The last practice session before the qualifying of the 2020 Bahrain GP has ended with Max Verstappen setting the fastest lap, with the time of 1.28.355. Closely behind him on second was Lewis Hamilton with 1.28.618 and Valtteri Bottas on 3rd with 1.28.721. The rest who completed the top 10 of the FP3 session were: Albon, Sainz, Gasly, Norris, Kvyat, Stroll and Perez.
Just before the FP3 began, we could observe clouds around the track. Although it was raining in the morning, the track has dried out and so far there is no indication of more rain. We could also see the car of Alex Albon still in parts in the garage. As a reminder, Albon had a pretty big crash during the FP2 on Friday that caused a red flag during the session. The driver was OK despite the big impact that demolished the car. He received a new chassis, but his power unit stayed intact.
The first two cars on the track were the Haas ones, both Magnussen and Grosjean went early on. After the initial out lap they went back to the garage. A driver that decided to explore the track afterwards was Raikkonen, and he was the first one to set a lap time during the session, with 1.31.247. Most of the drivers stayed away from going out in the beginning due to the track temperature being a little higher than expected.
We observed most of the drivers going onto the track around 20 minutes in the session. Antonio Giovinazzi set the time of 1.31.025. He was soon overtaken on the P1 by Lando Norris, who got pushed down by Albon and his time of 1.30.394. Afterwards Gasly set the best time, only for the spot to be overtaken by Perez. 35 minutes till the end of the session we had all of the cars on the track trying to set the best lap time.
Half an hour before the end of the session, the top ten was: Verstappen, Hamilton, Perez, Gasly, Ocon, Albon, Norris, Leclerc, Ricciardo and Bottas on P10. Every driver from the grid has set a lap time, with the P1 at that time owned by Verstappen and his time of 1.29.617.
The top part of the leaderboard has been comparable to the one from FP2 on Friday. Although Leclerc improved significantly from Friday, Vettel dropped down and 20 minutes till the end of the session Leclerc was 8th and Vettel 19th. Lance Stroll also dropped compared to FP2, from P8 then to P13 during that time of FP3.
Verstappen experienced some issues with his rear wing, that was unnaturally flapping when the DRS was deployed. He soon went back to the garage for his mechanics to try to fix that problem.
10 minutes before the end of the session it was the Mercedes who topped the classification, with Hamilton’s 1.28.618 and Bottas only +0.103 behind him. The top spot was quickly snatched by Verstappen, with the time of 1.28.355. Sainz and Norris were just behind the Red Bull and Mercedes cars at 4th and 5th. Soon after Albon was able to get 4th, and Gasly divided the McLaren drivers by getting 6th.
The entire FP3 session went smooth, with no crashes and no yellow flags.
The classification after the full hour of FP3: