Bahrain Grand Prix - Free Practice Results (1)

Sebastian Vettel made an impressive start to the Formula 1 race weekend in Bahrain by leading opening practice on Friday afternoon for Ferrari.

Vettel arrived in Bahrain as the joint-leader of the drivers' championship following a strong start to the season, and is targeting his second win of the year on Sunday.

Vettel sent out an early warning shot to title rival Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes team by setting the pace in FP1 on Friday afternoon in Bahrain, turning in a fastest lap of 1:32.697.

Vettel's charge to the top came in a session that saw a number of drivers hit trouble, including Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

An overheating problem on the Ferrari power unit caused Raikkonen's car to stop out on-track during the session, leaving the Finn to walk back to the pits, finishing the session at the foot of the timesheets to mark a mixed session for the Italian team.

Mercedes was unable to put up a fight to Ferrari at the front of the pack, with neither Hamilton nor team-mate Valtteri Bottas focusing on a short run on the soft tyre. Hamilton finished the session 10th, with Bottas following in P14.

Instead it was Red Bull who took the fight to Ferrari at the front of the pack, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen finishing P2 and P3 respectively, both within a second of Vettel's benchmark time.

Sergio Perez put in an impressive display for Force India to finish fourth ahead of Williams' Felipe Massa, whose session came to an early end after a brake issue sent him off-track. Team-mate Lance Stroll wound up in sixth place, with fellow full-season rookie Esteban Ocon in seventh in the second Force India.

Fernando Alonso continued his party trick of dragging McLaren up the order by finishing FP1 in eighth place, but it was not a trouble-free session for the team. A loss of power on Stoffel Vandoorne's car forced the Belgian to park his McLaren MCL32 up at the side of the track midway through the session.

Romain Grosjean impressed for Haas en route to ninth place ahead of Hamilton, who will surely be aiming to respond to Vettel's pace in FP2 when conditions will be more representative of what drivers can expect in the race on Sunday.

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