After 90 minutes on a constantly evolving circuit, it was Kimi Raikkonen who emerged on top of the timesheets in Friday’s opening practice for the 2015 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver, who holds the record for the most podiums in Sakhir, ended up just two-tenths quicker than team mate Sebastian Vettel, but there was plenty of excitement before the red cars took the top spots.

Eight drivers - Nico Rosberg, Valtteri Bottas, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso, Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo - had turns being quickest, and no, you didn’t misread - Mercedes’ world championship points leader Lewis Hamilton was not in that exclusive group.

The Silver Arrows ended up down in 15th and 16th places after using their second set of medium compound tyres much earlier than their rivals, most of whom waited until towards the end when the track had rubbered in to take on fresh rubber.

The end result was a decidedly jumbled order.


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