Motor racing-Verstappen tops final Bahrain practice

MANAMA — Max Verstappen set the pace in Saturday’s final practice session for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix, denying seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton a clean sweep in Sakhir.

The Dutchman lapped the 5.4-kilometer desert track in one minute, 28.355 seconds, beating his Mercedes rival by 0.263 seconds.

Hamilton, who topped both of Friday’s practice sessions, aborted his final flying lap after a minor error in its early stages.

Valtteri Bottas in the other Mercedes was third, 0.366 seconds off the pace.

Alexander Albon, running a new chassis after a heavy crash in Friday’s second practice session, put in a strong display to go fourth for Red Bull.

Carlos Sainz was fifth for McLaren ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and team mate Lando Norris.

Russian Daniil Kvyat in the other AlphaTauri was eighth.

Racing Point pair Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez rounded out the top 10.

Ferrari, dominant in Bahrain last year, once again ended up outside the top 10.

Sebastian Vettel, who has more pole positions and wins in Bahrain than any other driver, was 13th with team mate Leclerc 15th.

Saturday’s final session of practice, which took place in overcast conditions, was largely uneventful, especially after Friday’s evenings 90 minutes of running were interrupted by Albon’s crash and a stray dog.

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