Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2020

Verstappen leads Mercedes pair in final practice at Bahrain

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen put Red Bull on top ahead of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, leading the Mercedes pair by almost three tenths of a second.

Team mate Alexander Albon, whose Red Bull chassis was replaced overnight following his heavy crash in second practice, took fourth place behind the two W11s, but over six-tenths of a second slower than his team mate.

The McLaren pair ran strongly, Carlos Sainz Jnr taking fifth place, a tenth ahead of his team mate, the pair separated by Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri. Daniil Kvyat in the other AlphaTauri and the two Racing Points completed the top 10.

As usual, few cars took to the track during the opening 20 minutes of final practice in Bahrain. The session is run in daylight under warmer conditions than typically seen in the race or qualifying, making it less representative. Kimi Raikkonen, who sat out first practice yesterday while Robert Kubica drove his car, was the first driver to set a time and few others ventured out during the first third of the session.

Alexander Albon was the first of the front-runners to hit the circuit. His team mate swiftly moved to the top of the times after he joined the track. However Verstappen suffered a setback at the end of his run when his DRS flap began oscillating while open. His race engineer told him to “cancel DRS” before returning to the pits.

The Mercedes pair demoted Verstappen back to third on their subsequent runs, but Verstappen had more pace in hand when he reappeared, despite his DRS flap still moving more than usual while open. He put three clean sectors together and lowered the best time to a 1’28.355, half a second quicker than yesterday’s benchmark.

For the third session in a row, none of the Ferrari-powered cars featured in the top 10. Sebastian Vettel was the quickest Ferrari representative in 13th behind the Renaults, while Charles Leclerc described his final run as a “horrible lap” and took the chequered flag 15th.

Romain Grosjean was the quicker of the two Haas drivers but sounded thoroughly unimpressed with his car’s handling. “If you have any suggestions you’re more than welcome to mention them,” he told his team.

Hamilton came to a stop at the pit lane exit at the end of the session as the red light had come on before he was able to line up to make a practice start.

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2020 Bahrain Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’28.35511
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’28.6180.26312
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’28.7210.36614
423Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’29.0180.66312
555Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’29.4551.10012
610Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’29.4721.11716
74Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’29.5671.2128
826Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’29.5851.23017
918Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’29.6601.30513
1011Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’29.6721.31712
113Daniel RicciardoRenault1’29.6841.3299
1231Esteban OconRenault1’29.6911.33611
135Sebastian VettelFerrari1’29.8591.50415
1499Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’29.9701.61510
1516Charles LeclercFerrari1’30.1831.82814
1663George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’30.5592.20416
178Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’30.6522.29716
1820Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’30.7592.40412
197Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’30.8232.46816
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’30.9172.56219

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’28.355

+0.263 Lewis Hamilton – 1’28.618

+0.366 Valtteri Bottas – 1’28.721

+0.663 Alexander Albon – 1’29.018

+1.100 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’29.455

+1.117 Pierre Gasly – 1’29.472

+1.212 Lando Norris – 1’29.567

+1.230 Daniil Kvyat – 1’29.585

+1.305 Lance Stroll – 1’29.660

+1.317 Sergio Perez – 1’29.672

+1.329 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’29.684

+1.336 Esteban Ocon – 1’29.691

+1.504 Sebastian Vettel – 1’29.859

+1.615 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’29.970

+1.828 Charles Leclerc – 1’30.183

+2.204 George Russell – 1’30.559

+2.297 Romain Grosjean – 1’30.652

+2.404 Kevin Magnussen – 1’30.759

+2.468 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’30.823

+2.562 Nicholas Latifi – 1’30.917

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’30.2941’29.3181’28.355-0.96363
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’29.0331’28.9711’28.618-0.35380
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’29.4821’29.3361’28.721-0.61585
4Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’30.3021’30.0141’29.018-0.99663
5Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’30.0001’29.4031’29.672+0.26975
6Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’30.0181’30.2711’29.455-0.56376
7Daniel RicciardoRenault1’30.5081’29.4621’29.684+0.22266
8Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’30.0491’29.5511’29.472-0.07986
9Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’31.3921’29.8411’29.567-0.27465
10Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’31.0201’29.9001’29.585-0.31588
11Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’30.4261’29.8711’29.660-0.21175
12Esteban OconRenault1’30.3841’30.0851’29.691-0.39469
13Sebastian VettelFerrari1’30.6281’30.1101’29.859-0.25174
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’30.8961’30.6271’29.970-0.65770
15Charles LeclercFerrari1’30.5891’30.4071’30.183-0.22473
16George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’31.6361’30.559-1.07745
17Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’30.8321’31.1191’30.652-0.1872
18Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’30.73224
19Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’30.8541’30.8491’30.759-0.0968
20Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’30.9281’30.823-0.10550
21Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’32.0001’30.9731’30.917-0.05680
22Roy NissanyWilliams-Mercedes1’32.80127

2020 Bahrain Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    4 comments on “Verstappen leads Mercedes pair in final practice at Bahrain”

    1. geoffgroom44 (@)
      28th November 2020, 12:07

      an interesting ‘come back’ performance from Albon.How do these guys get it together again after crashes like yesterdays?

    2. The session was surprisingly warm, starting at 28 degrees in air temp before dropping to 27 later.

    3. Red Bull turning up finally, as usual, when the season is already over? I really don’t get why this is such a habit.

      1. A bad habit i may add.
        But apart form the car development there still is a rather large power deficiency in the engine.

    Comments are closed.