Kimi Raikkonen can keep his cool in Bahrain practice
Hamilton odds-on for Sakhir race victory
Bahrain Grand Prix practice one
Channel 4 & Sky Sports F1, midday Friday
Lewis Hamilton arrives in Sakhir as odds-on favourite to make up for his disappointing second place in Australia in Sunday’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel made the most of fortuitous safety-car timing to steal the win in Melbourne, where his Ferrari showed impressive straight-line speed.
That apparent power advantage should help Ferrari be competitive again in the desert this week, as they were last year when Vettel won.
Ferrari’s pace was on display from the get-go in Bahrain last year, with Vettel going fastest in both of the Friday practice sessions.
However, unlike last season, Kimi Raikkonen made a strong start to the year in Australia, outpacing Vettel for most of the weekend and being unlucky to finish behind the German in the race.
It’s possible this year’s car suits Raikkonen better and the Iceman looks overpriced to top the opening session at a track where he has finished second on five occasions.
Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest race lap in Australia and Red Bull will also be looking to have a say at the front after a troubled weekend in Australia.
Australian GP result: 1 Vettel, 2 Hamilton, 3 Raikkonen, 4 Ricciardo, 5 Alonso, 6 Verstappen, 7 Hulkenberg, 8 Bottas.
K Raikkonen fastest in P1
1pt each-way 14-1 bet365
Venue Sakhir, Bahrain
Number of laps 57
Lap length 5.412km
Lap record 1.30.252 M Schumacher (Ferrari) 2004
Schedule – practice one Midday Friday; practice two 4pm Friday; practice three 1pm Saturday; qualifying 4pm Saturday; race 4.10pm Sunday.
TV All live on Channel 4 & Sky Sports F1
Circuit characteristics Lengthy straights and slow corners dominate the undulating circuit while the track surface is often rendered slippery by sand blowing across it.
Tyre allocation Medium (white), soft (yellow) and supersoft (red)
DRS zones The start/finish straight and before turn 11.
Course winners taking part
S Vettel (3), L Hamilton (2), F Alonso (3)
2017 winner S Vettel (Ferrari)
2017 pole V Bottas 1.28.769
2017 fastest lap L Hamilton, 1.32.798, lap 46
2017 classified finishers 14/20
Reason for retirements Mechanical (4), collision (2)
Weather Sunny and hot but fairly windy.
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