Third free practice Bahrain: Verstappen fastest, Mercedes close

Third free practice Bahrain: Verstappen fastest, Mercedes close
Third free practice Bahrain: Verstappen fastest, Mercedes close

After the third free practice in Bahrain, the relationships are becoming increasingly clear. The training was very orderly, without major incidents. In the end, Verstappen managed to come out fastest, but the Dutchman had some problems with his rear wing.

In the two previous practices, Lewis Hamilton came out on top, but in the second free practice, Verstappen was relatively close. Alexander Albon was less fortunate; he rammed his RB16 into the wall so hard that he needed a new chassis.

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Magnussen and Grosjean are the first to hit the track, but after a few installation rounds they went back inside. Then we see Kimi Räikkönen in action. The Finn is the first to go for a timed lap. He set a time of 1: 31.2 on the clock, so he takes it pretty easy. Nicolas Latifi set the second time of the day with 1: 31.7. George Russell followed his teammate onto the track, but he soon reported that his DRS was not working. He set a first time of 1: 31,4, two tenths slower than Räikkönen.

The rest of the teams took it relatively easy, as they had not yet appeared on the track well after the first fifteen minutes. After the first 20 minutes, almost the entire field suddenly entered the track. Only Ocon, Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas stayed inside for a while, but they also followed with a few minutes. Albon immediately set a time of 1: 30.3 in his new car. Pierre Gasly, however, quickly overtook him with 1: 30.2.

In the end, Verstappen was the first man to go below 1:30 with a time of 1: 29.6. Yesterday he drove 1: 29.3 on the medium tire. Hamilton could not keep up with the pace of Verstappen in his opening lap, as he clocked 1: 29.9. Valtteri Bottas got stuck for a while at 1: 30.6. The rear wing of Verstappen also had a moment, because it seemed to flap with the DRS open. He quickly returned to the pits, presumably to have the problem checked.

The third free practice in Bahrain was otherwise extremely orderly. After the repair to his rear wing, Verstappen finally managed to set a time of 1: 28.3 on the soft tires, a better performance than yesterday. He also managed to beat the Mercedes. Both Hamilton and Bottas were unable to improve the time of the Dutchman. Alexander Albon was able to drag in the fourth fastest time, but the gap with Verstappen was still six tenths.

The rest of the field was pretty close together. Carlos Sainz was the midfield captain, followed by Pierre Gasly, Lando Norris and Daniil Kvyat. After that came the two Racing Points and Renaults. Ferrari did not seem to perform well during the third free practice: Sebastian Vettel did not get further than 13th place. Furthermore, the usual suspects at the bottom of the times list, with Latifi at the bottom.

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