Sakhir, FP3: Max Verstappen beats Charles Leclerc, Sergio Pérez

Final practice in Bahrai


By Olivier Ferret

19 March 2022 - 14:07
Sakhir, FP3: Max Verstappen beats (...)

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen wen quickest in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to by less than a tenth of a second with Sergio Pérez third in the second Red Bull RB18.

The session, held in substantially different conditions to those likely to be in play during qualifying got off to a slow start but eventually drivers began to set more representative times, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz leading the way ahead of Pérez and with Leclerc third.

However, after 25 minutes Verstappen made his appearance and he quickly vaulted to the top of the timesheet with a soft-tyre lap of 1:33.035, 0.762s quicker than Leclerc.

Leclerc then had an off-track moment at Turn 11. The Ferrari driver lost control on entry and went through the gravel trap. He was able to drive back to the pits, however, to prepare for his final runs on the C3 tyre.

Just after the half way point, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton made a jump up the order thanks to a lap of 1:33.121 on softs but he was soon shuffled down the order by Sainz who went a tenth quicker and then by George Russell who took third in the second Mercedes with a lap of 1:32.935.

Verstappen then emerged but his backed out of his first run after locking up in Turn 1. His second attempt was clean, however, and he took top spot with a lap 1:32.544s.

Pérez then put in a late flyer to claim third place ahead of Russell. Sainz was fifth, with Hamilton sixth 0.577s off Verstappen’s pace.

Kevin Magnussen finished seventh in a good session for Haas with the Dane ending up just under nine tenths of a second off the pace. Eighth place went to Valtteri Bottas with new team-mate Zhou Guanyi ninth and Lance Stroll rounded out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

Yuki Tsunoda failed to take part in the session due to hydraulic problems on his AlphaTauri.

01 Max Verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:32.544 15
02 Charles Leclerc Ferrari F1-75 1:32.640 61
03 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:32.791 20
04 George Russell Mercedes W13 1:32.935 19
05 Carlos Sainz Ferrari F1-75 1:33.053 20
06 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W13 1:33.121 15
07 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:33.437 15
08 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:33.733 21
09 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42 1:33.880 18
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:33.920 14
11 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:33.955 18
12 Nico Hülkenberg Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:33.971 18
13 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 1:34.176 18
14 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:34.295 17
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes MCL36 1:34.378 20
16 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:34.628 15
17 Alex Albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:34.868 15
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:34.957 16
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes FW44 1:35.667 14
20 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT AT03 -:—.--- 0

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