New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Full Race Weekend LIVE Converage Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain
Qualifying 3
Qualifying 2
Qualifying 1
Practice 3
Practice 2
Practice 1
Last Updated at 10:15
16 Apr 18:39 Hamilton is P2 and team mate Bottas P3 for Mercedes.
16 Apr 18:38 And Vettel takes the Bahrain GP!
16 Apr 18:36 Final lap for Seb!
16 Apr 18:36 Alonso retires  with engine problems. :(
16 Apr 18:22 Hamilton just passed his team mate Bottas.
16 Apr 18:21 Can Hamilton catch Vettel with 10 laps to go?
16 Apr 18:12 Hamilton locks up and goes in to pit. He'll have his 5second penalty now. And he's back in the race...
16 Apr 18:03 Ferrari expecting Mercedes to pit again. Vettel eases pass Kimi
16 Apr 17:57 Lance Stroll is devasted during his interview. It's only his third race and he is yet to complete one!
16 Apr 17:51 Bottas told very nicely to let Hamilton through due to his 5-second penalty.
16 Apr 17:44 Nicely done Kimi, now in P4.
16 Apr 17:30 Hamilton due for a penalty for slowing down Ricciardo into the pits lane.
16 Apr 17:27 VETTEL in P1 Bottas, then Ricciardo and Hamilton.
16 Apr 17:25 Carlo Sainz hit Stroll coming out the pits, safety car is out. Could this be Mercedes' saving grace?
16 Apr 17:24 Now Lance Stroll out too for Williams, claims he got hit from the side!
16 Apr 17:24 Now Lance Stroll out too for Williams, claims he got hit from the side!
16 Apr 17:24 Yellow flags out again, Kimi in the pits with a slow stop while Max is kicking the barriers in a furious mood.
16 Apr 17:23 Vestappen claims his brakes failed!
16 Apr 17:23 Max is out on turn 4!
16 Apr 17:22 Vettel on supersofts after Bottas complained about tyre pressures. Vet currently in P9.
16 Apr 17:20 Vettel pitting, two-stop strategy perhaps?
16 Apr 17:20 Top 5 cars separated by 3.1 seconds.
16 Apr 17:18 Yellow flags out, Haas' Kevin Magnussen pulls off on track, possible power failure.
16 Apr 17:15 Kimi takes back P6 from Massa.
16 Apr 17:15 Lewis needs to be a tad more aggressive now, Max is right on his tail!
Finish Thanks for following our live coverage. Join us again in a couple of weeks for Round Four in Russia!
Finish Ricciardo finishes P5 ahead of Massa and Perez. Grosjean, Hulkenberg, Ocon complete the points finishes.
Finish Bottas completes the podium with Raikkonen having to settle for fourth.
Finish VETTEL WINS THE BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX! He re-takes the lead at the top of the World Championship and opens up a seven point advantage to Hamilton, who arrives home in second.
Lap 57 Vettel begins his final lap with a six second advantage; Hamilton appears to have backed off. The chase is up.
Lap 56 So a DNS and DNF for McLaren in Bahrain. Great work.
Lap 56 As Vettel starts his penultimate lap, an engine problem develops for Alonso. What a surprise!
Lap 55 The gap is down to six seconds, remember Hamilton had to serve a five-second penalty earlier! That could prove to be one of the main deciding factors today.
Lap 54 Four laps to go...and Vettel passes the trio with relative ease. Hamilton has a hell of a lot of work to do now...
Lap 53 Track is clear again and Vettel is about to join the train of Kvyat, Alonso and Wehrlein.
Lap 52 Ericsson has stopped in a rather precarious position at the side of a key overtaking area. We have double waved yellows at the moment.
Lap 52 With five laps remaining, Hamilton is now about to catch up to the backmarkers. One pass is made very easy as Marcus Ericsson breaks down with a gearbox problem.
Lap 51 The gap trickles down to nine seconds...
Lap 50 Vettel is held up a little by Palmer in P15 and the gap is down to 10 seconds...
Lap 48 The gap to Vettel is 13 seconds with nine laps remaining, and Vettel is about to hit backmarker traffic...
Lap 47 "You've got the pace to win this, Lewis!" is the call over team radio. He is all over the back of Bottas now and passes him on the penultimate corner. Off he goes now after Vettel.
Lap 46 Hamilton is now just three seconds behind Bottas, but 14 seconds away from race leader Vettel, who is probably keeping something in reserve for the final, decisive laps.
Lap 45 With 12 laps remaining, Hamilton looks on course to catch Bottas in P2. Is Vettel too far away?
Lap 44 Hamilton questions the soft tyre choice rather than the supersoft, but his pit crew insist the soft is the best compound to be on. That appears to be the case, as Hamilton has just set the new fastest lap.
Lap 42 Vettel has a 9.6s cushion to Bottas in P2.
Lap 41 And in comes Hamilton. He serves his five-second penalty and back out on the softs, not the supersofts. He is back out on track in P3 and Vettel is now the new race leader.
Lap 40 Seconds later, Palmer overtakes Wehrlein for the final points finish at Turn One.
Lap 40 Ricciardo has switched to the supersofts and re-emerges ahead of Massa and into P5.
Lap 39 Vettel is still closing and Hamilton is still staying out. One man who has come in is a seriously angry Raikkonen who is not happy with his race strategy once again. The soft boots are on and he's out in P5.
Lap 38 All eyes on race leader Hamilton. Vettel is closing the gap so it appears to be only a matter of time before the Brit comes into the pits again.
Lap 37 Hamilton's team-mate Bottas is up to P4 with a nice move around the outside of Ricciardo at Turn One.
Lap 35 Vettel eases past Raikkonen to re-take P2 and is now 15.2 seconds behind Hamilton, who actually appears to be on a two-stop strategy.
Lap 34 Now Hamilton has the lead, but can he make these soft tyres last until the end? And how will the impending five-second penalty affect his chances of race victory?
Lap 34 And it comes race leader Vettel. He ditches the supersofts for a pair of soft tyres and gets back out ahead of Ricciardo to take P3.
Lap 33 Make that P6, as Bottas gets the better of Perez in the Force India at the final corner.
Lap 31 Bottas is into the pits for a second time and is now on the soft compounds. He comes back out in P7.
Lap 31 Not a great couple of corners for Palmer, who started the race in P10. He leaves the door wide open for Kvyat at Turn One and Alonso follows quickly afterwards to climb up to P12.
Lap 30 27 laps remaining... "Keep your head down, this is a critical part of the race" Vettel is told on team radio. The gap to Hamilton is 5.5 seconds.
Lap 29 And Ricciardo gets the job done at Turn One. Massa tries to fightback but his efforts are ultimately in vain.
Lap 28 Meanwhile, Ricciardo is closing on Massa in the battle for fifth spot.
Lap 27 The marshals have removed the clutter and the double yellows have stopped waving. Soon after, Hamilton is indeed allowed to pass Bottas and he is now on the hunt for Vettel, who has opened up a 6.3 second gap.
Lap 26 Jolyon Palmer has lost a chunk of his front wing as Daniil Kvyat tries an ambitious overtake into P11. He cannot make it stick but there is now a lot of debris down at Turn One.
Lap 25 Vettel is currently four seconds ahead of Bottas, with Hamilton a second further down the road.
Lap 24 Raikkonen passes Massa again on the run down to the first corner, but this time it gets the Finn up to P4.
Lap 23 An offer that Mercedes cannot refuse? Hamilton offers to give Bottas his place back if he is unable to get past race leader Vettel, who has to stop again.
Lap 22 Bottas has been told to let Hamilton pass as he tries to limit the damage of his penalty. But the Finn has all of a sudden upped his pace...
Lap 21 Confirmation that Hamilton must serve a five-second penalty for being unnecessarily slow on the entry into the pit lane.
Lap 20 Further down the field, Alonso and Palmer both pass Ericsson and are on the cusp of the top 10.
Lap 19 Hamilton is +2.3s away in third, with a potential timed penalty hanging over him, and then there is a three second gap between him and Massa in fourth.
Lap 19 Vettel now leads by 1.2s after recovering from the sustained attack by Bottas.
Lap 18 Ricciardo is struggling to get the softs up to temperature and has dropped all the way down to P6 as both Massa and Raikkonen ease past the Aussie.
Lap 17 Out in front, Vettel is out of shape into Turns 2 and 3 and Bottas almost finds a way to get back in front. The German recovers well, though, and keeps hold of the race lead.
Lap 17 The Safety Car is in! And Hamilton steals a march on Ricciardo to climb to P3!
Lap 17 Vettel and Bottas will definitely have to stop again, but Ricciardo and Hamilton will not. But, remember, a timed penalty may be coming Hamilton's way...
Lap 16 Vettel and Bottas are on super-softs; Ricciardo and Hamilton on softs. Split strategies out in front!
Lap 15 Hamilton could also be in a bit of bother with the stewards, who are investigating whether he backed up Ricciardo at the entry into the pit lane.
Lap 14 Mercedes double-stack their cars under the Safety Car, but Vettel is out ahead! The pit crew are slow to release Bottas and Hamilton loses time as a result. He emerges in P4 behind Ricciardo!
Lap 13 And now Lance Stroll is out of the race! He has been hit by Carlos Sainz, who is also having to retire! The Safety Car proper is now in effect.
Lap 12 But what's this?! Verstappen is OUT of the Bahrain Grand Prix! After re-emerging from the pits, the brakes fail soon after! Double yellows are waving!
Lap 12 And the Dutchman is into the pits at the very next lap...
Lap 11 Vettel feeds back into the race in a relatively clear spot down in P12. "I think we need to do something too", responds Verstappen.
Lap 11 Very aggressive call from Ferrari. Vettel is pitting already and is going to try the undercut on some soft tyres. They have committed to the two-stopper very early!
Lap 10 The yellow flags are waving...and it's Kevin Magnussen who has shuddered to a halt at Turn 8. He started from the very back of the grid and caps off a miserable weekend by being the first retirement of the race.
Lap 9 The top five are very close together. No more than 0.9s between any of the top five cars at the moment!
Lap 8 Raikkonen finally gets the perfect exit out of the final corner and dives down the inside of Massa at Turn One. The Finn is back up to P6.
Lap 7 A replay of the race start shows Hamilton getting a lot of wheel spin off the line as he battled his way through the dirty side of the track.
Lap 6 Slight overheating problems for Bottas, possibly to the rear tyres. The gap out in front is just 0.3s.
Lap 5 Bottas sets the new fastest lap but Vettel clearly has the pace in the Ferrari to keep right on the back of the Finn's gearbox.
Lap 5 Raikkonen runs wide at the final corner, ending all hope (for now) of passing Massa down the pit straight.
Lap 4 Ricciardo follows in P5, with Raikkonen pushing hard to re-claim P6 from Felipe Massa in the Williams.
Lap 4 1.3 seconds currently separate the top three. Verstappen is 2.2s off the pace after another wonderful start.
Lap 3 DRS is now enabled and Vettel is still within the one-second window for it to be deployed. Hamilton is not exactly closing the gap to get that P2 place from the German.
Lap 2 Kvyat tries an ambitious move on his team-mate Sainz in P11 and runs very wide as a result. He drops all the way down to P18.
Start Go! Go! Go! Bottas gets away well and so does Sebastian Vettel, who gets the jump on Hamilton into P2 at the first. A great start, too, for Max Verstappen as he skips ahead of both Kimi Raikkonen and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo into P4.
15:59 The formation lap is about to begin. Every driver is on the supersoft option, apart from Marcus Ericsson who is starting on the softs.
15:54 Fernando Alonso also had PU issues yesterday. You would be very brave to back him finishing the race.
15:52 Vandoorne's car is suffering from the same PU problem that affected him yesterday. If that can't be fixed, he will have reached his season limit already after just three races. Ouch.
15:48 And confirmation that Vandoorne is indeed OUT of the Bahrain Grand Prix. Painful.
17:46 There is just no sign whatsoever of any improvement from McLaren-Honda. Stoffel Vandoorne's car is already back in the garage!
17:41 You may remember Hamilton and Bottas clashed at the first corner here last year. Mercedes will be praying a repeat doesn't occur in around 20 minutes' time!
17:30 The pit lane is now open!
17:26 Horner: "We have to keep an open mind on a two stopper. If we do the same thing as the others the result will be the same. We need to do something different. Let's see where we are after Turn One."
17:25 With that in mind, Christian Horner is not ruling out a two-stopper as Red Bull try and get themselves in the mix for victory.
17:18 Pirelli predict that with low degradation of the supersoft tyre, a one-stopper is possible with one stint on supersoft of 24 laps and one stint on softs to the flag.
17:12 Tyre degradation is also going to be a huge factor as the 57-lap race develops. The rears in particular are going to take a bit of pasting, but if they are looked after well then the optimum one-stop strategy will be achievable.
17:06 We will, of course, be racing under the lights at Sakhir as the sun begins to set in the desert. There is absolutely no chance of any rain but it is very blustery. That will certainly make things a little more interesting after the wind caught out a number of drivers in FP3, especially at the final corner.
17:04 Ferrari were some way off Mercedes in qualifying, but Hamilton in particular is still wary of their race pace. Red Bull have also shown signs over the weekend that they can possibly start to close the gap to the leading duo.
17:03 Daniel Ricciardo split the two Ferrari drivers in P4, with team-mate Max Verstappen closing out the top six.
17:02 Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel are the joint-World Championship leaders heading into the race, but they had to settle for P2 and P3 respectively on the grid after Valtteri Bottas claimed his first career pole.
17:00 Hello and welcome to our live coverage for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The red lights will go out in one hour.
19:04 Well there is a nice surprise! Bottas has secured his first-ever pole position and is the fifth Finnish driver to do so. He has also ended Hamilton's run of six consecutive poles in the process! Make sure to join us again on Sunday for the all-important race!
19:03 Hulkenberg is best of the rest in seventh, with Massa, Grosjean and Palmer completing the top 10.
19:02 There is no improvement from Ferrari and Vettel has to settle for P3. Ricciardo manages to secure P4 with Raikkonen down in P5. Verstappen has qualified in sixth.
19:01 Something went amiss with Hamilton on his final hot lap but he is still able to lock down the front row alongside his team-mate.
19:00 And he's done it! Bottas marginally improves and knocks Hamilton off the top spot!
18:59 And it's Bottas who will be having the first attempt at trying to topple Hamilton.
18:58 Just two minutes remaining, and everyone is back out on track.
18:57 We're yet to see what the two Renaults have in their locker, but they do have a pretty clear track to work with. Grosjean appears to have found the limit in his Haas and slots into P8.
18:56 Felipe Massa completes the top seven at the moment and they are all back in the pits ahead of one final run. Romain Grosjean is currently the only driver setting a timed lap.
18:55 Ferrari are losing time to Mercedes the most in the first sector...
18:54 Verstappen is currently P5, +0.895s off the pace, and Ricciardo is 1.2s behind Hamilton in P6.
18:53 And it's Hamilton who grabs provisional pole with a stunning 1:28.792! Bottas is not far behind, +0.052s in fact. Ferrari had no answer in that first shoot-out, with Vettel four tenths behind in P3 and Raikkonen eight tenths down in P4.
18:51 Mercedes soon follow suit and Ferrari, playing a bit of a waiting game, eventually make their way out.
18:48 And there's the green light for the final time today. The Red Bulls are first out...
18:45 Fastest in Q1, fastest in Q2, can Lewis Hamilton make it a clean sweep and keep his consecutive run of poles alive? It's going to be very close with Ferrari and, of course, his team-mate Valtteri Bottas who is well in the mix.
18:44 The reason why Fernando Alonso did not run in Q2? His MCL32 needs a new power unit. The Indy 500 cannot come quick enough for him.
18:43 Here we go then! Q3 is just moments away...
18:41 Out in Q2: Kvyat, Stroll, Wehrlein, Ocon and Alonso. Q3 just moments away...
18:40 Meanwhile, there is a sudden revival from Jolyon Palmer! He climbs inside the top ten and so does Nico Hulkenberg. Both Renaults are into Q3.
18:38 Stroll is a little aggressive on the throttle as he heads down the pit straight and that will cost him a place in Q3.
18:37 Lance Stroll once again finds himself in the danger zone. He heads out for one last crack.
18:36 Alonso is marching off away from the garage, so Q2 is simply not going to happen for the sulky Spaniard.
18:33 The top three are covered by just five thousandths of a second, which potentially bodes well for Q3. Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll are the only two drivers to not post a time yet with five minutes of Q2 remaining.
18:31 As Mercedes crank up the pace, Red Bull are beginning to get left behind. Verstappen is P5 and Ricciardo follows in P6. The two Ferraris are in the middle of the sandwich with Vettel just +0.061s behind in P3.
18:30 Here come the Mercedes duo on the supersofts...Bottas breaks into the 1:29 barrier, and so does Hamilton who goes two hundreths of a second quicker to go P1.
18:26 Nobody in any real rush to head back out on track. The first to eventually crawl out from the garage is Bottas and Hamilton.
18:25 The pit lane is open again. 15 minutes of Q2 is coming right your way. We will lose another five drivers in this session before the battle for pole and the top ten commences.
18:24 The reason for Carlos Sainz's stoppage appears to be that his car simply ran out of fuel. He is not happy bunny.
18:22 So Lewis Hamilton finally gets himself to the top of the timesheets after three very frustrating practice sessions. Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Valtteri Bottas all got through Q1 on one set of soft tyres.
18:21 Also out: Vandoorne, Ericsson and Magnussen. Join us for Q2!
18:20 Another big name not reaching Q2 is Sergio Perez in the Force India. Now that is a big surprise!
18:20 Stroll also gets himself out of trouble, but one man definitely not reaching Q2 is Carlos Sainz in the Toro Rosso. "No power, no power," he says over team radio and comes to a grinding halt.
18:18 Palmer is the drop zone as the chequered flag waves but zooms up to P7 and all-but secures his place in Q2.
18:17 Raikkonen gets caught behind a Force India but still manages to improve to P3.
18:16 One minute of the session remaining, time for a mad scramble to reach Q2!
18:15 Grosjean was propping up the rest of the field but suddenly shoots up to P8 after a much-needed clean and stress-free run.
18:14 Rather surprisingly, Raikkonen is heading back out again on a set of supersofts.
18:11 Stoffel Vandoorne is the last driver to set a time with six minutes of the session remaining. He jumps up to P11 and puts Lance Stroll in the danger zone as a result.
18:10 But not for long! Hamilton produces a much cleaner lap on his second attempt and goes nine hundredths of a second quicker than Verstappen. Vettel slots into P3, +0.223s off the pace.
18:08 What have Red Bull got to offer in this session? Daniel Ricciardo goes P4, while Max Verstappen goes fastest with a 1:30:904.
18:06 The Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton are both out on the soft tyres, as are the two Ferraris. Bottas goes fastest with a 1:31.041, but his team-mate backs off completely after locking up at Turn 9 and getting way out of shape.
18:04 There are more brake issues for Haas as Romain Grosjean suffers a HUGE lock-up at the braking zone down at Turn 1. His lap is ruined before it's even really begun.
18:02 Pascal Wehrlein is taking part in his first qualifying session after seemingly overcoming his injury problems. He posts the first time of the evening - a 1:33.502 - which is four tenths quicker than his team-mate Marcus Ericsson.
18:00 We have green lights! And it is Sauber who are first out of the blocks for the 18-minute Q1 session. The five slowest drivers will be eliminated.
17:51 There have been signs that Red Bull are finally ready to join the battle alongside Mercedes and Ferrari. They were 1.3s off the pace in qualifying in the first two races and it would be a huge surprise if that deficit isn't significantly narrowed over the next hour or so.
17:40 A few drivers were caught out by the wind in FP3, especially at the last corner. It appears to have died down a little, though, which will come as a welcome relief to the teams.
17:38 Hamilton has six consecutive pole positions to his name and another one in Bahrain today would take him to within one of the record set by Ayrton Senna in 1988-89.
17:32 Mercedes have been on pole in Bahrain in the last four years, but they did not top the timesheets in FP1, FP2 or FP3 this race weekend. No doubt the Silver Arrows will be turning up the wick as we head toward Q3.
17:30 Hello and welcome to the qualifying sessions for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Only seven tenths separated the top eight cars in the slow-burner that was FP3; but, as the sun begins to set and the spotlights are turned on, qualifying will represent a different challenge altogether.
16:02 That's it for now. Join us in two hours for qualifying. Cheers.
16:01 Verstappen ends P1 ahead of Hamilton and Vettel with Bottas, Raikkonen and Massa next in line. Ricciardo, who did just one timed run, is P7.
16:00 The chequered flag is out on FP3...
15:58 Hamilton goes second, 0.110s down on Verstappen.
15:57 Ricciardo is out on new supersofts for a first - and only probably - timed lap. Verstappen goes first with a 1:32.194.
15:56 Verstappen reports that he can't get third gear synced.
15:55 Vandoorne is up to 10th, Perez goes seventh, Magnussen P12.
15:54 Verstappen, Kvyat, Sainz, Vandoorne, Alonso, Magnussen, Grosjean, Ericsson and Wehrlein are all out on brand new supersoft tyres.
15:51 Hamilton is now up to ninth place on the supersofts after his first flying lap was ruined by traffic. This lap he got caught out at Turn 8. The Brit is 1.298s down on Vettel.
15:49 Vettel goes P1. The Ferrari driver's 1:32.750 is 0.004s quicker than the Mercedes driver.
15:48 Ricciardo has covered five laps but has yet to set a time. He is the only driver without a time to his name while traffic has left Hamilton down in 18th place.
15:46 Bottas takes over at the top with a 1:32.754.
15:45 A 1:33.5 for Vettel and a 1:32.785 for Raikkonen is the new P1 time.
15:44 Vettel is tripped up in the wind and he is off the track with that lap ruined. Raikkonen also has a moment, but his is minor.
15:42 Vettel and Raikkonen are the first two out, both on the supersoft tyres. Hamilton joins them.
15:41 Still no times from Hamilton, Vettel, Raikkonen and Ricciardo.
15:40 The session will start at 15:42.
15:38 Ferrari have just sent Vettel and Raikkonen.
15:37 Yellow flags, make that red. "Okay I crashed the car," is Grosjean's assessment as he whacks the barriers at the exit of Turn 4. He lost the car, slid across the track, and nose first in the barrier.
15:36 Change at the top with a 1:33.249 for Verstappen while Ricciardo heads out for a flying lap.
15:34 Grosjean is not a happy chappy. "I've got a lot of understeer. I don't know what's going on!" he says as his Haas twitches all over the track.
15:33 P1 for Massa with a 1:33.7.
15:32 Bottas gets it very wrong in the final corner. He was a second up but finishes three seconds down.
15:29 Grosjean, Massa and Bottas are the latest drivers to venture out.
15:27 It is a 1:34.5 got Alonso, which puts him fifth on the soft tyres. Wehrlein, competing in his first Saturday for this season, misses the last corner on his way to 11th place.
15:26 Vandoorne jumps up to third on the supersoft tyres, 0.290s behind Kvyat, while Alonso starts his first flying lap of the afternoon.
15:23 Kvyat goes quickest with a 1:33.9 on his soft tyres.
15:21 Reports coming in state that both Haas drivers have changed brake discs and pads in the wake of their first run of this afternoon.
15:19 Stroll and Hulkenberg join Ocon in laying down the laps. A rather quiet start to FP3.
15:14 Hamilton reports that the "right brake doesn't work as well as the left." He's back in the pits.
15:12 Practice start and out goes Hamilton on the medium tyres.
15:11 Sainz, on the supersofts, goes quickest with a 1:34.219. He will probably run supersofts all afternoon as he has only one set of softs still available, which Toro Rosso will want to keep for Sunday's race.
15:09 A 1:34.415 is the first flying lap of the session and it is Esteban Ocon on the soft Pirellis.
15:05 Grosjean reports a balance issue as he drives through the pits, practices a start on his way out, and is onto lap number 3.
15:04 Given the heat in this session it means very little for qualifying or the grand prix. Both of those start at 6pm in the evening so much cooler conditions.
15:03 The drivers are all using medium tyres for their installation laps with Haas' Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen out for a second lap.
15:00 The pit lane light goes green and FP3 is underway with Carlos Sainz, Romain Grosjean and Vettel the first drivers out.
14:55 Five minutes to the start of FP3.
14:49 Track temperature is 40'C and the air is 34'C meaning another hot session for the teams and drivers.
14:44 There were troubles too for Lance Stroll, who had burning feet, Stoffel Vandoorne, whose MCL32 needed an engine change, and Nico Hulkenberg, who was called before the stewards for "dangerous" driving. The Renault driver was cleared as the stewards ruled that he had moved over for Hamilton, just onto the same piece of tarmac that Hamilton wanted as they were choosing different lines.
14:41 Red Bull have troubles of their own as Max Verstappen struggled to find the sweet spot in his RB13. He also lost track time after the floor of his car was damaged when he rode of Bottas' broken T-wing. He was, however, encouraged by Ricciardo's pace.
14:35 It was tight at the top with Valtteri Bottas second, 0.041s down, and Daniel Ricciardo 0.066s off the pace. Mercedes, though, had some issues of their own as Bottas' T-wing fell off his W08 for the second week running. Mercedes have said they will reinforce it but the FIA is reportedly wanting guarantees that it is safe - and motorsport's governing body wants that before FP3 gets underway.
14:30 Welcome back to the Sakhir circuit for the third and final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix. Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel dominated Friday's running, fastest in both sessions, despite a software glitch - alleged - causing his SF70H to grind to a halt. That wasn't Ferrari's only problem as Kimi Raikkonen had an overheating turbo in FP1.
19:33 Join us on Saturday for final practice for the Sakhir circuit. Can Ferrari maintain their advantage? Find out tomorrow. Cheers.
19:32 Good race pace from Ferrari, who seem to be matching Mercedes, which bodes well for Sunday's grand prix.
19:31 Raikkonen is fourth ahead of Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Massa, Verstappen, Grosjean and Kvyat.
19:30 The chequered flag is out with Vettel quickest of all by 0.041s over Bottas. Ricciardo is third.
19:25 Five minutes remaining in Friday's second practice...
19:23 Wehrlein is onto lap 25 as the German makes up for lost time - that would be two races lost.
19:21 End of session blues hit Vettel as he lets Ferrari know that he is tired of beeping around in the traffic.
19:17 Vettel's troubles continue as he says "brakes alarm on the dash." That's never a fun one to see but he's not slowing down.
19:16 Verstappen leaves the pits in his RB13. It looks as if he ran over some debris earlier prompting Red Bull to give the car a good look-over.
19:13 There is another issue with Vandoorne's car and he is out of FP2. He was reportedly told not to stress the engine as he returned to the pits.
19:12 Another driver with just 8 laps to his name is Verstappen. The Dutchman has been in the pits for a while.
19:10 Vandoorne is back in the pits with 8 laps on the board in this session.
19:07 Raikkonen is told that he is matching the pace of the Mercedes as he continues with a race simulation in the final 30 minutes of practice.
19:03 Vettel is back out again.
19:02 Ferrari have reportedly identified whatever was wrong with Vettel's car and he is in his car ready to roll. Former Ferrari tech director turned F1 boss Ross Brawn is in the back of the garage having a chat with old mates.
19:01 It's rather busy out there at the moment with Verstappen and Wehrlein in the pits along with the stricken Sainz and may-not-so-stricken Vettel. We'll know more soon from Ferrari, maybe, hopefully.
18:58 Kvyat complains about the drivability of his Toro Rosso. He is P10.
18:55 Vandoorne is back out on track and this time he is on a timed lap. It's a 1:34.2 for the McLaren driver, who leaves him P20.
18:52 He managed to roll his Ferrari down the hill almost to the pit lane with the marshals giving it a push the rest of the way.
18:50 Game over for Vettel as his Ferrari grinds to a halt out on track! "Complete shutdown," is his report to Ferrari as he stops at Turn 13.
18:48 Vettel, Massa, Hulkenberg, Kyvat and Palmer all head out but on used tyres.
18:47 Hulkenberg is under investigation for the earlier incident with Hamilton where the Brit had to dodge the slow-moving Renault.
18:44 "The radio's horrible, I can't hear a word you're saying," Stroll tells Williams. Wonder if they can hear him, though.
18:43 Vandoorne's car is back together, the driver is in the car, and it looks as if he'll be out on track very soon. And he is. Alonso pits, Vandoorne heads out.
18:41 Wehrlein is back out on track, now on the supersofts, and closes the gap to 2.8s. He is still P20.
18:40 Hamilton reports that Bottas' T-wing "just flew off" - again. Second race weekend in a row.
18:39 Sainz's STR has been returned to the pits but no word on what is wrong with the car/engine.
18:37 So it is Vettel ahead of Bottas, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Massa, Verstappen, Grosjean, Kyvat and Magnussen.
18:36 Replays show Hamilton had to take avoiding action to miss a Renault - Hulkenberg - that was in the way. "So dangerous," is Hamilton's assessment.
18:35 Verstappen's time is only good enough for fifth, he is behind Hulkenberg and Massa. He ran wide in the final corner.
18:33 Second try for Hamilton and he is up in the first sector, down in the second, and it looks like he has aborted it again.
18:32 Hamilton starts a hot lap, and Hamilton backs right off almost immediately. A lock up for Hulkenberg burns rubber.
18:30 Bottas goes purple in the first sector, but loses time in the second with a bit of traffic perhaps playing a part. A 1:31.351 for the Mercedes driver.
18:29 Purples for Vettel who does a 1:31.310. He reports that he "really struggled with the brakes, especially in the second part of the lap."
18:27 Now here comes the pace as Vettel slaps a set of supersoft Pirellis onto his Ferrari. Bottas and Palmer follow suit.
18:24 Wehrlein pulls into the pits with a best time that is 13s off the pace. Something is wrong with his Sauber with speculation that there is a suspension issue given the way the car is riding the kerbs. Wehrlein informs Sauber: "The front wheel is always in the air, even in fast corners."
18:23 Lance Stroll has been the busiest driver so far tonight with 9 laps on the board.
18:20 The two Sauber drivers, Ericsson and Wehrlein, are the last two drivers to set times - well excluding Vandoorne who is still stuck in the pits. Both did slow first laps with replays showing Ericsson running off the track.
18:17 "Smoke in the car" is Sainz's message to Toro Rosso as it looks like it may be coming from the cockpit, and not the engine. I'm sure Toro Rosso will reveal all - in time.
18:16 Smoking Toro Rosso as Carlos Sainz stops by the side of the track. The smoke is coming from the engine and the Spaniard is quick to jump out of his car. VSC is out.
18:15 Verstappen is on a hot lap as Raikkonen goes quickest in the first sector. It is a 1:32.769 for the Red Bull driver. Hamilton goes quickest with a 1:32.2 and here comes Raikkonen, it is a 1:32.277, which puts him P1. He is 0.013s up on Hamilton.
18:12 Lock up for Magnussen, return to the track for Raikkonen - this time on softs, and a hot lap for Hamilton but he is down in the first sector and he backs right off.
18:11 New P1 as Bottas replaces Bottas at the top with a 1:32.614, pipping Vettel by 0.001s. Sainz is up to third ahead of Grosjean, Ocon and Alonso.
18:10 Vibrations and a "weak" rear are Ocon's problems. Yip, I'd say the latter could be a serious problem.
18:09 Either a disco going on on top of Vandoorne's car or McLaren have fired up his engine. Speaking of McLaren, the other one is in a bit of trouble as Alonso locks up at the end of the main straight.
18:07 Vettel reports that he "struggling through 6 and 7 with the front end" with the first "more limited."
18:06 Magnussen is having gear troubles and is told to "try a higher gear in corner 12, we are losing performance."
18:05 Vettel puts in a 1:32.6 to edge Romain Grosjean by 1.6s.
18:03 Championship leader Vettel is out on the track while his main rival, at least for now, Hamilton, is climbing into his car. And there goes Raikkonen, the Finn leaves the pits on the medium Pirellis.
18:02 Don't expect to see Vandoorne any time soon as he is sitting on the pit wall in a tracksuit, not even in his race suit. Good news for Raikkonen is that Ferrari are reporting that he will run in FP2.
18:00 The pit lane light is green, the sun is setting, the flood lights in effect, and FP2 is underway at the Sakhir circuit.
17:54 This session is a lot more relevant for the teams as 6pm local time, when FP2 starts, is the same time as when qualifying and the grand prix will get underway. So both those sessions should take place in similar conditions to what the drivers will experience over the next 90 minutes.
17:52 Track temperature is down to 35'C and the air is 34'C. You can literally breathe easier, especially if you're a Mercedes driver.
17:50 It has been confirmed that it was an MGU-H for Vandoorne and McLaren-Honda are having to change the entire power unit. His car is in pieces in the garage with seven mechanics working furiously.
17:43 If you missed this morning's big breaking news: Jenson Button has been named as Fernando Alonso's replacement for the Monaco GP in a "one-off" appearance. Alonso has decided to skip the Monte Carlo race in favour of an Indy 500 bid.
17:37 It was a troubled start to the weekend for Kimi Raikkonen, whose turbo expired in the heat, and Stoffel Vandoorne, another to grind to a halt out on track.
17:30 Welcome back to the Sakhir circuit for the second of Friday's two practices. Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the afternoon session, up on the Red Bull drivers, while Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were P10 and P14 in the blistering heat. It will be a bit cooler this evening, which Mercedes will be grateful for.
15:30 And he can't, meaning he will finish the session P2, four tenths off the pace set by Vettel. Verstappen rounds off the top three while Hamilton and and Bottas finish P10 and P14 respectively. But, Mercedes were running out of sync with everyone else and were not particularly concerned with being quickest. Join us again for FP2 in two-and-a-half hours' time.
15:29 One minute of the session remaining and Ricciardo is going to try and improve his time one last time.
15:25 Stroll, running in P6, is told to abort his latest lap. He is complaining about a lack of grip. Not the best session in the world for Williams.
15:22 Massa spins off at Turn 13 and is nursing the car back to the pits. "I lost the brakes completely," reports the Brazilian. Oh dear...
15:20 There is better news on the other side of the McLaren garage with Alonso moving into the top ten after going through a whole host of set-up changes.
15:15 15 minutes to go...and the Mercedes duo are coming back out again after all. Renault's Jolyon Palmer, meanwhile, is on the team radio complaining about a lack of power.
15:09 And here is a familiar sight...a McLaren has stopped on track. It's Stoffel Vandoorne who is hopping out of the car at Turn 10.
15:05 Verstappen runs a little wide and loses time as a result. He slots into P3 behind his team-mate.
15:03 Ricciardo is out on track again and goes P2, four tenths slower than the pace-setting Vettel.
15:00 Mercedes claim that they are ahead of schedule and it does not appear likely that we will see Hamilton or Bottas before the end of the session in 30 minutes' time. They are down in P7 and P8 respectively.
14:58 After a messy start to his latest lap, Vettel gets to grips with the circuit and goes fastest with a 1:32.697. +1.3s clear of Perez in P2.
14:53 Now Hamilton is back in the garage, leaving Sergio Perez, Massa and Stroll to leap up to the top three positions on the leaderboard.
14:49 In fact, everyone is back in the pits - bar Hamilton.
14:48 The Mercedes duo continue to run and run and run. 17 laps apiece for Hamilton and Alonso which is five more than any other driver.
14:39 As Raikkonen begins the long walk back to the garage, Hamilton sets the new fastest lap and goes nearly fourth tenths quicker than his team-mate in P2.
14:37 Kimi Raikkonen has suddenly stopped on track as smoke emerges from the back end of his car. Engine issues already after just two races?
14:33 Bottas sets a 1:35.002 after swapping to soft tyres and returns to P1. Hamilton is now on the soft tyre, too, and is coming to the end of his out lap.
14:31 Ferrari are not the only team to arrive in Bahrain with upgrades, Force India have also improved their aerodynamic package in a bid to help them increase their speed through the corners.
14:27 Carlos Sainz is the first to switch to soft tyres and sets the new fastest lap of the session - a 1:36.079 - and Bottas is quick to follow suit. Sebastian Vettel skips up to P3 with his first timed lap.
14:24 Hamilton improves further to a 1:36.708 and is fastest overall in the final two sectors.
14:21 Hamilton and Bottas are continuing to trade fastest laps out in front, while Lance Stroll set the fastest time through the first sector. He cannot build on it, though, and slots into P5, almost +1.2s off the pace.
14:14 Mercedes appear to be getting into their stride a little now. Hamilton goes fastest with a 1:38.112 and Bottas is just +0.134 behind. Ricciardo drops down to P3.
14:11 Both Mercedes drivers are now out on track and there is a slight moment of concern with Valtteri Bottas slipping and sliding around. Team radio reports there is problem with overheating through Turns 12 and 13.
14:07 Ricciardo posts the first timed lap - a 1:38.985. He almost ran-off completely, though, as drivers battle with the desert dust.
14:05 Pascal Wehrlein is back out on track for the first time since he withdrew from Australian Grand Prix.
14:03 Verstappen has emerged with a huge aero sensor on the side of his RB13, while there is a lot of flow-vis on Alonso's car. It's just like testing all over again.
14:00 Green light! We're underway. And there's a immediate flurry of activity with a whole host of cars heading out on the medium compounds.
13:50 A quick weather update: it's hot, very hot. It is currently 36 degrees in Sakhir and 47 degrees out on track. A stern reliability test awaits.
13:45 A certain Bernie Ecclestone is in Bahrain this weekend, but not in the hands-on role he was anticipating ahead of the takeover from Liberty Media...
13:42 Lewis Hamilton is bracing himself for a "tough weekend", suggesting that the return to higher temperatures will indeed favour Ferrari in Bahrain. Hamilton, though, is the favourite to win the race come Sunday.
13:39 While Mercedes and Ferrari battle it out in front, Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen remain pessimistic about Red Bull's chances of joining the mix. They both believe the highest they can finish is fifth this weekend.
13:35 And, looking ahead to Sunday's race, Ferrari have arrived with a 'major upgrade' as they look to edge ahead of Mercedes again. Changes have been made to the front wing and the cooling vents to help with the high temperatures in the desert this weekend.
13:32 In case your Easter weekend has started by you just waking up now, you may have missed that McLaren have confirmed Jenson Button will return for the Monaco Grand Prix as Fernando Alonso heads off to the Indy 500.
13:30 Hello and welcome to our live coverage of round three on 2017 calendar: the Bahrain Grand Prix. FP1 begins in 30 minutes...
Driver Standings
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.048 1:33:53.373 2
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.920 6.660 2
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:35.159 20.397 2
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.054 22.475 2
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:35.875 39.346 2
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1:35.109 54.326 2
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:36.474 62.606 2
8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:36.424 74.865 2
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:35.679 80.188 2
10 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:48.507 95.711 2
11 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:37.775 1 LAP 1
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:37.867 1 LAP 2
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:36.760 1 LAP 2
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 2:03.409 3 LAPS 3
R Max Verstappen Red Bull RETIRED 46 LAPS 1
R Lance Stroll Williams RETIRED 45 LAPS 1
R Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso RETIRED 45 LAPS 1
R Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren RETIRED 57 LAPS 0
R Marcus Ericsson Sauber RETIRED 7 LAPS 1
R Kevin Magnussen Haas RETIRED 49 LAPS 0
Driver Standings
1 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:28.769 - 4
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.792 0.023 4
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.247 0.478 4
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:29.545 0.776 4
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.567 0.798 5
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:29.687 0.918 4
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:29.842 1.073 5
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:30.074 1.305 4
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:30.923 1.388 3
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:30.763 1.994 5
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:31.074 2.305 5
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:29.535 - 2
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:29.555 0.020 2
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.596 0.061 2
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.843 0.308 3
5 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:30.169 0.634 4
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:30.307 0.772 2
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:30.497 0.962 2
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:30.677 1.142 2
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:30.857 1.322 4
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:30.899 1.364 4
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:30.923 1.388 4
12 Lance Stroll Williams 1:31.168 1.633 4
13 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:32.118 1.304 1
13 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:31.414 1.879 5
14 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:31.684 2.149 4
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:32.558 1.744 2
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren 3
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:32.712 1.898 1
Driver Standings
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.814 - 1
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:30.904 0.090 1
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:30.988 0.174 2
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.037 0.223 1
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.041 0.227 1
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:31.057 0.243 2
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:31.373 0.559 1
8 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:31.458 0.644 2
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:31.531 0.717 2
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:31.667 0.853 1
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:31.691 0.877 2
12 Lance Stroll Williams 1:31.748 0.934 3
13 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:31.774 0.960 2
14 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:31.995 1.181 3
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:32.054 1.240 2
16 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:32.118 1.304 1
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:32.313 1.499 3
18 Sergio Perez Force India 1:32.318 1.504 2
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:32.543 1.729 3
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.900 2.086 2
Driver Standings
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:32.194 - 3
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:32.304 0.11 4
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:32.750 0.556 5
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:32.754 0.56 5
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:32.785 0.591 4
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1:32.801 0.607 4
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:32.809 0.615 3
8 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:32.933 0.739 2
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:33.604 1.41 4
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:33.744 1.55 5
11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:33.916 1.722 2
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:33.922 1.728 4
13 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:33.947 1.753 2
14 Lance Stroll Williams 1:33.965 1.771 5
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:34.027 1.833 4
16 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:34.064 1.87 2
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:34.198 2.004 4
18 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:34.205 2.011 6
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:34.268 2.074 1
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:34.417 2.223 3
21 Alex Lynn Williams 0
Driver Standings
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:31.310 - 7
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:31.351 0.041 5
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:31.376 0.066 4
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:31.478 0.168 8
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.594 0.284 5
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:31.883 0.573 4
7 Felipe Massa Williams 1:32.079 0.769 5
8 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:32.245 0.935 3
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:32.505 1.195 7
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:32.707 1.397 5
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.854 1.544 7
12 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:32.875 1.565 4
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:32.876 1.566 4
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:32.897 1.587 6
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:33.319 2.009 4
16 Lance Stroll Williams 1:33.361 2.051 5
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:33.944 2.634 4
18 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:34.072 2.762 0
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:34.117 2.807 5
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:34.230 2.92 2
Driver Standings
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:32.697 - 6
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:33.097 0.4 5
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:33.566 0.869 6
4 Sergio Perez Force India 1:34.095 1.398 5
5 Felipe Massa Williams 1:34.246 1.549 5
6 Lance Stroll Williams 1:34.322 1.625 4
7 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:34.332 1.635 5
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:34.372 1.675 4
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:34.564 1.867 5
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.636 1.939 3
11 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:34.838 2.141 3
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:34.927 2.23 3
13 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:34.997 2.3 4
14 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:35.002 2.305 3
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport 1:35.068 2.371 3
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:35.579 2.882 4
17 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:35.888 3.191 6
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:35.959 3.262 5
19 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:36.079 3.382 4
20 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:42.333 9.636 1
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