Carlos Sainz heads Fernando Alonso in competitive final practice

Carlos Sainz made it three different drivers to top the three practice sessions at the F1 Bahrain Grand Prix.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Sakhir, Bahrain, Qualifying
Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-24. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 1,…

Carlos Sainz set the pace in a competitive third and final practice session at the F1 season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

The outgoing Ferrari driver outpaced Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso by 0.141 seconds during their respective soft tyre runs, with reigning world champion Max Verstappen third, 0.238s down in his Red Bull.

Three different drivers have topped each of the three practice sessions so far in Bahrain, leaving plenty of uncertainty over the true competitive order heading into qualifying later on Friday.

However, it is worth noting that along with FP1, FP3 is the least representative session of the weekend given conditions will be very different in qualifying, which takes place under the lights.

Charles Leclerc was fourth, 0.270s slower than his Ferrari teammate, while Lando Norris took fifth in his McLaren.

George Russell was sixth, while Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, who topped FP2 on Thursday, was only 12th in the timesheet after a scrappy lap featuring a couple of wide moments.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, Haas’ Nico Hulkenberg and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll completed the top-10 order.

Just six tenths of a second split the top-10, while he top 14 were covered by less than a second.

Qualifying for Saturday’s Bahrain Grand Prix takes place at 4pm UK time.

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