Bahrain GP: Positive start for Williams Martini in FP1
By Andrew Hooper
April 14 2017
The opening Friday practice session for the 2017 Bahrain GP was a positive one for the Williams Martini team. Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll would finish the session in 5th and 6th after their soft tyre runs. The early part of the session saw both drivers on the medium tyre. The only thing of concern was a brake failure that Felipe would suffer late in the session. This would see the team call Lance back into his pit to check his car.
Martini Bahrain GP Friday 1st Practice
Both Williams drivers would complete their installation laps while the first
time was a 1m:38.985 from Ricciardo. He would improve and would get down to
a 1m:38.843 prior to pitting. He was on the medium tyre. The last cars to
come out would be the Mercedes and Bottas would set a 1m:39.757 to be
second. Hamilton would go fastest with a 1m:38.112 with Bottas going second
with a 1m:38.246. Bottas would set a 1m:37.473 but remained second. Hamilton
would set a new quickest time with a 1m:37.355 as Bottas pitted. Hamilton
would lower his quickest time with a 1m:36.708 with Vettel now second
followed by Bottas and Felipe. After their first runs the Williams drivers
were third and eighth but this would change as Sainz went fastest running on
the soft tyre, 1m:36.079. Bottas was also out on the soft tyre.
Both Williams were quickest in the speed trap as Bottas went fastest with a
1m:35.002. Hamilton was out on the soft tyre going quickest with a
1m:34.636. Raikkonen would stop out on the track with an engine related
issue. With fifty minutes remaining Felipe and Lance were sixth and ninth.
Forty minutes remaining and only Hamilton was on the track. After their soft
tyre runs the Williams pair were second and third. Perez was quickest with a
1m:34.095. Grosjean was now fourth also on the soft tyre. Vettel would go
quickest with a 1m:32.697 to be 1.3 seconds ahead of Perez with thirty
minutes remaining. Ocon was now sixth as Ricciardo went second with a
1m:33.097. Verstappen was now third with a 1m:33.625. Hamilton and Bottas
were both back out with Hamilton ninth and Bottas twelfth. Both Mercedes
cars would drop down one place as Alonso went eighth. With the end of the
session Felipe and Lance would finish fifth and sixth. A very encouraging
start to the weekend but Felipe's brake issue would be of concern.
Felipe would follow his team-mate out for his installation lap but Felipe
was on the medium tyre. He would also complete just a single lap. Felipe
would join Lance out on the track also on the medium tyre. Felipe would
complete his first timed lap setting a 1m:37.625 to be third. "It's really
terrible, the grip level is just zero" said Massa. Felipe was now fifth with
fifty seven minutes remaining. Felipe had improved with a 1m:37.164 as he
pitted from sixth. Felipe had complete eleven laps. Felipe would follow
Lance out also on the soft tyre. Felipe would go quickest with a 1m:34.246
with Lance second. Felipe would drop to third and had pitted. This would
become fifth as Verstappen went quicker. Felipe would return running on used
soft tyres. Felipe would spin at Turn thirteen but was able to continue but
would return to his pit. He would confirm that he lost his brakes
completely. His session would end in his garage.
Lance would be first out for Williams on his installation lap running on the
soft tyre. Lance would pit after a single lap. Lance would come out for his
first run this time on the medium tyre with an hour thirteen remaining in
the session. Lance would start his first timed lap and would finish with a
1m:38.553 to be fourth. Lance would drop to sixth then seventh. He would
improve with a 1m:38.245 to again be sixth. He would again drop to seventh
as he also complained about the lack of grip. lance would drop to eighth
behind Ricciardo. Lance would complain that his dash was showing that the
Safety Car was out. Lance would drop to twelfth. but again he was able to
improve with a 1m:38.067 still on the medium tyre to be eleventh but
Ricciardo would go ahead again seeing Lance twelfth.
Lance was able to improve again on what were well used medium tyres. He
would set a 1m:37.782 to be ninth. Lance would also pit having complete
twelve laps. Lance would come back out this time on the soft tyre. Lance
would go quickest in the first sector and set a personal best in the second.
He would finish with a 1m:34.322 to go quickest. He would drop to fourth and
would continue his run on the soft tyre. Lance was still running but now
sixth. He would pit with just over twenty minutes remaining. Ten minutes
remaining and Lance would return on the used soft tyres. Lance was just
0.076 behind his team-mate. The team would tell Lance to abort his lap and
return to his pit so that the team could check his car after Felipe's issue.
Like Felipe his session would end in his garage.
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