Verstappen tops FP3 and throws Red Bull into the mix!

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Max Verstappen edged out Mercedes Lewis Hamilton by just a tenth of a second in the last free practice session before this evening's all-important qualifying stint.

Although it wasn't quite as hot as yesterday afternoon, Bahrain was still basking in scorching heat when FP3 got underway, but it wasn't a mad dash for drivers to rush out in the early stages.

As the session unfolded and teams gradually took to the track, Williams’ Felipe Massa went fastest with a 1:33.720, but this was soon beaten by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen although the lap appeared to be ridden with errors.

The session was interrupted for short period after 35 minutes when Romain Grosjean spun his Haas on the exit of Turn 4. The French driver eventually succeeded however in limping back to the pits although he took no further part in the session.

When the session resumed, Sebastian Vettel vaulted his Ferrari to the top with the top four drivers covered at that point by just five hundreds of a second.

Hamilton set a competitive time only late in the session, ultimately placing himself P2 on the time sheet, using like his colleagues the supersoft compound tyre.

Vettel ended the session P3, narrowly beating Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen. Felipe Massa concluded his stint in sixth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo.

Free Practice 3 results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:32.194s 8
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:32.304s + 0.110s 10
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:32.750s + 0.556s 10
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:32.754s + 0.560s 13
5 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:32.785s + 0.591s 9
6 Felipe Massa Williams 1:32.801s + 0.607s 12
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:32.809s + 0.615s 8
8 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:32.933s + 0.739s 9
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:33.604s + 1.410s 18
10 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:33.744s + 1.550s 11
11 Sergio Pérez Force India 1:33.916s + 1.722s 14
12 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:33.922s + 1.728s 10
13 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:33.947s + 1.753s 15
14 Lance Stroll Williams 1:33.965s + 1.771s 15
15 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:34.027s + 1.833s 15
16 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:34.064s + 1.870s 17
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:34.198s + 2.004s 13
18 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:34.205s + 2.011s 14
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:34.268s + 2.074s 15
20 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:34.417s + 2.223s 11