Testing Day Three: Perez on top in the morning session

Sergio Perez showed what he can do in the Red Bull as he topped the time sheets in the morning session on day three of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

There were much better conditions on the third and final day of testing in Bahrain having been hit by a sandstorm earlier in the weekend. Many teams took the opportunity to conduct further testing of their cars’ aerodynamics as well as long and short runs.

Charles Leclerc came out early on and set a very good lap time of 1:30.486 on C3 tyres, setting the bar for the rest of the session.

Sergio Perez showed good pace in his RB16B but had to contend with a leak which led to the nose of his car being taken off in the pits to be worked on. This did not seem to compromise him too much though as he later went on to set a purple sector three and put himself ahead of Leclerc and into first on the time sheet with a 1:30.187.

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McLaren has been performing well all weekend and Lando Norris continued this with some good runs to put him in third, just four-tenths of a second off Perez’s best time and securing a purple first sector too.

Pierre Gasly looked confident and comfortable in his AlphaTauri, finishing the session in fourth with 76 laps.

Alpine’s Esteban Ocon had a steady session, seeing it out in fifth. Mick Schumacher left the pits early in the session and continued his form of racking up his lap tally, banking 76 laps in this session and finishing sixth.

After admitting there were a couple of difficulties with the car earlier in testing, Valtteri Bottas was out straight away and ended up putting in 84 laps, perhaps to make up for the small distance that Mercedes have managed all weekend, partly due to a gearbox issue that needed fixing. Despite being on top in the previous session, Bottas ended this one in seventh.

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George Russell made his first outing of testing this morning to put in 77 laps and will continue his testing runs in the afternoon session.

Kimi Raikkonen put in the most laps of the session in the Alfa Romeo with 91, although he only managed ninth in the time sheets.

Lance Stroll had a very quiet day in the Aston Martin, finishing 10th having completed 80 laps.

All of the cars seemed to have issues with staying within the track limits – not too much of an issue during Testing – although it is something that all the drivers will need to reign in ahead of the first race weekend in two weeks’ time.