Hamilton tops final practice, Verstappen edges closer

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Malaysia, Sepang International Circuitmy

Lewis Hamilton started Saturday's running at Malaysia like he ended on Friday, by topping the timesheet of a practice session. Hamilton was comfortably fastest while Red Bull's Max Verstappen edged out Nico Rosberg to set the second fastest time.

Hamilton repositioned himself at the front with a run on soft tyres, after both Red Bulls had been topping the times after their runs on medium tyres proved quicker than what the competition had managed thus far.

Neither Ferrari drew the spotlights to them, but in the end they ended 4th and 5th fastest, with Raikkonen once again ahead of Vettel.

Behind the three teams that appear to be dominating the second half of the season, it was Nico Hulkenberg who proved best of the rest. Bottas was 8th fastest for Williams as the team managed to find some pace and break into the top 10 following disappointing performances in Friday's free practice sessions. Carlos Sainz was 9th fastest and Felipe Massa 10th.

On a less positive note, Romain Grosjean had some troubling moments in his Haas while Fernando Alonso ended the session in 22nd place, having hit trouble on his car. The Spaniard had switched back to his Mk3 specification ICE as planned, but saw his grid position penalties reach 30, thanks to yesterday's new engine, along with fitting a new turbo and MGU-H today.


144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:34.434-16
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:34.879+0.445s14
36Nico RosbergMercedes1:35.053+0.619s16
47Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:35.150+0.716s15
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1:35.170+0.736s14
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:35.461+1.027s22
727Nico HulkenbergForce India Mercedes1:35.776+1.342s16
877Valtteri BottasWilliams Mercedes1:35.902+1.468s17
955Carlos SainzToro Rosso Ferrari1:36.222+1.788s18
1019Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:36.227+1.793s20
1111Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:36.259+1.825s15
1222Jenson ButtonMcLaren Honda1:36.363+1.929s11
1321Esteban GutierrezHaas Ferrari1:36.553+2.119s14
1430Jolyon PalmerRenault1:36.604+2.170s20
158Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:36.687+2.253s15
1620Kevin MagnussenRenault1:36.741+2.307s19
1726Daniil KvyatToro Rosso Ferrari1:36.752+2.318s20
189Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:36.765+2.331s19
1912Felipe NasrSauber Ferrari1:37.106+2.672s18
2031Esteban OconMrt Mercedes1:37.961+3.527s17
2194Pascal WehrleinMrt Mercedes1:38.089+3.655s13
2214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda1:41.199+6.765s15