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.

  Driver   Team / Entry Result Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H 1:31.683 22
2. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 0.040 13
3. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 0.421 18
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 0.477 14
5. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 0.992 18
6. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 1.399 14
7. Daniil Kvyat ru Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 1.430 10
8. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 1.654 14
9. Felipe Massa br 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 dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 1.934 9
13. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.021 12
14. Stoffel Vandoorne be McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.061 11
15. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 2.095 20
16. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 2.320 20
17. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 2.330 15
18. Nico Hülkenberg de 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 id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 3.863 15
22. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 4.041 16

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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