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Pierre Gasly finishes fastest after day one of F1 pre-season test with both Ferrari drivers in top-3


Pierre Gasly finishes fastest after day one of F1 pre-season test – with both Ferrari drivers completing the top three and Lewis Hamilton down in 11th as Mercedes’ drastically different 2022 car is the talk of the paddock in Bahrain

  • The first day of the official F1 pre-season test took place in Bahrain earlier today
  • Eyebrows were raised after Mercedes revealed a different design to their car 
  • AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was a surprise leader after day one of testing 
  • Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc completed the top-three
  • Lewis Hamilton finished 11th in the standings – Max Verstappen did not drive 

Pierre Gasly was a surprise name at the top of the leaderboard after day one of F1 pre-season testing on a day dominated by Mercedes’ radically designed 2022 car. 

Just 10 days before the first race in Sakhir, Lewis Hamilton‘s Mercedes team unveiled a radically revised machine on the opening day of the final test.

The focus is on Mercedes’ virtually non-existent sidepods, designed to provide greater airflow, improving downforce, and effectively making the car go faster. Mercedes’ innovative design comes after the biggest technical overhaul of the sport’s rulebook in a generation.

Pierre Gasly was a surprise name at the top of the leaderboard after day one of F1 testing

Lewis Hamilton took the new-look Mercedes for a spin on Thursday in Bahrain

Lewis Hamilton took the new-look Mercedes for a spin on Thursday in Bahrain

The sidepods (pictured above) are an area of innovation for Mercedes in this version of the car

The sidepods (pictured above) are an area of innovation for Mercedes in this version of the car

Meanwhile, AlphaTauri driver Gasly set the fastest lap late in the day under the lights, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz second and his team-mate Charles Leclerc third. 

Lance Stroll – who earlier brought out the first red flag of the day – finished fourth, while Williams’ new driver Alex Albon finished fifth. 

Hamilton, meanwhile, only finished 11th out of 15 drivers, but did complete only 62 laps – Gasly, on the other hand, completed 102. 

Yet all the talk was about the Mercedes car in Bahrain, with Red Bull team principal Christian Horner questioning whether his rivals have bent the rules.  

Hamilton will hope the new design can give him a speed advantage over his rivals

Hamilton will hope the new design can give him a speed advantage over his rivals

Mercedes and all of the other teams have to comply with FIA design regulations

Mercedes and all of the other teams have to comply with FIA design regulations 

In an interview with German publication Auto Motor und Sport, Horner said: “From our point of view, Mercedes went a step too far. That doesn’t correspond to the spirit of the regulations. For us, these wings are illegal.”

Red Bull then made a statement saying: ‘Christian Horner has not given any interviews regarding Mercedes’ car. Any quotes being attributed to him this morning are incorrect.’ 

The car was approved by the FIA and inspectors were informed of the data and details weeks ago. The final test concludes on Saturday.  

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