Verstappen for Tsunoda
After the first attempts, Verstappen is ahead with a 1: 30.4. P2 sensationally occupies Tsunoda! The AlphaTauri pilot is still ahead of Hamilton. Behind them are team-mates Gasly, Perez and Bottas. AlphaTauri as the third force in Bahrain? Look right now!
Lathe operator Masepin
Mick Schumacher is the only driver who sets a time, everyone else breaks off their lap again. His team-mate Masepin is even spinning – not for the first time this weekend. Schumacher’s 1: 33.8 will certainly not be enough for Q2, so he’ll have to go up one more time.
Here we go!
Then we want the first qualification of the year to take place! First of all, only the four Williams and Haas drivers take to the track. Everyone else is waiting. No wonder, because the track will get better and better in the course of Q1. Here, too, the fastest times are only at the very end.
As already announced, temperatures in Bahrain have dropped significantly. It is now 6:00 p.m. there and the sun is slowly setting. The asphalt is now almost 15 degrees cooler than at the beginning of FT3. And it will get even cooler as the session progresses. The fastest times we will see over the entire weekend await us in Q3.
Open the session ticker now!
The same applies again: Here at this point you get pictures, voices and the most important information about qualifying. The complete live reporting is available from my colleague Stefan Ehlen in our separate session ticker. The best thing is to simply open both tickers at the same time, then you won’t miss a thing this time!
The qualification format has not changed this year. There are still three sections, in Q1 and Q2 the five slowest drivers are eliminated. Tomorrow the top 10 will have to start on the tires on which they set their fastest time in Q2.
What’s in it for Vettel?
According to his impressions so far, it could be difficult for him too with Q3. The test didn’t go smoothly, and a small problem slowed it down again today. He still needs time to get used to his new car. Basically, several drivers who have changed teams still seem to have problems. Alonso, Ricciardo and Perez have also mostly been slower than their team-mate this weekend.
Tight fight for Q3
In the front, Mercedes and Red Bull should make the pole among themselves. Anything else would be a surprise. However, the battle for Q3 should be pretty exciting. Yesterday in FT2 the first 15 (!) Cars were within a second. If it stays that way today, it will be damn tight.
However, Williams and Haas shouldn’t have a chance of Q3. Normally, the four cars will already fail in Q1.
How fast is it going to be?
Here are a few times for comparison before qualifying:
Pole time 2020: 1: 27.264 (Hamilton)
Fastest test time 2021: 1: 28.960 (Verstappen)
Fastest time on the weekend: 1: 30.577 (Verstappen, FT3)
This already shows that the teams have held back this weekend so far. And since we are assuming that the teams have not yet shown everything during the test, the pole time this year should definitely be a 1:28 time – significantly faster than everything else this weekend.
The pole time from last year will probably not be reached after the rule changes.
Ten records that could fall in 2021
This season, too, some records could be broken in Formula 1. We provide an overview in this photo series:
Photo gallery: Ten Formula 1 records that could fall in the 2021 season
The last Red Bull Pole in Bahrain …
… was already nine years ago! In 2012 Sebastian Vettel was still right at the front for the Bulls, since then Mercedes and Ferrari have made all the poles between themselves. Historically, Bahrain is absolutely not a Red Bull circuit. In 2020, Verstappen and Albon took their first podium places for the bulls since 2013! So today could be an almost historic evening …
© Red Bull
Hamilton looks very closely …
Ex-Mercedes aerodynamicist Philipp Brändle revealed a funny anecdote about the betting master on ‘ServusTV’ today. “Lewis is a great spy,” reveals Brändle, who worked at Mercedes until 2019, and explains: “He looks at everything very carefully. For example, there was a scene in front of the podium in the room where she was doing something drink. That’s when he noticed with another racing suit that it had fewer cables. ”
“When it came to saving weight. Because every detail really counts in Formula 1. That’s why he gave us the feedback that the other team has a shorter wiring harness, a smaller connector. […] He then looks at such details. And that was then implemented, “he reveals.
One reader would like to know: “Will RTL only broadcast the races or the entire weekends with FP1, FP2, FP3 and Quali?” This year RTL is showing four races on free TV. Unfortunately, nothing is known about the exact process. As soon as we know more, you will of course find out here in the ticker and above all in our TV news, which is updated regularly.
Qualifying will take place in less than two hours. In the meantime, the ticker continues with voices and other news from the paddock.
End of working day!
That was it with the last practice session, the best time goes to Verstappen ahead of Hamilton and Gasly. Bottas and Perez follow behind. Norris is surprisingly far behind in 16. That shouldn’t be representative, the McLaren can do a lot more. We hope for an exciting qualifying afterwards!
Not much to see …
… is still from the two ex-world champions Vettel and Alonso. They were also to be found further back on Friday, currently they are in P14 and P15. Both are also slower than their respective teammates. Doesn’t have to mean anything, but a pattern is slowly becoming apparent. Shouldn’t be an easy qualifying for either of them. The session is about to be over.
It remains the same this weekend: There is no way around Verstappen! After two best times on Friday, he is now pushing himself up again with a 1: 30.5. He is more than 0.7 seconds faster than Hamilton! Meanwhile, Gasly climbs back to P3. Helmut Marko should be satisfied.