F1 Sakhir Grand Prix practice LIVE: Follow all the latest from Bahrain

THE SAKHIR GRAND PRIX is taking place this weekend – but there's no Lewis Hamilton.

The reigning champion has tested positive for coronavirus and been replaced by fellow Brit George Russell for Mercedes.

  • Qualifying time: Saturday, 5pm
  • Race time: Sunday, 5.15pm

Follow ALL of the latest updates below…

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: 10 MINS TO GO

    And Sergio Perez clocks a 54.267 to take P1!

    A solid 0.340 seconds ahead of Valtteri Bottas, and Lance Stroll puts the other Racing Point third.

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: BOTTAS GOES FASTEST

    The first run from the Mercs is complete and Valtteri Bottas squeezes into P1.

    The Finn is 0.15 seconds ahead of George Russell after their opening run.

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: TYRE TACTICS

    We expect the frontrunners to don the Medium tyres in Q2 but there are already plenty picking their way through this session.

    That Sainz lap was on the Hard with Pierre Gasly running wide on the same compound before going quicker.

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: 12 MINS TO GO

    Carlos Sainz now quickest around the Outer Circuit despite a big lock-up in Sector 2.

    A 55.334 for the Spaniard.

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: AITKEN EDGES LATIFI

    Spoke too soon…

    Jack Aitken's first lap is a tick faster than Nicholas Latifi in the Williams.

    A 55.580 and a 55.608 to kick things off for the point-less team.

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: 15 MINS TO GO

    Pietro Fittipaldi clocks a 55.8 as he crosses the line first.

    Right behind him, Kevin Magnussen goes 0.4 seconds quicker.

    The difference between the seniors and their three junior drivers popping in for a brief stint, in the Mercedes, Haas and Williams, will be a key part of qualy.

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: 17 MINS TO GO

    No rush to make hay on the quiet track as the light goes green.

    Among the first to dribble out are the two Haas cars of Kevin Magnussen, Pietro Fittipaldi.

  • Marc Mayo

    Q1: LIGHTS OUT!

    It's time to set the grid for the penultimate Grand Prix of the season.

  • Marc Mayo

    HERE WE GO

    It is all eyes on this man for the next hour.

    A Brit has taken pole ten times in 2020, all being Lewis Hamilton, with Mercedes nabbing 14 of the 15 so far.

    This weekend, that domination is under the biggest threat we have seen all season thanks to the champ's Covid-forced exit.

    Max Verstappen is keen. Traffic will be mad. Valtteri Bottas is desperate. And what can George Russell do?

    Credit: Getty Images – Getty
  • Marc Mayo

    FIVE MINUTE WARNING

    Strap in for qualifying around the Outer Circuit at Sakhir.

    George Russell has had great success getting out of Q1 in the Williams.

    It should be a doddle today, surely?!

  • Marc Mayo

    HORSES BOLTING

    Sebastian Vettel's last-minute engine change is COMPLETE.

    The Ferrari ace will be able to run after the swap started just minutes before the end of FP3.

  • Marc Mayo

    QUALY IS ALMOST UPON US

    A snap poll from the F1 Twitter account suggests 43.5 per cent of fans reckon George Russell will take poll.

    Max Verstappen is back at just under 30 per cent with Valtteri Bottas on 20.8 per cent…

    The Finn may find those odds a little harsh!

  • Joshua Mbu

    SPIN-OUT

    Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc pushed too hard in FP3 and spun out.

  • Joshua Mbu

    ACTION SHOTS

    It was an action-packed FP3 with Verstappen the quickest of the drivers clocking in a lap time of 54.064 seconds!

    Vettel’s car needs to have an engine change. That is a BIG job for the Ferrari mechanics.Credit: Getty Images
    George Russell is stepping in for Lewis Hamilton who is isolating after testing positive for covid-19Credit: Getty Images
  • Joshua Mbu

    FP3 RESULTS

    Verstappen was the quickest during FP3, but his practice session wasn't entirely clean….

  • Ben Hunt

    FP3 IS DONE

    Verstappen leads the way from Bottas as the Red Bull man shows that he can take the fight to the Mercedes man.

    Bottas will still be pleased with his result in practice after Friday's results, especially with Russell down in seventh,

    Gasly finishes third in final practice while Esteban Ocon was in P4.

    Could be close one for qualifying, which is in 2 hours.

  • Ben Hunt

    BIG NEWS FROM FERRARI

    Vettel's car needs to have an engine change. That is a BIG job for the Ferrari mechanics.

    Tonight's pasta will be put on hold while the mechanics make the changes to his car. It is touch and go if it will be done in time for qualifying.

    The engineers spotted something they did not like in the data and rather than risk it, they have made the decision to swap it.

  • Ben Hunt

    BOTTAS LOOKING STRONG

    As I mentioned earlier, it is good to see that Bottas has got over his terrible Friday.

    He is 0.336 seconds clear of Norris while Russell is in third and 0.394 seconds behind the Finn.

    Bottas is back. But can he stay there? The track is about to get busy.

  • Ben Hunt

    VETTEL POPS UP IN P2

    That is a bit of a surprise to see Vettel up there. He says he is happy with his lap as he slowly gets to grip with that Ferrari.

     

  • Ben Hunt

    GOOD START FOR BOTTAS

    After a miserable Friday, the Finn is looking in better shapeas he sits at the top of the time sheets.

    Verstappen in P2 but has just has a spin as he lost grip. He is clear of the barriers and will head back for new tyres.

  • Ben Hunt

    FP3 IS GO

    But not too much action on track just yet as the clock clicks down. Just Fittipaldi has ventured out on to the track and locked up.

  • Joshua Mbu

    FP3 IS A GO

    FP3 is underway!

  • Joshua Mbu

    FITTIPALDI SPEAKS

    Pietro Fittipaldi is stepping in for the injured Romain Grosjean, who is still recovering after his fiery crash at the Bahrain Grand Prix last Sunday.

    Fittipaldi – grandson of two-time champion Emerson Fittipaldi said: "It’s exciting.

    "It’s one year since I’ve driven an F1 car, eighth months since I’ve driven anything and I come out here and I took it step by step, but it’s crazy.

    "You’re on the big stage now, this is the big league, so you go out in FP1 and it’s different because there’s a bunch of cameras, everyone taking pictures, so you’ve got to just stay focused, keep calm."

  • Joshua Mbu

    DOUBLE CHECK

    Sometimes you have to check you're going to right away!

  • Joshua Mbu

    LEW ON TOP

    The ten greatest F1 drivers of all-time – according to SunSport’s motorsport correspondent Ben Hunt.

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