Today was a scorching day in Bahrain, with temperatures up to 38 degree Celsius. However, they won’t be as representative for the quali nor for the race tomorrow: both of those kick off at 18:00 local time, moments after sunset.
This FP3 was the last chance for drivers switching teams to learn their new cars and better tune in with set ups and new Pirelli tyres.
Red Bull or Mercedes? Based on yesterday, the Bulls look to be the favourites for the first pole of the season. Max Verstappen finished on top both in the first and second free practice session, their car seems to have improved tons, especially in terms of stability.
Verstappen goes top again! The dutchman impresses with a mighty 1m 30.577s, which is over seven-tenths up on Hamilton. That RB16B looks a dream to drive in the corners too, Verstappen able to carry so much more speed.
Even team-mate Sergio Perez looks pretty settled-in with the new team and concludes P5, +1,331 seconds behind pole-sitter.
The seven-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton concludes in P2, but overall the team is not at their best form. Especially because Bottas has been struggling. "Undriveable," was the Finn's assessment of the W12 yesterday, certainly on the longer runs where he struggled for consistency.
AlphaTuari is a pleasant surprise so far. The young French talent, Pierre Gasly is showing some decent form, and closed with a very impressive third place on the sheets, squeezing himself right between the two Mercedes.
Charles Leclerc declared he was pleasantly surprised by their pace yesterday, and his new teammate the Spaniard Carlos Sainz also seemed more settled in the SF21, compared to pre-season tests. Indeed, he has concluded this last round of free-practice in a nice sixth position.
As for McLaren, Norris that yesterday surprised everyone finishing in the top-three during FP2, locked up on his soft tyres which wrecked his flying lap, while the Australian Daniel Ricciardo seemed to have focused more on perfecting his braking points. They wound up 16th and P10, respectively.
Two teams that have not shown much: Aston Martin and Alpine. Both looked solid in testing two weeks ago - albeit the former struggling for reliability - but so far this weekend, they haven't been able to find where their problems come from.
Looking at Aston Martin, they didn't show much in terms of pace yesterday. Today, both drivers have been out on the hard compounds and as such, are way down the leaderboard.
Williams and Haas are still struggling at the end of the grid, with the rookies Schumacher and Mazepin wrapping up the practice session in P18 ad P19, respectively.
The other rookie, Japanese Yuki Tsunoda, on the other hand, delivered pretty good laps throughout all the sessions and concluded today in P13, just in front of Sebastian Vettel.