Bahrain GP: Fernando Alonso beats Sebastian Vettel in final practice

Fernando Alonso put Ferrari back on top in the final free practice session ahead of Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying

Bahrain GP: Fernando Alonso beats Sebastian Vettel in final practice

The Chinese GP winner produced a 1m33.247s lap on the softer medium tyres seven minutes from the end, and it proved unbeatable.

Earlier in the session Alonso had spun wildly out of Turn 2 while on a hard tyre run. He stopped just short of the gravel trap and was able to continue.

Sebastian Vettel looked best-placed to depose Alonso at the end, as everyone else fell shot on their medium runs.

The world champion's Red Bull had been on top for most of the session, and waited until the final seconds before heading out on medium Pirellis.

Vettel came across traffic halfway round his lap, prompting an angry gesture at Charles Pic. But even before he encountered the Caterham, Vettel's sector times were already shy of Alonso's.

Running very wide over the rough Turn 12 kerbs then stymied Vettel's next lap and he failed to improve on the 1m33.348s he had set on mediums, 0.101 seconds off Alonso's pace.

Mark Webber completed the top three in the second Red Bull.

Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and early pacesetter Romain Grosjean were fourth and sixth, sandwiching Lewis Hamilton.

The Mercedes had a dramatic end to its session when Hamilton suffered an apparent left rear tyre failure on his slowing-down lap. The car sustained suspension damage in the incident, but Hamilton was able to nurse it back to the pits.

Mercedes is now having to carry out a left-rear corner change before qualifying. It is unsure what caused the initial tyre problem.

Force India stayed with the frontrunners as Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta took seventh and eighth, followed by Nico Rosberg's Mercedes and Nico Hulkenberg's Sauber.

Felipe Massa, fastest on Friday morning, was only 11th for Ferrari, ahead of the McLarens.

At the back, Marussia's Max Chilton had to sit out the latter part of the morning due to a KERS problem.

Pos  Driver               Team/Car              Time       Gap       Laps
 1.  Fernando Alonso      Ferrari               1m33.247s            12
 2.  Sebastian Vettel     Red Bull-Renault      1m33.348s  + 0.101s  15
 3.  Mark Webber          Red Bull-Renault      1m33.380s  + 0.133s  19
 4.  Kimi Raikkonen       Lotus-Renault         1m33.446s  + 0.199s  21
 5.  Lewis Hamilton       Mercedes              1m33.455s  + 0.208s  19
 6.  Romain Grosjean      Lotus-Renault         1m33.464s  + 0.217s  19
 7.  Adrian Sutil         Force India-Mercedes  1m33.596s  + 0.349s  17
 8.  Paul di Resta        Force India-Mercedes  1m33.700s  + 0.453s  15
 9.  Nico Rosberg         Mercedes              1m33.764s  + 0.517s  19
10.  Nico Hulkenberg      Sauber-Ferrari        1m33.922s  + 0.675s  17
11.  Felipe Massa         Ferrari               1m33.949s  + 0.702s  20
12.  Jenson Button        McLaren-Mercedes      1m34.117s  + 0.870s  17
13.  Sergio Perez         McLaren-Mercedes      1m34.282s  + 1.035s  18
14.  Daniel Ricciardo     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m34.577s  + 1.330s  16
15.  Valtteri Bottas      Williams-Renault      1m34.611s  + 1.364s  17
16.  Jean-Eric Vergne     Toro Rosso-Ferrari    1m34.678s  + 1.431s  16
17.  Pastor Maldonado     Williams-Renault      1m34.833s  + 1.586s  17
18.  Charles Pic          Caterham-Renault      1m35.816s  + 2.569s  16
19.  Jules Bianchi        Marussia-Cosworth     1m36.731s  + 3.484s  17
20.  Giedo van der Garde  Caterham-Renault      1m36.939s  + 3.692s  16
21.  Max Chilton          Marussia-Cosworth     1m37.630s  + 4.383s  7
22.  Esteban Gutierrez    Sauber-Ferrari        1m39.592s  + 6.345s  28

AUTOSPORT Bahrain GP coverage:

FP1 FP2 FP3 Qualifying Race Gallery Live commentary Official quotes

shares
comments
Friday form guide: Lotus vs Ferrari in Bahrain
Previous article

Friday form guide: Lotus vs Ferrari in Bahrain

Next article

Bahrain GP: Nico Rosberg takes surprise pole for Mercedes

Bahrain GP: Nico Rosberg takes surprise pole for Mercedes
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Plus

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start Plus

The forgettable final car of a former F1 giant that gave Damon Hill his start

While it launched the F1 career 
of a future world champion, STUART CODLING recalls that the BT60 was also the final nail in the coffin of a once-great marque 30 years ago. Here is its story

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022