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Alonso leads Red Bulls in final practice

Apr 20, 2013, 5:18 AM EDT

F1 Grand Prix of Bahrain - Practice Getty Images

Fernando Alonso has finished the final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix quickest ahead of qualifying later today.

The Ferrari driver posted a fastest lap of 1:33.247 to edge out the Red Bull pairing of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. Alonso, like most of the field, set his fastest time on the medium compound tire, although Felipe Massa could not improve on the options and ended up P11.

Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton followed the Red Bulls, although a tire failure caused severe damage to the Briton’s Mercedes W04 after the checkered flag had fallen. Romain Grosjean showed signs of improvement by finishing 6th, with Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta finishing 7th and 8th for Force India, continuing their good form. Compatriots Nico Rosberg and Nico Hulkenberg completed the top ten for Mercedes and Sauber respectively.

McLaren continued to stuggle in Bahrain, with Jenson Button and Sergio Perez only capable of finishing 12th and 13th. The Mexican driver is in need of a good result following the worst start by a McLaren rookie in over twenty years.

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Many drivers were caught out as they tried to push their cars to the limit in Bahrain, with Alonso even finding the gravel at one stage. Vettel had a run in with Charles Pic late on in the session as the Caterham driver attempted to reclaim track position, but it was even worse for Marussia. Max Chilton suffered a KERS failure, whilst a fire on Jules Bianchi’s car temporarily halted his running. Neither driver could beat Pic, who was easily the quickest backmarker.

The battle for pole position looks set to be a close one with four teams all in with a chance of starting at the front for tomorrow’s Bahrain Grand Prix. However, it appears that three-time winner in Bahrain Fernando Alonso is best placed to claim his first pole position of the season following a strong performance in FP3.

MORE: Watch qualifying and the Bahrain Grand Prix online or on your phone or tablet

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