Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen leap ahead of Mercedes after topping the final practice session at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Vettel takes the fastest time by 4/100th’s to Raikkonen as the prancing horse pounces to top the table. Mercedes had seen their drivers lead the session by a slender margin, before the red rocket roared ahead.
As the temperatures at the Bahrain International Circuit increased, the pace available to Sebastian and Kimi appeared to rise with it. As come the flag, Vettel’s 1:31.683 was enough to see him top the timesheet under the desert sun.
The best placed Mercedes driver of Nico Rosberg was looking to make it three from three in Bahrain but his supersoft flyer was only enough to take third place, four tenths down on his fellow German.
Once again, it was the final sector hindering Lewis’ times as the Brit and reigning champion often set purple sectors in one and two before dropping tenths in the final sector. During the early soft compound runs, Hamilton was however able to identically match Nico’s time.
In FP2, Button surprised many by putting his McLaren in the top three at the end of the day. Whereas his FP3 best was only enough for 13th place. Just four hundredths up on debutante Stoffel Vandoorne despite the Belgian suffering an oil leak which hampered his session.
Max Verstappen at Toro Rosso also had a reliability stricken session after suffering engine issues early on. One key issue for the youngster was battery recharge not up to standards.
In the other car, Carlos Sainz found himself running flat as he reported a puncture with twenty minutes to go. Likewise, Jolyon Palmer in the Renault found himself limping home after puncturing his rear-left tyre at turn 10 once the flag had fallen.
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