Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the pace heading into qualifying by topping an incredibly close final practice session for Formula 1’s Sakhir Grand Prix.

Verstappen posted a 0:54.064s during the Soft tyre qualifying simulation runs to head Valtteri Bottas by 0.206s, though the Mercedes driver appears to have more time in his pocket after a mistake at the final corner cost him on his best lap.

In what proved to be an extraordinarily-tight 60 minutes of running, just eight-tenths of a second covered positions 1-14 around the shorter Outer Loop circuit at the Bahrain International Circuit.

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Pierre Gasly was a strong third for AlphaTauri and just three-tenths off the pace, with Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris in fourth and fifth places for Renault and McLaren respectively.

The second Red Bull of Alex Albon was sixth-fastest and half a second off his teammate, while George Russell, who was quickest in both sessions on Friday, ended up seventh in FP3 and 0.600s adrift on his debut weekend for Mercedes standing in for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who has been ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19.

Sergio Perez headed Racing Point teammate Lance Stroll in eighth, with McLaren’s Carlos Sainz completing the top 10 ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi in an encouraging 11th for Alfa Romeo.

Daniil Kvyat finished 12th ahead of the late-spinning Charles Leclerc, while Daniel Ricciardo endured an error-strewn flying lap to end FP3 only 14th.

15th place went the way of Sebastian Vettel, who sat out the last 15 minutes of the session as Ferrari conducted a precautionary engine change on his SF90 ahead of qualifying.

Kimi Raikkonen was 16th-quickest for Alfa Romeo ahead of the lead Haas of Kevin Magnussen, while Nicholas Latifi, Pietro Fittipaldi and Jack Aitken rounded out the rest of the FP3 order.