F1 LIVE | The third free practice session ahead of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

27-03-2021 11:30
Liveblog
F1 LIVE | The third free practice session ahead of the 2021 Bahrain Grand Prix

On Saturday afternoon, we will finally get to see the true pace of the 10 teams competing in the 2021 Formula 1 season. Are Mercedes really struggling? How much faster can Red Bull Racing go? And who is getting ahead in the battle for third place amongst the constructors? All will become clear in qualifying, but first, we have an action-packed third free practice session which you can follow in our liveblog. 

Liveblog 

 

Busier practice sessions

In 2021, Formula 1 teams have less time on the track ahead of the meaningful sessions. FP3 remains the same length as usual (60 minutes), but both FP1 and FP2 were both reduced by 30 minutes. This presented us with busier tracks on Friday and more can be expected as the teams and drivers get one last chance to make changes to the set-up for qualifying. 

Max Verstappen completed the Friday double at the Bahrain International Circuit. Mercedes seemed to have improved on their pre-season testing form, but Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas still seemed to be fighting the car more than you'd expect from the German team.

Midfield

Lando Norris finished both practice sessions in the top three, but the Brit fully expects to be behind the top four cars in qualifying. His new teammate for 2021, Daniel Ricciardo wasn't far off the pace either. 

Ferrari looked much stronger compared to 2020. Carlos Sainz finished fourth in FP2, and Charles Leclerc finished fifth in FP1. Promising signs for the Scuderia and it will be interesting to see if they have anything extra to give in the final practice session. 

The midfield order is really murky, with six teams well in the battle. Haas, with two rookie drivers, seem well off the pace. Williams have improved but perhaps not well enough to compete in the midfield just yet. 

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