Lewis Hamilton has made it a clean sweep in the practice sessions at Bahrain, taking top spot once again from Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.1 seconds.
The pair was followed by Force India’s Sergio Pérez, the Williams’ of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, and McLaren’s Jenson Button, who ensured Mercedes power claimed the top six positions on the timesheets.
But it wasn’t the speed of Mercedes that was the highlight of the session; reigning champion Sebastian Vettel made a rare unforced error when he put the power down too fast exiting Turn 2 and spun, beaching his RB10 in the gravel and ending his session early.
The incident was reminiscent of his 2011 season, where he would constantly go off in FP3 as he explored the limits of the car and track. The circumstances, however, have changed quite drastically since then, given his car doesn’t yet enjoy the frontrunning pace compared to his rivals. The German failed to complete a lap on the soft compound tyre which harmed his preparations for qualifying.
Force India seem to be the dark horse this weekend, after showing competitive lap times in both race and qualifying simulations. They will be right in the hunt for the final place on the podium providing Mercedes have a drama-free race.
Unfortunately for Lotus, they showed little to no signs of improvement, with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado well down the timesheets. They were even bested by Kamui Kobayashi’s Caterham and Jules Bianchi’s Marussia by 0.4s and 0.1s respectively.
Again Toro Rosso proved they’re Q3 contenders come qualifying. Rookie driver Daniil Kvyat ended the session in ninth position, three places higher than his team-mate Jean-Éric Vergne, who ended up 12th.
2014 Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Results:
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:35.324||12|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05||1:35.439||+ 0.115||12|
|3.||Sergio Pérez||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:35.868||+ 0.544||10|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:36.116||+ 0.792||10|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36||1:36.364||+ 1.040||8|
|6.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:36.394||+ 1.070||8|
|7.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:36.454||+ 1.130||12|
|8.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07||1:36.455||+ 1.131||11|
|9.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:36.680||+ 1.356||16|
|10.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari F14T||1:36.772||+ 1.448||13|
|11.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes MP4-29||1:36.822||+ 1.498||8|
|12.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9||1:37.030||+ 1.706||11|
|13.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:37.119||+ 1.795||11|
|14.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:37.325||+ 2.001||18|
|15.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33||1:38.089||+ 2.765||24|
|16.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:38.400||+ 3.076||17|
|17.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:38.736||+ 3.412||15|
|18.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:38.880||+ 3.556||21|
|19.||Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05||1:38.971||+ 3.647||18|
|20.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Renault E22||1:39.208||+ 3.884||17|
|21.||Sebastian Vettel||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10||1:39.225||+ 3.901||8|
|22.||Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:39.597||+ 4.273||14|
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