With Mercedes topping practice one and two in Spain with two 1-2 finishes, Ferrari revealed their true pace in the final practice session of this weekend, with Kimi Raikkonen posting the fastest lap of the session.
Kimi Raikkonen leads Ferrari 1-2 in Spanish Grand Prix Final Practice
Raikkonen set the fastest lap of the session with a 1:20.214, displaying the pace of the Ferrari around the Circuit de Catalunya. Sebastian Vettel joined his team mate at the top of the table in the session by setting the second fastest lap – a 1:20.456.
The Mercedes drivers were next fastest, with Lewis Hamilton third fastest and Valtteri Bottas in fourth. In the session, Bottas had limited running, having a power unit change in the session before qualifying, meaning that he only managed to complete seven laps as opposed to Hamilton’s 12.
Red Bull Racing were the next best team, with Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo ending the session in fifth and sixth fastest. Currently, Red Bull look to be in a league of their own, not being fast enough to contest with Ferrari or Mercedes but being faster than teams of the midfield such as Williams and Renault, marking them out as the third best team on the current grid.
Nico Hulkenberg was next fastest for Renault in seventh, setting a lap time of a 1:21.670. Hulkenberg led Felipe Massa who ended the session in eighth place for Williams, less than a tenth of a second down from the Renault in front of him.
Home favorites Carlos Sainz Jr and Fernando Alonso rounded out the session in ninth and tenth place for Toro Rosso and McLaren. With the Spanish Grand Prix being their home race, both Sainz and Alonso will be looking to put on a good show for their fans, and Alonso will be aiming to finish this race, having failed to finish any of the races so far this season due to reliability problems.
The two Haas F1 drivers of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were next up, being 11th and 12th fastest. The two drivers were two seconds down from Raikkonen. Of the three practice sessions this weekend, Haas have had encouraging lap times, and have consistently been around the top ten, suggesting that a much needed good weekend could be in store for the American outfit which have had a season of mixed success so far in 2017.
Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon were next fastest for Force India in 13th and 14th, just trailing the two Haas drivers in front.
Daniil Kvyat was 15th fastest in the second Toro Rosso, less than one tenth slower than Ocon but multiple tenths off his team mate who was ninth fastest.
Marcus Ericsson continued a strong weekend for Sauber, ending the session in 16th place with a 1:22.513, just ahead of Lance Stroll who was 17th fastest for Williams.
Jolyon Palmer ended the session down in 18th place for Renault, considerably slower than his team mate. In the session, Palmer had his best lap ruined after being impeded by one of the Haas drivers. This weekend, Palmer will be looking to make it into Q3 and match the performances of his team mate in recent races, having had a difficult start to the season through reliability issues and a number of accidents.
Stoffel Vandoorne and Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the field in the session in 19th and 20th for McLaren and Sauber, almost three seconds off the pace of Raikkonen.
Going into the final practice session of the weekend, Mercedes looked like they had the fastest car of the weekend having topped first and second practice with a 1-2 in each session, which placed them in the spotlight to secure pole position. However, with Raikkonen and Ferrari topping the final session before qualifying, the question of who will get pole position has been thrown up in the air, and once again, it looks like it could be anyone’s game.
Results from Practice 3 of the Spanish Grand Prix:
- Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:20.214
- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:20.456
- Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:20.595
- Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:20.868
- Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:21.025
- Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:21.249
- Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:21.670
- Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:21.746
- Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:21.835
- Fernando Alonso, McLaren, 1:22.093
- Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:22.128
- Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:22.214
- Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:22.237
- Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:22.297
- Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:22.391
- Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:22.513
- Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:22.574
- Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:22.755
- Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:22.853
- Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:22.974