Max Verstappen takes lead for Red Bull in Bahrain GP third practice

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Max Verstappen 0.2 s faster than Lewis Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas third at Mercedes; Alex Albon comes back from 0.6s in another leading midfielder of Red Bull, McLaren and AlphaTauri; Watch qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 at 2 p.m.

Last updated: 28/11/20 13:01 pm

Max Verstappen looks set to face Mercedes in Bahrain GP qualifying after impressively setting the tone in Saturday’s final practice ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

The Red Bull star had followed Hamilton in both sessions on Friday, but had passed his laps on soft tires in P3, with his 1: 28.355 0.263s faster than the 2020 Drivers’ Champion and another tenth of a second ahead. on Valtteri Bottas.

Verstappen, who completed two simulated qualifying laps with little fuel, was also faster than the two Mercedes after the opening efforts. Hamilton, meanwhile, appeared to have a steering problem at the end of the hour.

Although the final practice took place in conditions which were not very representative for qualifying and the race – under the sun compared to the spotlights – Verstappen’s pace gave hope for a battle for pole, with qualifying from 2 p.m., live on Sky Sports F1.

“To be two or three tenths ahead of Mercedes is a very impressive effort from Max Verstappen,” said Karun Chandhok of Sky F1.

“And Bottas seems to be back in the game.”

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Max Verstappen was the fastest in P3 before qualifying for the Bahrain GP, ​​Lewis Hamilton was second while Valtteri Bottas was third.

Max Verstappen was the fastest in P3 before qualifying for the Bahrain GP, ​​Lewis Hamilton was second while Valtteri Bottas was third.

Mercedes ended up in a Red Bull sandwich, although Alex Albon, who suffered a serious accident on Friday and then changed chassis, was somewhat out of step in fourth, 0.6 seconds slower than his teammate.

McLaren and AlphaTauri led a competitive midfielder, with Carlos Sainz, Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris occupying positions five to eight, Racing Point rounding out the top 10 ahead of the Renaults.

Ferrari struggled to join this battle this weekend and Sebastian Vettel was their 13th lead car in the third practice session, with Charles Leclerc three tenths and two places further back.

Alfa Romeo and George Russell appear to be leading the fight for a place in Q2 once the shootout begins.

Bahrain GP timesheet

Chauffeur Team Time
1) Max Verstappen Red Bull 1: 28,355
2) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0,263
3) Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0,366
4) Alexandre Albon Red Bull +0,663
5) Carlos Sainz McLaren +1.100
6) Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1,117
7) Lando Norris McLaren +1,212
8) Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +1,230
9) spear walk Race point +1,305
10) Sergio Perez Race point +1,317
11) Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1,329
12) Esteban Ocon Renault +1,336
13) Sébastien Vettel Ferrari +1,504
14) Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +1,615
15) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1,828
16) George Russell Williams +2,204
17) Romain Grosjean Haas +2,297
18) Kevin Magnussen Haas +2,404
19) Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +2,468
20) Nicolas Latifi Williams +2,562

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