Max Verstappen made it two days out of three as he drove to the top of the timings sheet for a second day.
Sunday saw the final day of the 2021 FIA Formula 1 World Championship testing, with the drivers getting their last chance to test the new cars before the Bahrain Grand Prix in two weeks’ time.
Verstappen showed yet again that he is a force to be reckoned with in the upcoming season. His lap time of 1:28.960s was not only the fastest lap of the day but the fastest across the three days. His new Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Pérez also showed that the team were right in deciding to put their faith in him after he topped the morning session. After all the day’s running’s were done, he finished in eighth.
Rookie Yuki Tsunoda proved that he has what it takes to be in F1 with the days second fastest time. The Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda driver finished just 0.093 second off of Verstappen and had even claimed the top spot various time in the session. He did take a little spin during the day, but he made up for it with his speed. Teammate Pierre Gasly finished the day with the twelfth fastest time.
So far, Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow hadn’t had the best of times in testing, but Carlos Sainz Jr. changed that today, putting in the third fastest time overall. The Spanish driver was involved in a little scuffle on track with Kimi Räikkönen as the afternoon session was coming to a close. The pair had been fighting for track position and came together at Turn 10. He also had a small issue when his car was stuck in fourth gear and trundled back to the pits. However, this didn’t hamper his day at all. Teammate Charles Leclerc came tenth.
Despite his incident with Sainz Jr., Räikkonen had an impressive day in his Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN car. Alone, completed 165 laps today and put in a time that put him fourth overall. His teammate Antonio Giovinazzi didn’t test today.
Yet again, Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team had an under par day. Lewis Hamilton was able to get his car up to fifth but not without taking some spins along the way. Valtteri Bottas finished over three seconds off the fastest lap time in sixteenth place. Plenty of questions have been raised over the past couple of days as to whether the world champions are in trouble or have just not pushed themselves to the limit.
Today was George Russell’s first and only day of testing and he made sure it was worthwhile. Putting in a blistering 157 laps, he was the sixth quickest. His Williams Racing teammate Nicholas Latifi sat today out.
McLaren F1 Team had a promising testing with both drivers being top of the time sheets at one point. Daniel Ricciardo switched from the morning session to the afternoon today and put in the seventh fastest time. Today would have originally been the Australian Grand Prix and Ricciardo made sure he honoured his fellow Australians with a radio message saying “Shout out to the Aussie fans. Today was meant to be the Aussie Grand Prix. But yeah, we’ll be back in November to do it properly.” His teammate Lando Norris finished the day in eleventh.
Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso both shared the duties for Alpine F1 Team today after having a day each to take the A521 for a drive. Alonso was the fastest of the pair with a ninth fastest lap. Ocon could only get thirteenth fastest of the pack today.
Uralkali Haas F1 Team rookies Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher have now finished their first testing of their F1 careers. There wasn’t too much between the pair with Mazepin in fourteenth and Schumacher in fifteenth.
Things just haven’t seemed to go right for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team during this weekend of testing. Instead of fighting in the top half of the table, they’ve rarely found themselves out of the bottom. Today, the two drivers finished in the two bottom spots. Sebastian Vettel came in seventeenth with Lance Stroll eighteenth.