Sebastian Vettel edged Lewis Hamilton as Ferrari upped the pace in final practice, a session in which Max Verstappen’s Renault engine left him stranded on the side of the track.
With dark clouds overhead and the threat of rain in the air there was some good news at the start of FP3 with Charlie Whiting freeing up an extra set of intermediate tyres for all the drivers to use should the rain come – instead of the usual four, they’ll have five.
Ferrari upped the pace, and likely the power, as they ran 1-2 with Kimi Raikkonen setting the initial pace before Sebastian Vettel took over at the top.
However, as to be expected Mercedes still seemed to have the edge.
Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton traded P1s at the sharp end as the ultrasoft tyres were the rubber of choice.
The Finn topped the times halfway through the session with a 1:04.594.
Sebastian Vettel hit the front with a new lap record, a 1:04.040, while Raikkonen mixed it up with the Mercedes drivers as he improved to third place.
Hamilton worked his way back up to second place, finishing FP3 0.029s behind Vettel, while Bottas put in a late effort to go third.
Raikkonen was fourth ahead of Max Verstappen. The Dutchman’s session ended early as he took a trip through the gravel and moments later lost his engine.
He stopped on the side of the track, losing the final few minutes of the session.
Daniel Ricciardo was sixth ahead of Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc.
Leclerc had an early shower as he stopped his Ferrari powered Sauber with an gearbox issue.
The kerbs again proved problematic for Stoffel Vandoorne, who took off a chunk of his front wing – twice. Brendon Hartley also broke his front wing resulting in Toro Rosso putting him on an older spec wing.
Times 1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:04.070 21 laps 2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.029s 23 laps 3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.134s 23 laps 4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.4s 22 laps 5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.721s 14 laps 6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 0.821s 18 laps 7 Romain Grosjean Haas 0.846s 16 laps 8 Kevin Magnussen Haas 0.943s 15 laps 9 Carlos Sainz Renault 1.016s 22 laps 10 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1.149s 25 laps 11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.158s 18 laps 12 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1.194s 24 laps 13 Esteban Ocon Force India 1.374s 21 laps 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1.378s 18 laps 15 Sergio Perez Force India 1.432s 24 laps 16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1.629s 26 laps 17 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1.635s 22 laps 18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1.767s 15 laps 19 Lance Stroll Williams 1.959s 23 laps 20 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 2.248s 22 laps
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