The first Friday of practice of the 2021 Formula 1 season was a productive one for the Honda-powered teams as Max set the pace in both sessions in Bahrain.
Each practice session has been reduced from 90 minutes to an hour this year, leading to a busy FP1 even in hot daytime conditions that are not representative of qualifying and the race. Max led the way with Red Bull Racing getting off to a strong start, as he was fastest by 0.3s. Sergio’s first session during a race weekend for the team was also encouraging, as he finished in the top six.
Pierre was just one position behind Sergio in seventh, completing the most laps of any driver in the first session as he totaled 23, two more than Yuki who had a busy first session in F1 as he ended up 14th.
FP2 takes place under the floodlights - as do qualifying and the race - and offers a better idea of the competitive picture, with Max once again setting the pace in an extremely close session. All four Honda-powered cars were in the top ten, with Sergio tenth - just over 0.6s away from the quickest time.
For Scuderia AlphaTauri it was a strong final hour, as Yuki showed an impressive turn of speed on his first qualifying simulation to finish seventh, two positions ahead of Pierre.
With recent testing data from the same venue we will now spend the night analysing all of the information we have gathered to prepare for the first competitive sessions of the season on Saturday and Sunday.