Max Verstappen pipped Yuki Tsunoda to round out a strong Formula 1 pre-season test for Red Bull with the fastest time.

The times tumbled during the final hour of running as night fell and conditions cooled, with teams switching onto Soft tyres to carry out some qualifying simulations to round out the three-day test.

Having strapped on a set of C4 Soft tyres, Verstappen pumped in the fastest time of the test as the only driver to dip below the 1m29s bracket on a 1m28.960s to end the day - and winter testing - quickest of all.

Verstappen edged out AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda - who also had a spell at the top of the timesheets during the final hour - by just 0.093s, with the F1 rookie running on the Softest C5 compound as he put in an eye-catching performance on the last day.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third-fastest ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen, with the pair ending the session having a bizarre clash at Turn 10 on their final laps of pre-season testing.

Running on the C5 tyre, seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was a low-key fifth and over a second off the pace of Verstappen in his Mercedes, which often appeared skittish as he regularly battled to tame the rear-end of his W12.


George Russell was sixth-fastest on his first appearance of pre-season testing for Williams, racking up a high mileage total of 158 laps in what was a solid day’s work for the Grove-based outfit.

Daniel Ricciardo, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso and Charles Leclerc completed the top 10 for McLaren, Red Bull, Alpine and Ferrari respectively.

It proved to be another difficult day for four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel, who lost yet more track time in his bid to get accustomed to his new Aston Martin team when a power unit-related issue kept him sidelined for the final hour.