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.

Vettel ended his session with a rare spin

Vettel ended his session with a rare spin

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

Images Sutton Images

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