Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024 pre-season test

Sainz quickest in disrupted start to final test day

Formula 1

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Carlos Sainz Jnr topped the timing screens as the final day of testing reached its original scheduled stopping point.

However the running continued, having been suspended for more than an hour earlier in the day due to another broken drain cover. Sainz, who also finished yesterday’s test on top, was two tenths of a second faster than Red Bull’s Sergio Perez after the first four hours.

Kevin Magnussen set the first time of the day with a 1’36.962 on the C3 compound, before Sainz smashed that with a 1’32.017 with the red-marked C4 tyres. After being sent out on track with a large aero rake on the rear of his RB, Daniel Ricciardo had to return to the pits as the bottom structure appeared to come apart.

Half an hour into the session, the red flag appeared for the first time. Like Thursday’s early session, a drain cover had come loose outside of the track kerbing on the approach to turn 11, leading to a lengthy stoppage of over an hour while repair work was carried out under the supervision of FIA race director Niels Wittich.

Running eventually resumed at 11:45am local time after an hour and 13 minute delay. It was decided that the remaining time would be run continuously, without the scheduled lunch break. All 10 drivers who had begun the day quickly resumed their various programmes back on track.

There were no major improvements at the top of the timing screen as running resumed, although Perez did put in a new personal best time of 1’31.647. Soon after, he appeared to get in the way of Lewis Hamilton through the fast sweepers of turns six and seven, forcing the Mercedes driver to back out of his flying lap.

Bottas spent considerable time in the Sauber garage as the team worked on his C44. Perez climbed out of his car after three hours had passed but returned to the cockpit to continue. Meanwhile, at Haas, Magnussen was seen being handed a hammer in the cockpit of his car, presumably to carry out makeshift repairs to something inside it.

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As the fourth hour was completed, Sainz’s 1’31.247 remained the best time of the day, but significantly slower than his own best time of the test from Thursday. Perez was second quickest, two tenths slower than the Ferrari, with Hamilton a further half a second back in third.

Magnussen covered the furthest distance of the afternoon with 80 laps in his Haas, with Ricciardo putting in 70 laps in the RB. McLaren had the fewest laps over the opening four hours with 20.

2024 Formula 1 pre-season Bahrain test, Day three times after four hours:

Pos.Car numberDriverTeamModelBest timeGapLaps
155Carlos SainzFerrariSF-241’31.24762
211Sergio PerezRed BullRB201’31.4830.23650
344Lewis HamiltonMercedesW151’31.9990.75249
418Lance StrollAston MartinAMR241’32.0380.79146
54Lando NorrisMcLarenMCL381’32.1080.86120
623Alexander AlbonWilliamsFW461’32.5831.33634
720Kevin MagnussenHaasVF-241’33.0531.80680
831Esteban OconAlpineA5241’33.0791.83255
977Valtteri BottasSauberC441’33.5282.28128
103Daniel RicciardoRBRB011’37.0155.76870

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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3 comments on “Sainz quickest in disrupted start to final test day”

  1. Sainz “will take time” to decide future — during the next scheduled drain cover break, coming to your TV screens tomorrow

    1. A sad smirk from me. Could well happen, yeah.

    2. Don’t worry, Kevin will stop and hit it with his hammer.

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