FP3 – Alonso reigns supreme once again in FP3
Alonso reigns supreme once again in FP3, outpacing the Red Bull drivers who opted for harder tyres. Despite Verstappen’s best efforts to catch up, Alonso was unbeatable in a head-to-head battle, clocking a lap time just 0.005s faster than Verstappen’s.
During the final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, the driver for Aston Martin Formula 1 team, set the fastest lap once again, surpassing the Red Bull duo once more.
Alonso, who set the pace on Friday, started at the front of the leaderboards in FP3 after the initial runs. However, it’s worth noting that while most drivers used the soft tyre, the two Red Bull drivers went out on hards.
Despite Max Verstappen appearing to have overcome his discomfort with the RB19 from Friday and finishing just six tenths behind Alonso’s pace using a tyre that was two steps harder, he was unable to beat Alonso in a direct battle for the top spot during the final minutes of the session when they were both using the same type of tyre.
Verstappen initially took the lead with a lap time of 1m32.345s using soft tyres, but Alonso quickly responded by going just 0.005s faster. Alonso managed to make up for his slower time in the first two sectors by performing better in the final sector and eventually surpassed Verstappen’s time.
After being informed by his Aston team that he was still leading the session, Alonso responded nonchalantly with a simple “Ah, really? Great.” He held onto his top spot until the end of the session, despite Sergio Perez’s Red Bull coming very close to beating him by just one-tenth of a second.
The Mercedes W14s showed improvement in the session, with Lewis Hamilton finishing in fourth place and George Russell in sixth place, two tenths apart from each other. This gap allowed Charles Leclerc from Ferrari to take the fifth spot, slotting in between the two Mercedes drivers with just one minute left on the clock.
Despite struggling with a wrist injury during Friday’s session, Alonso’s Aston Martin teammate Lance Stroll managed to perform well on a single lap during FP3. He finished in seventh place, just six tenths behind Alonso.
During the initial runs, Carlos Sainz was faster than his teammate Leclerc, but in the final set of runs, he was three tenths slower, resulting in him finishing in eighth place.
McLaren’s rookie driver Oscar Piastri had an impressive performance, finishing in ninth place. The Alpine duo of Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon were very close in lap times, with just half a tenth between them, and they completed the top 11.
The lap times of the top 13 drivers were very close, with only a 0.862s difference between them. However, there was a larger gap of 1.742s between the fastest driver and the slowest driver, with Nyck de Vries finishing in 20th place in the AlphaTauri and falling somewhat behind the rest of the field.
Pos Name Car B.Time Gap 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 Jr. 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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