The second round of the 2018 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir as teams prepared for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Sunday.
Two 90-minute sessions - FP1 and FP2 - on the 5.412-kilometer (3.363-mile), 15-turn track were on the docket, the first of which was run under a clear and sunny sky while the latter was the more representative session for what drivers and teams will experience in Sunday's race, which begins shortly after sunset.
Both drivers began FP1 on the Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tire before transitioning to the Red supersoft tire. Grosjean's quick time of 1:32.516 came on his 12th lap shod on supersofts. He ran 23 laps and was the sixth-fastest driver, behind only the big-three teams of Red Bull, Mercedes and Scuderia Ferrari. Magnussen's best time was a 1:32.971 on his 11th lap, also set on supersofts. He ran 19 laps and posted the ninth-quickest time.
Speeds picked up in FP2, but so did traffic, which impeded Grosjean and Magnussen from compiling an ideal lap while on fresh rubber. Grosjean wrapped FP2 as the 11th-quickest driver with a time of 1:31.591, which was .925 of a second better than his best lap in FP1. His quick time came on the 11th of his 33 laps riding on a set of new supersofts. Magnussen shaved 1.002 seconds off his FP1 mark with a lap of 1:31.969 to earn the 15th-fastest time. His best lap came on his 13th tour, also while utilizing supersofts. He completed 35 laps.
Romain Grosjean: "It was a decent day for us, but I think we can be better tomorrow. The afternoon pace was not as good as the morning. My fastest lap was compromised by traffic in the last corner, so I guess there's a little bit in there. We didn't do enough for the night, but that's where practice is good. Now we've got a good delta. We can work in FP3 to get ready for qualifying."
Kevin Magnussen: "We've had a bit of a tricky Friday, but the car didn't feel bad. There's lots to learn about the tires, though. It wasn't easy with the change of temperature from morning to the afternoon. At the moment, we have a lot of stuff to go through just to understand the tires and how to get them up to temperature and by how much, which is a tricky thing here with the tarmac being very rough and the temperature varying as much as it does. I'm still hopeful that we can make up some time tomorrow."
Guenther Steiner: "FP1 was pretty good. In FP2, we learned, but we also need to find a bit more speed. I still think we're in a good position for tomorrow. We're looking forward to qualifying."
Check out our Friday gallery from Bahrain, here.