MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24: Nico Hulkenberg of Germany driving the (27) Renault Sport Formula One Team RS18 on track during final practice for the Australian Formula One Grand Prix at Albert Park on March 24, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

It was a wet and uneventful Saturday afternoon for the third free practice session (FP3) at the Australian GP. Yesterday was a dry day, giving drivers the chance to put in 30 or so laps each for Practice 2. In FP3 today, the final practice, the most people could get in was 16 laps, with the Force India team not even setting a time.

Ferrari Reigns Supreme Under Wet Conditions In FP3

Although the track conditions were tough to deal with at the start of the session, the rain did eventually stop and the track started to dry up. When asked, Stoffel Vandoorne described the early conditions as “greasy”, over his team radio. To show how much the lap times were changing from the start of the practice to the end of the session, at the half point of the session, Max Verstappen had the best time at 1:35.548. Once we had reached the end of the session, Sebastian Vettel clocked a 1:26.067 to top the leaderboard.

The shift in track conditions came at around the halfway point of the session. With 26 minutes to go, Fernando Alonso told his team “The track is drying up quickly, I think this is last lap on inters (Intermediate tyre)”. The majority of the fastest laps came in the final moments of the practice. Ferrari placed first and second in the leaderboard, with the top team Mercedes lying in only the 7th and 8th position. Ocon and Perez for Force India went out ono the track for only one lap each and did not set any lap time.

Qualifying starts in under two hours, a session which should have some better weather. Whether we will see Lewis Hamilton repeat Pole Position in Australia or a different driver will be decided.

Free Practice 3 Results:

1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:26.067 15
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:28.499 +2.432 13
3 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:28.890 +2.823 14
4 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:31.680 +5.613 8
5 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:33.172 +7.105 11
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:34.043 +7.976 14
7 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:1:34.174 +8.107 14
8 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:34.225 +8.158 7
9 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:34.233 +8.166 15
10 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:34.298 +8.231 13
11 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:34.990 +8.923 16
12 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:35.438 +9.371 16
13 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:35.589 +9.522 16
14 18 Lance Stroll Williams 1:35.828 +9.761 8
15 8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:36.171 +10.104 6
16 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:36.448 +10.381 12
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:36.807 +10.740 7
18 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:38.482 +12.415 8
19 31 Esteban Ocon Force India N/A N/A 1
20 11 Sergio Perez Force India N/A N/A 1


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