Max Verstappen
BAHRAIN, BAHRAIN - MARCH 12: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during Day One of F1 Testing at Bahrain International Circuit on March 12, 2021 in Bahrain, Bahrain. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202103121146 // Usage for editorial use only //

It’s Max Verstappen who ends 2021 F1 testing atop the timing sheets, with Mercedes still unconvincing out on track.

The Red Bull driver continued his strong form throughout the weekend, setting a 1:28.960 lap time towards the end of the session.

However, the standout of the day was rookie Yuki Tsunoda, who briefly topped the timing screens, and ended up in second place with a solid time of 1:29.053.

With just over an hour left, Carlos Sainz was cruising around the track in fourth gear, with what looked to be a hydraulic issue, the Spaniard was back on track after spending around 30 minutes in the pits.

The Ferrari driver ended off the session in third, six-tenths of Verstappen’s time, with Kimi Raikkonen behind him.

The Ferrari and Alfa Romeo drivers had a coming together at the end of the chequered flag at Turn 10, Sainz seeming to bump into the side of Raikkonen in a confusing altercation.

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Lewis Hamilton had a spin at the final corner in the closing stages of the session, lighting up the rears at the start of what was meant to be a flying lap, showing the Mercedes looks to be a real handful to drive so far.

The reigning World-Champion finished in fifth place on a lap-time of 1:30.025, ahead of George Russell’s Williams, who had his first and only day of testing, putting in 158 laps across the day.

Daniel Ricciardo ended off McLaren’s solid three days of testing in seventh, the Australian will be happy so far with how his new team is performing.

Sergio Perez was in eighth place, ahead of Fernando Alonso in the Alpine car.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc rounded off the top 10 with a 1:30.486.

Aston Martin’s struggles continued in the afternoon session, Sebastian Vettel was forced out of the session early after an engine issue with just under 90 minutes to go.

With F1 testing complete, all eyes will be on who is strongest come the first race under the lights in Bahrain, in just two weeks time.

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