Last morning of the 2021 Formula 1 test in Bahrain, and doubts remain enormous as to the actual grid position of each team. However, certainties are also being confirmed. The first, that Red Bull remains a clear contender for everything this season after signing another great morning, without a single problem, as in the whole test, showing consistent and fast with a ‘Checo’ Pérez you are adjusting wonderfully at the wheel of your new RB16B. The Mexican was the fastest of the morning (with the C4 tire, the second softest) before handing over the baton to his teammate Verstappen in the afternoon. Perez left 0 ”299 to Charles Leclerc (Ferrari, with the C3) and at 0 ”474 a Lando norris (McLaren, with the C3).
The Monegasque seemed to make it clear that Ferrari He took a step forward with his car adjustments, gaining stability, although still, as Sainz made clear to the Spanish press, leaving a lot of room for improvement so as not to reveal the true strength of his car. This afternoon, the Spaniard will relieve him inside the SF21 and there it is hoped that, apart from continuing with his learning at forced marches, he will be able to try some fast lap simulation with a little less load, opening a little more the tap of an engine of the that Ferrari is sure that it is more powerful than that of 2020, and looking a little more at the limits. Of course, we must not wait for Ferrari to uncover, far from it, because as Sainz hinted yesterday, “what we need is to wait and see what Ferrari can do, but you still have to wait a bit for the first race. ”. A good listener few words.
The big surprise, McLaren, continues to impose
In third position he finished Lando norris before leaving your car at Ricciardo. He did it too without showing the rhythm of his McLaren with his new Mercedes engine on a lap with soft rubber. He hit the track at the end of the session with her but went to the pits, leaving everyone wanting to see the orange ‘papaya’ car revealing a little more speed. Nonetheless, it seems clear that the English team, with a new insightful diffuser that has surprised everyone, may be the big surprise of the season with considerable improvement. So much so that many place him as third force on the grid ahead of a Aston martin that this morning, with Stroll, he finished tenth (last) adding 80 laps, making up for the time lost due to the gearbox problems on Saturday, which seem to have been solved.
Ocon’s Alpine, 5th on another trouble-free morning
Certezas also generates an AlphaTauri that continues without fail with a car that is increasingly similar to its older Red Bull brother. The Faenza team is growing wings and this time Pierre Gasly could have been fourth with a softer rubber than the first three (the C4), but without exerting himself on the track.
Fernando Alonso’s teammate in Alpine, Esteban Ocon, finished in fifth position, confirming once again the great reliability of the French team and its new engine., with 61 laps and setting his best time with a prototype tire of Pirelli.
In the sixth place finished a Mick Schumacher who turned 77 laps in the Haas, a car from which very little is expected this season as he should be fighting at the back of the grid with the Williams.
Mercedes is not bad
You have to go to seventh position to find the Mercedes of Bottas, what finished with 84 spins. But make no mistake, today we no longer have to talk about problems. The morning of this Sunday was much more similar to the typical test that the team of the star who has rediscovered the course usually does, if it is true that at the beginning they had stability problems. The Mercedes W12 E Performance is looking more like last year’s champion car. With the, Bottas rolled with a great race pace, showing very good stability and balance, waiting for Hamilton to feel the same good feelings in the final test session this afternoon.
“I think we have recovered decently, although I cannot say that we have met all the mileage we wanted in the 3 days, but we have stayed close. Yesterday I felt that I was getting 95% of what we could and today, 100%. It has been a very consistent day, with many quality laps, considering what happened on the first day., and how the days 2 and 3 have gone, I am satisfied “, Bottas commented in the subsequent press conference.
“There are no objectives. I have no expectations for this afternoon, except to be able to finish the program, understand the car better and know if I am happy or not. Valtteri had good laps and got the car to a good place and it will be interesting to see where it is. I want to understand the tires a little more and I am looking forward to racing again ”he said for his part Lewis hamilton, before getting in the car this afternoon.
FINAL CLASSIFICATION OF THE LAST TEST MORNING OF F1 2021
1. S. Perez (C4) Red Bull 1’30 ”187 – 45 laps
2. C. Leclerc (C3) Ferrari 1’30 ”486 to 0” 299 – 80 laps
3. L. Norris (C3) McLaren 1’30 ”661 to 0” 474 – 54 laps
4. P. Gasly (C4) AlphaTauri 1’30 ”828 to 0” 641 – 72 laps
5. E. Ocon (C3) Alpine 1’31 ”310 to 1” 123 – 61 laps
6. M. Schumacher (C3) Haas 1’32 ”053 to 1” 866 – 73 laps
7. V. Bottas (C2) Mercedes 1’32 ”406 to 2” 219 – 82 laps
8. G. Russell (C2) Williams 1’32 ”731 to 2” 544 – 75 laps
9. K. Raikkonen (C2) Alfa Romeo 1’35 ”274 to 5” 087 – 91 laps
10. L. Stroll (C3) Aston Martin 1’36 ”100 to 5” 913 – 80 laps