Charles Leclerc quickest as Ferrari's Bahrain GP dominance continues
Ferrari continued its dominance of Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix weekend as Charles Leclerc led an emphatic 1-2 during final practice.
Leclerc set a time of 1:29.569 on the Soft tyres to beat team-mate Sebastian Vettel by 0.169s, as Ferrari ensured it locked out the top two positions in all three sessions.
It came despite both Vettel and Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto playing down the pace advantage of the SF90 after Friday’s sessions.
Mercedes emerged third and fourth, but Lewis Hamilton was 0.765s behind Leclerc, with Valtteri Bottas – who drifted wide through the final corner – a further 0.055s back.
Red Bull had another subdued session as its struggles on the Soft tyres continued, leaving Max Verstappen eighth and Pierre Gasly 12th.
That assisted Haas’ Romain Grosjean in finishing an impressive fifth, in front of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and McLaren rookie Lando Norris.
Norris’ McLaren team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr., Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen – who racked up mileage after a disjointed Friday – split the Red Bull duo.
Kevin Magnussen was unable to match the pace of team-mate Grosjean and finished 13th, in front of Racing Point duo Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez, who sustained a puncture early in the session.
Daniel Ricciardo was a subdued 16th – 10 positions and seven-tenths of a second down on Hulkenberg – with Toro Rosso’s Alexander Albon and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi bringing up the rear of the midfield.
Williams again finished comfortably at the rear of the field as its struggles continued.
George Russell edged Robert Kubica by just under two-tenths of a second but they were over a second adrift of Giovinazzi’s best effort.
Saturday’s three-part qualifying session will begin at 18:00 local time
Bahrain - Practice 3
|8||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:30.959||1.390||10|
|10||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:31.173||1.604||17|
|11||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:31.333||1.764||21|
|12||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:31.392||1.823||13|
|14||Lance Stroll||Racing Point||1:31.618||2.049||16|
|15||Sergio Perez||Racing Point||1:31.638||2.069||9|
|17||Alexander Albon||Red Bull||1:31.679||2.110||17|
|18||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:32.132||2.563||21|