Bottas takes charge in FP3 ahead of exciting Baku qualy


Valtteri Bottas put Mercedes back in charge in Baku, setting the fastest time in FP3 before this afternoon's highly-anticipated qualifying session.

The German outfit ran at the front of the pack for most of the one-hour session, with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen splitting the Silver Arrows at the end.

Bottas clocked in with a 1:42.742, just edging out his fellow countryman who enjoyed  a  1:42.837 lap. Hamilton was third with 1:43.158.

Red Bull partly sustained its Friday momentum, remaining in the hunt for pole with Daniel Ricciardo in fourth place, just a tenth behind Hamilton.

Force India's Esteban Ocon was an unassuming fifth, just ahead of Max Verstappen.

The Dutchman's session ended early following an engine issue. The Red Bull driver complained at one point about a power cut-out to which his engineer responded with a settings change.

To no avail unfortunately as Verstappen eventually pulled off the track with ten minutes remaining.

A loss of hydraulic pressure also sidelined Sebastian Vettel early on but Ferrari was not expecting the problem to persist in the all-important qualy.

It was another wretched session for Renault's Jolyon Palmer when his car developed a fire early on, forcing him out of free practice. 

Massa, Kvyat, Stroll and Perez rounded off the top ten.

Free practice 3 results

1Valtteri BottasMercedes1:42.742s21
2Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:42.837s+ 0.095s14
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:43.158s+ 0.416s23
4Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1:43.287s+ 0.545s24
5Esteban OconForce India1:43.344s+ 0.602s21
6Max VerstappenRed Bull1:43.614s+ 0.872s16
7Felipe MassaWilliams1:43.738s+ 0.996s18
8Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:43.908s+ 1.166s21
9Lance StrollWilliams1:44.040s+ 1.298s17
10Sergio PérezForce India1:44.138s+ 1.396s22
11Nico HülkenbergRenault1:44.312s+ 1.570s16
12Sebastian VettelFerrari1:44.344s+ 1.602s7
13Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:44.401s+ 1.659s23
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:44.741s+ 1.999s18
15Kevin MagnussenHaas1:44.926s+ 2.184s20
16Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1:45.143s+ 2.401s17
17Romain GrosjeanHaas1:45.491s+ 2.749s20
18Marcus EricssonSauber1:45.645s+ 2.903s21
19Pascal WehrleinSauber1:45.722s+ 2.980s19
20Jolyon PalmerRenault1:53.040s+ 10.298s4


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