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Hamilton Fastest in Malaysia FP3, Red Bull Sniffing Close

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the third and final practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Hamilton set his best time of 1:34.434 on the soft tyre on his first timed run. Red Bull’s Max Verstappen split the Mercedes after a best time of 1:34.879, 0.445s off Hamilton’s time.

Nico Rosberg set a time of 1:35.053 for P3. Despite a few more timed runs Rosberg was unable to improve on his time.

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen finished 4th fastest with a time of 1:35.150 just 0.02s faster than team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Daniel Ricciardo managed 6th fastest with a time of 1:35.461.

Nico Hulkenberg was 7th fastest of the session ahead of Williams’ Valtteri Bottas in 8th. Carlos Sainz finished 9th fastest ahead of Felipe Massa in the second Williams.

The session was relatively quiet in terms of incidents. Esteban Gutierrez spun at the much talked about final corner blocking the pit entrance. Sebastian Vettel also fell victim to the final corner after and spun at the final corner.

Red Bull have shown good one-lap pace in Malaysia and will be aiming to split the Mercedes come qualifying. It will once again be a battle between the Mercedes for pole position.

Free Practice 3 times:

Pos. Driver Car Best Lap Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.434 16
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:34.879 +0.445s 14
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.053 +0.619s 16
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:35.150 +0.716s 15
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:35.170 +0.736s 14
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:35.461 +1.027s 22
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:35.776 +1.342s 16
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:35.902 +1.468s 17
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:36.222 +1.788s 18
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1:36.227 +1.793s 20
11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:36.259 +1.825s 15
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:36.363 +1.929s 11
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:36.553 +2.119s 14
14 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:36.604 +2.170s 20
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:36.687 +2.253s 15
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:36.741 +2.307s 19
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:36.752 +2.318s 20
18 Marcus Ericsson Saube 1:36.765 +2.331s 19
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:37.106 +2.672s 18
20 Esteban Ocon Manor 1:37.961 +3.527s 17
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:38.089 +3.655s 13
22 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:41.199 +6.765s 15


Photo credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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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