FP3: Mercedes comfortably ahead

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Russia, Sochi International Street Circuitru

Having already topped the times on Friday, Mercedes continued to lead the way in third practice at Sochi. Though Ferrari were third and fourth fastest, their performance deficit will leave them wondering what is causing them to lose this much to the silver arrows.

In a session that saw almost all drivers limit themselves to running on the hypersoft tyre, Sebastian Vettel ended up 6 tenths down on Lewis Hamilton, closely followed by Kimi Räikkönen.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was another 3 tenths further back. Ricciardo, Leclerc, Ocon, Magnussen and Perez completed the top 10.

Pierre Gasly, having been well into the top 10 on Friday, dropped back to 12th. The Frenchman is back with the previous Honda specification engine after the Japanese engine manufacturer decided overnight that a bit more mapping and tuning was needed to make the new power unit work as expected. This work should be done in time for the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix in two weeks time.

Further back, Williams managed to outperform McLaren with both cars, leaving Vandoorne and Alonso at the bottom of the timing sheet.


144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:33.067-13
277Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:33.321+0.254s16
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:33.667+0.600s14
47Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:33.688+0.621s11
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:33.937+0.870s11
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:34.394+1.327s14
716Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari1:34.628+1.561s15
831Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:34.809+1.742s16
920Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:34.820+1.753s15
1011Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:34.916+1.849s14
1155Carlos SainzRenault1:34.988+1.921s13
1210Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:35.125+2.058s21
138Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:35.185+2.118s18
1427Nico HulkenbergRenault1:35.213+2.146s12
159Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:35.370+2.303s16
1628Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:36.033+2.966s22
1735Sergey SirotkinWilliams Mercedes1:36.071+3.004s16
1818Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:36.274+3.207s20
192Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Renault1:36.597+3.530s14
2014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Renault1:36.992+3.925s21