Bahrain Grand Prix – Max Verstappen finished free practice three as the fastest man ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel.
With conditions hotter than those expected for qualifying, there was some reluctance from the teams to send out their drivers.
Toro Rosso spent a large part of the session atop the time sheets, with Carlos Sainz attempting to make up for lost time in yesterday’s free practice two.
He initially set the pace with a 1:34.219, but he was surpassed by team-mate Daniil Kvyat by three tenths of a second.
As teams gradually started to send their cars out, Williams’ Felipe Massa went fastest with a 1:33.720, but this was soon beaten by a very scruffy lap from Red Bull’s Max Verstappen which had errors at turn four, thirteen and fifteen.
A crash for Romain Grosjean resulted in a red flag with 20 minutes to go. With the Haas driver already complaining of setup problems with his VF-17, he lost the rear of the car on the exit of turn four and crashed into the inside barrier.
With around fifteen minutes of the session to go, first place was rotated between the two Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel and the Mercedes’ of Valtteri Bottas.
However, with minutes of the session remaining Max Verstappen made major improvements to take top spot with a 1:32.194.
A final attempt from Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton could only place the Briton in second place. He fell one tenth short of the Dutchman’s lap.
Vettel ended the session in third place, narrowly ahead of Bottas and Raikkonen. Felipe Massa finished the hour-long session in sixth place ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat.
To view the full results of the session, click here.