Bahrain FP1 F1 2024

Bahrain FP1: Ricciardo Outpaces McLaren F1 Drivers


The 2024 F1 season starts at the Bahrain GP, featuring major car upgrades across teams, spotlighting Red Bull and Mercedes.

The Bahrain Grand Prix inaugurates the 2024 F1 championship, with the weekend kicking off with the first practice session (FP1). We witnessed significantly modified cars across nearly all teams compared to the winter testing.

Red Bull introduced a suite of upgrades. The front wing has been re-optimized, the shape of the sidepod air intakes has changed, as have the edges of the floor, while the engine cover and its vents have also evolved.

Mercedes F1 updated its nose and changed the shape of its sidepod air intakes. The floor has been altered, as well as the engine cover, the beam wing, and the rear wing.

Ferrari brought new sidepod air intakes, designed to better complement the shape of the sidepods and the undercut of the rear section. The rear suspension and brake ducts on the SF-24 have been revised.

Teams Debut Major Upgrades for 2024

McLaren extensively revised the shape of its engine cover and sidepod air intakes, though it appears that the changes pertain more to the MCL38 itself rather than mere evolutions. The floor’s edges have also been revised, and the rear wing has been altered to suit the required drag.

Aston Martin introduced a new front wing, a new floor, elevated air intakes, a hood with a more pronounced lower part, and a revised rear suspension. Alpine brought a new front wing and a floor with revised edges.

Williams unveiled no less than 14 updates! The nose, front wing, front suspension, floor, vertical fins in front of the sidepods, engine cover, diffuser, rear suspension, and rear wing have evolved. However, as with McLaren, some updates seem to be season-wide, not just for the GP.

RB F1 introduced a brand new front and rear wing. At Stake F1, the focus of the updates was on the front suspension and cooling, while Haas revealed several changes that also appear to mark the difference between 2023 and 2024.

Soft Tires in Action

Max Verstappen immediately set the fastest time at 1’33″900, but later commented that it was “total crap, light years away” from the car’s performance in winter testing.

Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton quickly closed the gap, with Sergio Pérez slotting in between them. George Russell then took the lead with a 1’33″749, only to be almost immediately bested by Verstappen with a 1’33″535.

Ricciardo Leads, Soft Tires Dominate FP1

Oscar Piastri was the first to set a fast lap on soft tires, taking the lead with a 1’33″113. Lando Norris followed with a 1’32″901 on soft tires.

Yuki Tsunoda, also on soft tires, placed third before his teammate Daniel Ricciardo took the lead with a 1’32″869. Only the McLarens and RB F1s were on soft tires until Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou of Stake also switched to them, though they remained further back.

Esteban Ocon complained of a “very inconsistent” car, attributed by his engineer to the highly variable wind conditions on the track. However, the Alpine drivers ended up in 16th and 17th place, having also opted for medium tires.

The session was productive, with Verstappen voicing complaints about the effect of gear shifts on his car, a recurring theme in his radio messages from last season’s FP1.

The standings remained unchanged with Ricciardo finishing at the top of a session that offered few insights. It highlighted the closeness between RB F1 and McLaren, with Alonso posting the best time on medium tires.

As for the rest, it appears that Stake F1, Alpine, and particularly Haas are lagging, though the focus of their work remains unclear. The weekend’s crucial sessions, qualifying and the race, will take place under completely different conditions.

2024 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice Results (1)

01Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:32.86923
02Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:32.90125
03Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:33.11325
04Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:33.18324
05Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:33.19320
06Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:33.23821
07George RussellMercedes W151:33.25125
08Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:33.26824
09Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:33.30222
10Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:33.35421
11Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:33.38526
12Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:33.41624
13Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:33.58317
14Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:33.86820
15Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:33.92316
16Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:34.21319
17Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:34.80721
18Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A5241:35.14424
19Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:37.47725
20Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:37.93827

Bahrain FP1 F1 2024. Bahrain FP1 F1 2024

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