- Sep 26, 2010
Lewis Hamilton will head into qualifying as the man to beat after topping the final free practice session ahead of this years Bahrain Grand Prix. The Brit led the way ahead of Sebastian Vettel who only just missed on the top spot by less than a tenth of a second, whilst Nico Rosberg wound up 3rd.
Both Williams enjoyed solid sessions meanwhile, with Bottas and Massa ending the session 5th and 6th respectively, whilst Nico Hulkenberg's 9th place will give Force India a positive boost following their difficult start to the season.
However whilst some drivers enjoyed relatively unhindered practice programs, others were suffering greatly. McLaren's Jenson Button for example, despite posting a time quick enough for 9th, was regularly complaining of a lack of grip in the front and rear along with "downgraded power" from his Honda engine.
Meanwhile, several drivers fell foul of the headwind blowing down the main straight by locking up and running wide at turn 1, but the most affected was Daniil Kvyat who spun his Red Bull at turn 4 before rolling back into the gravel, beaching his car and bringing out the red flag. But he was able to rejoin with two minutes to go, posting the 12th quickest time of session.
In addition, as part of the investigations from yesterday's session, Lewis Hamilton avoided picking up any form of penalty for his infringement in the dying minutes of FP2 with the stewards confirming that his call up the stewards was actually a mistake. Meanwhile no further action has been taken over Perez and Vettel's collision which brought out the red flag yesterday evening.
But with Ferrari seemingly posing a very prominent threat to Mercedes, it looks like today's qualifying session could the most tightly fought session this year.
Free Practice 3 Official Results
1. Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 1:34.599
2. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 1:34.668
3. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 1:34.968
4. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari 1:35.141
5. Valtteri Bottas - Williams - 1:35.393
6. Felipe Massa - Williams - 1:35.471
7. Pastor Maldonado - Lotus - 1:36.307
8. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - 1:36.335
9. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - 1:36.421
10. Felipe Nasr - Sauber - 1:36.429
11. Jenson Button - McLaren - 1:36.488
12. Daniil Kvyat - Red Bull - 1:36.548
13. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - 1:36.612
14. Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso - 1:36.684
15. Sergio Perez - Force India - 1:36.727
16. Fernando Alonso - McLaren - 1:36.899
17. Carlos Sainz Jr. - Toro Rosso - 1:36.979
18. Romain Grosjean - Lotus - 1:37.151
19. Will Stevens - Manor - 1:39.745
20. Roberto Merhi - Manor - 1:40.541