Ferrari lead the way in Saturday Practice | 2016 Bahrain GP FP3 report

A stunning Arabian sky greeted the F1 fraternity after the cloudy weather of Friday, and it was Ferraru’s Sebastian Vettel who clocked the fastest time on Saturday afternoon.

It was a session including a lot of medium-tyre running for most teams, including McLaren and Force India, who appeared well down the order.

Mercedes set the early pace with Nico Rosberg, but later on in the session Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen topped the sheets, at the track where he got his best result the previous year.

He was then pipped in the last few minutes by team mate Sebastian Vettel, who posted a time just four hundredths quicker.

It was a trying session for McLaren debutant Stoffel Vandoorne (who deputises for the injured Fernando Alonso this weekend) when a suspected oil leak left him in the garage with the floor off for most of the session. He was, for the first 45 minutes, the only driver not to have set a time, but when the oil leak was revealed just to be a spillage, he headed out and set a time just behind that of McLaren team mate Jenson Button.

Jolyon Palmer’s baptism by fire in F1 continued as the chequered flag came out, when a right-rear puncture manifested itself on his final lap, presumably due to running over a kerb in the middle sector.

Ferrari look strong, but it remains to be seen whether Mercedes were sandbagging, or the Scuderia are a genuine threat.

Times from FP3

1) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari 1:31.683 (22 Laps)
2) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari 1:31.723 (13 Laps)
3) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 1:32.104 (18 Laps)
4) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1:32.160 (14 Laps)
5) Valtteri Bottas, Williams-Mercedes 1:32.675 (18 Laps)
6) Romain Grosjean, Haas-Ferrari 1:33.082 (14 Laps)
7) Daniil Kvyat, Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1:33.113 (10 Laps)
8) Esteban Gutiérrez, Haas-Ferrari 1:33.337 (14 Laps)
9) Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes 1:33.363 (18 Laps)
10) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1:33.519 (20 Laps)
11) Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari 1:33.569 (16 Laps)
12) Kevin Magnussen, Renault 1:33.617 (9 Laps)
13) Jenson Button, McLaren-Honda          1:33.704 (12 Laps)
14) Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda  1:33.744 (11 Laps)
15) Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:33.778 (20 Laps)
16) Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:34.003 (20 Laps)
17) Felipe Nasr, Sauber-Ferrari 1:34.013 (15 Laps)
18) Nico Hülkenberg, Force India-Mercedes 1:34.128 (16 Laps)
19) Sergio Pérez, Force India-Mercedes 1:34.281 (15 Laps)
20) Jolyon Palmer, Renault 1:34.424 (9 Laps)
21) Rio Haryanto, Manor-Mercedes 1:35.546 (15 Laps)
22) Pascal Wehrlein, Manor-Mercedes 1:35.724 (16 Laps)

Nassive shunt curtails running | 2015 Canadian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3

Nico Rosberg topped the timing sheet in FP3 ahead of Sunday’s Canadian GP, while his Mercedes team mate was at the very bottom, due to lack of running in the first half hour, and a duo of red flags in the latter stages.

After the torrential downpour of Friday afternoon, a much more vibrant and sunny environment welcomed Saturday in Montreal, for Free Practice three. With most of the rubber washed away by the rain and cooler temperatures, the track was slower than Friday, reflected in the early lap times.

In truth the session was a rather mundane one at first, with Rosberg and the Ferraris swapping honours at the top of the time sheet.

That all changed though, with around 25 minutes to go, as Felipe Nasr collided with the wall along the back straight.

The Brazilian has barely put a foot out of place this year so far, but while trying to warm up his allegedly very cold tyres by weaving, he lost control of the car, and obliterated the front-right corner of the car.

Later investigations revealed that the impact was around 7G, and was an incident compounded by not only cold tyres, but also Nasr hitting the radio button and the DRS flap as well. The track was littered with debris, so the Red Flag was brought out to clean up the mess.

With twelve minutes to go, the session resumed, but not for long. McLaren-Honda managed to get their first points of the season in Monaco, but his car ground to a halt in Sector 1 with a suspected power unit issue, and the red was brought out once more, prematurely ending the session.

This disruption meant very little running for Lewis Hamilton, and therefore he sat in 20th place on the timing screen.

1) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1.15:660 (17 Laps)
2) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari, 1.16:233 20 Laps)
3) Romain Grosjean, Lotus, 1.16:772 (14 Laps)
4) Valtteri Bottas, Williams, 1.16:914 (17 Laps)
5) Sergio Pérez, Force India, 1.16:993 (16 Laps)
6) Daniil Kvyat Red Bull, 1.17:021 (19 Laps)
7) Felipe Massa, Williams, 1.17:122 (18 Laps)
8) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1.17:197 (18 Laps)
9) Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1’17.396 (25 Laps)
10) Pastor Maldonado, Lotus 1.17:573 (12 Laps)
11) Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1.17:578 (21 Laps)
12) Nico Hülkenberg, Force India, 1.17:876 (14 Laps)
13) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1.17:892 (18 Laps)
14) Felipe Nasr, Sauber, 1.18:446, (12 Laps)
15) Jenson Button, McLaren, 1.18:473 (18 Laps)
16) Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1.18:492 (18 Laps)
17) Will Stevens, Marussia, 1.19:822 (16 Laps)
18) Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1.19:874 (3 Laps)
19) Roberto Merhi, Marussia, 1.20:231 (16 Laps)
20) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1.21:492 (9 Laps)

Hamilton on top as Red Bull woes continue | 2015 Australian Grand Prix – Free Practice 3

Thirty degrees of Aussie sunshine welcomed the teams and drivers to session 3/100 in the 2015 Formula 1 season, and Valtteri Bottas was first out on track.

Daniil Kvyat reported problems with his Renault engine on his out lap, and his concerns manifested in an off-track excursion at the second-to-last corner. Coupled with Daniel Ricciardo’s woes from Friday morning, where he lost one of his four engines for the rest of the season, and it signaled a tough weekend for the team.

Ricciardo had sat out FP2 while the team had a look to see if his Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) could be repaired after it suffered damage in the very first session of the year. This means that the Australian now has just three engines available for the rest of the year, and will do well not to suffer any penalties for replacements.

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Pensive: Ricciardo’s home race looks set to be a tricky one

Things got even worse for last year’s triple Grand Prix winner, as his Red Bull ground to a halt at the end of the pit lane. Australian Marshals ran out to push the stricken Red Bull back towards the pit lane, where it was hurried on by his team.

Marcus Ericsson had an almighty spin with 20 minutes to go. The Swede lost the rear of the car on the exit of the super fast Turn 12, but was able to keep his car out of the wall, at the cost of his tyres, which were badly flat-spotted.

The team could take solace from the fact that the legal disputes between themselves and ex-driver-maybe-future-driver Giedo van der Garde have ended, for this weekend at least – the Dutchman is no longer pursuing a drive for this weekend

Qualifying simulations were the order of the day for the final ten minutes or so, and saw Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of 1.27.867 on the Medium tyre.

Still nothing to speak of from Manor; their software glitches continued to hamper progress.

Times from Practice 3

1) Hamiton, Mercedes, 1.27.867 (11 Laps)
2) Vettel, Ferrari, 1.28.563 (13 Laps)
3) Rosberg, Mercedes, 1.28.821 (14 Laps)
4) Bottas, Williams, 1.28.912 (14 Laps)
5) Massa, Williams, 1.28.988 (18 Laps)
6) Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1.29.017 (13 Laps)
7) Grosjean, Lotus, 1.29.481 (12 Laps)
8) Maldonado, Lotus, 1.29.864 (15 Laps)
9) Sainz, Toro Rosso, 1.29.869 (19 Laps)
10) Nasr, Sauber, 1.29.934 (24 Laps)
11) Verstappen, Toro Rosso, 1.29.952 (16 Laps)
12) Ericsson, Sauber, 1.30.613 (21 Laps)
13) Hulkenberg, Force India, 1.30.741 (14 Laps)
14) Perez, Force India, 1.30.993 (17 Laps)
15) Ricciardo, Red Bull, 1.31.185 (10 Laps)
16) Magnussen, McLaren, 1.31.391 (14 Laps)
17) Button, McLaren, 1.31.666 (13 Laps)
18) Kvyat, Red Bull, 1.32.830 (6 Laps)