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F1 2020, Renault, Fernando Alonso test, Daniel Ricciardo replacement

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Fernando Alonso will step up his preparations for a return to Formula One next year with a two-day test in Bahrain next week, his Renault team said Friday.

The former two-time world champion will try out the R.S.18 model from the 2018 season, having driven an F1 car for the first time in nearly 18 months in Barcelona in mid-October.

Alonso, 39, had not been in an F1 car since a test session for McLaren in Bahrain in April 2019 and had not raced one since the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, also with McLaren, at the end of his 17th season.

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Ricciardo sent spinning in Q2

Ricciardo sent spinning in Q2

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F1, Bahrain Grand Prix 2020, practice, results, times, qualifying, live, start time, how to watch, Daniel Ricciardo, Alex Albon crash

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F1: Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice 3 and Qualifying: LIVE —

Friday’s practice at Bahrain was full of drama, with everything from huge crashes to even a stray dog on track.

Testing new Pirelli tyres for the 2021 season, plenty of the drivers struggled for pace and grip. In the second session, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen spun out on the final corner, but it was his teammate Alex Albon that suffered a monster shunt.

Saturday’s third practice session and qualifying promises to be just as interesting!

Follow the action in the live blog below.

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F1, Bahrain Grand Prix 2020, practice, crash, video, qualifying, Red Bull, Alex Albon, driver line up, highlights, results

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Alex Albon accepted the blame on Friday after his heavy and expensive crash during practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix threatened to derail his future with Red Bull.

The London-born Thai driver, who has struggled this year to match the pace of Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, said he knew he should have backed off when he ran wide at the final corner before careering off into the barriers.

“It was just one of those things,” he said as he tried to make light of his crash, which wrecked most of his car.

“I should have pulled out of it really.

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F1 2020: Bahrain practice results, Lewis Hamilton, Pirelli tyres

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Lewis Hamilton relished his return on Friday after 12 days’ off by securing a ‘double top’ with the fastest lap in both opening practice sessions at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

After outpacing Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in an incident-filled day, the newly-crowned record-equalling seven-time champion said he was very happy to be back in his Mercedes car — and then lambasted Pirelli as he explained why he was unhappy with their 2021 prototype tyres.

“It is great to be out there again,” he said. “I always love driving!

“It has been a bit like a test day with a lot of stuff to do and the track has been very dusty.”

Watch The Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix 2020 Live & On-Demand on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

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