FP3: Hamilton quickest as Williams’ woes continue

FP3: Lewis Hamilton quickest as Williams' woes continue

FP3: Lewis Hamilton quickest as Williams' woes continue

Lewis Hamilton claimed the practice hat-trick for the Australian Grand Prix in a FP3 session that saw no respite for Williams.

As the sun baked down on the Albert Park circuit, Max Verstappen led the way in his new chassis – at least at the 20-minute mark.

Red Bull broke curfew overnight to hand the Dutchman a new chassis due to a “concern” with the fuel cell in his Friday chassis – it was easier to change chassis than to replace the fuel tank.

He posted a 1:24.944 on the medium to sit on top at the 20-minute mark but was pipped by Sebastian Vettel as Ferrari and Mercedes came out to play.

The German clocked a 1:23.739 to go quickest but lost out to Hamilton. The Brit, who is chasing a record eighth pole in Melbourne, was 0.04s faster.

Hamilton upped his pace to a 1:23.360 to extend his advantage while Bottas made it a Mercedes 1-2.

Unfortunately for Williams their woes continued with Robert Kubica, who earlier had to take avoiding action when Lando Norris blocked him in the pits, having even more troubles in the pits.

He hit the wall on the way in, a hefty whack with the left side of the car that caused bits of bodywork to break off his FW42.

Back in the action and with fresh soft tyres on his SF90, Vettel went purple in all three sectors to finish up with a best time of 1:22.556.

That put him P1, however, as with before, that didn’t last long as again Hamilton had an answer, a 1:22.292.

The reigning World Champion finished FP3 0.264s ahead of Vettel while Charles Leclerc was a further two-tenths off the pace.

Romain Grosjean was an impressive P4 for Haas, finishing ahead of his team-mate Kevin Magnussen while Pierre Gasly was sixth for Red Bull.

Bottas, who had a slide on his hot lap, was seventh while Daniil Kvyat, Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo completed the top ten.

Williams were again bottom of the timesheet with George Russell 1.4s short of P18, Lando Norris.

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:22.292 12 laps
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.264s 12 laps
3 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.457s 12 laps
4 Romain Grosjean Haas 0.820s 17 laps
5 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1.042s 15 laps
6 Pierre Gasly Red Bull 1.075s 17 laps
7 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1.130s 17 laps
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1.150s 16 laps
9 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1.189s 19 laps
10 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.403s 14 laps
11 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.445s 15 laps
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 1.539s 16 laps
13 Carlos Sainz McLaren 1.757s 21 laps
14 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1.790s 18 laps
15 Alex Albon Toro Rosso 2.036s 15 laps
16 Lance Stroll Racing Point 2.053s 16 laps
17 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 2.110s 18 laps
18 Lando Norris McLaren 2.276s 16 laps
19 George Russell Williams 3.652s 14 laps
20 Robert Kubica Williams 4.297s 16 laps