Formula One

Bahrain testing: Leclerc leads the field for Ferrari mid-day


Charles Leclerc topped the timesheets mid-day in Bahrain, the Ferrari charger heading into the lunch break with the fastest lap produced so far in pre-season testing.

The Monegasque’s best effort, conducted on the soft C4 tyre, was just 0.24s shy of breaking the 1m31 barrier.

Leclerc battled the C5-shod Mercedes of George Russell in the first half of the session, the Briton concluding his morning P2 – 0.418s adrift from the Ferrari – but a lot happier with the performance of his W14 after logging 82 laps.

Aston Martin sub Felipe Drugovich ended his final testing stint with a solid session and 77 laps under his belt, and with the third fastest lap.

Bahrain Pre-Season Test – Day 3 (mid-day)

Pos Driver Team Time Tyre Laps
1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:31.024s C4 67
2 George Russell Mercedes + 0.418s C5 83
3 Felipe Drugovich Aston Martin + 1.051s C5 77
4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull + 1.435s C3 69
5 Pierre Gasly Alpine + 1.738s C3 56
6 Alexander Albon Williams + 1.769s C4 53
7 Nico Hulkenberg Haas + 2.305s C3 77
8 Oscar Piastri McLaren + 2.631s C3 44
9 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo + 5.830s C3 72
10 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri + 7.220s C3 87

Saturday morning’s segment was less of a straightforward session, at least for McLaren and Alfa Romeo.

Oscar Piastri was on duty for the Woking-based outfit but the Aussie only managed 44 laps, with McLaren’s MCL60 stranded in its garage, its crews working to solve a front winglet issue, a setback labeled as “minor” by the team.

Still, it was another difficult session for team papaya.

Valtteri Bottas’ morning was also cut short with his Alfa Romeo suffering an apparent gearbox issue with a little over an hour to go.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, the teams single representative on Saturday, clocked in with the fourth fastest lap, just edging Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Williams’ Alex Albon.

Thereafter followed Nico Hulkenberg, whose Haas logged a healthy 77 laps, Piastri, Bottas and AlphaTauri’s Nyck de Vries who close out the field, the Dutchman winning the lap count prize with 87 tours of the circuit of Bahrain.

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Bahrain testing: Leclerc leads the field for Ferrari mid-day

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