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Fernando Alonso

Alonso edges Verstappen in close-fought final practice

Fernando Alonso topped the final practice session by the slimmest of margins to whet the appetite for a thrilling F1 qualifying session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Alonso Aston Martin FP1 Bahrain GP
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Fernando Alonso continued Aston Martin's fine form by clinching top spot in the final Formula 1 practice session ahead of Bahrain GP qualifying.

The anticipation of an intense battle between Aston Martin and Red Bull continued to build, with Alonso's lap time of 1:32.340 being enough to top the session by just 0.005 of a second.

He enjoyed a slim margin ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who was just a further one tenth of a second ahead of teammate Sergio Perez.

Interestingly, the Red Bull duo went against the trend by completing some extended running on the Hard compound tyres early on in the session, setting some competitive lap times against cars running the Soft tyres in the process.

Despite pessimistic comments from the Mercedes drivers yesterday, Lewis Hamilton set the fourth-fastest lap time of the morning session, just two tenths of a second off Alonso's pace.

Teammate George Russell, who is trying a different rear wing configuration to the other Mercedes, was a further two tenths of a second behind Hamilton. The pair were separated by Ferrari's Charles Leclerc.

Following his uncomfortable running in free practice two, Lance Stroll appeared to be at ease with his steering inputs on his Aston Martin.

The onboard footage showed the Canadian tackling the tighter corners with a more conventional hand position on the steering wheel. He placed the second AMR23 in P7, ahead of Ferrari's Carlos Sainz.

Oscar Piastri improved McLaren's hopes of a competitive showing by placing his MCL60 in P9, ahead of long-time rivals Alpine, who finished with Pierre Gasly edging ahead of Esteban Ocon.

Result Free practice 3 - Bahrain

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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