Verstappen leads practice for Bahrain GP ahead of qualifying

Max Verstappen has clocked the fastest time in the final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix to boost his chances of taking pole position in the evening

SAKHIR, Bahrain — Max Verstappen clocked the fastest time in the final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix to boost his chances of taking pole position later Saturday.

Verstappen was fastest in both of Friday’s practice sessions and even more impressive this time.

In hot conditions, he was .74 seconds quicker than Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton and 1 second ahead of Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri.

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth, nearly 1.3 seconds adrift of Verstappen, who has three career poles and 10 wins.

Qualifying takes place in the evening when conditions will be cooler as the sun sets on the Sakhir desert track.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel came back to the garage with about 20 minutes left in the session, telling his team some debris had hit his race helmet.

Verstappen is continuing his form from pre-season testing and last year’s season-ending Abu Dhabi GP, which he won.

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