Bahrain GP: Raikkonen leads Red Bull drivers in FP3

Kimi Raikkonen's strong form ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying continued as the Ferrari driver set the pace again in Saturday practice.

Bahrain GP: Raikkonen leads Red Bull drivers in FP3
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team VF-18
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB14
Brendon Hartley, Scuderia Toro Rosso STR13 and Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11
Charles Leclerc, Sauber C37
Esteban Ocon, Force India VJM11
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG F1 W09 EQ Power+
Ferrari SF71H sidepods detail
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL33
Marcus Ericsson, Sauber C37

Raikkonen, who was quickest on Friday, enjoyed an advantage of almost half a second in FP3 as his rivals failed to produce representative laptimes.

Teams were hesitant to hit the track given qualifying and Sunday's race will be held in different conditions, and it took 20 minutes for Carlos Sainz to end the wait for a laptime.

Sainz's 1m33.893s was never going to be a benchmark that stood for long, and Valtteri Bottas's supersoft-shod Mercedes quickly displaced the Renault with a 1m30.781s.

Lewis Hamilton could not better his teammate's time and lapped just under two tenths slower, allowing Red Bull's Max Verstappen to nip between the two Mercedes on soft tyres just after the half-hour mark.

Ferrari came to the fore with 20 minutes of the session remaining.

Sebastian Vettel was first to strike, emerging from the pits after repair work to fix the right-hand side bargeboard's lower fixing, which he had broken on a kerb.

The four-time champion used supersofts to edge just ahead of Bottas on a 1m30.719s, but with yesterday's best times being in the 1m29s there always looked like room for improvement.

Raikkonen did not take long to deliver on that, setting the best time in all three sectors to end up on a 1m29.868s.

His effort was marginally slower than his Friday benchmark but enough to put him well clear as the rest of the order was only settled in the final minutes.

Track temperature fell from 40C to 36C by the end of the session, which is when most of the field posted their best times.

Hamilton looked to have shaded Vettel and Bottas for best-of-the rest honours, despite running very wide exiting the final corner, but Verstappen snatched second in the final five minutes.

Verstappen then almost collided with Raikkonen at Turn 1 when the Finn emerged from the pitlane just after Verstappen had completed his flying lap.

Daniel Ricciardo replicated his teammate's late charge by lapping 0.06s slower moments later, which bumped Hamilton – whose five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change has been confirmed – to fourth.

Vettel and Bottas did not return to the track after setting their respective bests, but the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Sainz left it late to claim seventh and eighth.

Pierre Gasly continued Toro Rosso-Honda's strong weekend with the ninth-best time, ahead of Fernando Alonso's McLaren.

ClaDriverChassisEngineLapsTimeGap
1 finland Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 15 1'29.868  
2 netherlands Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 8 1'30.393 0.525
3 australia Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 8 1'30.452 0.584
4 united_kingdom Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 14 1'30.691 0.823
5 germany Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 8 1'30.719 0.851
6 finland Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 16 1'30.781 0.913
7 germany Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 11 1'31.144 1.276
8 spain Carlos Sainz  Renault Renault 12 1'31.200 1.332
9 france Pierre Gasly  Toro Rosso Honda 18 1'31.438 1.570
10 spain Fernando Alonso  McLaren Renault 13 1'31.445 1.577
11 new_zealand Brendon Hartley  Toro Rosso Honda 18 1'31.460 1.592
12 france Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 14 1'31.513 1.645
13 france Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 17 1'31.554 1.686
14 mexico Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 14 1'31.564 1.696
15 denmark Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 14 1'31.737 1.869
16 sweden Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 17 1'31.859 1.991
17 belgium Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Renault 14 1'31.860 1.992
18 monaco Charles Leclerc  Sauber Ferrari 19 1'32.047 2.179
19 russia Sergey Sirotkin  Williams Mercedes 11 1'32.463 2.595
20 canada Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 12 1'32.865 2.997
shares
comments
Why Ferrari isn't the team Mercedes should fear in Bahrain
Previous article

Why Ferrari isn't the team Mercedes should fear in Bahrain

Next article

Bahrain GP: Vettel leads Ferrari front row lock-out

Bahrain GP: Vettel leads Ferrari front row lock-out
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021