WATCH LIVE: Bahrain GP qualifying on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET

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Lewis Hamilton may have topped the timesheets in the third and final practice session on Saturday afternoon in Bahrain, but the pace shown by Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel suggests that Mercedes will face a stiff fight for pole position in qualifying.

Just 0.069 seconds separated Hamilton and Vettel at the top of the timesheets in FP3, with Ferrari proving that it is not just on the long runs that it could pose a serious threat to Mercedes at the front.

With Nico Rosberg and Kimi Raikkonen lagging behind their teammates in third and fourth place respectively, both drivers will be hoping to up their game during qualifying and put on a show under the lights.

You can watch qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Curiously, Hamilton has never started the Bahrain Grand Prix from pole position. The Briton’s record this season has been perfect in 2015, with three poles in three races, meaning that something has to give during today’s session.

Going on this race alone, it is Rosberg who is the form qualifier, having secured P1 on the grid for the last two races in Bahrain. That said, both Vettel and Raikkonen have fared well here before, meaning we are in for a great four-way fight at the front of the field.

Further back, be sure to keep an eye on the close fight between the likes of Red Bull, Lotus, Sauber, Toro Rosso, Force India and even McLaren in the midfield, with none of the teams looking comfortable in the top ten or assured a place in Q3 today.

You can watch qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix live on CNBC and Live Extra from 11am ET. CLICK HERE to watch via live stream.

Santino Ferrucci will drive No. 14 for AJ Foyt Racing full time in 2023 IndyCar season

Santino Ferrucci AJ Foyt
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Santino Ferrucci will return to full-time racing in the NTT IndyCar Series next season, joining AJ Foyt Racing.

Ferrucci had made eight IndyCar starts with three teams since his last full-time season in 2020 while also racing part time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this year.

He will drive the storied No. 14 Dallara-Chevrolet for four-time Indy 500 winner A.J. Foyt’s team, which will field the car from its Waller, Texas headquarters.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be back in the INDYCAR Series full time,” Ferrucci said in a team release. “Being a part-time driver over the last two years has been hard for me, personally. I’m a race car driver, and I want to compete. Working with different teams has been exciting, and I’m proud that no matter which car I’ve raced, I’ve always shown speed and consistency. I couldn’t be more excited to join AJ Foyt Racing in the 14 Chevy. I can’t wait to make the best of it.”

Ferrucci, 24, had finished a career-best fourth in IndyCar four times, including the 104th Indy 500 in 2020. He was the 2019 Indy 500 rookie of the year with a sixth.

In nine Xfinity starts since 2021, Ferrucci has a career-best finish of 13th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“I am thrilled to welcome Santino to the team,” Larry Foyt said in a release. “He’s shown a knack for getting toward the front of the field, and I think he is a racer who moves forward on race day. A.J. sees the fire in him and has enjoyed their meetings together. I think Santino’s experience will help his rookie teammate as well, so he is a great addition to our roster.”

Ferrucci will be teamed at AJ Foyt Racing with Benjamin Pedersen, who finished fifth in the 2022 Indy Lights standings. The team has yet to specify the number for Pedersen’s entry, which will be fielded out of its Indianapolis race shop.

Foyt’s two full-time drivers last season were Dalton Kellett and Kyle Kirkwood, who is moving to Andretti Autosport.