Max Verstappen set the fastest lap in this year’s pre-season testing for Red Bull in the second half of the third day while one of the stars of the day is debutant Yuki Tsunoda who was the second fastest in AlphaTauri.

In the last hour of testing, which is closest to the conditions that the teams will experience in the qualifying and race for the Bahrain GP in two weeks, Verstappen set the lap 1:28.960 on C4 Pirelli tyres, which is the fastest lap in this year’s testing.

Perez was the fastest in the morning part of the day, but his time was knocked down first by Verstappen and then by Tsunoda in AlphaTauri who was two tenths faster. He was replaced at the top by Raikkonen in Alfa Romeo on C5 tyre , but was soon knocked down by Verstappen on C3 tyres.

Tsunoda then once again took first place with a lap of 1:29.671 and improved his best time to 1:29.282 before Verstappen set the fastest lap of 1:28.960.

The Japanese debutant once again improved his time to 1:29.053, which was enough for him to finish second at the end of the day, thus concluding the tests in an impressive way before his first F1 season.

Sainz was third fastest for Ferrari with a lap of 1:29.611 on C4 tyres and Raikkonen finished fifth for Alfa Romeo with the most laps on the last day (166).

Hamilton again had trouble driving his Mercedes F1 W12 and spun in the last corner, but set a good enough lap on C5 tyres for fifth place.

2021 Verstappen Red Bull Bahrain F1 test Day 3 Photo Red Bull
Max Verstappen set the fastest time of pre-season testing for Red Bull (Photo: Red Bull)

His replacement at last year’s Sakhir GP Russell was the sixth fastest in an encouraging performance for the Williams team who finished last in the constructors’ standings in the last three seasons while Ricciardo finished his first pre-season test for McLaren in seventh place, 1.2 seconds behind fastest Verstappen.

Perez’s fastest time from the first part of the day was enough for eighth place at the end of the day and Alonso finished ninth fastest for Alpine ahead of Leclerc in a Ferrari.

Norris was 11th fastest thanks to his laptime set in the morning part of the day and Gasly finished 12th for AlphaTauri ahead of Ocon in Alpine.

Mazepin was half a second faster than Schumacher in 14th and 15th place for Haas while Bottas finished 16th with 86 laps for Mercedes.

Although Aston Martin drivers drove 136 laps in the new AMR21, they took the last two places while Vettel was again the victim of a reliability problem – this time he was stopped by a turbocharger problem on the Mercedes power unit that forced him to finish his day earlier than expected.

The first race of the new 2021 F1 season is scheduled for March 26 – 28.

DAY 3 RESULTS

1 Max Verstappen Red Bull RB16B 1:28.960 64 C4
2 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri AT02 1:29.053 91 C5
3 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari SF21 1:29.611 79 C4
4 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo C41 1:29.766 166 C5
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 W12 1:30.025 54 C5
6 George Russell Williams FW43B 1:30.117 158 C5
7 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren MCL35M 1:30.144 76 C4
8 Sergio Pérez Red Bull RB16B 1:30.187 49 C4
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine A521 1:30.318 78 C4
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1:30.486 80 C3
11 Lando Norris McLaren MCL35M 1:30.661 56 C3
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri AT02 1:30.828 76 C4
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine A521 1:31.310 61 C3
14 Nikita Mazepin Haas VF-21 1:31.531 67 C4
15 Mick Schumacher Haas VF-21 1:32.053 78 C3
16 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes F1 W12 E 1:32.406 86 C2
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin AMR21 1:35.041 56 C3
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin AMR21 1:36.100 80 C3
2021 Verstappen Red Bull Bahrain F1 test Day 3 press conference Photo Red Bull
Photo: Red Bull
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