The third day of Bahrein Testing has begun, approaching the end of the first testing session of 2021, with significantly better weather conditions. It started off with a tribute to beloved Grand Prix commentator Murray Walker, who passed away yesterday.
Most teams in this morning session tried their race pace, going for longer stints and switching between medium and hard tyres.
Sergio Perez pulled the best times of the session on his Red Bull, both with soft- which he tried for the first time- and medium tyres (1.30.309), ending the morning with a 1:30.187, fastest time of the tests so far. The Mexican driver’s car has completely recovered from his yesterday afternoon accident, where the engine cover was blown off while slipstreaming Latifi, but completed only 49 laps.
The first lap of the day was signed by Charles Leclerc with Ferrari, in 1.32.959. The Monegasque driver also was for the first hours of the session on top of the leader board with a 1.30.486 scored with a soft compound, and improved his time later on the hards, with a .299 delay off Perez and focused on completing more laps in the third and fourth hours, ending up with a total of 80 laps.
Lando Norris did his first morning session with McLaren and completes the podium with a 1.30.661 (C4). The British driver tested a modified, curved rear wing too, and, like Perez, completed less laps (56).
The driver who completed the most laps -91- was Kimi Raikkonen on his Alfa Romeo, doing a number of long runs and keeping up with the consistency shown so far by the Swiss racing team
Aston Martin didn’t struggle with engine issues as much as it happened in the previous days and Lance Stroll was able to complete laps, doing also long stint on soft tyres. He ended the morning with the slowest time, his bets lap, like Raikkonen’s, five seconds off the best time, but completing a solid 80 laps.
George Russell was the last driver competing in the 2021 season to try out his new Williams challenger, sitting out the previous sessions in favour of Nissany and his teammate Latifi. Like Stroll, he focused on race simulations without pulling fast laps and tried also a start, ending in p8.
Mercedes managed to put in 86 laps with Valtteri Bottas, showing more stability than in the previous days, but didn’t impress as the Finnish sits in p7, just above Russell.
Schumacher had an interesting morning too, sitting briefly at the top of the leaderboard in the first hour and putting in many laps with his Haas, ending the morning above Bottas.
AlphaTauri and Alpine kept showing a good pace, with Gasly getting p4 and Ocon p5.
Like in the previous sessions, a red flag was also tested in the last minutes of the session, just before the lunch break.