FP3: Ferrari's Carlos Sainz beats Alonso to top final practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuitbh

The final practice of the Bahrain Grand Prix saw Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz set the benchmark with a time of 1m30.824s to beat Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and reigning champion Max Verstappen.

The third and final practice took place in hot and dunny conditions which made the one-hour session less representative as the all-important qualifying and the grand prix itself are run in dark and hence cooler conditions. Nevertheless, drivers were eager to fine-tune their cars ahead of the first qualifying session of the 2024 F1 season.

Having concentrated on setup work in the earlier part of the session, Carlos Sainz delivered an encouraging lap time in the dying minutes of the session, clocking a 1m30.824s. His team-mate Charles Leclerc looked quick in the third and final sector, but he struggles in the opening part of the 5.4km Bahrain track just as he did yesteday. It meant that his best effort was only enough for P4 in the end.

Following a difficult pre-season testing for Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso appeared to deliver strong lap times once again, and ended up third quickest ahead of Max Verstappen.

Having struggled with instability on the opening day, the Dutchman looked much more comfortable in his RB20. His team-mate Sergio Perez took 8th, having recorded a lap time that was just over four tenths of a second adrift of Sainz's benchmark.

Yesterday's dominant team, Mercedes had a quiet session with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton finishing down in P6 and P12 respectively. The seven-time world champion concentrated on the heavy-fuel performance of his W15 as he performed a fairly consistent and quick long run in the middle of the session.

The Visa Cash RB headed the midfield with Daniel Ricciardo setting the 11th quickest time while his team-mate Yuki Tsunoda took 13th.

Haas appeared to be the surprise team once again with Nico Hulkenberg finishing in an impressive P9. The American team concentrated on heavy-fuel runs in pre-season testing to iron out their degradation issues from the previous season. The team now appear to have made huge inroads in terms of tyre management, and they also look quick in low-fuel configuration.

The final practice also confirmed that Kick Sauber, Alpine and Williams might find themselves at the bottom of the field as for now.


155Carlos SainzFerrari1:30.82418
214Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:30.965+0.141s18
31Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:31.062+0.238s16
416Charles LeclercFerrari1:31.094+0.270s17
54Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:31.118+0.294s12
663George RussellMercedes1:31.190+0.366s12
781Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:31.210+0.386s13
811Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:31.248+0.424s17
927Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:31.278+0.454s13
1018Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:31.396+0.572s17
113Daniel RicciardoRb Honda Rbpt1:31.449+0.625s13
1244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:31.452+0.628s20
1322Yuki TsunodaRb Honda Rbpt1:31.631+0.807s14
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:31.671+0.847s20
1523Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:31.965+1.141s17
1624Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:32.000+1.176s17
1777Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:32.096+1.272s16
1831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:32.124+1.300s11
192Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:32.125+1.301s16
2010Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:32.382+1.558s14