Will Stevens was the first man out on track during FP3, the final tweaking session ahead of the impending frantic qualifying.
As with last year, the Bahrain GP – and its qualifying session – will be held under floodlights at night, but FP1 was held during the daylight, as was Fp3. The searing temperatures in the desert weren’t really representative of the cooler conditions that would prevail in the darker Qualifying and Race sessions, but nevertheless, everyone waas out on circuit.
Jenson Button’s troublesome weekend continued, with reported brake balance problems all over the track. He was in good company though, with Nico Rosberg and Sergio Perez both locking up at Turn 1, producing plumes of tyre smoke.
The session was much less eventful than FP2, which saw Kimi Raikkonen nearly hit some Sauber and Marussia mechanics in the pit lane, and his team mate Vettel get into a scrape with last year’s third-placed man in Bahrain, Sergio Perez.
It was not totally without incident, though. Daniil Kvyat’s tough start to his Red Bull career continued, when he spun his RB11 180 degrees at Turn 4. He escaped without damage, but unfortunately for the Russian, he rolled backwards into the gravel, bringing out the red flag for around 5 minutes.
Time from Practice 3
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1.34:599 (13 Laps)
2) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1.34:668 (14 laps)
3) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1.34:968 (16 Laps)
4) Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1.35:141 (13 Laps)
5) Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1.35:393 (18 Laps)
6) Felipe Massa, Williams, 1.35:471 (15 Laps)
7) Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, 1.36:307 (14 Laps)
8) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1.36:335 (8 Laps)
9) Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, 1.36:421 (13 Laps)
10) Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1.36:429 (18 Laps)
11) Jenson Button, McLaren, 1.36:488 (14 Laps)
12) Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull, 1.36:548 (7 Laps)
13) Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1.36:612 (17 Laps)
14) Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1.36:684 (11 Laps)
15) Sergio Perez, Force India, 1.36:727 (14 Laps)
16) Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1.36:899 (11 Laps)
17) Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1.36:979 (14 Laps)
18) Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1.37:151 (17 Laps)
19) Will Stevens, Marussia, 1.39:745 (12 Laps)
20) Roberto Merhi, Marussia, 1.40.541 (14 Laps)