Max Verstappen appeared at the top of the Bahrain Grand Prix.© AFP
World champion Max Verstappen recorded the fastest lap in the third and final training session on Saturday at the season -opening Bahrain Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton more than half a second behind in sixth place. Verstappen’s time of 1 minute 32.544 seconds was 0.096 seconds faster than Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari, while Sergio Perez finished third in Red Bull’s second before qualifying at 1500 GMT. The Mercedes duo of George Russell and Hamilton finished fourth and sixth respectively, with Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz among them.
Unlike other top runners, Hamilton did not retreat for a second run late in the session because Mercedes looked more competitive than they faced on Friday.
Kevin Magnussen, returning to Haas after replacing Russian driver Nikita Mazepin, finished seventh ahead of Alfa Romeo pairing Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu, China’s first Formula One driver.
The Lance Stroll completes the top 10 in his Aston Martin.
Sunday’s Grand Prix was the first of a revised 22 -race calendar, cut from 23 events following the cancellation of the Russian Grand Prix.
The sport’s most widespread technical rule changes in 40 years, featuring new race management and all -new cars designed to create a closer race, may come as some surprises this season.
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