SAKHIR, Bahrain -- Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc set the fastest time of preseason testing so far after clocking a 1:31.024 on the final morning of running at the Bahrain International Circuit on Saturday.
The Ferrari driver used the C4 tyre compound -- the second softest in Pirelli's range -- to lower the benchmark time by 0.6 seconds compared to Friday's fastest time set by Zhou Guanyu in the Alfa Romeo.
Leclerc's time was 0.418s clear of the next best effort by George Russell in the Mercedes. Russell, who had his time in the car cut short on Friday afternoon by a hydraulic issue, used the softer C5 compound to set a 1:31.442 shortly before Leclerc set his fastest time.
Maintaining Aston Martin's presence in the top three this week, reserve driver Felipe Drugovich was 1.051s off Leclerc's best time as he returned to the car for another morning of testing.
Drugovich is replacing race driver Lance Stroll this week, who injured his wrist in a bicycle accident last week and remains a doubt for the first race next weekend.
The morning session was suspended twice by red flags, one for debris in the first hour of running and one just before 1 p.m. local time when Valtteri Bottas' Alfa Romeo stopped at Turn Eight.