The first day of Formula 1’s second pre-season test came to an end in at the Bahrain International Circuit with Pierre Gasly in the AlphaTauri posting the best time of the day, as the Mercedes-Red Bull war of words began early.

The Silver Arrows brought a striking new sidepod design to Bahrain, and almost immediately, Red Bull boss Christian Horner questioned the legality of the car.

Horner told Auto Motor Und Sport: “Mercedes have gone a step too far. That does not correspond to the spirit of the regulations. For us, these wings are illegal.”

Back on track it was Ferrari who once again impressed with their consistency as both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz completed the top three fastest laps on Thursday.

Bahrain testing – Day 1 Results

Pos.DriverTeamBest TimeTyreTot. Laps
1Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1:33.902C4102
2Carlos SainzFerrari1:34.359C352
3Charles LeclercFerrari1:34.531C364
4Lance StrollAston Martin1:34.736C450
5Alex AlbonWilliams1:35.070C4104
6Lando NorrisMcLaren1:35.356C249
7Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo1:35.495C366
8Sebastian VettelAston Martin1:35.706C339
9George RussellMercedes1:35.941C359
10Sergio PerezRed Bull1:35.977C3137
11Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:36.365C362
12Fernando AlonsoAlpine1:36.745C324
13Esteban OconAlpine1:36.768C242
14Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo1:37.164C354
15Pietro Fittipaldi Haas1:37.422C247

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff was proud of the design of the new Mercedes, though tempered expectations a little as the team now need to make the concept work on track. 

“I think we are really proud of what we have achieved in terms of concept,” said Wolff, “but now we need to make it go fast. 

Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 10, 2022 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

“I think it’s a development direction that we like, and it’s about tuning the car and so we are experimenting a lot, as we’ve done during the day, and approaching it with curiosity.

“I think there [are still] issues that are Bahrain-specific. “It’s very hot, you see a lot of cars still bouncing, some on the straights, others through the corners, so it’s a tuning question. And we haven’t really looked at performance data yet.”

Bahrain Day 1 Testing – Total Team Laps

TeamTotal Laps
Red Bull137
Alfa Romeo120
Aston Martin89
Formula One F1 – Pre-Season Testing – Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain – March 10, 2022 Mercedes’ George Russell in action during testing REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed