Hamilton tops first day of Bahrain test

Hamilton tops first day of Bahrain test

18 April 2017 – Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets on the opening day of the first in-season test of 2017 at the Bahrain International Circuit, after recovering from a stoppage early in the morning.

Hamilton worked his way down to a time of 1:31:358 on the Soft tyre, some 2.5s slower than team-mate Valtteri Bottas' pole position lap.

Hamilton was also close to the top of the mileage charts, completing almost two race distances, despite his W08 grinding to a halt early on.

Hamilton stopped 15 minutes in with a suspected electrical glitch, and circuit officials took around half an hour to return the car to the pits.

Antonio Giovinazzi finished six-tenths back as he got his first run in Ferrari's SF70H, alongside regular driver and weekend winner Sebastian Vettel, who tested for Pirelli.

Due to earlier mechanical problems, Vettel is set to continue running alone until 21:00 local time; the German will remain at the wheel on Wednesday for a standard test day.

Daniel Ricciardo occupied top spot at the midway point but dropped to third as the afternoon wore on, Red Bull ending its first day early after the Australian stopped on track.

Haas driver Romain Grosjean trialled Carbon Industrie's brake products, amid ongoing struggles with current supplier Brembo, en route to fourth, around a second back.

Williams split its day-one running between Felipe Massa (fifth) and Lance Stroll (seventh), before simulator driver Gary Paffett returns to the wheel of an F1 car tomorrow.

Nico Hülkenberg and Renault were keen to improve their long-run pace, after falling back again in Sunday's Grand Prix, and ended the day between the Williams drivers.

Formula 2 racer Sean Gelael suffered two stoppages on his first test day for Toro Rosso, but still managed 78 laps, and will get further running in Hungary and Abu Dhabi.

Vettel and Force India reserve driver Alfonso Celis Jr. followed closely in ninth and 10th respectively, with Sauber's Marcus Ericsson – the only man to hit 100 laps – in 11th.

McLaren engine partner Honda endured further problems, with test and development driver Oliver Turvey only completing two laps before an ERS water leak was detected.

Turvey returned to the track in the afternoon, after a full power unit change, but only managed 15 more laps, leaving him with less than half the total of the nearest driver.

Formula 1 in-season testing continues at Sakhir on Wednesday

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