Max Verstappen maintained a perfect performance in this year’s free practice sessions and set a convincingly fastest lap in the third free practice for the Bahrain GP, ​​with Pierre Gasly splitting the Mercedes drivers in third place for AlphaTauri.

The third free practice started in very hot conditions with an air temperature of 38 degrees and a track temperature of 47 degrees, as opposed to the evening conditions that drivers will experience in qualifying and the race where the track temperature will be 10-15 degrees lower.

Bottas was the first to set the lap time on soft Pirelli tyres, but his time 1:33.4 was deleted due to a wide exit from the Turn 4. Sainz temporarily took over the top on hard tyres before Hamilton drove his first lap on soft tyres 1:32.9.

Sainz set one second slower time than Hamilton on hards, but then Perez came out on the track in his Red Bull, also on the hardest component available C2, and set the second fastest time, eight tenths behind Hamilton.

Verstappen drove the best second sector on hard tyres and took the lead from Hamilton with a three-tenths advantage with a lap of 1:32.6 and Norris set the third best time for McLaren on the softs.

After half time has elapsed, Gasly set the second best time for AlphaTauri on the softs and seven minutes later he took first place with a lap 1:32.2, three tenths ahead of Verstappen.

Sainz set the best time for Ferrari on medium tyres (1:32.1), but his time was first knocked down by Bottas (1:31.8) and then by Hamilton who drove the three fastest sectors for a half-second advantage over his teammate, both using soft tyres.

Red Bull drivers spent almost the entire training on hard tyres, unlike Mercedes which used only softs, and Verstappen and Perez came out on soft tyres just ten minutes before the end.

2021 Bahrain GP Verstappen Red Bull RB16B hard C2 Pirelli FP3 Photo Red Bull Edited by MAXF1net
Max Verstappen, Red Bull RB16B (Photo: Red Bull)

Perez set the third fastest time with the best third sector, five hundredths behind Bottas, and Verstappen convincingly knocked down Hamilton’s best time with a lap of 1:30.577, seven tenths ahead of Hamilton.

Gasly was third for AlphaTauri with one second slower lap than Verstappen while Bottas was fourth for Mercedes with a big gap behind his teammate.

Perez finished fifth for Red Bull ahead of Sainz on the medium who was again a faster Ferrari driver, and Raikkonen in Alfa Romeo and Ocon in Alpine surprised with seventh and eighth fastest times.

Stroll was again faster than Vettel in ninth place for Aston Martin and Ricciardo was a better placed McLaren driver in tenth place.

Leclerc was four tenths slower than Sainz in 11th place, also on medium tyres, ahead of Giovinazzi in Alfa Romeo and Tsunoda in AlphaTauri who made a mistake in the last fast lap while Vettel was only 14th for Aston Martin, three tenths behind Stroll .

Alonso was again slower than Ocon and finished 15th ahead of Norris in McLaren who did not drive a good fast lap on the soft, and the last four places were taken by drivers Haas and Williams.

The first qualifying session of the new F1 season start at 18:00 (local time).

2021 BAHRAIN GP FP3 RESULTS

1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:30.577 11
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.316 0.739 14
3 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Honda 1:31.583 1.006 13
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.855 1.278 16
5 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull/Honda 1:31.908 1.331 11
6 55 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 1:32.108 1.531 16
7 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:32.224 1.647 15
8 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1:32.423 1.846 11
9 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:32.431 1.854 13
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 1:32.477 1.900 12
11 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:32.482 1.905 17
12 99 A.Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:32.500 1.923 11
13 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Honda 1:32.709 2.132 15
14 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 1:32.755 2.178 15
15 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 1:32.820 2.243 15
16 4 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1:32.860 2.283 10
17 63 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:33.323 2.746 14
18 47 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 1:33.422 2.845 14
19 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas/Ferrari 1:33.622 3.045 14
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 1:33.959 3.382 16

2021 BAHRAIN GP TIMETABLE

1st free practice Fri 14:30
2nd free practice Fri 18:00
3rd free practice Sat 15:00
Qualifying Sat 18:00
Race Sun 18:10
All times are track times for that location. You can switch to your timezone () below. Time on trackYour local time
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