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Max third in Bahrain FP3

Published on 01 March 2024 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen was third quickest in the final practice session of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Carlos Sainz lapped the Bahrain International Circuit fastest in his Ferrari ahead of compatriot Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin. Max’s best effort was two tenths shy of Sainz's top time. Max's Oracle Red Bull Racing colleague Sergio Perez was eight quickest.

In the opening stages of FP3, it remains quiet with only a handful of drivers venturing out on track in the first quarter of the session. Twenty minutes in, Max makes his first appearance. The Dutchman does so on the hard Pirelli compound.

Meanwhile, Alonso is the early pace setter, and at the halfway mark, the Spaniard leads Mercedes’ George Russell and the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. Up until that moment, Red Bull are the only team to have not clocked a time on the soft Pirellis.

With twenty minutes to go, both Perez and Max bolt on the red side-walled tyres for an attempt on the grippiest compound. Perez sets two purple sectors and goes to the top of the standings on his first run, but is soon usurped by Max.

In the closing stages, the McLarens have also made it to the front of the picking order with both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri entering the tip five. The former hangs on to fifth when Alonso, Sainz, Max and Leclerc have all set their best times of the session, meaning four different teams are represented in the top five after the flag drops on FP3.

Contest GP Bahrain: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!

Results third free practice Bahrain:

1Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:30.824 18
2Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:30.965+0.141s18
3Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:31.062+0.238s16
4Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:31.094+0.270s17
5Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:31.118+0.294s12
6George RussellRUSMercedes1:31.190+0.366s12
7Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:31.210+0.386s13
8Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:31.248+0.424s17
9Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:31.278+0.454s13
10Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:31.396+0.572s17
11Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:31.449+0.625s13
12Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:31.452+0.628s20
13Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:31.631+0.807s14
14Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:31.671+0.847s20
15Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:31.965+1.141s17
16Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:32.000+1.176s17
17Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:32.096+1.272s16
18Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:32.124+1.300s11
19Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:32.125+1.301s16
20Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:32.382+1.558s14