until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Alonso fastest again in final Bahrain GP practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
3 min read

Aston Martin Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso was quickest again in the final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, once more outpacing the Red Bull duo.

Key moments:

> Alonso 0.005s ahead of Verstappen

> Mercedes fourth and sixth

> Piastri gets McLaren into top 10

> Williams, AlphaTauri slowest again

Alonso, the Friday pace-setter, was at the top of the leaderboards after the opening runs in FP3, albeit with the caveat that while most used the soft tyre the pair of Red Bulls had gone out on hards.

But while Max Verstappen, seemingly shrugging off his Friday discomfort with the RB19, was just six tenths off the pace on a tyre two steps harder, he then couldn’t match Alonso in a head-to-head battle for the top spot on equal rubber in the final minutes.

Verstappen took the lead with a 1m32.345s on soft, but Alonso responded moments later by going 0.005s quicker, having overturned his deficit to the Dutchman in the final sector.

Informed that he was “still P1”, Alonso responded with a nonchalant “Ah, really? Great.” to his Aston team – and he stayed in that spot until the chequered flag, as the other Red Bull, that of Sergio Perez, came up a tenth short.

An improved showing from the Mercedes W14s left Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in fourth and sixth respectively, two tenths apart, that gap allowing Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc to slot in between the pair with one minute left on the clock.

Alonso’s Aston squadmate Lance Stroll, seen struggling with his wrist injury in the car yesterday, was nonetheless again reasonably fast on a single lap, ending up six tenths behind his team-mate in seventh place.

Carlos Sainz was quicker than team-mate Leclerc in the initial runs but three tenths slower in the end, which translated to eighth place.

Rookie Oscar Piastri was an impressive ninth for McLaren, while Alpine duo Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were half a tenth apart in completing the top 11.

There was ultimately just 0.862s covering the top 13, and 1.742s between first and last – with Nyck de Vries cut somewhat adrift in 20th in the AlphaTauri.

Practice 3 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m32.34s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m32.345s +0.005s
3 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m32.446s +0.106s
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m32.555s +0.215s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m32.624s +0.284s
6 George Russell Mercedes 1m32.731s +0.391s
7 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m32.919s +0.579s
8 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m32.945s +0.605s
9 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m33.045s +0.705s
10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m33.064s +0.724s
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m33.116s +0.776s
12 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m33.18s +0.84s
13 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m33.202s +0.862s
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m33.381s +1.041s
15 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m33.423s +1.083s
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m33.475s +1.135s
17 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m33.629s +1.289s
18 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m33.665s +1.325s
19 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m33.882s +1.542s
20 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m34.082s +1.742s
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