Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg set the fastest time ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton in third and final practice session for the Japanese grand prix.
The rain finally abated as the one hour long third free practice session got underway on Saturday morning. Several cars immediately streamed out onto circuit to get their run programs underway in the dry, but overcast conditions.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo set the early pace but was later eclipsed by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg for the top of the timing sheets. Both Williams’ drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa showed higher up in the standings as they set the fourth and fifth quickest times respectively. The Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen was next up in sixth while teammate Sebastian Vettel completed the one hour session in eighth place.
It was difficult to read much into the pace of teams as no extended long runs were completed during the practice session. However, Pirelli predict a 1.5 second laptime delta between the hard and medium compound tyre. This bit of data would suggest that few, if any drivers, will able to get through the first session of qualifying on the hard compound tyre.
There were no major incidents in the session for any drivers despite a few run-offs at the famously difficult Degner curves and Spoon corners.
Final free practice standings: