Hamilton makes it three from three in final Bahrain practice

Lewis HamiltonThe Briton, who was fastest in both Friday sessions at the Sakhir circuit, headed his team-mate Nico Rosberg by 0.115 seconds.

They finished ahead of Sergio Perez, who was half a second adrift of Hamilton’s best lap, but the pace of the Force India indicates that it is looking good for a strong qualifying performance later on Saturday.

Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest in his Williams ahead of his team-mate Felipe Massa.

Like Friday, Williams chose to save mileage by sitting out much of the practice period. But when both they first appeared on the medium compound tyre they were the second fastest runners behind the Mercedes pair at the mid-way stage of the hour.

Sebastian Vettel sat out the final 20 minutes of the session after he spun his Red Bull off the track. The world champion seemingly lost control of his car on the exit of Turn 2 and looped his car around into the gravel trap. He had only completed eight laps when he spun off.

Jenson Button was sixth fastest in his McLaren, just ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and the other Force India of Nico Hulkenberg.

Hamilton was the first of the frontrunners to head the timesheets, putting in a 1m37.340s lap halfway through the session on the medium compound tyre.

A few minutes later his team-mate beat him by less than a tenth of a second. At that stage they were quicker than Jenson Button’s McLaren by over a second.

A number of drivers were caught out at the end of the back straight and ran wide entering Turn 11 – including the Mercedes runners – thanks to the gusty tail wind at the Sakhir circuit.

There was further problems for Caterham’s Marcus Ericsson, who complained that his Renault was not delivering full power in the opening minutes of the hour.

Qualifying takes place under floodlights at 6pm local time (12:30 EST).

Practice Times:

  1. 44 L. Hamilton 1:35.324
  2. 6 N. Roseberg 1:35.439
  3. 11 S. Perez 1:35.868
  4. 77 V. Bottas 1:36.116
  5. 19 F. Massa 1:36.364
  6. 22 J. Button 1:36.394
  7. 14 F. Alonso 1:36.454
  8. 27 N. Hulkenberg 1:36.455
  9. 26 D. Kvyat 1:36.680
  10. 7 K. Raikkonen 1:36.772
  11. 20 K. Magnussen 1:36.822
  12. 25 J. Vergne 1:37.030
  13. 3 D. Ricciardo 1:37.119
  14. 21 E. Gutierrez 1:37.325
  15. 99 A. Sutil 1:38.089
  16. 10 K. Kobayashi 1:38.400
  17. 17 J. Bianchi 1:38.736
  18. 13 P. Maldonado 1:38.880
  19. 9 M. Ericsson 1:38.971
  20. 8 R. Grosjean 1:39.208
  21. 1 S. Vettel 1:39.225
  22. 4 M. Chilton 1:39.597
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