Ferrari leads the way in FP3

Image by Andy Hone/LAT

Ferrari leads the way in FP3

Formula 1

Ferrari leads the way in FP3

Sebastian Vettel bounced back from his error in FP2 to set the fastest time in the final practice session for the Singapore Grand Prix.

After hitting the wall at the end of a flying lap and missing out on his long run on Friday, Vettel insisted he was confident he would be able to make up for lost time in FP3 ahead of qualifying. The German delivered on that promise as he led a Ferrari one-two, setting a new fastest lap of the weekend with a 1m38.054s.

Kimi Raikkonen was over 0.3s slower than his teammate in second place, but of more importance to Vettel will be the gap to Mercedes, with Lewis Hamilton over half a second off in third. Valtteri Bottas was fourth — just 0.045s slower than Hamilton — as Red Bull slipped back somewhat, with Daniel Ricciardo over a second off the pace in fifth place.

Sixth was Max Verstappen, but the Dutch driver had a difficult session that saw him complaining of engine braking at unwanted times. Later on, when asked for some more feedback by his race engineer, Verstappen replied: “A little bit of feedback is that the product in the back of this car is not working the way I want it to.”

Verstappen then saw his final attempt on hypersoft tires — used by all the drivers for their best laps — interrupted by Marcus Ericsson as the Sauber was dawdling on the racing line in the middle sector.

Although times are less representative during FP3 as the session takes place before the sun sets and therefore with higher track temperatures, the midfield order changed once again as Romain Grosjean was best of the rest ahead of the Force India pair of Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez.

Fernando Alonso rounded out the top 10 ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, with Renault slipping back in final practice after an encouraging Friday. Sauber also appeared further off the pace, with Charles Lecerc down in 16th and Ericsson 19th, the Swede splitting the Williams pair of Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll.

After numerous errors on Friday, the final hour was surprisingly calm, with completely clear running throughout and no drivers making a mistake of any significance. The only incident of note was an unsafe release for Ocon midway through the session, which is likely to result in a fine for Force India.

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