Bahrain Grand Prix: Red Bull’s Verstappen tops first and second practice sessions

He headed McLaren’s Lando Norris in the second session, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton third and Valtteri Bottas fifth, split by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz. Verstappen was first and Bottas second in the first session with Norris third. The field appeared very competitive – less than a second separated Verstappen in first place from Fernando Alonso’s Alpine in a disappointing 15th. And Alonso, returning to F1 after two years away, was four places and 0.169secs down on Alpine team-mate Esteban Ocon. McLaren were the other team to make a big impression on the first day of the new season, while Ferrari also appear to have made a step forward after their worst season in 40 years in 2020.

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