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.
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|