F1 2024 testing: All the action as it happened from Day 1 in Bahrain

Sam Cooper
F1 2024 testing gets underway in Bahrain.

F1 2024 testing is here! Follow the action live from Bahrain on PlanetF1.com.

F1 is finally back! After the mother of all off-seasons, it was time to turn our attention to the track with three days of F1 Testing coming our way.

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Main headlines: Max Verstappen topped morning session, early gremlins for Alpine and Williams before driveshaft issue hinders Sargeant’s running in afternoon.

F1 Testing 2024 timings – Day 1

Last updated 1900 local time
Laps completed in brackets

1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:31.344 (142)
2 Lando NORRIS McLaren +1.140 (72)
3 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +1.240 (69)
4 Daniel RICCIARDO RB +1.255 (51)
5 Pierre GASLY Alpine +1.461 (60)
6 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +1.663 (53)
7 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +1.903 (64)
8 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +2.041 (77)
9 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +2.314 (57)
10 ZHOU Guanyu Kick Sauber +2.527 (61)
11 Logan SARGEANT Williams +2.538 (21)
12 George RUSSELL Mercedes +2.765 (120)
13 Yuki TSUNODA RB +2.792 (64)
14 Valtteri BOTTAS Kick Sauber +3.087 (68)
15 Alexander ALBON Williams +3.243 (40)
16 Esteban OCON Alpine +3.333 (60)
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +4.348 (66)
18 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +4.562 (81)
19 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing – No time set
20 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes – No time set

F1 Testing 2024 live updates (local time):

Session times (local time): 1000-1400 [morning session], 1500-1900 [afternoon session]

1900: Not much to report in that final 10 minutes which means a calm end to the first day of pre-season testing and a relatively good day for everyone. Aside from Williams, no one had any issues but of course it is Verstappen again top of the times. Thanks for following along today and be sure to be back here at 10AM local time for the second day of running. See ya!

1850: Into the final 10 minutes of the day we go…

1843: So we have some carbon fibre on the circuit in a dramatic sequence. It flies off the car of Stroll and Ricciardo who is following closely behind but manages to swerve at the last minute to avoid it but Hulkenberg does not and destroys it by driving over it. As to if it has done any mage to the Haas car we shall see. In terms of what came off, it was Stroll’s left wing mirror.

1834: That’s a new fastest lap from the Dutchman. Ominously over a second faster than the rest of the grid.

1833: Purple sectors for Max…

1823: Yes it is testing but Haas are looking quite the way off at the moment. Over a second away from any other car.

1822: The times haven’t been troubled for a while. A lot of cars back in the pit but not one of them is Zhou Guanyu in his luminous green and black car.

1812: Russell has got the DRS open as he trails Verstappen. Stroll meanwhile fights the rear at the end of Turn 2.

1805: With the sun having set it’s a chance for the liveries to shine and we must say RB’s is a winner.

1801: In the words of Fernando Alonso’s rumoured love interest Taylor Swift: “It’s me, hi!” Back with you for the final hour.

1800: It’s time to hand you back over to Sam to see us through the final hour of the Day 1 session. Play nicely.

1755: It’s not been a particularly clean start to the season for Williams. After early gremlins this morning for Albon, Sargeant’s running has come to a halt due to a suspected driveshaft issue.

1745: A few more lock-ups from drivers now as the track surface cools down. Not major dramas though as we push towards the final hour of Day 1 running.

1733: The Mercedes front wing has dominated much of the early paddock talk in Bahrain. We understand that it is full compliance with the FIA regulations and has been declared legal. More here.

Mercedes on track in Bahrain, with George Russell at the wheel.
Toto Wolff has said the front wing of the Mercedes W15 is the result of a long process of consultation with the FIA.

1715: Big spin for Logan Sargeant at Turn 9! Phew, that was close. The Williams driver spins out of control and brings up huge plumes of white smoke as his tyres drag along the surface. He’s able to avoid the barrier, but only just!

1710: Lando Norris’ spell in P1 didn’t last long…Verstappen has just smashed the best time by eight tenths as he fast approaches 100 laps for the day.

1700: Two hours down, two to go before the end of Day 1 of Testing. The sun is setting, the shadows are getting longer, and we’re not far away now from some running under the bright lights of the Sakhir track.

1650: A new name at the top of the timesheet! With track conditions improving all the time, Lando Norris has managed to shave 0.064s off Verstappen’s best – both times coming on the C3 tyres. Obviously, we don’t know fuel loads for either car.

1630: Signs of life from Ferrari as Carlos Sainz climbs up the leaderboard to P2 and within a whisker of knocking Max Verstappen off top spot.

1615: We’re witnessing Logan Sargeant in action for the first time today after taking over driver duties from Alex Albon. Like us, he’s packed on 5kg over the winter. Unlike us, his is all muscle.

1600: Hi Lando! The McLaren driver is out on track and racking up his first laps of F1 Testing after McLaren carried out a floor change.

1545: A last minute change of plan for Carlos Sainz. It looked as if he was coming into the pits but quickly dived back out on track to carry on running. The straight was empty at the time so no major dramas.

1530: Here comes Russell to liven things up.

1528: The only thing you will see on the track at the moment is dust with zero drivers currently out there.

1522: In terms of who is out there, Sainz, Gasly, Stroll, Norris, Sargeant, Ricciardo, Zhou and Hulkenberg join Verstappen and Russell who both took part in the morning session.

1505: Bit of a slip here for Carlos Sainz with his first test of the SF-24. He has a very aggressive aero rake on the back of his rear wheels.

1458: Welcome back then as we get ready to start the second session of today’s running. We will have cars on track in two minutes.

1400: And that’s it! The first session of the F1 season is done. The drivers and teams have got an hour’s lunch break before the afternoon session kicks off at 1500. See you then.

1355: We have an overtake! Verstappen goes past Leclerc into Turn 1.

1350: 10 minutes to go then with Verstappen in P1 and Leclerc in P2.

1343: Albon has been safely removed and the yellow flag is no more.

1339: Just a yellow flag for now with Albon off in sector 1, they could get him out on an exit road without bringing a stop to the session. On replay, it seems like something with the engine that is the issue.

1338: Some trouble for Albon it looks like, he is going very slowly around the track and has now just pulled off.

1333: Seems a bit windy out on track now with Verstappen wrestling with the RB20 on occasion.

1315: George Russell moves up into ninth with a time of 1:34.907.

1313: Fernando Alonso has done 58 laps this morning which is 0.3% of the total laps he has raced in F1.

1311: Just 50 minutes left now of the first pre-season session,

1259: Adrian Newey, who is very much in non-school uniform mode, leans over to have a chat with Verstappen with the RB20 in the garage.

1255: Leclerc has been wrestling with that SF-24 on occasion. His fastest lap so far is a 1:33.247. Meanwhile Verstappen has improved to 1:32.548.

1241: Not a huge amount going on out on track currently. Verstappen, Leclerc, Alonso, Tsunoda and Ocon are out there putting their cars through their paces.

1219: So what have we made of testing so far then? Email your thoughts to planetf1editor@planetsport.com and we will post some of the best ones.

1214: Some familiar faces in different kits this morning with Rob Marshall in the papaya of McLaren rather than the blue of Red Bull.

McLaren's Rob Marshall
McLaren’s Rob Marshall

1209: Alex Albon has a Pierre Gasly shaped obstacle in his view as he locks up into Turn 10. The Williams man goes off the circuit but is able to rejoin with minimal fuss.

1207: Good morning/afternoon depending on where you are in the world. Not at all jealous of the weather in Bahrain as I report from a rainy London…

1200: We’re at the halfway point of a pretty calm and serene morning session. Time to hand over to Sam Cooper who will take you through to the lunch break at 1400 local time.

1157: Speaking of Albon. He’s had to go back into the garage as a problem has occurred with his DRS. That shouldn’t keep him out of action for too long.

1145: Observations from our reporter on the ground: “Coming through the apex of Turn 2 on push laps – most of the cars looking quite composed. One car that very much did not was the Williams – Alex Albon having to absolutely wrestle the car through the corner.”

1138: Hello Max! He’s just flown up to the top of the timesheet with a 1:33.065, three tenths quicker than Alonso’s previous best. The RB20 looks a little more compliant now after an initial twitchy start.

1135: Back on track, it’s Fernando Alonso leading the way on the lap count and he is just about to start his latest stint. Still looking as fresh and eager as ever at the age of 42. Incredible.

1130: Oh, if you are wondering where Christian Horner is as the internal investigation at Red Bull continues, he is in Bahrain and in the Red Bull garage overseeing Max Verstappen’s first session of the season. Business as usual for now.

1125: Another little gremlin for Ocon to contend with as a small issue emerges with his PU. It’s not long before he’s back at full speed though.

1119: If Esteban Ocon still had a few winter cobwebs to get rid of, they will be well and truly blown off now. He gets it all wrong at Turn 4 and takes a bumpy trip through the gravel before safely returning to the track. Our first nervy moment of the day!

1110: Here’s an early look at the Red Bull RB20 in the flesh, courtesy of our trackside reporter Thomas Maher. Give him a follow if you aren’t already doing so!

Max Verstappen heads down the pit lane in the RB20
Max Verstappen heads down the pit lane in the RB20

1105: There’s a change at the top of the timesheet and it’s Charles Leclerc who has knocked Fernando Alonso off top spot. Get the hype train started! We’re joking, of course.

1056: It’s been a very quiet start to proceedings as we approach the end of the first hour of running, which is just how the drivers and teams will like it. No dramas, no early stoppages thus far.

1036: Max Verstappen is really having to wrestle with his RB20 on the hardest tyre compound available. A combination of that and the very green track, which hasn’t been properly rubbered in yet, are to blame, so those of you wanting to get your hopes up that Red Bull have produced a gremlin of a car, don’t!

1030: Kevin Magnussen has had to come back into the pits earlier than intended due to a wobbly aero rake. You don’t often see that!

1025: Fernando Alonso has clearly had his Cheerios this morning (other cereals are available) as he promptly plonks himself top of the early timesheet with a 1:33.822.

1011: G0od news as Piastri leaves the pits in the McLaren to begin his morning’s programme.

1005: Five minutes into the session and we’re still waiting for the first sight of the McLaren MCL38. The team has not given any reason for the delay. Leclerc is P1 in the Ferrari.

1002: The teams and drivers aren’t hanging around with Leclerc leaving the Ferrari garage. His SF-24 is sporting a spider web on both sides, never mind aero rakes. Verstappen’s RB20 has the standard shaped rakes.

1000: Russell isn’t wasting a moment of his one-and-a-half days with the Briton waiting at the end of the pit lane for the start of testing. And off he goes, followed by Alonso.

0955: Five minutes until the first car takes to the track…

0946: Although there are a lot, and I mean a lot, of screens up as the teams complete their final behind-the-screens preparations, there are a few front wings in the pit lane and Haas have already taken the covers off their official car.

Kevin Magnussen leaves the pits in the Haas VF-24
Kevin Magnussen leaves the pits in the Haas VF-24

0938: The first testing session of the season begins in just over 20 minutes’ time so, whilst we wait that little bit more, let’s bring you today’s driver line-ups for the 10 respective teams.

Red Bull and Mercedes have opted not to split Day One’s driving duties with Max Verstappen and George Russell in action. Ferrari have Charles Leclerc then Carlos Sainz, McLaren will be starting with Oscar Piastri then Lando Norris, while Fernando Alonso is first up for Aston Martin with Lance Stroll taking over in the afternoon.

As for the rest:

Alpine – Esteban Ocon/Pierre Gasly
Williams – Alex Albon/Logan Sargeant
RB – Yuki Tsunoda/Daniel Ricciardo
Sauber-Stake – Valtteri Bottas/Zhou Guanyu
Haas – Kevin Magnussen/Nico Hulkenberg

0930: Good morning everyone and a warm, official welcome to F1 2024! It’s good to have you back with us for another year of thrills, spills and everything in between.

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