Sakhir F1 test, Day 3: Verstappen quickest on final day of testing
Ahead of season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix
Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen set the fastest time of the three days of running in Sakhir as Formula 1 pre-season testing came to an end at the Bahrain International Circuit.
Verstappen, driving in the afternoon after team-mate Sergio Pérez topped the morning session, completed 53 laps at the wheel of an updated RB18 featuring revised sidepods.
The World Champion didn’t appear for most of the first hours of the later session but when he did he gradually began to work his way to the best time of the three days overall as he cycled through various tyre compounds. He set a 1:32.645 on C3 medium tyres and later moved to the softest C5 rubber to set his best lap of 1:31.720.
That put him almost seven tenths of a second ahead of second placed Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc. The Monegasque driver’s best lap was delivered on the C4 compound. He did try the C5 tyres but despite setting a purple middle sector he flagged late in the lap and was slower.
Third place in the session went to Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. The Spaniard left his best to the end of the session fitting C4 tyres in the final five minutes of the session to set personal bests in each sector to stand as one of just two drivers to get within a second of Verstappen’s time. George Russell was fourth with a time of 1:32.759 that left him 1.039 behind Verstappen and the new Mercedes recruit looked to be battling the mishandling car throughout the lap.
Behind Russell, Valtteri Bottas was fifth for Alfa Romeo. The Finn used C3 Pirelli tyres to set a best time of 1:32.985 but his running early when he stopped outside the Turn 8 due to a gearbox issue.
AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda took fifth place as the Italian squad closed out a solid test phase. The Japanese driver, who completed 57 laps, finished two hundredths of a second behind Bottas, while team-mate Pierre Gasly logged 91 laps on the team’s final day.
After setting the fastest lap of the morning, Sergio Pérez was left with seventh place at the close of running, five hundredths of a second ahead of Haas’s Mick Schumacher, who briefly brought out the red flags in the afternoon after he spun.
Lando Norris ended the day in ninth place for McLaren and after taking over from Lance Stroll at Aston Martin, Sebastian Vettel finished with the day’s 10th quickest time.
|01||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBP RB18||1:31.720||53|
|02||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:32.415||51|
|03||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:32.698||122|
|04||George Russell||Mercedes W13||1:32.759||71|
|05||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:32.985||68|
|06||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBP AT03||1:33.002||57|
|07||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBP RB18||1:33.105||43|
|08||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:33.151||57|
|09||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:33.191||90|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:33.821||81|
|11||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:33.959||82|
|12||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBP AT03||1:34.865||91|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:34.905||68|
|14||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:35.171||18|
|15||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:35.634||124|
|16||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:36.029||53|
|17||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W13||1:36.217||78|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:38.616||38|