Max Verstappen ended the final day of F1 Bahrain Test on top from Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso with next action being the 2022 season-opener.
The final day in F1 Bahrain Test saw less trouble than the penultimate day with a sole red flag in the morning session which was for the FIA’s usual red flag practice. After yesterday’s issues to practice a standing start, it worked better this time.
Only four cars of Sergio Perez, Pierre Gasly, Lance Stroll and Guanyu Zhou were there to complete it. Prior to that, the Frenchman had a long duel with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton where the two followed each for quite the few laps in race mode.
The afternoon running saw multiple red flags with the first one for Haas’ Mick Schumacher who had a spin. The red flag was waved even though he managed to continue driving. The second flag was for Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas who stopped on track.
Moments later, Red Bull’s Verstappen had a spin but managed to continue on to post the fastest time of 1m31.720s on the C5 compound after completing 53 laps in all. He led Ferrari’s Leclerc (1m32.415s, 51, C4) and Alpine’s Alonso (1m32.698s, C4, 122).
The former two ran in the afternoon session with Mercedes’ George Russell (1m32.759s, C5, 71) slotting in fourth from Alfa Romeo’s Bottas (1m32.985s, C3, 68) and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda (1m33.002s, C5, 57) – all of the three running in the afternoon session.
Red Bull’s Perez (1m33.105s, C4, 43) ended up seventh from Haas’ Schumacher who has two more hours to run, with McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m33.191s, C3, 90) and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel (1m33.821s, C4, 81) rounding off the Top 10. The Brit has his third successive day in the car due to the COVID-19 test for teammate Daniel Ricciardo.
He managed more laps after the team brought in new parts to fix the cooling/brakes issues. Alfa Romeo’s Zhou (1m33.959s, C4, 82) was 11th from AlphaTauri’s Gasly (1m34.865s, C4, 91) and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz (1m34.905s, C5, 68) – all of whom ran in the morning hours.
The Williams pair of Alexander Albon (1m35.171s, C3, 18) and Nicholas Latifi (1m35.634s, C3, 124) slotted in 14th and 15th after the team elected to give more track time to the Canadian after he lost time on Day 2. The F1 team were able to fix the issue they had yesterday to have a smoother run on Day 3.
Aston Martin’s Stroll (1m36.029s, C3, 53) was 16th from Mercedes’ Hamilton (1m36.217s, C5, 78) and Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m38.616s, C2, 38), who faced water pressure leak issues to keep him indoors for much of the morning hours even though he had one hour extra.
UPDATE: Much like last time, Schumacher set the second fastest time in the extra two hours with a 1m32.241s lap using the C4 compound with 85 laps. This pushed Alonso off the Top 3 in fourth with Leclerc ending up third.
Position P2-P10: Schumacher, Leclerc, Alonso, Russell, Bottas, Tsunoda, Perez, Norris, Vettel.
Here’s how Day 1 went in Bahrain
Here’s how Day 2 went in Bahrain