Vettel fastest as Ferrari moves ahead in Bahrain GP practice three

Sebastian Vettel led a Ferrari one-two as Mercedes' stranglehold on the Bahrain Grand Prix practice timesheets ended in the final warm-up session of this Formula 1 weekend

Vettel fastest as Ferrari moves ahead in Bahrain GP practice three

Vettel beat his Ferrari F1 team-mate Kimi Raikkonen by just 0.050 seconds during qualifying simulations in the closing stages to top the times, relegating the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to third and fourth.

Raikkonen had been fastest overall on soft tyres, before Vettel's late surge.

The higher heat of Saturday afternoon in Sakhir makes third practice less relevant to the business end of the weekend, and also ensured laptimes were substantially slower than in Friday evening's second practice session.

Hamilton and Rosberg set identical times to a thousandth of a second on soft tyres, before Rosberg edged Hamilton by 0.036s on super-softs.

The world champion was faster than his team-mate through the first two sectors, but lost crucial time over the final part of the lap, an areas he admits has been a struggle for him so far this weekend.

The Williams of Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest, ahead of Romain Grosjean's Haas, Daniil Kvyat's Red Bull and the second Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, who complained of Hamilton holding him up at one point in the session.

Felipe Massa tried the new shorter nose on his Williams, but could only lap ninth fastest, just ahead of the second Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo, though both did their super-soft runs earlier than their rivals.

Marcus Ericsson went 11th fastest for Sauber, followed by Kevin Magnussen's Renault.

McLaren-Honda could not maintain its impressive form from Friday evening, ending up 13th and 14th fastest with Jenson Button just 0.04s faster than rookie team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

The Toro Rossos were only 15th and 16th, but neither made runs on the super-soft tyre, preferring to focus mainly on long runs with the soft rubber.

Lower-fuel runs near the end put Verstappen 15th, almost three tenths clear of team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.

Felipe Nasr was 17th in the second Sauber, ahead of both Force Indias, which also didn't use the super-soft.

Jolyon Palmer set the 20th best time before picking up a puncture on his Renault as the session ended.

The Manor-Mercedes brought up the rear of the order, with Rio Haryanto ahead of Pascal Wehrlein, though Haryanto was the only one of the two to run the super-soft tyre.

PRACTICE THREE TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m31.683s - 22
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m31.723s 0.040s 13
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m32.104s 0.421s 18
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m32.160s 0.477s 14
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m32.675s 0.992s 18
6 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m33.082s 1.399s 14
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m33.113s 1.430s 10
8 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m33.337s 1.654s 14
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m33.363s 1.680s 18
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m33.519s 1.836s 20
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m33.569s 1.886s 16
12 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m33.617s 1.934s 9
13 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m33.704s 2.021s 12
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m33.744s 2.061s 11
15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m33.778s 2.095s 20
16 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m34.003s 2.320s 20
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m34.013s 2.330s 15
18 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m34.128s 2.445s 16
19 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m34.281s 2.598s 15
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m34.424s 2.741s 9
21 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 1m35.546s 3.863s 15
22 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m35.724s 4.041s 16

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