F1 – Verstappen quickest in final practice in Bahrain 

F1 – 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix – FP3

Max Verstappen set the fastest time of final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix beating Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by almost three tenths of a second. Valtteri Bottas was third in the second Mercedes. 

After a busy opening phase to the session, Verstappen first rose to the top of the timesheet shortly before the halfway mark in the 60-minute session. The Dutchman lapped in 1:29.617. 

Verstappen then went quicker again to shave 0.017s off his best time but during the run he appeared to suffer problems with his rear wing, which was flexing wildly when DRS was engaged. He returned to the pit lane where his crew began work to analyse the problem.

As the session headed into its final quarter the Mercedes drivers returned to the track after unspectacular first runs and this time both Hamilton and Bottas improved. The Finn initially claimed top sport with a lap of 1:28.721, but then Hamilton took P1 a tenth clear of his team-mate. 

It looked like those times migfht be good enough to see Mercedes earn a one-two finish but Verstappen returned to the track and despite similar, though less violent rear win flex, the Dutchman set purple times in the opening two sectors and a personal best in the final third of the lap to secure top spot with a time of 1:28.355 – 0.263s better than Hamilton’s earlier benchmark.

With the Mercedes drivers dropped to second and third, fourth place in the session went to Alex Albon in the second Red Bull. The Thai driver was running a new chassis after his heavy crash in practice on Friday.

Carlos Sainz finished fifth for McLaren, with Pierre Gasly sixth for AlphaTauri and Lando Norris seventh in the second McLaren. Daniil Kvyat was eighth in the second AlphaTauri, ahead of Racing Point pair Lance Stroll and Perez.  

2020 FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:28.355 11 220.510
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.618 0.263 12 219.856
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:28.721 0.366 14 219.600
4 Alexander Albon Red Bull/Honda 1:29.018 0.663 12 218.868
5 Carlos Sainz McLaren/Renault 1:29.455 1.100 12 217.798
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:29.472 1.117 16 217.757
7 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1:29.567 1.212 8 217.526
8 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri/Honda 1:29.585 1.230 17 217.482
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1:29.660 1.305 13 217.300
10 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 1:29.672 1.317 12 217.271
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:29.684 1.329 9 217.242
12 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:29.691 1.336 11 217.225
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.859 1.504 15 216.819
14 Anotonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:29.970 1.615 10 216.552
15 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:30.183 1.828 14 216.040
16 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:30.559 2.204 16 215.143
17 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:30.652 2.297 16 214.923
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:30.759 2.404 12 214.669
19 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:30.823 2.468 16 214.518
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:30.917 2.562 19 214.296

Source : Fia