While for most of the first practice session at Bahrain it seemed like the Ferrari F10 was unshakeable, towards the end of the session there was a surprise leader at the head of the timing sheets. Force India's Adrian Sutil set the fastest time at Sakhir, clocking 1m 53. 583 secs. Fernando Alonso was 0.183 seconds behind, while Robert Kubica managed to clock the third fastest time much to the delight of the Renault team.
McLaren duo, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton also looked strong through the session, finishing fifth and sixth fastest. Vitantonio Liuzzi, Nico Rosberg, Mark Webber and Michael Schumacher made up the top 10. While all eyes were on Schumacher as he made his return to competitive F1, the seven-time world champion was still 1.07secs off the pace of the leader. He was also 0.463 seconds off the pace of his own team-mate, which could indicate he still needs some time to shed the rustiness that could have crept in due to his three-year hiatus. Of course, it could also indicate that he was running a heavier car, but with the FIA no longer requiring teams to publish their weights, we can't be very sure of that.
The Hispania Racing Team managed to run three full laps on track. However, it was Bruno Senna piloting the car, not Karun Chandhok. All teams have run at least one car on track so far. We'll have all the news from the second session of free practice as well. Stay tuned.