Bahrain GP, FP3 | Ferrari on top again with Leclerc, is Mercedes hiding?
Ferrari is on top of the standings again, proving his domination on the Sakhir circuit. Will a red car be on top at the end of Q3 too, or is Mercedes just hiding?
The world seems to have turned in the right way again: after a full Mercedes domination in the world Down Under, the Ferraris are back in Bahrain with a full Friday domination.
The Prancing Horses led the standings both in FP1 and FP2, with good performances on the race pace simulation. The FP3 session is not relevant for the performance, as both Quali and Race will take place in different conditions, as the temperatures lowers in the night.
Therefore, Ferrari did most of the job yesterday, using an additional set of tyres compared to their opponents, focusing on starting simulations too.
Despite this, both Mercedes drives hit the track only after 20 minutes of action with Valtteri Bottas, who immediately places himself on top of the lap times chart, with 1.31.169s using the C3 Pirelli compound.
After 26 minutes, Max Verstappen is the only driver who is still in the garage. The Honda engine has done incredibly good in Australia, taking the first podium since its comeback in the circus, but the Sakhir track is completely different from Melbourne’s. Yesterday, the RB15 had some troubles in finding the performance with the C3 compound, but today with a new C3 set, Verstappen scores the fastest lap time after 30 minutes of action: 1.30.959s.
There are just 18 minutes left to end the FP3 session, when Charles Leclerc takes the best performance from Verstappen, wearing a brand new C3 set of tyres: 1.29.569s for him, just 7 tenths slower that his yesterday’s best time.
In the last five minutes mostly everyone goes out for the last Quali simulation, with several fastest time that shows how much Red Bull and Mercedes are hiding.
Will a red car be on top at the end of Q3? Are Mercedes and Red Bull hiding their real potential? We will find out this afternoon.
Here is the complete lap chart for the FP3 session.