing: Day 1 as it happened

A recap of everything that happened on the opening day of F1 pre-season testing in Bahrain.

F1 testing ahead of the 2024 season is finally here with three days of running at the Bahrain international Circuit.

It's the first time we will get to see all 10 teams run their new challengers in anger as they prepare for the new campaign.

21 Feb 2024
See you tomorrow!

That's a wrap on the opening day of pre-season testing in Bahrain. Have we just had a glimpse of what to expect from this coming season?

We will continue our live coverage of testing tomorrow morning from 6:30am, with the action getting underway at 7am UK time.

Chequered flag!

The chequered flag is waved and that concludes the opening day of pre-season testing. 

Day one belongs to reigning world champion Max Verstappen, who was a full second clear of the pack. 

Will there be any late glory runs?

Just 15 minutes of running on the opening day of testing remain. Will anybody strap on a set of soft tyres for some late performance runs? 

Verstappen goes even faster

Verstappen has found more time on his latest run - still on the C3 compound. 

It's a 1m31.344s for the reigning world champion, which puts him 1.140s clear of the field...

Worth remembering these are the best conditions of the day. 

Sargeant still in garage

Sargeant is yet to emerge from the Williams garage after pitting with a suspected driveshaft issue.

The American had the most dramatic moment of the day an hour or so ago when he suffered a huge spin at Turn 9 and ended up taking a trip through the gravel. 

With little over 30 minutes remaining, will Williams manage to get him back out again today? 

Big lock up for Norris

Norris locks up big time heading into Turn 9, but the McLaren driver scoops up his car and manages to just about keep it under control and on track, avoiding further drama. 

Another overtake for Verstappen

Verstappen briefly follows Russell on track before launching one down the inside of the Mercedes driver into Turn 13.

Into the golden hour

We are heading into the final hour of running on the first day of testing in 2024. 

Will we get to see any performance runs towards the end of the day? 

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.-, EMail:
Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing RB20. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir,…
New benchmark time from Verstappen

Verstappen has gone even quicker by posting a 1m31.662s on the C3 compound. 

The Dutchman has also surpassed a century of laps for the day. 

Fastest in testing so far
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One.-, EMail:
Lando Norris (GBR) McLaren MCL38. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day…
Norris goes fastest

McLaren for the title? Well it's early days but Norris has taken to the top with a 1m32.484s, 0.084s ahead of Verstappen.

Current order

Verstappen still leads the way on a 1m32.548s, less than a tenth ahead of Sainz who has slotted into second-fastest. 

Norris, Leclerc, Alonso, Piastri, Russell, Tsunoda, Zhou and Bottas complete the top 10.

Expect times to keep on getting quicker as the track grips up and the temperatures start to come down in Bahrain.

The session will finish under the floodlights - so keep an eye out for more performance runs at the end of the day.

Wolff's reaction to Red Bull's investigation into Horner

Toto Wolff has been speaking to the media in Bahrain

You can read what he said here...

Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Isa Hamad Al Khalifa
Toto Wolff (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 Shareholder and Executive Director with…

Here's Zhou Guanyu on track for the first time today, sporting a splash of flow-vis paint on the side of his Sauber. 

Zhou Guanyu (CHN) Sauber C44 with flow-vis paint. Formula 1 Testing, Sakhir, Bahrain, Day One. -,
Zhou Guanyu (CHN) Sauber C44 with flow-vis paint. Formula 1 Testing,…
Sainz on the move

After taking over from teammate Leclerc, Sainz is on the move and has slotted into fourth overall.

The Spaniard is currently 0.838s off Verstappen's benchmark from earlier. 

Hulkenberg is the only other driver out on track currently. 

Comparing Aston Martin to Red Bull

Anthony Davidson  told Sky: "Aston Martin looked pretty nice at Turn One. Fernando Alonso was able to hook it up well, get good rotation into the car and then have a steady rear end when it accelerated through the exit

"The Red Bull at that time seemed to suffer a bit of understeer mid-corner of Turn One but then had really good rear stability through Turn Two as you pick up the speed. So two different characteristics from that car in the space of two corners."

George Russell goes out... then goes back in

Just three laps completed by George Russell before he goes back into the pits.

Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen the only drivers on track currently.

Charles Leclerc's first words on morning testing

"Morning done, lots of laps. We did all the tests that we wanted to do. That's good.

"Now we analyse the data as much as possible to see if it correlates to what we expected.

"Then, we work from there."

Positive early Aston Martin feedback

We know how important mileage is in testing, and it is Aston Martin who have racked up the most laps of anyone so far today, with Fernando Alonso logging 77 this morning. 

"It was good," said team principal Mike Krack. "We had a promotional event at Silverstone last week and here is a different track, different conditions. But he was happy with how it went."

Krack also revealed that Aston Martin will be bringing new parts to their AM24 on each day of the test in Bahrain. 

First driver heads out

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz putting his first laps together now.

Who's driving this afternoon?


Max Verstappen



George Russell



Carlos Sainz 



Lando Norris 



Lance Stroll 



Pierre Gasly



Logan Sargeant




Zhou Guanyu



Nico Hulkenberg



Daniel Ricciardo