Lewis Hamilton’s run of P1s in Australia continued into Saturday’s final practice while Rio Haryanto had his first crash of this season.
In the wake of Friday’s rain there was a frantic start to Saturday’s final practice as the teams hoped to make up for their minimal running on Friday.
That didn’t go according to plan for Haas and Manor.
Romain Grosjean exited the Haas garage to begin his day’s programme only to be hit by the Manor of Rio Haryanto. A sluggish get-away from the Indonesian driver meant they landed up on the same piece of the pit lane, damaging both cars.
Haas were quick to point the finger, tweeting: “To start FP3, Rio Haryanto exited his garage straight into Romain Grosjean, who was already on the pit lane.”
— Formula 1 (@F1) March 19, 2016
That, though, wasn’t the only drama.
A slippery track resulted in spins for Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez, a lock-up and close encounter with the rear of a Renault for Nico Rosberg, an off – or two – for Felipe Nasr and an excursion for Jolyon Palmer.
As for the timesheet, there was a mix of soft and super-soft times throughout the session with the latter proving to be about a second quicker than the soft tyres.
Mercedes were the last time to go for glory runs with Lewis Hamilton finishes quickest of all with a 1:25.624. That was 0.176s quicker than Nico Rosberg and 0.228s up on Sebastian Vettel’s best.
Carlos Sainz finished P4, 0.633s down, while Kimi Raikkonen was next in line ahead of Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas.
Daniel Ricciardo, Felipe Massa and Sergio Perez completed the top ten.
Grosjean finished P19 after his early woes as the Frenchman ventured out midway through the session after repairs to his VF-16 and a floor change as a precautionary measure.
Haryanto was P22, 3.6s off the pace.
1 L Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.624 24 laps
2 N Rosberg Mercedes 1:25.800 25 laps
3 S Vettel Ferrari 1:25.852 25 laps
4 C Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:26.257 28 laps
5 K Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.435 23 laps
6 M Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:26.701 26 laps
7 V Bottas Williams 1:26.730 28 laps
8 D Ricciardo Red Bull 1:26.768 22 laps
9 F Massa Williams 1:27.151 28 laps
10 S Perez Force India 1:27.242 22 laps
11 F Alonso McLaren 1:27.263 20 laps
12 J Button McLaren 1:27.341 20 laps
13 D Kvyat Red Bull 1:27.430 22 laps
14 M Ericsson Sauber 1:27.659 26 laps
15 K Magnussen Renault 1:27.871 24 laps
16 N Hulkenberg Force India 1:27.988 22 laps
17 J Palmer Renault 1:28.117 24 laps
18 E Gutiérrez Haas 1:28.284 21 laps
19 R Grosjean Haas 1:28.292 11 laps
20 F Nasr Sauber 1:28.293 26 laps
21 P Wehrlein Manor 1:29.046 18 laps
22 R Haryanto Manor 1:29.272 23 laps