Watch first qualifying of the season live at 3pm on Sky Sports F1, with build-up from 1.30pm
By Matt Morlidge in Bahrain
Last Updated: 04/03/23 12:39pm
Fernando Alonso edged out Max Verstappen in final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix to set up a thrilling and unpredictable first battle for pole position of the season, which may also involve Mercedes.
Alonso, backing up his stunning form from Friday evening, topped Verstappen’s best time on the soft tyres by five thousandths of a second towards the end of the hour-long session in the baking Sakhir heat.
Sergio Perez was a tenth back in the other Red Bull, just ahead of a much-improved Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton had earlier led practice and finished fourth, just two-tenths off Alonso’s marker.
Charles Leclerc was fifth in the lead Ferrari ahead of George Russell in the other Mercedes, hinting at an epic four-team battle for the front positions in qualifying, which starts at 3pm live on Sky Sports F1.
More to follow.
Formula 1 is back! Watch the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix live on Sky Sports F1 this weekend. Sunday’s race begins at 3pm, with build-up from 1.30pm. Get Sky Sports