Bahrain Test Day 3: Verstappen fastest as Honda shines again


Max Verstappen set the fastest lap on the final day of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain, completing a fine weekend for Red Bull.

The Milton Keynes team finished the 2020 season strongly with a win in Abu Dhabi and they look to have successfully transferred that form into the new campaign. With Verstappen quickest on day one and teammate Sergio Perez topping the Sunday morning times, they have been consistent and quick, while facing very few reliability issues.

During the final session in Bahrain, the Dutchman set a fastest time of 1.28.960 on the C4 tyre, completing 64 laps in total.

It was a fellow Honda team in second, with rookie Yuki Tsunoda putting in a best time of 1.29.053 for AlphaTauri. Like Red Bull, the Faenza-based outfit have impressed over the three days in Sakhir.

Third was Carlos Sainz for Ferrari, who looks to be growing more comfortable with his new team, while Kimi Raikkonen was fourth. The Finn completed a massive 164 laps on Sunday to conclude a productive test for Alfa Romeo.

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton finished the session in fifth, with the seven-time world champion’s punctuated by a spin on the exit of the final corner. Hamilton completed 54 laps in total, with a best time of 1.30.025.

This has been a far from ideal testing for the reigning champions, whose headline times have not been from impressive, and it will be fascinating to see where they are ahead of the first race weekend.

George Russell ended the day in sixth with 157 laps under his belt. The Williams driver had to wait until Sunday to get his first run in the car, but made up for lost time with a lengthy stint in the FW43B.

Daniel Ricciardo was seventh, with morning leader Perez eighth, Fernando Alonso ninth and Charles Leclerc 10th.

Aston Martin saw their afternoon session cut short due to a power-unit issue, the latest in a series of problems that have beset the team. Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll were the slowest of the Sunday runners, completing a combined 136 laps.


Graphic: Kart CMP1

verstappen fastest sunday