L&T Motorsport

Verstappen surprises to set pace in FP3

Max Verstappen was quickest in final practice as Red Bull surprised the field at Bahrain.

Verstappen’s lap of a 1:32.194 was enough to see him finish just over a tenth clear of Lewis Hamilton, who finally set a representative lap time after Friday struggles. Ferrari, who set the Friday pace, faltered slightly, with Vettel half a second off in 3rd, Raikkonen 6 tenths off in 5th place.

This surprising turn of pace from Red Bull could be down to multiple things. The temperatures are expected to drop for qualifying, which is sure to play into the hands of Mercedes and Ferrari.

The session started off slowly, most drivers completing just instillation laps. Sainz, Ocon and Perez led the session in the early stages. Hulkenburg impressed on the soft tyres, while Bottas ran wide off track when about to go quickest.

With around 20 minutes left, Grosjean crashed into the wall, bringing out a red flag. The Haas man clearly not comfortable with his car this weekend.

Into the final few minutes of the session, the qualifying sim surge occurred. Verstappen stunned by setting the pace, and Hamilton could not match him, losing just over a tenth in the final sector when quickest in the first 2. Vettel was unable to improve on an earlier time, while Bottas failed to put in a good lap.

Ricciardo, setting just 1 lap today, was 7th, with the ever-impressive Hulkenburg 8th, 12 places and 1.5 seconds ahead of teammate Palmer. Alonso continued his good work in 12th, Wehrlein doing a superb job in his 1st FP3 outing of the season finishing 13th.

RESULT:

  1. Verstappen 1:32.194
  2. Hamilton +0.110
  3. Vettel +0.556
  4. Bottas +0.560
  5. Raikkonen +0.591
  6. Massa +0.607
  7. Ricciardo +0.615
  8. Hulkenburg +0.739
  9. Sainz +1.410
  10. Kvyat +1.550
  11. Perez +1.722
  12. Alonso +1.728
  13. Wehrlein +1.753
  14. Stroll +1.771
  15. Vandoorne +1.833
  16. Ocon +1.870
  17. Magnussen +2.004
  18. Grosjean +2.011
  19. Ericsson +2.074
  20. Palmer +2.223

Featured Image: https://racingnews365.nl/red-bull-stoomt-max-verstappen-klaar-voor-wereldtitel-in-2017/

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