An extremely close third free practice session at Sao Paulo saw Valtteri Bottas edge out his Mercedes team mate by just three thousandths of a second. The battle for qualifying later today certainly looks intense, with both Ferraris only marginally behind.
With the top 4 packed together in just 0.058s, fifth fastest Daniel Ricciardo was a contrasting full second behind. It appeared like Red Bull did struggle in the cooler morning conditions, dropping them back into the midfield, rather than fighting with Ferrari.
That midfield battle itself also looks a close encounter, with positions 5 to 15th stretching only half a second.
Early on in the session, it was clear that Lance Stroll wouldn't enjoy much useful running in the session, as after only 10 minutes he rolled to a halt with a gearbox issue. A short Virtual Safety Car period followed until the stricken Williams FW40 was removed from the track. Stroll's engineers were meanwhile already preparing to switch his Mercedes engine and fit a new gearbox, a move that would cost him a 5-place grid penalty for Sunday's race.
|1||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:09.281||-||24|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:09.284||+0.003s||26|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:10.244||+0.963s||14|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:10.288||+1.007s||15|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:10.322||+1.041s||21|
|8||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:10.357||+1.076s||23|
|9||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:10.495||+1.214s||9|
|11||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||1:10.637||+1.356s||21|
|12||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:10.671||+1.390s||14|
|13||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:10.721||+1.440s||19|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:10.762||+1.481s||20|
|16||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:10.981||+1.700s||32|
|17||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso||1:11.085||+1.804s||30|
|18||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||1:11.126||+1.845s||25|
|19||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:11.480||+2.199s||27|
|20||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||-||-||1|