Bahrain GP: Alonso leads Verstappen by 0.005s in Practice 3

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Fernando Alonso kept Aston Martin on top by leading final practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The Spaniard posted a 1m32.340s to pip world champion Max Verstappen by just 0.005s as teams completed their final preparations ahead of qualifying later on Saturday.

Sergio Perez was a further tenth behind in third in the second Red Bull. Mercedes showed some improvement with Lewis Hamilton in fourth and George Russell sixth.

Ferrari waited until the final moments to complete their fastest times of the session, but neither Charles Leclerc nor Carlos Sainz threatened the top positions in fifth and eighth respectively.

Despite questions about his wrist injury after Practice on Friday, Lance Stroll appeared more comfortable in the Aston Martin as he claimed seventh.

Oscar Piastri produced a stellar lap to take ninth for McLaren ahead of the two Alpines, as Pierre Gasly rounded out the top 10.

Zhou Guanyu was 12th with Lando Norris 13th. Kevin Magnussen led new Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg in 14th and 15th.

Yuki Tsunoda was 16th, as an error on his first flying lap left Valtteri Bottas in 17th.

Logan Sargeant once again outpaced Alex Albon in 18th and 19th. Nyck De Vries brought up the field for AlphaTauri in 20th.

Once again, the tightness of the grid was noticeable in FP3 with just 1.7s between Alonso and De Vries and 0.8s covering the top 13.

And with the prospect of Alonso challenging for his first pole position since Germany 2012, the first qualifying session of 2023 is going to be unmissable!