Lewis Hamilton fastest in dry third F1 practice for Australian GP

Lewis Hamilton edged out Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in final practice for the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix with Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel only two tenths off the pace

Lewis Hamilton fastest in dry third F1 practice for Australian GP

Mercedes used the super-soft tyres for the first time this year, with Hamilton clocking a 1m25.624s, 0.176s ahead of Rosberg at Melbourne's Albert Park.

Vettel's time was set before the Mercedes duo with the track rapidly improving, suggesting there could be a close battle at the sharp end in qualifying later on Saturday.

Rain throughout Friday severely limited any meaningful running but despite an overcast start to Saturday, conditions improved and the entire 60-minute session remained dry.

Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr, running a 2015-spec Ferrari engine, split the Ferraris on the super-softs to go fourth quickest, 0.633s adrift of Hamilton and two tenths clear of Kimi Raikkonen.

The other Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen was sixth, ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.

Bottas and Williams team-mate Felipe Massa struggled to get the tyres working early in FP3, but they made progress as the session went on, with Massa ninth and Force India's Sergio Perez completing the top 10.

Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button showed encouraging performance to set the 11th and 12th quickest times respectively for McLaren.

Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat was 13th, ahead of the leading Sauber of Marcus Ericsson and Renault's Kevin Magnussen.

Force India's Nico Hulkenberg was seven tenths adrift of team-mate Perez in 16th, with Renault's Jolyon Palmer 17th.

F1 rookie Rio Haryanto and Romain Grosjean collided in the pitlane early in the session when they were both released at the same time.

Haryanto was able to get out shortly after with a new front wing bolted to his car, but Haas chose to change the floor as well as the front wing on Grosjean's car before getting him back out.

Haryanto ended up 22nd and last, but just two tenths adrift of highly-rated team-mate Pascal Wehrlein.

Grosjean completed the fewest laps of anybody with 11 and ended the session 19th, 0.008s adrift of team-mate Esteban Gutierrez.

FP3 TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m25.624s - 24
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m25.800s 0.176s 25
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m25.852s 0.228s 25
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m26.257s 0.633s 28
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.435s 0.811s 23
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m26.701s 1.077s 26
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m26.730s 1.106s 28
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m26.768s 1.144s 22
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m27.151s 1.527s 28
10 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m27.242s 1.618s 22
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m27.263s 1.639s 20
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m27.341s 1.717s 20
13 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m27.430s 1.806s 22
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m27.659s 2.035s 26
15 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m27.871s 2.247s 24
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m27.988s 2.364s 22
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m28.117s 2.493s 24
18 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m28.284s 2.660s 21
19 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m28.292s 2.668s 11
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.293s 2.669s 26
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m29.046s 3.422s 18
22 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m29.272s 3.648s 23

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