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Carlos Sainz of Ferrari tops FP3 ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

Carlos Sainz dominated the third and final practice session at the Bahrain International Circuit, setting the pace for the upcoming Formula 1 qualifying session.

Behind the wheel of his Ferrari, Sainz outpaced Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin by a mere 0.141 seconds during their runs on soft tires. The reigning world champion, Max Verstappen, trailed closely in third place, a mere 0.238 seconds behind Sainz, showcasing the fierce competition anticipated for the upcoming race.

The session unveiled a dynamic mix of performance among the teams, with each practice session witnessing a different driver taking the lead. This unpredictability adds an extra layer of excitement for the upcoming qualifying rounds, scheduled to commence later today.

Among the standout performances, Charles Leclerc secured fourth place, closely followed by Lando Norris in fifth, demonstrating McLaren's competitiveness early in the season. However, it wasn't a smooth ride for all, as Lewis Hamilton, who topped the timesheets in the previous practice, struggled to find his rhythm and settled for 12th place.

With only six tenths of a second separating the top 10 drivers and the top 14 covered by less than a second, the stage is set for a nail-biting qualifying session and an exhilarating Bahrain Grand Prix.

This year's race holds particular significance as it marks the commencement of the 2024 Formula 1 season, with Bahrain hosting the inaugural event. The circuit's 5.412-kilometre track promises intense battles and thrilling overtakes as drivers vie for supremacy over 57 laps in Sakhir.

As anticipation mounts for the qualifying rounds and the subsequent race, fans eagerly await the spectacle that is the Bahrain Grand Prix, kicking off another exhilarating season of Formula 1 racing.

2024 Bahrain Grand Prix - Free Practice 3 results:

1 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:30.824
2 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +0.141
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.238
4 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.270
5 Lando Norris McLaren +0.294
6 George Russell Mercedes +0.366
7 Oscar Piastri McLaren +0.386
8 Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.424
9 Nico Hulkenberg Haas +0.454
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin +0.572
11 Daniel Ricciardo RB +0.625
12 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.628
13 Yuki Tsunoda RB +0.807
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas +0.847
15 Alex Albon Williams +1.141
16 Zhou Guanyu Stake +1.176
17 Valtteri Bottas Stake +1.272
18 Esteban Ocon Alpine +1.300
19 Logan Sargeant Williams +1.301
20 Pierre Gasly Alpine +1.558

Read More: George Russell analyses pre-season gains to Max Verstappen's F1 dominance (planetsport.com)

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