Leclerc leads emphatic Ferrari 1-2 in Bahrain final practice – FP3 Report

Bahrain Grand Prix – Ferrari have enjoyed a dominant 1-2 in final practice ahead of qualifying at Sakhir International Circuit.

Click here for the complete results from FP3.

Charles Leclerc has led Ferrari’s statement of intent ahead of qualifying, as they finished P1 & P2 and well clear of the two Mercedes drivers. The Monegasque driver put in a 1:29.569 on a fresh set of Soft tyres halfway through FP3, just a tenth clear of Sebastian Vettel’s slightly scruffier lap. Mercedes left it far later than Ferrari to strap on a like-for-like set of Soft tyres and came back out in the final five minutes to put in their response.

Lewis Hamiton did a 1:30.337 to finish 0.765 behind the Ferraris, with Valtteri Bottas doing a time just 0.055 slower than the reigning Champion to finish P4 in the second Mercedes.

Curiously, it wasn’t Red Bull up next in the pecking order. Romain Grosjean finished P5 for Haas and was just 0.4 seconds off the pace of Valtteri Bottas, as the American team seemed to have overcome their tyre overheating issues from Friday. Nico Hulkenberg was a consistent sight at the top of the timesheets as he finished P6 for Renault and a further tenth behind Grosjean.

McLaren, too, seem to have some pace at Sakhir. Lando Norris popped in a 1:30.955 to go P7 on his qualifying sim run while Carlos Sainz underlined the British team’s potential by finishing P9. They were split by the lead Red Bull of Max Verstappen. Daniil Kvyat continued his decent start to 2019 by finishing the session in P10 for Toro Rosso, the same position he finished in the race in Australia.

Alfa Romeo, having missed most of FP2 with water leaks on their C38s, made up for lost time by getting out nice and early with Kimi Raikkonen in P11 and ahead of the second Red Bull of Pierre Gasly.

Kevin Magnussen was P13 in the second Haas, with Lance Stroll P14 for Racing Point and just 0.020 clear of his teammate Sergio Perez. Daniel Ricciardo was again well off the pace of his teammate as he finished P16 in the second Renault, 0.7 down on Hulkenberg. while Alex Albon was P17 for Toro Rosso.

Antonio Giovinazzi was P18 in the second Alfa, ahead of the two Williams drivers of George Russell and Robert Kubica. The Polish driver seemed to find pace in FP3, having languished over a second behind Russell throughout Friday’s sessions. Kubica finished just over a tenth off Russell’s best time.

Breaking news. Developing report.

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Thomas Maher

Co-owner, Chief Editor and a journalist for - Ireland's only accredited F1 & Formula E website.

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