Raikkonen Continues to Set Pace in Bahrain


After taking top spot in Friday’s second practice session, Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen doubled up with the fastest time in final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Finn, who escaped sanction for an unsafe release on FP2, set a supersoft-shod lap of 1:29.868 with around 20 minutes remaining in the session. The time was good and the Finn might have expected it to be challenged but in the end only Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo got anywhere close, with the Dutchman finishing 0.525s behind the Finn and Ricciardo six hundredths of a second further back.

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took fourth spot with a time of 1:30.691. The Briton, who was hit with a five-place grid penalty overnight for a gearbox change, went wide on his quick lap and finished 0.823s behind Räikkönen.
The Finn’s team-mate, Sebastian Vettel, was the first onto supersofts after a long spell in the garage to fix loose bodywork damaged by a kerb early in the session, but the Ausralian Grand prix winner could only manage a time of 1:30.719 that left him in fifth place when the chequered fell. Valtteri Bottas finished in sixth place and was the last man within a second of Räikkönen’s P1 time.

Best of the rest were the Renaults of Nico Hulkenberg and Carlos Sainz who took seventh and eighth respectively. Hulkenberg ended the session 1.276s off the pace, with Sainz five hundredths of a second behind his team-mate.

Pierre Gasly again impressed for Toro Rosso, finishing two tenths of a second behind Sainz. The Frenchman finished just seven thousandths of a second ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and two hundredths ahead of Toro Rosso team-mate Brendon Hartley.

2018 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 15 1:29.868
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 8 1:30.393 0.525
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 8 1:30.452 0.584
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 14 1:30.691 0.823
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 8 1:30.719 0.851
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 16 1:30.781 0.913
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 11 1:31.144 1.276
8 Carlos Sainz Renault 12 1:31.200 1.332
9 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 18 1:31.438 1.570
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 13 1:31.445 1.577
11 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 18 1:31.460 1.592
12 Romain Grosjean Haas 14 1:31.513 1.645
13 Esteban Ocon Force India 17 1:31.554 1.686
14 Sergio Perez Force India 14 1:31.564 1.696
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas 14 1:31.737 1.869
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 17 1:31.859 1.991
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 14 1:31.860 1.992
18 Charles Leclerc Sauber 19 1:32.047 2.179
19 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 11 1:32.463 2.595
20 Lance Stroll Williams 12 1:32.865 2.997

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