FP3: Hamilton tops windy final prac

Date published: April 18 2015

As the wind and dust played a role in final practice, it was Lewis Hamilton who emerged as the driver to beat in Bahrain.

Although the Brit did not feature in the early part of the hour-long session, the change to the soft tyres saw him come to the fore.

Clocking a 1:34.599, the reigning World Champion edged the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel by 0.069s.

Nico Rosberg was third as he just didn't have the pace on the soft tyres while Kimi Raikkonen was fourth. Friday's pace-setters were 0.3 and 0.5s off the pace respectively.

FP3 was briefly red flagged in order to allow marshals to safely recover Daniil Kvyat's car.

The Red Bull driver finished his practice in the gravel at Turn 4 after spinning off. He touched the inside kerb, lost the back end of the gravel and "I'm in the gravel" was the apt description.

The two Williams also lined up two-by-two behind the Mercs and Ferraris with Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa while Pastor Maldonado was seventh. The Venezuelan driver had a solid FP3 while his team-mate Romain Grosjean struggled into the wind, recording several minor offs.

Daniel Ricciardo was eighth while Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Nasr completed the top ten.

Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.599 13 laps
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:34.668 0.069 14 laps
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:34.968 0.369 16 laps
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.141 0.542 13 laps
5 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:35.393 0.794 18 laps
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1:35.471 0.872 15 laps
7 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:36.307 1.708 14 laps
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:36.335 1.736 8 laps
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:36.421 1.822 13 laps
10 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:36.429 1.830 18 laps
11 Jenson Button McLaren 1:36.488 1.889 14 laps
12 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull 1:36.548 1.949 7 laps
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:36.612 2.013 17 laps
14 Max Verstappen Torro Rosso 1:36.684 2.085 11 laps
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:36.727 2.128 14 laps
16 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:36.899 2.300 11 laps
17 Carlos Sainz Torro Rosso 1:36.979 2.380 14 laps
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:37.151 2.552 17 laps
19 Will Stevens Manor 1:39.745 5.146 12 laps
20 Roberto Merhi Manor 1:40.541 5.942 14 laps