Sebastian Vettel has led a Ferrari one-two in the final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix, with both of the Prancing Horse’s cars almost half-a-second quicker than the pace-setting Mercedes which had previously dominated Friday’s practice running.
Vettel’s teammate Kimi Räikkönen enjoyed a fair amount of time at the top of the timesheets during the soft tyre runs, outpacing the Williams of Valtteri Bottas on the super soft tyre by one-tenth of a second and finishing the session just four one-hundredths of a second off Vettel’s best time.
Friday’s timesheet topper Nico Rosberg was third-fastest in the Mercedes, 0.056 seconds quicker than teammate Lewis Hamilton who is still yet to top Rosberg in a session this weekend. The pair was over a second off their own pace in yesterday’s FP2 session, which was run in cooler track conditions.
Despite lacking pace during the warmer temperatures of practice, Rosberg’s best time in FP2 was sixth-tenths of a second faster than Vettel’s FP3 effort.
Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutiérrez starred for Haas as both drivers finished inside the top ten. Grosjean ran as high as fifth position until he was demoted by Bottas late in the session, while Gutiérrez finished two-tenths of a second behind Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat in eighth.
McLaren’s reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne spent over half of the session in the garage due to an oil leak which had to be cleaned up while his MP4-31’s tanks were refilled. The Belgian completed a handful of laps on the soft tyre before jumping onto the super soft, where he finished in fourteenth position, just 0.041 seconds off teammate Jenson Button.
Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz both had a troubled session, spending majority of the hour of running in the last two positions as they stuck with the slower Soft compound tyre. The Toro Rosso pair completed 20 laps each – the most of any runners in the one-hour session – and eventually moved into the lower midfield.
Force India also only ran the Soft tyre, with Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez finishing in 18th and 19th positions respectively.
|2016 FORMULA 1 GULF AIR BAHRAIN GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE 3 RESULTS|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Result||Laps|
|1.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H||1:31.683||22|
|2.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H||+ 0.040||13|
|3.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid||+ 0.421||18|
|4.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid||+ 0.477||14|
|5.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||+ 0.992||18|
|6.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16||+ 1.399||14|
|7.||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12||+ 1.430||10|
|8.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16||+ 1.654||14|
|9.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38||+ 1.680||18|
|10.||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12||+ 1.836||20|
|11.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||+ 1.886||16|
|12.||Kevin Magnussen||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||+ 1.934||9|
|13.||Jenson Button||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||+ 2.021||12|
|14.||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren-Honda MP4-31||+ 2.061||11|
|15.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||+ 2.095||20|
|16.||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11||+ 2.320||20|
|17.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35||+ 2.330||15|
|18.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||+ 2.445||16|
|19.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09||+ 2.598||15|
|20.||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team RS16||+ 2.741||9|
|21.||Rio Haryanto||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||+ 3.863||15|
|22.||Pascal Wehrlein||Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5||+ 4.041||16|
Image via XPB Images