Lewis Hamilton leads the way in Bahrain FP3

Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the third and final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ferrari set the early pace with FP1 pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen leading his team-mate my two tenths of a second on the medium compound tyres. Later on the in the session drivers put on the soft tyres and Nico Hulkenberg set the fastest lap – five tenths faster than Raikkonen’s effort. This was quickly beaten by Nico Rosberg – nearly a second and a half faster – with Felipe Massa slotting into second. The order continued to change with Lewis Hamilton topping the times and Sebastian Vettel was just six hundredths off his pace.

As had been the case in Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 a number of drivers struggled with lock-ups and running deep in the braking zones. Vettel complained that his DRS was not working when he first went out on track while Jenson Button bemoaned a lack of rear grip. A bit from the rear of Pastor Maldonado’s car fell off, leaving a bit of debris on the track, while Carlos Sainz struggled with power issues.

Daniil Kvyat’s session came to an apparent early end when he spun his car and ended up beached in the gravel after 30 minutes. His mechanics got the car ready to go again and he got out with a couple of minutes left to get a soft tyre run in. The incident was initially covered by a yellow flag but a red flag was brought out to allow marshals to recover the car. It was a brief five minute red flag period and cars wasted no time in getting out again for the restart. Fernando Alonso was one of the first drivers out having had extensive work carried out on his car to fix a broken sensor.

Free practice three times:

  1. Lewis Hamilton – 1:34.599 – 13 laps
  2. Sebastian Vettel – 1:34.668 – 14 laps
  3. Nico Rosberg 1:34.968 – 16 laps
  4. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:35.141 – 13 laps
  5. Valtteri Bottas – 1:35.393 – 18 laps
  6. Felipe Massa  – 1:35.471 – 15 laps
  7. Pastor Maldonado – 1:36.307 – 14 laps
  8. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:36.335 – 8 laps
  9. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:36.421 – 13 laps
  10. Felipe Nasr – 1:36.429 – 18 laps
  11. Jenson Button – 1:36.488 – 14 laps
  12. Daniil Kvyat – 1:36.548 – 7 laps
  13. Marcus Ericsson – 1:36.612 – 17 laps
  14. Max Verstappen – 1:36.684 – 11 laps
  15. Sergio Perez – 1:36.727 – 14 laps
  16. Fernando Alonso – 1:36.899 – 11 laps
  17. Carlos Sainz – 1:36.979 – 14 laps
  18. Romain Grosjean – 1:37.151 – 17 laps
  19. Will Stevens – 1:39.745 – 12 laps
  20. Roberto Merhi – 1:40.541 – 14 laps
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