FP3: Vettel recovers to set the pace

Date published: April 28 2018

After Friday’s lack of pace, Sebastian Vettel found his form in final practice to finish P1 in a session that was briefly red flagged for Sergey Sirotkin’s crash.

With rain in the air, and even a few drops on the track at the start of FP3, Red Bull and Ferrari were quickly into the action for final practice.

Straight onto the ultrasoft tyres, Daniel Ricciardo was the first to top the timesheets before losing out to Sebastian Vettel and then Kimi Raikkonen.

Mercedes came out to join the tussle with the three teams trading purple sector times.

It was, however, Vettel’s 1:43.642 that stood as the time to beat as the Ferrari driver bounced back from Friday’s lack of pace.

As with Friday the drivers found it difficult getting it right at all 20 corners with Valtteri Bottas, Brendon Hartley, Lance Stroll and Romain Grosjean exploring the escape roads.

Vettel upped his pace to a 1:43.1 while Lewis Hamilton, pushing hard, brought out the yellows as he rode the kerbs hard, running wide.

Heading out for a second run, the Ferrari driver proved that wasn’t a fluke as he did a 1:43.091.

Hamilton, who also struggled on Friday, was second, 0.36 down while Raikkonen was third.

Practice was briefly halted when the red flags were thrown when Sergey Sirotkin binned his Williams in the Turn 3 wall.

Carrying too much speed, he should have aborted but instead tried to take the corner, damaging his Williams and the barrier.

Max Verstappen put in a late effort after the red flag to finish fourth ahead of Bottas and Sergio Perez while Kevin Magnussen, Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon and Sirotkin completed the top ten.

Times
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:43.091 17
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.361s 16
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.402s 17
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.428s 17
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.478s 20
6 Sergio Perez Force India 0.845s 9
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas 0.867s 11
8 Lance Stroll Williams 1.032s 8
9 Esteban Ocon Force India 1.129s 11
10 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1.443s 9
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1.672s 12
12 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1.77s 17
13 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1.814s 16
14 Charles Leclerc Sauber 2.127s 15
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 2.17s 12
16 Carlos Sainz Renault 2.341s 15
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 2.365s 11
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 2.414s 13
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 2.819s 17
20 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 3.095s 11