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Hamilton Fastest in Close Final Practice for Russian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in FP3 for the Russian Grand Prix by 0.068s from team-mate Nico Rosberg.

In a session where the Mercedes cars seemed to be on rails Hamilton’s best time of 1:36.403 came a few minutes before the end of FP3. Rosberg’s time of 1:36.471 was the fastest time of the session before Hamilton got his lap in. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finsihed 3rd fastest setting a 1:37.007, 0.604s off Hamilton’s benchmark.

Vettel started the session with a long run after his electrical issue kept him out for the most of FP2. He managed to complete 18 laps on the super soft tyres while still managing consistent lap times. Should this low degradation trend continue we could have a 1-stop race tomorrow.

Kimi Raikkonen in the sister Ferrari finished his session 4th fastest with just a little over a second off the pace with a 1:37.727. The two Williams cars of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas finished in 5th and 6th respectively with about 1.5s off the pace.

Max Vertstappen in the Toro Rosso was 7th fastest with Jenson Button 8th fastest for McLaren. Carlos Sainz finished 9th with Force India’s Sergio Perez rounding out the top 10.

The session saw many drivers being caught out at T13 under braking taking to the run off area. Perez was the first one to get caught out and while taking a U-Turn to get back on the track got wedged against the barrier after running out of road. After a push back from the marshals he was back on track.

Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat finished their session P11 and P13 respectively. They showed some good pace during the session and could spring a surprise or two during qualifying.

In 12th was Fernando Alonso for McLaren. Nico Hulkenberg finished 14th ahead of 15th placed Esteban Gutierrez and 16th placed Kevin Magnussen.

Romain Grosjean finished 17th for Haas F1 and was one of the drivers that got caught out by Turn 13.

Joylon Palmer ended his session 18th for Renault. The Manor’s showed some good pace in the session and managed to get their drivers ahead of the Saubers. Rio Haryanto finished 19th ahead of team-mate Pascal Wehrlein in 18th. Sauber took the last two positions with Marcus Ericsson finishing 21st ahead of Felipe Nasr in 22nd.

About Ritesh K Bhana

Ritesh likes to think he is a true Tifosi, but he still remains fair to other teams. He supports two other teams which are not Red Bull and McLaren. Follow Ritesh on twitter @Humanshield_1

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