Formula One went into the third day of testing in Bahrain with a very mixed picture after the first two days. Day one saw the Red Bull of Max Verstappen top the timing sheets, with 138 laps on the board, with both Mercedes cars struggling. Day two saw Valtteri Bottas take the fastest time, with his teammate Sir Lewis Hamilton still struggling, with an uncharacteristic spin at the top of the track, causing a red flag.
Written by Sam Stewart, Edited by Aiden Hover
Day 3 continued this run of poor form from Mercedes, with Hamilton having another spin at the final corner whilst preparing for a flying lap. This caused one of the main talking points of this session, centred around Nikita Mazepin. When passing Hamilton’s backwards car, Mazepin came very close to the Mercedes and appeared to turn towards him. It is unclear at this time whether the Haas had snap oversteer or whether he turned into that way for a joke, but afterwards, the Russian laughed on the radio to his team, “Have a look at the onboard, I almost drove into Lewis.” Nikita has since confirmed that this was simply ‘an anxious noise of relief.’
Another driver that has struggled today was Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard signed for Ferrari early last year, and it would seem that now he is in the car, he is struggling. Sainz was 4 seconds off the pace of his teammate, Charles Leclerc, today, and had several incidents, including a bizarre collision between him and the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Räikönnen, at the end of the session.
Alpine looked strong once again on day 3, with their unique engine cover design proving handy to them. Another innovation that seems to be paying off is the hidden diffuser of McLaren, as that car seems like a very quick base.
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There were more woes for the Mercedes engine cars, with Sebastian Vettel having yet another gearbox failure. The Mercedes engine has of course been dominant over the last half a decade, however, it seems like Honda is emerging as the fastest engine, with Max Verstappen and Yuki Tsunoda taking P1 and 2 for Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri respectively.
Red Bull at the moment seems like it will be the team to beat this season, with Max Verstappen topping the timings in both day one and three of testing, with his new teammate, Mexican Sergio Perez, not far behind.
That wraps up the pre-season testing for the 2021 Formula One season then, we look forward to the first race in Bahrain in 2 weeks.
Who was your star of pre-season testing 2021? #F1 #f1 #F1Testing — DIVEBOMB (@projectdivebomb) March 14, 2021
To read about Day 1 of Pre-season testing, click here.