Formula 1 2020: Max Verstappen edges Lewis Hamilton in final Bahrain GP practice
Verstappen in his Red Bull was .26 ahead of Hamilton and .37 ahead of Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Sakhir, Bahrain: Max Verstappen beat Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton's leading time to go fastest in the final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday.
The Red Bull driver was .26 ahead of Hamilton and .37 ahead of Hamilton's Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas.
Hamilton was quickest in both practice runs on Friday and looked set to make it a hat trick when he overtook Verstappen and then Bottas with about 10 minutes left in the hour-long session. But Verstappen came back out and returned to the top of the leaderboard.
Hamilton recently secured a record-equaling seventh F1 title and is bidding for a record-extending 98th career pole position.
But he could face competition from Verstappen, who is bidding for only his third pole.
Alexander Albon's Red Bull was fitted with a new chassis after he crashed heavily following a mistake in the second practice. Albon drove well this time and placed fourth.
Hamilton and other drivers have been complaining about the new Pirelli tires, saying they are too heavy and Vettel calling them even worse than before.
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The Australian race, usually the season-opener, was delayed from March to November, but no new date was set for the Chinese Grand Prix, normally held in April.
The 21-year-old, who finished ninth in last season's standings, with 97 points, is self-isolating at his hotel