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FP3: Verstappen leads Leclerc and Perez in fascinating final practice in Bahrain

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Max Verstappen set the top time over Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez in an engrossing FP3 time attack ahead of qualifying for the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix.

In the heat of Sakhir, teams took their time to emerge but the track was abuzz with activity after 15 minutes and the benchmarks kept tumbling. Verstappen eventually went fastest with a time of 1m 32.544s – Ferrari's Leclerc just 0.096s away, after overcoming a spin into the Turn 11 gravel – while Red Bull team mate Perez was 0.25s off in P3.

George Russell took fourth for Mercedes, 0.4s off the pace, having complained of understeer in low-speed corners early on. Team mate Lewis Hamilton took sixth, six-tenths off, with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz splitting them for P5.

READ MORE: Wolff says Red Bull 'in a league of their own' – as Horner admits he expected to be on the back foot in 2022

Haas and Alfa Romeo enjoyed an exciting turn of pace in FP3, with Kevin Magnussen seventh and Alfa's Valtteri Bottas eighth ahead of team mate Zhou Guanyu.

That left Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

Bahrain 2022

Practice 3 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1VER1:32.544
2LEC+0.096s
3PER+0.247s
4RUS+0.391s
5SAI+0.509s
View Full Results

Lando Norris finished 11th for McLaren, his team mate Daniel Ricciardo focusing on medium-tyred runs until he shot to P15 late on, in another quiet showing for the Woking squad.

Aston Martin substitute Nico Hulkenberg took P12 ahead of FP1 leader Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri (P13) and Haas's Mick Schumacher in 14th – Haas having used hard tyres early on in a differing strategy to their rivals.

FP3 Highlights: Bahrain Grand Prix

Alpine did not show their hand in FP3, forgoing soft-tyred runs to put Fernando Alonso 16th and Esteban Ocon 18th.

Williams' Alex Albon took 17th, complaining of heavy front tyre wear on his first soft-tyred effort, while team mate Nicholas Latifi was 19th.

Yuki Tsunoda's AlphaTauri sprung a hydraulic leak, the Japanese driver barely emerging from his garage before the crew was forced to wheel him back in. He finished last by default.

After a thoroughly captivating display in FP3, we have a rough idea of where the teams stand before qualifying – which begins at 1800 local time. Who will take pole position for the 2022 Bahrain Grand Prix?

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