AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 20: Sebastian Vettel of Germany driving the (5) Scuderia Ferrari SF71H on track during final practice for the United States Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on October 20, 2018 in Austin, United States. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Despite being the final practice session for the weekend, Free Practice 3 (FP3) was the only chance for drivers to hit a dry track before qualifying. On Friday, Mother Nature had robbed teams from dry running as downpours were constant. It was two Ferrari cars who lead the timing sheet as FP3 came to a close. Sebastian Vettel put in a 1:33.797s lap to get first place, with teammate Kimi Raikkonen behind him with a +0.046 gap. With a very similar lap time, Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished third with a +0.073 gap to first.

Ferrari Finish 1-2 In FP3

Teams were given the option to use Soft, Supersoft or Ultrasoft tyres. The majority of tyres used were Ultrasofts. At the start of the session the air temperature was 18 degrees celsius while track temperature was 20 degrees celsius. Most cars averaged around 20 or so laps in the session.

A Spin From Brendon Hartley, An Attitude From Fernando Alonso

For most drivers the session came and went without any real trouble. The only yellow flag on track was in the closing minutes when Brendon Hartley spun coming out of turn 19. Fernando Alonso seemed to be having fun on the track, battling Valtteri Bottas at one point. Bottas’ team commented about the situation on radio saying “Alonso’s just playing games at the moment”.

Ferrari Driving Observations

Although Vettel put in a better time than Raikkonen, the Sky Sports commentary team had the observation that “A lot more steer and movement (was) going on “from Sebastian (Vettel)”, in comparison to Raikkonen. Both Ferrari cars opted for Ultrasoft tyres only while the Mercedes teams mixed Supersoft tyres into some of their stints.

With Qualifying Approaching

Teams will have to apply the knowledge from this session and the two before when they head into qualifying later today. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel heads into the session with a three-place grid penalty due to speeding during a red flag on Friday. He has to put on a phenomenal performance today and tomorrow to stay alive in the World Drivers’ Championship.

FP3 Results:

Pos # Driver Team Lap Time Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:33.797 20
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:33.843 +0.046 21
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:33.870 +0.073 23
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:34.556 +0.759 21
5 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:34.703 +0.906 21
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:34.910 +1.113 20
7 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:35.311 +1.614 21
8 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:35.411 +1.614 21
9 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:35.450 +1.653 21
10 8 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:35.468 +1.671 19
11 31 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:35.562 +1.765 22
12 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:35.713 +1.916 27
13 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:35.770 +1.973 19
14 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:35.882 +2.085 19
15 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:36.000 +2.203 21
16 18 Lance Stroll Williams 1:36.188 +2.391 21
17 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:36.193 +2.396 20
18 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:36.302 +2.505 23
19 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:36.330 +2.533 26
20 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:36.332 +2.535 20

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