Formula 1 got it’s final glimpse of daylight in Bahrain with their third practice session on Saturday. In comparison to the other two sessions, this was a very uneventful hour.
Raikkonen Tops Final Practice Session
Many cars stayed in the pits for the majority of the session, with nearly nobody coming close to getting 20 laps in. Mercedes saw itself lower down on the standings once again, with a Ferrari in Kimi Raikkonen and both Red Bull cars placing ahead of Lewis Hamilton. Hamilton put in 14 laps, but his real push for a fast lap was hindered due to traffic on the track.
Sebastian Vettel only clocked in 8 laps after having a barge board hung loose on the side of his car. Vettel headed to the pits for repair for the rest of the session. Vettel should not have much or any issues by the time qualifying rolls around.
A recurring theme during the session was trouble in the final turn. Many drivers, including Hamilton went very wide and off track on the final turn. Drivers were able to get back on the track, but it would roughly add an extra second to their lap time.
Williams continues to be the most silent team of the season, with both cars finishing dead last in the session. Two weeks ago in Australia the team had a rough outing, receiving barely any press. A worry heading into this week is that they will have that same issue once again.
The biggest story outside of the top three teams is Renault’s successful outing. Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz were able to place seventh and eighth, with Sainz having a 0.238s gap ahead of the ninth-placed Toro Rosso car.
Qualifying is in an hour or so, where we will find out what’s going to happen with the grid. Hamilton received a 5 place grid penalty yesterday for a gearbox change. We haven’t seen a proper qualifying lap from Bottas in Q3 yet this year, after his crash in Australia. The door surely is open for Ferrari or Red Bull to take pole and we will soon find out.
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