Daniel Ricciardo drove the fastest lap in the new McLaren MCL35M on the first part of the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain driving for the new team, and Mercedes drove just six laps with Valtteri Bottas after they had to replace the gearbox on the F1 W12.
Ricciardo drove 1: 32.203 on P2 Pirelli tires, which have the usual white markings, five seconds slower than last year's pole position set by Hamilton in Mercedes, and 0.028 seconds faster than Gasly in AlphaTauri. The Australian drove 45 laps in the new McLaren MCL35M, which uses Mercedes engines for the first time since 2014, and the second-placed Gasly drove the most laps in the first four hours of testing, as many as 73.
Verstappen was the third fastest for Red Bull on C2 tires, and in the new Red Bull RB16B, he drove 60 laps. Mercedes suffered a blow at the beginning of the first day of the test as Bottas went to box after one lap due to transmission problems, and the team lost most of the first part of the first day due to the necessary gear change, so the Finn managed to drive six laps.
The new F1 W12 will be taken over by seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton this afternoon.
During the three-day test, each team will have 30 sets of dry tires, with two sets of rain components (wet and intermediate), although dry and warm conditions are expected.
The teams also have two sets of test prototype tires that are actually the same as the C3 tires but are manufactured in Turkey instead of Romania like all other tires. Pirelli decided on this move to test the quality of products from another factory in relation to standard tires, and these tires are the only ones that do not have any markings on the sides.
Ocon was fourth fastest for Alpine, and Leclerc fifth fastest for Ferrari, which drove 59 laps even though ihe stopped on the track ten minutes before the end of the first part of the day and caused the first break in pre-season testing.
Raikkonen was sixth fastest for Alfa Romeo, less than a tenth of a second behind Leclerc, and Vettel was seventh in his first official appearance for Aston Martin using C3 tires made in Turkey. Nissany was the first to get the chance to drive the new Williams FW43B and drive 39 laps, and Schumacher drove only 14 laps in the new Haas VF-21 which was officially shown to the public today after they did a movie day on the same track yesterday and drove the first 100 kilometers.
Thanks to transmission problems, Bottas drove only six laps and set the slowest time, 4.6 seconds slower than Ricciardo.