Ferrari tops wet-dry third Melbourne practice session

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As qualifying is expected to be entirely dry, the wet-dry FP3 session posed an unrepresentative display of performance in Australia. With wet tyres being the preferred choice at the start of the session, the sun made it possible to switch to slicks towards the end of the session, enabling Vettel to top the timesheet with a late run on softs.

Just a few minutes into the session, after nearly all drivers had completed a number of installation laps on the wet tyres, McLaren's Fernando Alonso led the switch to intermediate rubber. In fact it was almost 20 minutes before Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg became the first man to set a lap time.

In the mixed conditions, Alonso held top spot for McLaren until Bottas surpassed him. The difference was small nonetheless until Vettel was the first to risk a switch to slicks around 15 minutes from the end of the 60-minute session.

As times tumbled, Vettel eventually topped the times thanks to a very late run, enjoyed the best track conditions of the session. In sharp contract, both Force India drivers opted to stay inside, having completed just a single installation lap in the beginning of the session.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1:26.067-15
27Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:28.499+2.432s13
39Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:28.890+2.823s14
433Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:31.680+5.613s8
555Carlos SainzRenault1:33.172+7.105s11
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:34.043+7.976s14
777Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:34.174+8.107s14
844Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:34.225+8.158s7
92Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Renault1:34.233+8.166s15
1014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Renault1:34.298+8.231s13
1110Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.990+8.923s16
1228Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:35.438+9.371s16
1335Sergey SirotkinWilliams Mercedes1:35.589+9.522s16
1418Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:35.828+9.761s8
158Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:36.171+10.104s6
1616Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari1:36.448+10.381s12
1720Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:36.807+10.740s7
1827Nico HulkenbergRenault1:38.482+12.415s8
1931Esteban OconForce India Mercedes--1
2011Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes--1