Max Verstappen led the times ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the third and final practice on Saturday morning at the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver posted a best lap of one minute, 28,355 seconds in the final minutes to overtake the newly crowned seven-time Mercedes champion by 0.263 seconds.
Valtteri Bottas, in the second ‘black arrow’, was third behind his teammate.
Hamilton tried to respond in the closing seconds of the session, but stopped at the end of the pit lane before joining the fray when a red light indicated he was done.
It was unclear if Hamilton had a car problem, probably an electronic sensor problem, or if he had missed his chance before the light came on, but he was clearly disappointed that he had not completed a clean sweep after leading both sessions. on Friday.
Alex Albon, Red Bull’s London-born Thai rider, was an encouraging fourth after recovering from his big accident in second practice and driving on a new chassis, built overnight by his team.
Albon showed no evidence of problems following the hit to his confidence as he looked to maintain his momentum with the team for the next year.
Carlos Sainz, the Ferrari-bound McLaren driver, was fifth ahead of Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly and Lando Norris, in the second McLaren.
Daniil Kvyat was eighth in the second Alpha Tauri ahead of the two Racing Point cars driven by Lance Stroll and Sergio Pérez.
Both Ferrari men failed to make the top ten, Sebastian Vettel finished 13th and Charles Leclerc 15th.
Vettel had previously supported Hamilton in his strong criticism of Pirelli’s prototype tires for 2021, saying that he hoped “we won’t see these tires again.”
He explained: “They weren’t a step forward, it’s probably worth a try, but I hope we don’t see these tires again. They are quite worse compared to the tires we currently use. “