Sports

On form Kimi Raikkonen heads Max Verstappen in Bahrain FP3

On form Kimi Raikkonen heads Max Verstappen in Bahrain FP3

Verstappen then ran out of sync with the other drivers - doing more laps at the start of the session to get a feel for the vehicle, which meant the track would have been in better condition for him when he did his fast lap later in the session than others. "The goal is damage limitation". The desert track's warmer temperatures and longer straights most likely played to the Scuderia's strength, but that should take nothing away from Vettel, who beat teammate Kimi Raikkonen to pole position by 0.143s.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull while his teammate Max Verstappen crashed in the opening part of qualifying, losing the auto under acceleration out of the tight second corner.

Then there's just how far Hamilton can get back up using his alternative tyre strategy and starting on a tyre which has looked the best of the three available over the weekend.

Hamilton came to Bahrain knowing he was in for a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, so he needed to be on his game - with a flawless auto - to minimise the damage and give himself the best chance in the race.

When asked about why he was confident that Ferrari was using high power modes, he said: "It's quite fantastic".

Ricciardo's teammate, Max Verstappen, however, was only 15th after clumsily crashing in Q1.

It appeared as if a wheel might not have been attached properly at a pit stop - he had just stopped for a new set and the mechanics were waving as he left the pits. He spun his auto after pushing too hard early on in Melbourne and finished sixth.

Such support came as no surprise given their performances on the track, Williams finding it particularly hard as Lance Stroll and Sergey Sirotkin finished FP2 17th and 18th respectively.

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At a circuit that is primed for overtaking, he'll have enough to make up ground on some of the drivers ahead of him.

McLaren endured a disappointing qualifying with neither Fernando Alonso nor Stoffel Vandoorne making it through to the final top-10.

"Our qualifying performance was worse than we expected", Alonso said.

"The vehicle felt okay, but we need to find some more pace especially on a single lap".

The Woking-based team had hoped that ditching Honda engines and switching to Renault power would boost their results and help them challenge for podiums.

But Gasly caught many off guard on Saturday by going sixth fastest in qualifying for Toro Rosso, meaning he will start fifth in Sunday's race.

Earlier, Hamilton expressed his annoyance over team radio when pitting after P3, saying spectators got too close to his vehicle.

"Who were those people on the left-hand side?" "I was coming in at some speed, I could have killed them".


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