Max Verstappen Quickest in FP3

Credit: Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing‘s Max Verstappen ended the third practice session in Bahrain on top by half a second to Lewis Hamilton preventing Sebastian Vettel‘s cleansweep of claiming the top spot.

The session was off to a quiet start with Carlos SainzRomain Grosjean and Vettel the first three drivers to head out on track, before being joined by Stoffel Vandoorne. Sainz, Vettel and Vandoorne returned to the pits immediately after completing their installation lap.

Force India‘s Esteban Ocon was the first driver to complete a flying lap, with a 1m34.415s on soft tyres.

Ocon’s team-mate Sergio Perez soon joined him on the timing sheets, lapping 0.4s slower than the former.

Sainz soon bettered the time of Ocon by raising the benchmark by two tenths to 1m34.219s on the super-softs.

At the halfway point of the session only Kimi Raikkonen was yet to head out for an installation lap.

It was a difficult session for Grosjean who was complaining over the radio about understeer.

Matters only got worse for the Frenchman as he spun exiting turn 4, hitting the barrier with the front of his Haas getting the frontwing jammed underneath.

The session was momentarily red flagged, just as Raikkonen had headed out to complete an installation lap.

With the session back under way the quartet of Mercedes AMG Petronas and Scuderia Ferrari drivers headed straight out to resume their programmes.

Vettel looked to be on a quick lap but it was compromised as a gust of wind forced him wide as he exited turn 7 but still went third despite the error.

The top spot soon turned into a battle of the Finns as Valtteri Bottas and Raikkonen fought it out for the quickest time, with the younger of the pair coming out on top.

This did not last for long though as Vettel got back into the rhythm and claimed the top spot by 0.004s over Bottas.

Verstappen took over the top spot from Vettel by going half a second quicker than the German.

Hamilton, who had spent much of the session off the pace moved up to second – a tenth behind the Dutchman.

2017 Bahrain Grand Prix – FP3 Results

133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing 1m32.134
244Lewis Hamilton GBRMercedes 1m32.304
35Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m32.750
477Valtteri Bottas FINMercedes 1m32.754
57Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m32.785
619Felipe MassaBRARenault1m32.801
73Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull Racing 1m32.809
827Nico HulkenbergGERRenault1m32.933
955Carlos SainzESPToro Rosso 1m33.604
1026Daniil Kvyat RUSToro Rosso 1m33.744
1111Sergio PerezMEXForce India1m33.916
1214Fernando Alonso ESPMcLaren1m33.922
1394Pascal WehrleinGERSauber1m33.947
1418Lance StrollCANWilliams1m33.965
152Stoffel VandoorneBELMcLaren1m34.027
1631Esteban OconFRAForce India1m34.064
1720Kevin Magnussen DANHaas1m34.198
188Romain GrosjeanFRAHaas1m34.205
199Marcus EricssonSWESauber1m34.268
2030Jolyon Palmer BELRenault1m34.417