FP1 in Bahrain is much like FP1 in Singapore – a session prior to nightfall at a night-race is always unrepresentative and as such, Kimi Raikkonen table topping attempt was relatively unrepresentative. However, with FP2 kicking off at the same time as Sunday’s race, the second session of the day was far more meaningful and with Ferrari posting impressive long-run times once again, it seems that Bahrain could be a similar story to Malaysia. At the very least, Mercedes will be looking in their mirrors this weekend.
As track temperatures lingered around 30 degrees, most people expected to see Mercedes reassert their dominance over their rivals this weekend and FP1 had the hallmarks of an impending whitewash. However, Ferrari seem unaffected by the low surface temperatures, as the SF15-T has once again caused the Brackley squad concerns heading into the rest of the weekend. In terms of short run performance, Mercedes seem comfortable, but both Raikkonen and Vettel have stated their claim to a tilt for victory on Sunday.
Friday in Malaysia threw up more story-lines than Sunday in Australia – but then, that isn’t really much of a feat. It was an exciting day on and off the track. Lewis Hamilton may have claimed top spot on the timesheet, but issues in FP1 exacerbated by a lack of telemetry meant that his programme was heavily truncated. Balance problems affected the performance on both W06’s, while Ferrari appear to pose a genuine threat to the Silver Arrows this weekend. Kimi Raikkonen was particularly impressive today, heading Nico Rosberg on the FP2 standings and throwing down a long run which eclipsed even the front-runners’ pace.
Albert Park may be a serene tourist location for the majority of the year but today, the picturesque venue was alive with the sound of V6 Hybrids, as F1 cars took the track for the first time this season. Ultimately, FP1 was a slow-burner, (and I doubt that is simply the fatigue talking,) however, FP2 provided fans with additional insight into what the pecking order could look like. With Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton topping both timesheet’s by a sizeable margin, it does not take an Adrian Newey level of intellect to work out that Mercedes are the team to beat in 2015.
But we knew that already