Alonso went quickest in Bahrain P3 

Fernando Alonso fired a serious warning shot to the other teams by setting the fastest time in the third and final practice session in the lead-up this afternoon’s maiden qualifying session for the 2010 season.

In a session typically used to prepare for and simulate qualifying-style runs, Alonso’s fastest time of 1:54.099 was the fastest of the weekend so far on the extended Sakhir circuit.

As if to prove that he will be a force to be reckoned with all weekend, Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg again held his own in this session, and finished just 0.269s slower than the Ferrari despite setting quicker sector times in the first and second sectors of the 6.299km circuit.

Mark Webber recovered from his lost mileage in the second practice session (courtesy of a driveshaft problem) and lapped third-quickest of the drivers. He was trailed by Michael Schumacher, who has consistently been about 0.4s slower than Rosberg in every session so far.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth-quickest, followed by Felipe Massa, who landed up sixth-quickest with a fastest lap that included running wide at the final corner.

Jenson Button, Robert Kubica, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Nico Hülkenberg completed the top-ten.

One driver of note who failed to feature in the top-ten was Lewis Hamilton, who missed out on the chance to perform a qualifying-style run courtesy of a front brake duct issue.

There was also some action further down the field, with the particular stand-out being a fright for Virgin Racing’s Timo Glock when his front-left wheel parted company with his VR-01. Glock’s team-mate Lucas di Grassi lost more crucial mileage with a gearbox problem.

Karun Chandhok’s miserable weekend continued, and for the third session in a row he was unable to complete a single lap in his HRT Cosworth, with yet more gearbox problems in his car.

He looks likely to be ruled out for the rest of the weekend, with the Sporting Regulations stating that a driver must have participated in at least one practice session in order to be eligible to qualify for the racer proper.

No doubt someone from HRT will be making a beeline for the Stewards’ office to claim force majeure.


2010 Bahrain GP Practice 3 Session Times:

  Driver Team Time Laps
1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:54.099 14
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:54.368 13
3. Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 1:54.500 15
4. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:54.533 13
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1:54.646 16
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:54.739 14
7. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1:55.000 14
8. Robert Kubica Renault 1:55.331 15
9. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India Mercedes 1:55.432 11
10. Nico Hülkenberg Williams Cosworth 1:55.461 13
11. Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 1:55.521 13
12. Lewis Hamilton McLaren Mercedes 1:55.860 8
13. Pedro de la Rosa Sauber Ferrari 1:56.063 14
14. Rubens Barrichello Williams Cosworth 1:56.259 15
15. Sébastien Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:56.295 17
16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:56.504 16
17. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber Ferrari 1:56.530 13
18. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:56.811 16
19. Timo Glock Virgin Racing Cosworth 1:59.173 10
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus Cosworth 1:59.789 15
21. Jarno Trulli Lotus Cosworth 2:01.259 5
22. Bruno Senna HRT Cosworth 2:04.001 11
23. Lucas di Grassi Virgin Racing Cosworth no time 2
24. Karun Chandhok HRT Cosworth no time  

[Image via ITV-F1]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.