Raikkonen on top in final F1 practice

Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen

While Mercedes continued to sandbag, Kimi Raikkonen turned the fastest lap in final practice for the Bahrain GP Saturday afternoon. His time of 1m29.868s on the supersoft tires, was 1/2 second quicker than the two Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel rounded out the top-5 8/10ths of a second back, but neither driver was trying for a quick lap in the warm afternoon sun and Vettel was hampered by loose bodywork early in the hour, and then ended his session early complaining of “engine drivability" issues.

Toto Wolff was not worried about Ferrari's speed and said the high engine mode Ferrari were running skewed the ultimate performance.

“They [Ferrari] were in a pretty high-power mode when they were on the lap, so it isn’t so worrying, but it was a good lap and what we have seen in Melbourne and again here is that at various stages the teams are very close together, so I can’t really judge," he said.

“I think Ferrari and Red Bull could be a threat here – I might be sounding too pessimistic, but it depends on the form of the day: how you have been able to put the set-up together, how the driver has been able to do a good lap, then that can make a difference of two or three-tenths and that makes everything."

Vettel also played down Ferrari’s strong pace, suggesting the Prancing Horse had work to do ahead of qualifying and the race.

“It looked like we were a bit quicker than the rest but it depends a bit on the program," said the German. “At this point I wouldn’t draw any conclusions.

“We will focus on ourselves and the set up mostly to try and get a bit of a better feel, which at times was good and other times not yet there. There’s still some stuff to do."

Perhaps most interesting is the fact the two Hondas of Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley made Alonso the meat in their sandwich in 9th thru 11th. Gasly of course has the Honda engine Alonso said was so slow.

Practice 3 Results

Pos No Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.868 +0.000s 15
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer 1:30.393 +0.525s 8
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer 1:30.452 +0.584s 8
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.691 +0.823s 14
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:30.719 +0.851s 8
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:30.781 +0.913s 16
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:31.144 +1.276s 11
8 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:31.200 +1.332s 12
9 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:31.438 +1.570s 18
10 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:31.445 +1.577s 13
11 28 Brendon Hartley Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda 1:31.460 +1.592s 18
12 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:31.513 +1.645s 14
13 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:31.554 +1.686s 17
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:31.564 +1.696s 14
15 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:31.737 +1.869s 14
16 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:31.859 +1.991s 17
17 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:31.860 +1.992s 14
18 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:32.047 +2.179s 19
19 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:32.463 +2.595s 11
20 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:32.865 +2.997s 12

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