Alonso leads Red Bulls in final practice

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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

Kanaan, Dixon to rejoin Chip Ganassi Le Mans effort

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Both Scott Dixon and Tony Kanaan will be rejoining Ford Chip Ganassi Racing as part of their four-car armada at the 2018 24 Hours of Le Mans, the team revealed late last week. Both drivers contested the event last year, with Dixon in the No. 69 entry – finishing seventh in the GTE Pro class – while Kanaan replaced an injured Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68 – finishing sixth in GTE Pro.

For Kanaan, this also represents a return to the Chip Ganassi organization, with which he contested the Verizon IndyCar Series from 2014 to 2017 before departing for A.J. Foyt Racing in 2018.

Kanaan will join Andy Priaulx and Harry Tincknell in the No. 67, while Dixon will reunite with Ryan Briscoe and Richard Westbrook, the three drivers having won the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January, in the No. 69.

Stefan Mücke, Olivier Pla, and Billy Johnson will share the No. 66 entry, with Joey Hand, Dirk Müller, and Sebastien Bourdais in the No. 68.

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