Perez tops morning session on Day 3

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F1 Test, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

Red Bull’s new recruit Sergio Perez ended up fastest in the morning session of Day 3, followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and McLaren’s Lando Norris.

Following the dfficult, gusty conditions on the first two days, teams and drivers were presented by much nicer weather condition on the third and final day of the sole three-day pre-season testing.

After making his debut for Red Bull Racing yesterday, the Milton Keynes-based outfit’s new Mexican recruit Sergio Perez delivered a stellar performance with his new car, the RB16B. The 31-year-old put in a couple of great laps on Pirelli’s C2 Hard compound before concentrating on the the softer rubber.

The Guadalajara-born driver posted the fastest lap of the pre-season testing with a time of 1m30.187 and racked up a total of 49 laps in the morning. The car showed a great balance once again, suggesting that the RB16B is one of the best 2021 cars at the moment.

Ferrari’s day has been promising so far today with Charlerc Leclerc racking up a total of 80 laps. The Monegasque completed two qualifying simulation runs at the beginning, using Pirelli’s C3 Medium compound. Interestingly, his best time of 1m30.486 was faster than the ones he posted yesterday ont he softer C4 and C5 compounds.

The two-time race winner then completed a full race simulation, opting for a two-stop strategy by using the C3 compound during his initial stint and the C2 rubber during the followng two stints.

Mercedes endured a very productive day with Valtteri Bottas with the Finn racking up 86 laps during his last outing before the season gets underway in two weeks’ time at the very same venue. However, the nine-time grand prix winner suffered from severe balance issues with his W12 being dogged by heavy understeering on both the C2 and the C3 compound.

Being the only driver without a single lap completed during the pre-season testing, George Russell finally also got behind the wheel of his new 2021 F1 car, the FW43B. The King's Lynn-born driver notched up a total of 77 laps, posting his best time with a 1m32.731.

The session ended prematurely with the FIA deploying red flag just a few minutes left on the clock. The governing body has updated its software during the winter period and wanted to conduct system checks ahead of the 2021 F1 season.