Lewis Hamilton has firmed as a favourite to claim pole position for Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix after going fastest of all in Saturday’s final practice session at the Circuit de Gilles Villeneuve.

The Englishman – a four-time winner here – finished over half a second faster than Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, while the impressive performer of the session was Felipe Massa, who managed to split the duo and finish the session second-quickest in his Williams.

That being said, both Hamilton and Rosberg posted their quickest lap times on the slower Soft compound Pirelli tyres, opting not to attempt serious times as they saved compounds for qualifying and the race. Massa’s fastest time, by contrast, came on the Super Soft ‘option’ compound.

Fernando Alonso took his Ferrari fourth-quickest, with he and teammate Kimi Räikkönen sandwiching fifth-placed Daniel Ricciardo on the timesheets.

Valtteri Bottas showcased Williams’ potentially podium-threatening pace with the seventh-fastest time, ahead of the Toro Rossos of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Éric Vergne. Sebastian Vettel was tenth-quickest in the second Red Bull, ensuring five teams occupied the fastest ten places on the timing screens.

The much-improved weather conditions made the track surface warmer than some had expected, and perhaps this accounted for the poor showing from both McLarens – who’d run in the top half of the field on Friday – with Kevin Magnussen finishing twelfth-fastest and teammate Jenson Button complaining of poor handling en route to a lowly sixteenth. Magnussen also suffered a wild spin after missing Turn 1.

The Dane wasn’t the only one to find himself facing the wrong way during the one-hour session. The Turns 8/9 chicane was the site of spins for three drivers – Marcus Ericsson, Romain Grosjean and Sergio Pérez – while Sauber’s Esteban Gutiérrez will miss qualifying entirely after crashing heavily just fifteen minutes into the session.

The Mexican lost control of his ill-handling C33 through the Turns 3/4 chicane complex, slamming into the fence at the exit of Turn 4. The team confirmed that his Ferrari-powered car had suffered irreparable damage, necessitating an overnight build of a spare chassis ahead of Sunday’s race.

2014 Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:15.610 18
2. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:16.086 + 0.476 16
3. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:16.120 + 0.510 20
4. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:16.488 + 0.878 15
5. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:16.504 + 0.894 15
6. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:16.528 + 0.918 22
7. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:16.684 + 1.074 20
8. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:16.820 + 1.210 21
9. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:16.824 + 1.214 19
10. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:16.884 + 1.274 15
11. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:16.944 + 1.334 17
12. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:16.993 + 1.383 19
13. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:17.121 + 1.511 21
14. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:17.188 + 1.578 19
15. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:17.224 + 1.614 21
16. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:17.360 + 1.750 23
17. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:17.900 + 2.290 23
18. Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:18.518 + 2.908 25
19. Max Chilton Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:18.525 + 2.915 19
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:19.865 + 4.255 23
21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:20.227 + 4.617 14
22. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:22.388 + 6.778 6

Image via XPB Images

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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.