Hamilton and Rosberg closely matched in FP3

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Russia, Sochi International Street Circuitru

Lewis Hamilton was narrowly fastest in the final practice session ahead of qualifying at Sochi. He left it until the very last minutes to set the fastest time on a new set of super softs, following repeated swaps with his team mate at the top of the timesheet.

Just like in Friday's two sessions, almost all drivers had trouble doing consistent quick laps, as the limited grip available made it difficult to predict the car's behaviour exactly. Testimony to that were lots off off track moment, including both both Mercedes drivers.

Daniil Kvyat perhaps had the most violent off-track excursion as he locked up the right front under braking, eventually missing the corner entry and forcing Hamilton off the track as well. However, no damage was done, so both could continue without trouble, even though the Red Bull driver rapidly required a new set of tyres.

The only real interruption in the session was caused by a virtual safety car period triggered by Sergio Perez. The Force India driver went wide in turn 13, and then failed to make it back onto the track without help, as he was too close to the barriers. All was resolved quickly.

The Ferrari were again the closest match to Mercedes, albeit that Vettel was 6 tenths down on both silver cars, with Raikkonen another 6 tenths further away from the pace setter.

Williams appeared to have found some pace compared to Friday, with the duo slotting in behind Ferrari in 5th and 6th.

Max Verstappen moved up into 7th in the closing minutes, dropping Jenson Button to 8th. The latter's results confirm the team's expectations that their car would be better suited to Sochi, increasing their hopes of getting one or two cars into Q3.


144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:36.403-17
26Nico RosbergMercedes1:36.471+0.068s22
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:37.007+0.604s28
47Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:37.727+1.324s14
519Felipe MassaWilliams1:37.918+1.515s16
677Valtteri BottasWilliams1:37.985+1.582s16
733Max VerstappenToro Rosso1:38.133+1.730s22
822Jenson ButtonMcLaren1:38.260+1.857s14
955Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:38.465+2.062s25
1011Sergio PerezForce India1:38.542+2.139s18
113Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:38.622+2.219s23
1214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1:38.633+2.230s12
1326Daniil KvyatRed Bull Racing1:39.047+2.644s15
1427Nico HulkenbergForce India1:39.162+2.759s16
1521Esteban GutierrezHaas1:39.230+2.827s18
1620Kevin MagnussenRenault1:39.238+2.835s16
178Romain GrosjeanHaas1:39.239+2.836s15
1830Jolyon PalmerRenault1:39.589+3.186s19
1988Rio HaryantoManor1:39.599+3.196s19
2094Pascal WehrleinManor1:39.663+3.260s18
219Marcus EricssonSauber1:39.740+3.337s23
2212Felipe NasrSauber1:39.898+3.495s19