Alonso moves ahead in final practice
20 April 2013 – Fernando Alonso set the pace in Saturday's final practice session at Sakhir, coming out on top during a late flurry of Medium tyre runs. The Ferrari driver posted a best time of 1:33.247 to lead Sebastian Vettel by one tenth of a second, although the German was hindered by traffic on his final lap. Mark Webber wound up third.
With no sign of the intermittent rain showers that appeared 24 hours ago, the last phase of preparation for qualifying and the race got underway amid high temperatures and calmer winds. The opening phase of the session was dedicated to longer runs on the Hard tyre, with Vettel's Red Bull, Alonso's Ferrari, and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean making up the top three places before the switch to Medium rubber.
Alonso, who endured a massive spin on the exit of Turn 2 while completing a run on heavily-worn Hard tyres, jumped to the top of the timesheets on the softer compound, eclipsing Vettel by 0.101 seconds. As the session drew to a close, Vettel was on a much quicker lap and had set personal best times throughout the first two sectors, but a run-in with Charles Pic at the final corner ruined his hopes of taking the top spot.
As a result, Vettel had to settle for second position, just ahead of Red Bull team-mate Mark Webber and leading Lotus driver Kimi Räikkönen. Lewis Hamilton ended the morning as the fifth quickest driver, although his Mercedes F1 W04 suffered a major failure at the left-rear while returning to the pits.
Grosjean held on to sixth after a brief spell atop the timesheets in the early stages, keeping the Force Indias of Adrian Sutil and Paul di Resta at bay. Nico Rosberg and Nico Hülkenberg were next up, denying Ferrari driver Felipe Massa plus McLaren duo Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez of top ten positions.
Charles Pic again led the battle between Caterham and Marussia, ending up almost a second clear of Jules Bianchi. Giedo van der Garde beat Max Chilton to 20th place, while Sauber's Esteban Gutiérrez brought up the rear after an early Medium tyre run.
Saturday afternoon's qualifying session at Sakhir gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +3) and can be tracked via the GPUpdate.net Live Report