F1: Alonso nips Verstappen in final Bahrain GP practice

by Mark Cipolloni

Aston Martin ace Fernando Alonso beat Max Verstappen by just 0.005s to lead final practice for the Bahrain GP on Saturday.

Alonso’s time of 1m32.340s still in the heat of the day will not be as fast as we will see in qualifying in 2 hours when the sun goes down.

Sergio Perez was third quick in the 2nd Red Bull Honda, 0.106s back.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

However, it was the blazing time Max Verstappen set on the hard tires that got everyone’s attention on pit road.  It indicates Red Bull may make this a one-stop race given their speed in race setup conditions and their ability to keep the tires under them on all three tire compounds.

Lewis Hamilton ended up 4th quick for Mercedes, 0.215s behind, and Charles Leclerc rounded out the top-5 for Ferrari, 0.284s behind.

American rookie Logan Sargeant is doing well so far, matching or beating his experienced teammate, Alex Albon, every session in identical equipment.  Sargeant is quickly proving he belongs in F1. We shall see how he does in his first-ever F1 qualifying up next.

American F1 rookie Logan Sargeant

Is that finally an accurate pecking order? The conditions will change over the next couple of hours, with the sun due to set before qualifying kicks off. The track will cool, the wind often picks up into the evening… And the scene will be set for an epic qualifying showdown.

Practice 3 Results

1 14 Fernando Alonso ESP Aston Martin Aramco 1m32.340s +0.000s 13
2 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing Honda 1m32.345s +0.005s 12
3 11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing Honda 1m32.446s +0.106s 11
4 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m32.555s +0.215s 17
5 16 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1m32.624s +0.284s 20
6 63 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team 1m32.731s +0.391s 17
7 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco 1m32.919s +0.579s 15
8 55 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1m32.945s +0.605s 20
9 81 Oscar Piastri AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m33.045s +0.705s 11
10 10 Pierre Gasly FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m33.064s +0.724s 12
11 31 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m31.116s +0.776s 15
12 24 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1m33.180s +0.840s 12
13 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m33.202s +0.862s 15
14 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m33.381s +1.041s 20
15 27 Nico Hulkenberg GER MoneyGram Haas F1 Team 1m33.423s +1.083s 22
16 22 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 1m33.475s +1.135s 14
17 77 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake 1m33.629s +1.289s 13
18 2 Logan Sargeant USA Williams Racing 1m33.665s +1.325s 14
19 23 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing 1m33.882s +1.542s 14
20 21 Nyck de Vries NED Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 1m34.082s +1.742s 18