Bahrain GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Best of the Rest

Lewis Hamilton, Bahrain GP 2014

Lewis Hamilton, Bahrain GP 2014 

 © The Cahier Archive

 

Sergio Perez (Force India), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Felipe Massa (Williams) and Jenson Button (McLaren) were the best of the rest in Free Practice 3 for the Malaysian Grand Prix. The top two spots were, naturally, reserved for Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Centigrade.)

Pastor Maldonado steered his Lotus out of pit lane to get the 60-minute session underway. Adrian Sutil posted the first time – 1:44.515 – in his Sauber.

13 minutes into the session, Marcus Ericsson lowered that to a 1:42.360 in his Caterham, which he said lacked power, only to have Maldonado beat that with a 1:41.275.

Like the day before, the track temperature was far higher than it would be in the evening session, so the teams were not getting a true representation of how the cars and tires would perform in qualifying and the race. So there was no mad rush to go out there and rack up the laps early in FP3.

17 minutes into the session, Daniel Ricciardo recorded a 1:39.672 in his Red Bull while Jean-Eric Vergne moved his Toro Rosso into second with a 1:40.223. His teammate Daniil Kvyat then turned a 1:38.666.

Everybody was running Pirelli's medium compound slick with the white sidewalls, and saving their sets of the soft compound (yellow sidewalls) which was the preferred tire.

21 minutes into the session, Ferrari boys Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso were now second and third while Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel was fourth.

24 minutes into the session, like Friday's afternoon session, Williams teammates Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa remained with their cars parked in the garage.

27 minutes into the session, Lewis Hamilton, on his first flying lap in the Mercedes, set the best times in all three sectors to post a 1:37.340. Jenson Button was on the move, too, going into second with a 1:38.297 in his McLaren.

Nico Rosberg posted a 1:37.252 in his Mercedes, so midway through FP3 the top six were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Button, Nico Hulkenberg (Force India), Kvyat and Sergio Perez (Sauber.

With 26 minutes remaining in the session, the Williams boys were on track.

With 25 minutes remaining in the session, Bottas went third with a 1:38.124. And Massa was fourth with a 1:38.134.

With 21 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel spun off into the gravel trap between Turns 2 and 3. He climbed out of the stalled car.

With 19 minutes remaining in the session, the TV screens in the pressroom went dark. Well, this was a night race…

With 15 minutes remaining in the session, the top six were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Bottas, Massa, Button and Hulkenberg.

And now the drivers were heading out on the soft tires for some quick laps.

With 11 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg clocked a 1:35.439 and Hamilton beat that with a 1:35.324. Ricciardo moved into third but Hulkenberg grabbed the spot from him with a 1:36.455

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Sergio Perez slotted his Force India into third with a 1:35.868.

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Button was now fourth and Alonso fifth.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Bottas took over fourth. And Massa grabbed fifth.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Perez, Bottas, Massa, Button, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Kvyat and Raikkonen.


Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter