Sainz leads Alonso ahead of Bahrain GP qualifying

Carlos Sainz has ended the final practice session ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix on top as Formula 1 teams and drivers now turn their attention to qualifying.

Despite the outing being the last hour of practice before qualifying gets underway, cars were slow to emerge out of the pits to begin their final preparations.

However once they did, they all took to the circuit on Soft tyres apart from the Red Bull duo who had the Hards strapped to their cars.

The fastest laps of the session came in the final minutes with Sainz leaping to the head of the timesheets ahead of compatriot Fernando Alonso.

Reigning World Champion Max Verstappen, who is the favourite heading into qualifying later today, was third fastest.

Charles Leclerc was fourth fastest in the second Ferrari car as he narrowly slotted in front of Lando Norris.

George Russell and Oscar Piastri were sixth and seventh respectively, however the top group remained close with less than four-tenths of a second separating the top seven drivers.

Sergio Perez was eighth for Red Bull while Nico Hulkenberg put in an impressive lap for Haas to sneak into ninth.

Rounding out the top 10 was Lance Stroll, just over half a second down on pace-setter Sainz.

Lewis Hamilton was 12th fastest for Mercedes with his lap time just 0.003s slower than Daniel Ricciardo in front of him.

It was a difficult session for Alpine, as Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly found themselves in 18th and 20th.