Hamilton takes over for Mercedes in final practice in Barcelona

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Lewis Hamilton took over from Valtteri Bottas as Mercedes' fastest runner and overall pace-setter in the third and final practice session in Barcelona.

The Brit's impressive flyer, achieved on the soft tyre, was over half a second faster than the best effort from Ferrari's Charles Leclerc. Bottas was only marginally slower than the Monegasque while Sebastian Vettel was fourth.

Haas' session was a confidence booster ahead of qualifying for both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen who concluded FP3 fifth and sixth ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso's Alex Albon, Alfa's Kimi Raikkonen and McLaren's Carlos sainz who rounded off the top ten.

Warm temperatures were still in order at the Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday morning although the skies above Barcelona were cloudy with patches of blue.

Williams Robert Kubica got bragging rights for putting in the first fastest lap, but the Pole was quickly dispatched at the top of the timing screen by Ferrari's early pace setting duo, with both Leclerc and Vettel running on softs at the outset.

The German was a bit overenthusiastic however, spinning his SF90 at the chicane but exiting the run-off area without any damage.

Behind the Scuderia's drivers, Renault's Nico Hulkenberg led an early charge from team mate Daniel Ricciardo, Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat and McLaren's Sainz.

Mercedes didn't follow Ferrari's lead by running on softs, with both Bottas and Hamilton preferring to ease into the session on the medium compound.

But the Finn, who was fastest overall yesterday, lost the back end of his W10 on his out lap at Turn 5, likely caught out by his cold tyres, a mishap that led to a brief red flag as the stranded Mercedes was pulled out of the gravel trap and hauled back to its garage.

When the session got back underway, Hamilton's first flyer put him third ahead of Red Bull's Max Verstappen. The reigning world champion then went when two better, overhauling both Ferrari's with a 1m17.655s that put him 0.6s clear of Vettel.

Albon was a welcome visitor to the top five when the session entered its final fifteen minutes, the Toro Rosso rookie making good use of his set of soft tyres.

Back on track after his earlier mistake, Bottas briefly took the lead but his effort as impressive as it appeared to be in terms of a maiden flyer wasn't enough to keep Leclerc behind.

However, both men were pipped by Hamilton who clocked in with a 1m16.568s that was over half a second faster than the Ferrari.

Grosjean proved once again that Haas will be a top midfield contender this weekend, the Frenchman slotting in fifth, followed closely by Magnussen.

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