Bahrain GP: Leclerc completes Ferrari practice domination in FP3

Ferrari set a scorching pace in final free practice for Formula 1's Bahrain Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc leading Sebastian Vettel in a Scuderia one-two, seven tenths clear of Mercedes

Bahrain GP: Leclerc completes Ferrari practice domination in FP3

Ferrari did its soft-tyre qualifying simulation runs earlier than its main rivals and, having been gradually shuffled back after initially leading the way, Leclerc and Vettel rose back to the top of the timesheet by setting the only laps of the session below 1m30s.

Leclerc's 1m29.569s effort was the best of the session, leaving him 0.169 seconds clear of Vettel.

Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas both made last-ditch efforts to displace the red cars, but Bottas ran wide at the final corner and ended up fourth, eight tenths down on Leclerc, while Hamilton was only slightly faster, finishing up on a 1m30.334s best, 0.765s off top spot.

Max Verstappen led the way after the initial running, being the first driver in the session to dip below 1m31s, but the Red Bull-Honda finished FP3 only eighth fastest, 1.390s off the pace, after failing to improve on his final run.

Red Bull struggled to switch the soft tyres on for flying laps in FP2 and Verstappen's team-mate Pierre Gasly struggled for speed again in FP3, ending up only 12th.

Late improvements from Romain Grosjean's Haas, Nico Hulkenberg's Renault and the McLaren of Lando Norris, who only made one run on soft tyres, vaulted them ahead of Verstappen and into the gap behind Ferrari and Mercedes.

The second McLaren of Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat's Toro Rosso, which briefly topped the times early on, rounded out the top 10, just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo-Ferrari.

Daniel Ricciardo has admitted lacking confidence in his Renault and he again struggled, ending up only 16th fastest, more than seven tenths down on team-mate Hulkenberg and behind the Haas of Kevin Magnussen and Racing Point pair Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez.

Williams again brought up the rear of the field, nearly 1.3s behind the 18th placed Alfa of Antonio Giovinazzi, but Robert Kubica improved to finish this session just 0.138s behind team-mate George Russell.

FP3 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m29.569s - 15
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m29.738s 0.169s 16
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m30.334s 0.765s 10
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m30.389s 0.820s 12
5 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m30.818s 1.249s 14
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m30.910s 1.341s 12
7 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m30.955s 1.386s 15
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1m30.959s 1.390s 10
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren/Renault 1m30.965s 1.396s 14
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1m31.173s 1.604s 17
11 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m31.333s 1.764s 21
12 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1m31.392s 1.823s 13
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m31.540s 1.971s 13
14 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1m31.618s 2.049s 16
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point/Mercedes 1m31.638s 2.069s 9
16 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1m31.643s 2.074s 11
17 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1m31.679s 2.110s 17
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1m32.132s 2.563s 21
19 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1m33.387s 3.818s 14
20 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m33.525s 3.956s 13


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