Perhaps showing that Mercedes not sandbagging on Friday, Sebastian Vettel topped a Ferrari 1-2 in final practice for the Russian GP.
Blue skies, a warm track and an hour’s running awaited the drivers at the start of final practice at the Sochi Autodrom.
While Ferrari set the early pace with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, it was Mercedes who edged ahead just before the halfway point.
Hamilton posted a 1:34.828 on the ultras to lead Vettel by 0.105s while Valtteri Bottas was third.
The battle, though, was by no means decided.
Heading out on a new set of ultras, first Bottas then Hamilton and then Raikkonen went quickest only for Vettel to beat them all. A 1:34.001 for the championship leader.
Raikkonen was 0.337s off the pace with Bottas a further 0.026s down. Hamilton in fourth was half a second off the pace.
Red Bull remained the third best team but once again were not able to get involved in the battle at the front.
Max Verstappen was fifth, 1.451s down, with Felipe Massa and Nico Hulkenberg putting in lap burst to drop Daniel Ricciardo to eighth.
The Aussie had a minor issue near the end of FP3 as his RB13 lost power and ground to a halt on the side of the track. He was able to get the car going and continued on his way.
Carlos Sainz and Kevin Magnussen completed the top ten.
It was another disappointing session for Jolyon Palmer, who managed just four laps without a time before Renault revealed that his RS17 required an engine change.
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:34.001
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:34.338 0.337
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:34.364 0.363
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.542 0.541
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:35.452 1.451
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1:35.471 1.47
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport 1:35.662 1.661
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:35.830 1.829
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:36.164 2.163
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:36.556 2.555
11 Lance Stroll Williams 1:36.649 2.648
12 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:36.676 2.675
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:36.846 2.845
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:36.869 2.868
15 Sergio Perez Force India 1:36.962 2.961
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:37.164 3.163
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:37.182 3.181
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:37.503 3.502
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:37.657 3.656
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport no time