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Max Verstappen fastest during last F1 test day in Bahrain, Mercedes continues to struggle

Max Verstappen
Photo: Honda Racing F1

Max Verstappen set the fastest time during the last of three test days in Bahrain. The Dutchman even drove the fastest time of the three test days together on the last test day. Mercedes seems to continue to struggle. The Mercedes W12 seems to react very nervous at times, which in turn causes spins.

Setting the fastest time on the last test day at the Bahrain International Circuit must give Red Bull and Max Verstappen a particularly good feeling. At Red Bull, however, they realize better than anyone that a best time during the preliminary tests does not mean that you are also the fastest during the first race, let alone a full season.

At Mercedes, however, they seem to have the necessary homework prior to the first race. During test day 1 they had to deal with a gearbox problem, while test day 2 did not go completely smoothly. Lewis Hamilton seemed to gradually improve his lap times in the afternoon but out of nowhere Hamilton also spun in the last corner. It seems to indicate once again that the Mercedes W12 has a very ‘nervous’ rear end that can suddenly break out.

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz set the third fastest time on the last test day, with which Ferrari can also conclude the three-day F1 test with a good feeling. The new car, in combination with an improved engine, seems to perform a lot better than last year. Wait and see if we get confirmation of this during the first races of the season.

In any case, it remains difficult to estimate how the power relationships actually lie. After all, there are too many peripheral variables that can determine the lap times for that. The F1 teams will now thoroughly analyze all the data to make some improvements to their cars before the first race of the 2021 F1 season takes place in Bahrain on March 26.

Results test day 3 in Bahrain:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 64 1‘28.960

2 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 91 1’29.053 0.093

3 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 79 1‘29.611 0.651

4 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 166 1‘29.766 0.806

5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 54 1‘30.025 1.065

6 George Russell Williams 158 1‘30.117 1.157

7 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 76 1’30.144 1.184

8 Sergio Perez Red Bull 49 1’30.187 1.227

9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 78 1‘30.318 1.358

10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 80 1’30.486 1.526

11 Lando Norris McLaren 56 1’30.661 1.701

12 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 76 1‘30.828 1.868

13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 61 1‘31.310 2.350

14 Nikita Mazepin Haas 67 1‘31.531 2.571

15 Mick Schumacher Haas 78 1‘32.053 3.093

16 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 86 1’32.406 3.446

17 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 56 1‘35.041 6.081

18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 80 1‘36.100 7.140

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