F1 Testing 2021 Day 3 (updated): Red Bull and Verstappen end testing fastest


Verstappen put Red Bull top of the F1 pile at the end of testing as Mercedes lagged behind

Max Verstappen, 2021 Bahrain testing

Verstappen ended quickest of all in Bahrain

Antonin Vincent / DPPI

Red Bull and Max Verstappen ended Formula 1 testing fastest of all as the Dutchman dipped into the 1min 28s, over a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.

After team-mate Sergio Perez topped the morning session, the RB16B looked the best car of them all on track in Bahrain.

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Morning session

On a traction-limited track, Perez showed off his Pirelli preservation prowess in the morning, getting the most from his rear tyres.

After enduring a difficult first two days with a stop on track for the Charles Leclerc and a spin yesterday for team-mate Carlos Sainz, Sunday was much more assured for the Ferrari. The Monegasque came in second with 1min 30.486sec.

Lando Norris rounded out the top 3, completing his final half-day before handing over to McLaren stablemate Daniel Ricciardo with a 1min 30.661sec.

Perez fitted the C4 tyres before the end of the morning running, putting up a 1min 30.1sec to put Red Bull top of the times heading into the final afternoon of running as all teams got decent mileage in.

Afternoon session

While the sun was out, long runs were the focus but as the track temperatures fell and the sun set, teams started to peel back the curtain on their pace.

Mercedes emerged from the lunch break an hour behind the rest again, losing further vital track time though no apparent issue kept Lewis Hamilton in the garage.

Vettel was another driver stuck in the garage again with problems. Though the team had been working on the car, screens went up with over an hour left of testing. It’s the second day in a row his running has been impacted.

Carlos Sainz’s running was impacted with just over an hour to go. The Spaniard suffered a hydraulic issue that left him stuck in fourth gear and only able to reemerge with half an hour to go.

Räikkönen was the busiest man on the final day, racking up plenty of mileage for Alfa Romeo. A run on the C5 tyres briefly put him top before Yuki Tsunoda began to turn it up. The two traded fastest lap until the Dutchman fitted the C4 tyres to get into the 1min 28s for the first time.

Verstappen had been fastest until the Japanese rookie put in a 1min 26.671sec to pip the Red Bull in front.

Hamilton’s first lap on C5s ended up being 0.7sec down on Tsunoda and behind Verstappen’s C3 time. A second run on a fresh set was ruined before it started, with a spin entering the lap at the final corner on cold tyres. His best time ended up over a second off of the Red Bull time despite the tyre compound differential.


F1 testing day 3 – morning session

Position Driver Team Time Laps Tyres
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1min 28.960sec 63 C4
2 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1min 29.053sec 89 C5
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1min 29.611sec 77 C4
4 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1min 29.766sec 163 C5
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1min 30.025sec 54 C5
6 George Russell Williams 1min 30.117sec 156 C5
7 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1min 30.144sec 74 C4
8 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1min 30.187sec 49 C4
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1min 30.318sec 75 C4
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1min 30.486sec 80 C3
11 Lando Norris McLaren 1min 30.661sec 56 C3
12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1min 30.828sec 76 C4
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1min 31.310sec 61 C3
14 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1min 31.531sec 66 C4
15 Mick Schumacher Haas 1min 32.053sec 78 C3
16 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1min 32.406sec 86 C2
17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1min 35.041 56 C3
18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1min 36.100sec 80 C3


2021 testing driver schedule: Sunday

Teams are running a single car, with most splitting the first day between team-mates. However, some drivers will spend full day in the car, including Williams test driver George Russell.

Below is the schedule for Sunday.

Team Morning session Afternoon session
Mercedes Valtteri Bottas Lewis Hamilton
Red Bull Sergio Perez Max Verstappen
McLaren Lando Norris Daniel Ricciardo
Aston Martin Lance Stroll Sebastian Vettel
Alpine Esteban Ocon Fernando Alonso
Ferrari Charles Leclerc Carlos Sainz
AlphaTauri Pierre Gasly Yuki Tsunoda
Alfa Romeo Kimi Räikkönen Kimi Räikkönen
Haas Mick Schumacher Nikita Mazepin
Williams George Russell George Russell

What time does testing start?

Sunday testing starts at 10am Bahrain time, 7am GMT, which is the same each day this weekend. It’s split into two sessions: the morning session runs for four hours until 2pm, 11am GMT.

After a break, the afternoon session starts at 3pm, 12pm GMT, which lasts for a further four hours.

Bahrain time zone

Local time in Bahrain is three hours ahead of GMT, so sessions start mid-morning local time and the testing day runs into the evening, ending at 7pm