The Indian driver went quickest of all with a 1m42.074s, toppling Carlin duo Liam Lawson and Logan Sargeant.

Lawson topped the morning session and exchanged times at the top of the standings with new teammate Sargeant before Daruvala's time at the end of the day.

With track conditions only improving as the sunlight turned into dusk, Daruvala kicked off pre-season testing in F2 in the best way possible.

The Red Bull-backed driver ended day one over 0.5s clear of Trident's Calan Williams and Prema teammate Dennis Hauger.

Hauger makes the step up to F2 from F3 after winning the title in an impressive fashion.

He completed 25 laps on his way to the third-quickest time of the day.

Carlin duo Lawson and Sargeant rounded out the top 10, just over 1.4s shy of Daruvala's benchmark.

Felipe Drugovich was sixth in the lead MP Motorsport, with Marcus Armstrong, Enzo Fittipaldi, Juri Vips and Roy Nissany rounding out the top 10 in Bahrain.

Theo Pourchaire was two seconds off the pace in 11th, just ahead of Campos' Ralph Boschung and Marino Sato.

Jake Hughes was 14th ahead of Ayumu Iwasa, Olli Caldwell, Frederik Vesti and Jack Doohan.

Clement Novalak was 19th in the second MP car ahead of Richard Verschoor, while Amaury Cordeel and Cem Bolukbasi    rounded out the field.