Vettel tops Raikkonen as Ferrari ambush Mercedes in Bahrain practice

Vettel tops Raikkonen as Ferrari ambush Mercedes in Bahrain practice
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Published April 2nd, 2016 - 16:45 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel drives during the third practice session at the Sakhir circuit in Manama on April 2, 2016 ahead of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH
MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP
Ferrari's German driver Sebastian Vettel drives during the third practice session at the Sakhir circuit in Manama on April 2, 2016 ahead of the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH / AFP

Ferrari ambushed world champions Mercedes on Saturday when Sebastian Vettel topped the final practice for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix from team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

The four-time world champion Vettel clocked 1 minute 31.683 to lead the way for the Scuderia on the 5.412-kilometre Bahrain International Circuit.

Raikkonen trailed by four hundredths of a second as he was also faster then the Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg (0.421 behind) and title holder Lewis Hamilton (0.477).

But the Ferrari times were around half a second slower than what Rosberg and Hamilton had managed in Friday practice under floodlights and in cooler conditions. Qualifying later Saturday and Sunday's race are also after sunset.

Hamilton is looking to become the first man to win three straight Bahrain GPs. Rosberg has won the last four races overall, the final three of the past campaign and the season-opening 2016 race on March 20 in Australia.

Qualifying was to take place again in the new controversial elimination style format, despite almost universal agreement the idea failed spectacularly in Australia because of an empty track at the end. Jean Todt, president of ruling body the FIA, was quoted as saying that the qualifying format will be discussed again on Sunday.

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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