Bahrain GP Practice Three: Max Verstappen puts Red Bull back in the hunt

Max Verstappen was fastest in final practice for the Bahrain GP as Red Bull unexpectedly out-paced Ferrari and Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton was a tenth of a second behind the Dutchman in Practice Three with joint-championship leader Sebastian Vettel a further four tenths down – however the Ferrari driver set his quickest time on used supersoft tyres.

Kimi Raikkonen remained in the Ferrari garage until the last minutes while Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo just finished one timed lap.

Red Bull have struggled to keep pace with the frontrunning Ferrari and Mercedes so far this year but conditions in the desert appear to suit their car far more than those experienced in Australia and China.

But track temperatures are forecast to drop significantly for this evening’s qualifying hour when Ferrari and Mercedes will be expected to battle for pole position.

“Mercedes and Ferrari won’t have shown their hand until they need to. But it’s a good result for Red Bull and they seem to have caught up. Maybe this track suits them but it’s encouraging,” said Sky F1’s Damon Hill.