F1 Testing 2024: All the action as it happened from the final day in Bahrain

Jamie Woodhouse
Lewis Hamilton drives the Mercedes W15 in F1 Testing

Lewis Hamilton: In F1 Testing action

The third and final day of F1 Testing 2024 in Bahrain is in the books. Here is how Day 3 at the Sakhir International circuit unfolded.

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Main headlines: Further drain cover issues within opening half hour, one-hour break scrapped due to drain repairs with session running straight through to 1900 finish, Ferrari end testing on top with Charles Leclerc.

F1 Testing 2024 timings – Day 3

1 Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:30.322 74 laps
2 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.046 67
3 Guanyu ZHOU Kick Sauber +0.325 85
4 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing +0.433 66
5 Yuki TSUNODA RB +0.453 53
6 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.662 121
7 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.708 91
8 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.837 75
9 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +0.925 71
10 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +1.161 53
11 Nico HULKENBERG Haas F1 Team +1.364 89
12 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +1.677 49
13 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +1.716 46
14 Lando NORRIS McLaren +1.786 20
15 Pierre GASLY Alpine +1.827 47
16 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +2.731 80
17 Esteban OCON Alpine +2.757 55
18 Valtteri BOTTAS Kick Sauber +3.206 28
19 Daniel RICCIARDO RB +6.693 70
20 Logan SARGEANT Williams – 1

F1 Testing 2024 live updates (local time):

Session times (local time): 1000-1900

1910: And that is that for pre-season testing in F1 2024. While the grid is rather united in believing Red Bull are the clear pacesetters, it is Ferrari who take the testing bragging rights by topping the second and final day. Of course, it is next week, as the season gets underway here in Bahrain, when we will find out the true pecking order.

1855: Not to be left out of the soft-tyre fun, Zhou slots himself into P3, three-tenths off the pace in that Sauber. Just in time as well, with the Safety Car and flag system tests now getting underway.

1853: Mercedes continue their tyre-changing fun by arming Russell with a set of C4s. With a purple final sector, he shoots up to P2, 0.046s shy of Leclerc’s benchmark.

1850: Turn 10 catches Tsunoda out. Despite the lock-up, those C3s don’t appear to have taken too much of a battering.

1840: We have a bonus 10 minutes on the clock, so now we go into the last 30 minutes of F1 2024 testing.

1837: McLaren and Piastri are carrying out some late aero work with the flow-vis paint adorning the right side of the rear wing, while Tsunoda’s RB is also looking fluorescent on the front-right area. Meanwhile, here comes Russell on another new set of C3s.

1833: Russell unlocks another tenth on a further fresh set of the C3s.

1831: A fleet-footed marshal has quickly retrieved the discarded Alpine wheel brow.

1828: The front-right wheel brow has failed on Gasly’s Alpine. He heads back to the pits and is wheeled into the garage for that to be addressed.

1824: RB’s Tsunoda improves to P3, half a second off the pace, though that time was set on the C4s. Russell settles into P4, a further tenth behind.

1820: Gasly dives into the pits to take on a new set of C3s as he is unleashed to return to the track, the same true for Russell. Leclerc continues to pump in the laps on the C1s.

1804: The final hour of F1 2024 testing is underway. Race simulations are very much the order of the day out there.

1740: Verstappen is venturing back out on the hardest tyre, the C1s, armed with an RB20 sporting plenty of flow-vis paint to the right of his cockpit.

1730: Into the final 90 minutes of F1 2024 testing we go. Will anyone take the shackles off and deliver a full-attack qualifying lap?

1709: Piastri now shoots up to P3 on medium tyres, seven-tenths off Verstappen. He followed that with a Turn 1 lock-up, so he is pushing!

1705: Haas are racing again. This time it is RB’s Tsunoda who passes Hulkenberg down the inside at the penultimate corner, before diving into the pit lane.

1655: Fresh set of C4s, further improvement for Leclerc, his 1:30.322 stretching his buffer over Verstappen to north of four-tenths. Alonso pops back up to P3 with his latest push lap on yellow-walled mediums.

1631: A big lock-up for Russell down at Turn 8 sees him leave and re-join the track in the Mercedes.

1627: Verstappen shaves 0.01s off his time with the used C3s.

Max Verstappen driving the Red Bull RB20 on the final day of Bahrain testing.
Max Verstappen driving the Red Bull RB20.

1621: The pace is slowly starting to be unleashed as Leclerc goes top on a 1:30.409, 0.35s up on Verstappen using a set of red-walled soft tyres, while Alonso slots into P4.

1614: Purple in Sector 1 and 2 again for Verstappen, as he stretches his lead over Sainz to just short of half a second.

1603: Haas may not be too confident, but Hulkenberg now, like Magnussen earlier, is also extracting some decent performance from the VF-24 as he shoots up to P9, 1.2s off Verstappen’s pace. Let’s see how that challenger continues to stack up once the times drop later.

1555: So far so good for McLaren and Sauber after their issues earlier, a clutch problem for McLaren while Sauber were working around the back of the C44. Piastri and Zhou are currently out there lapping trouble-free.

1549: Purple in the first two sectors for Verstappen as he takes over P1 on a 1:31.058 as he starts to wind that RB20 up.

1543: Alonso lights up the rear of his Aston Martin down at Turn 8 on the C2s. That AMR24 is not looking too driver-friendly with the two-time World Champion at the wheel this afternoon.

1542: Leclerc enters the top three on his C3 rubber, falling four-tenths short of team-mate Sainz’s 1:31.247 to beat.

1537: Turn 10 catches Alonso out as he takes to the run-off and re-joins the track, while McLaren are spicing up their MCL38 livery with the right side of it sporting flow-vis paint.

1531: Verstappen clocks an opening time 1.4s down on Sainz with the C3s. It looks like he will settle into a race simulation early on.

1525: Charles Leclerc now sets off on his first timed lap of the final day, armed with a set of C3s on that Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc tests the SF-24 in Bahrain.
Charles Leclerc drives Ferrari SF-24.

1521: Now the action is ramping up a little, as Nico Hulkenberg, Yuki Tsunoda and George Russell head out. Max Verstappen it looks like is readying to follow. Does he have an answer for Sainz? Ferrari has stolen the show in his absence since the opening day.

1517: At long last, Piastri has company on the track as Fernando Alonso takes the Aston Martin out onto the circuit sporting a set of C3s.

1507: It’s Oscar Piastri circling the track on his own at the moment on the C1 tyre, looking like a race run for McLaren as the first of the ‘new’ drivers to take their seat for the afternoon.

1500: Just as drivers are swapping over, PF1 is also swapping with me heading out for Jamie.

1455: Piastri is onto his first quick lap of the day but by no means a flying one, he finishes with a time of 1:41.072.

1448: Speaking of new drivers, Oscar Piastri is getting into the MCL38 for the first time today.

1443: It’s very much driver hand over time with both Hamilton and Perez swapping out for Russell and Verstappen.

1439: Albon is back out now for some more testing.

1433: Sainz, who has a huge amount of flow-vis on his car, has done his run and is back in the garage.

1417: CAR ON TRACK KLAXON. It’s the pole sitter Carlos Sainz.

1411: It’s a quiet track out there with just Alex Albon driving currently. Sergio Perez was with him but he returned to the pits and just as I type this, Albon too comes in.

1409: Sam Cooper hopping into the seat now and my thanks to Jamie as he heads off for a well deserved break.

1355: Perez has returned to the track, with the RB20 rear wing sporting a large helping of flow-vis paint.

1350: Hamilton and Sainz continue on their race runs, with Magnussen and Esteban Ocon also still out on the track in what is a rather quiet period currently.

1326: Hamilton and Magnussen are treating us to a battle. Hamilton uses the aid of DRS to pass Magnussen’s Haas at Turn 4, who follows the Mercedes through to Turn 8 where Hamilton locks up, though Magnussen does not try to push his way back through.

1317: Sauber and McLaren have the screens up at their respective garages. Norris has managed only 20 laps in the McLaren MCL38 so far today.

1258: Conditions are heating up and the Pirelli rubber is feeling it as Albon rescues a major slide in his Williams FW46 at Turn 13.

1253: While Hamilton said yesterday that the W15 is a “clear improvement”, it still looks a handful as he gets all out of shape exiting Turn 10.

1237: Perez has a good go at toppling Sainz’s current P1 time, but falls two-tenths short on the C3s.

1232: He may be at the bottom of the timings, but RB’s Daniel Ricciardo is leading the lap count so far today at 32 and rising.

Daniel Ricciardo tests for RB in Bahrain.
Daniel Ricciardo driving the RB.

1218: Stroll goes fastest of anyone through the first sector, but P4 is ultimately the extent of his improvement, eight-tenths adrift of Sainz.

1214: Hamilton decided to skip the C4 and go all the way to the C5 tyre, improving to P3, seven-and-a-half tenths down on Sainz.

1201: Stroll gets on the throttle a bit too early out of the final corner and runs off the road, easing off the gas and getting back on track. Race simulations are the order of the day currently.

1155: Lewis Hamilton finds some traffic in the form of Perez through Turns 6/7, but we did not see our first hand waved in frustration of the year. Still we wait.

1145: There is the green light! We are back underway and, hopefully, running all the way through to the end of F1 2024 pre-season testing come 1900.

1128: Right, settle in for the long haul, once the session resumes, it will run continuously all the way through to 1900 local time with no break.

1116: We have a targeted session restart of 1145 local time.

1100: Still under red flags as frantic work takes place to weld that drain cover back into position.

1032: So it was Perez’s Red Bull RB20 that dislodged the drain cover down at Turn 11.

Sergio Perez heads out in the RB20.
Sergio Perez in action in the Red Bull RB20.

1028: Not again! That dislodged drain cover that broke the Ferrari SF-24 floor yesterday morning, and caused an early end to the session, has come loose again. Red flags are out.

1022: Lando Norris gets within a tenth of Sainz on the C3s, but the headline times are to come later. Just as Sainz puts nine-tenths between himself and his former McLaren team-mate with a fresh push lap.

1013: Carlos Sainz has the C4 rubber bolted onto his Ferrari once more, with RB’s Daniel Ricciardo also running that compound versus the remaining runners on C3s in these early stages. Sainz’s 1:32.017 is the very early time to beat.

1007: Valtteri Bottas looks like he is sitting in F1’s equivalent of the naughty corner, watching on from the back of the garage, wearing a forlorn look, while his team get that Sauber ready for track action.

1002: A busy track from the start with Perez heading straight out. Lance Stroll is sporting some huge aero rakes on the side of his Aston Martin.

1000: Green light, let’s go!

0955: With Verstappen back in the RB20 this afternoon, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top… OK, it will be interesting to see how big his advantage actually is.

0943: It’s another beautiful day at the Sakhir circuit with 19 of this year’s 20 drivers in action, only Logan Sargeant misses out having had his solo day on Thursday.

The full line-up for today:

Red Bull – Sergio Perez AM / Max Verstappen PM
Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton AM / George Russell PM
Ferrari – Carlos Sainz AM / Charles Leclerc PM
McLaren – Lando Norris AM / Oscar Piastri PM
Aston Martin -Lance Stroll AM / Fernando Alonso PM
Alpine – Esteban Ocon AM / Pierre Gasly PM
Williams – Alex Albon
RB – Daniel Ricciardo AM / Yuki Tsunoda PM
Sauber – Valtteri Bottas AM / Zhou Guanyu PM
Haas – Kevin Magnussen AM / Nico Hulkenberg PM

0936: It’s the third and final day of F1 pre-season testing and the big question is who will top this evening’s glory runs? Because that’s how testing usually ends, one final chance to create the headlines.

0930: Friday already! Good morning and welcome back to Bahrain for the final day of F1 Testing – where has the time gone?! Before we get underway for the final time today in 30 mins, we’ll whizz through today’s driver line-ups, shall we?