Bahrain GP: Verstappen heads Mercedes duo in FP3

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the top spot in final practice for Formula 1’s 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, with Valtteri Bottas in third.

Bahrain GP: Verstappen heads Mercedes duo in FP3

Under clearer skies than Friday’s FP1, the 60-minute final session got off to a fairly lifeless start, with most cars remaining in their garages for the opening 20 minutes.

Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen set the first timed lap of the session at the eight minute mark, a 1m31.247s that stood as the fastest time for nearly 15 minutes as the Finn continued to lap before he was joined by the two Williams cars.

When most of the rest of the pack eventually emerged, Raikkonen’s teammate Antonio Giovinazzi went quicker with a 1m31.025s before a flurry of faster times were set.

Lando Norris briefly headed the times with a 1m30.427s, before Alex Albon, Pierre Gasly and Sergio Perez improved – with the Racing Point driver lowering the P1 benchmark to a 1m30.159s.

A few minutes later all of the cars had appeared for the first time – no drivers bothered with the medium or hard tyres that are set to be much better race compounds compared to the softs, of which the drivers have eight sets each compared to just two mediums and three hards.

Verstappen moved to the top of times just before 25 minutes had been completed with a 1m29.617s, while Mercedes only took second and 10th on its opening runs with Hamilton and Bottas.

Just past the halfway point, Verstappen went quicker again with a 1m29.600s, on a lap where the top plane of his rear wing was flexing dramatically with the DRS opening activated.

The Red Bull driver completed his run, and his team were seen working on the rear wing when he returned to the garage.

At the start of the final 15 minutes, Mercedes, which sacrificed any set-up work on Friday to try and get a better understanding of the prototype 2021 tyres the teams had to run yesterday, had both its drivers improve on its final runs.  

Read Also:

Bottas moved the top of the times with a 1m28.721s, with then fastest times in all three sectors, before Hamilton usurped him with a 1m28.618s – gaining time as the lap went on to end up 0.103s ahead.  

But both were ultimately shuffled down by Verstappen, whose rear wing continued to flex on his final run, as he blitzed the opening two sectors and set a personal best in the final segment to go quickest with a 1m28.355s – 0.263s quicker than Hamilton’s time.  

Albon ended up fourth ahead of Carlos Sainz and Gasly, with Lando Norris seventh in the second McLaren.  

Daniil Kvyat was eighth for AlphaTauri, ahead of Racing Point pair Lance Stroll and Perez.  

The Ferrari drivers finished 13th and 15th, with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Charles Leclerc, who so nearly won the 2019 race in Bahrain.  

Hamilton’s session had a somewhat unusual end as he was forced to stop at the end of the pitlane in the closing moments as the exit light turned red, which meant his mechanics had to run down from the Mercedes garage to recover his W11.

Cla Driver Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 11 1'28.355     220.510
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 12 1'28.618 0.263 0.263 219.856
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas 14 1'28.721 0.366 0.103 219.600
4 Thailand Alex Albon 12 1'29.018 0.663 0.297 218.868
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. 12 1'29.455 1.100 0.437 217.798
6 France Pierre Gasly 16 1'29.472 1.117 0.017 217.757
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris 8 1'29.567 1.212 0.095 217.526
8 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat 17 1'29.585 1.230 0.018 217.482
9 Canada Lance Stroll 13 1'29.660 1.305 0.075 217.300
10 Mexico Sergio Perez 12 1'29.672 1.317 0.012 217.271
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 9 1'29.684 1.329 0.012 217.242
12 France Esteban Ocon 11 1'29.691 1.336 0.007 217.225
13 Germany Sebastian Vettel 15 1'29.859 1.504 0.168 216.819
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi 10 1'29.970 1.615 0.111 216.552
15 Monaco Charles Leclerc 14 1'30.183 1.828 0.213 216.040
16 United Kingdom George Russell 16 1'30.559 2.204 0.376 215.143
17 France Romain Grosjean 16 1'30.652 2.297 0.093 214.923
18 Denmark Kevin Magnussen 12 1'30.759 2.404 0.107 214.669
19 Finland Kimi Raikkonen 16 1'30.823 2.468 0.064 214.518
20 Canada Nicholas Latifi 19 1'30.917 2.562 0.094 214.296
shares
comments

Related video

Renault: Too late for F1 engine freeze ahead of 2022 season

Previous article

Renault: Too late for F1 engine freeze ahead of 2022 season

Next article

FIA abandons track limits laptime deletions in Bahrain

FIA abandons track limits laptime deletions in Bahrain
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Prime

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? Stuart Codling talks to the man in charge.

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Prime

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021