Melbourne, FP3: Hamilton edges Vettel in final practice
Hamilton completes practice sweep in Australia
Lewis Hamilton made it a clean sweep of practice sessions at Melbourne’s Albert Park circuit, with the Mercedes driver claiming top sport in FP3 with 0.264s in hand over Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Charles Leclerc finished third in the second Ferrari.
Of the expected frontrunners, Vettel was the first to bolt on a set of red walled C4 tyres with around a quarter of the session left to run. At the point the German sat in P3 0.379s off Hamilton who set the quickest time of the opening phase with a lap of 1:23.360.
However, with this weekend’s soft tyres on board, however, Vettel leapfrogged Mercedes Valtteri Bottas and Hamilton to claim top spot by eight tenths of a seconds.
The Ferrari driver’s team-mate Charles Leclerc took P2 with a time of 1:22.749 but he was closely followed on track by Hamilton who jumped ahead of both to take P1 with a lap of time 1:22.292.
Behind them it was a good session for Haas, with Romain Grosjean taking fourth place a little over three tenths of a seconds behind Leclerc. Grosjean, the last man within a second of Hamilton, was followed by team-mate Kevin Magnussen who finished 1.042 off the P1 pace.
Pierre Gasly was sevent for Red Bull Racing, outpacing more established team-mate Max Verstappen by just over a tenth of a second. Verstappen should have been higher up the order by a scruffy quali sim that saw him run wide midway through sector two left him ninth.
The Red Bulls were separated by Bottas, whose performance run was also compromised, this time by a slide wide at the end of the lap, and Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat who showed good pace to take eighth place with a lap of 1:23.442. That was nine tenths of a second clear of team-mate Alex Albon who finished 15th.
The top 10 was rounded out by Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo whose lap of 1:23.695 was 1.403 off Hamilton’s pace but a tenth ahead of team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
There was a minor incident during the session when Williams’ Robert Kubica misjudged the pit lane entry and clipped the wall on the left side, dislodging some bodywork.
|01||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W10||1:22.292||12|
|02||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari SF90||1:22.556||12|
|03||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF90||1:22.749||12|
|04||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari VF-19||1:23.112||17|
|05||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-19||1:23.334||15|
|06||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Honda RB15||1:23.367||17|
|07||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W10||1:23.422||17|
|08||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:23.442||16|
|09||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB15||1:23.481||19|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault RS19||1:23.695||14|
|11||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault RS19||1:23.737||15|
|12||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38||1:23.831||16|
|13||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault MCL34||1:24.049||21|
|14||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point Mercedes RP19||1:24.082||18|
|15||Alex Albon||Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:24.328||15|
|16||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Mercedes RP19||1:24.345||16|
|17||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38||1:24.402||18|
|18||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault MCL34||1:24.568||16|
|19||George Russell||Williams Mercedes FW42||1:25.944||14|
|20||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes FW42||1:26.589||16|