Sainz quickest in final practice for the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix

Sainz quickest in final practice for the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz went quickest in the final practice session for the 2024 FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix, beating Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso by 0.141s as defending World Champion Max Verstappen almost a tenth further back in third place. 

With FP3 taking place in warmer conditions than those that will prevail in qualifying and the race, the final practice session got off to a slow start. However, after a six-minute wait, the silence was broken by Lewis Hamilton who steered his Mercedes W15 on track. 

The seven-time champion set a first timed lap of 1:32:733 on Softs and after three laps he returned to the Mercedes garage.

It left the way clear for Sauber drivers Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu and Williams’ Alex Albon and then out went the twin Ferraris of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc. 

Sainz jumped to P2 with a lap of 1:32.762 but Leclerc moved ahead of Hamilton with his first tour, posting a 1:32.677 to take top spot as the first quarter of the session elapsed. 

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen was the next to take P1 with a Soft-shod 1:32.440 but he was soon deposed, first by Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and then by Mercedes George Russell who logged a time of 1:31.821 to go half a second quicker than the Canadian. 

Aston Martin reclaimed top spot shortly before the half way mark, however, when Fernando Alonso halted the stopwatch at 1:31.528sd, 0.239 quicker than Russell. 

While the bulk of drivers went out on track on Soft compound Pirelli rubber in the first half hour, Red Bull’s driver chose to run on the C1 Hard compound and as the session ticked toward the final 15 minutes both Verstappen and Pérez were well down the field . 

That changed when Pérez finally bolted on a set of red-walled Soft tyres and vaulted to the top of the order thanks to a lap of 1:31.248, over three tenths quicker than Alonso’s benchmark. 

Verstappen wasn’t far behind his team-mate on track and when the defending World Champion crossed the line he stopped the clock at 1:31.062 to beat Pérez by 0.186. 

Alonso was out on track again, however, and with a little over 10 minutes remaining the veteran Spanish driver jumped back to the top of the timesheet with a lap of 1:30.965. 

McLaren’s Lando Norris then put in the fastest middle sector to take third place, with Russell jumping to fourth ahead of the second McLaren of Oscar Piastri, who shunted Pérez down to sixth place as the session edged toward its final five minutes. 

That was the cue for Ferrari to return to the fray and Sainz pumped in a time of 1:30.824 to take top spot with 0.141 in hand over Alonso and more than two tenths clear of Verstappen.

Leclerc was next across the line but the 2022 Bahrain winner couldn’t find more pace than his team-mate and he ended up fourth overall, 0.270 down on Sainz. 

Norris held on to fifth place at the end of the session, ahead of Russell, Piastri and Pérez, and the top 10 was rounded out by Haas' Nico Hülkenberg in ninth and Stroll in 10th place. 

2024 FIA Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:30.824 18 214.515
2 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:30.965 0.141 18 214.183
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:31.062 0.238 16 213.955
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:31.094 0.270 17 213.880
5 Lando Norris McLaren 1:31.118 0.294 12 213.823
6 George Russell Mercedes 1:31.190 0.366 11 213.655
7 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:31.210 0.386 13 213.608
8 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 1:31.248 0.424 17 213.519
9 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:31.278 0.454 13 213.449
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:31.396 0.572 17 213.173
11 Daniel Ricciardo RB 1:31.449 0.625 13 213.049
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:31.452 0.628 19 213.042
13 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:31.631 0.807 14 212.626
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:31.671 0.847 20 212.533
15 Alexander Albon Williams 1:31.965 1.141 17 211.854
16 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:32.000 1.176 17 211.773
17 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:32.096 1.272 16 211.553
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:32.124 1.300 10 211.488
19 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:32.125 1.301 16 211.486
20 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:32.382 1.558 14 210.898
 


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