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Hamilton heads Bottas by 0.013s – FP3 Report

Spanish Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton led his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas by 0.013 seconds in final practice in Barcelona.

Bottas was the first of the frontrunners to put a lap in, setting a 1:18.496 on the soft tyre but was beaten by Hamilton on a 1:18.112. They ended their soft tyre stint split by 0.029 seconds with Hamilton holding the small advantage on a 1:17.844.

The championship leader maintained the top spot as they switched to the supersoft tyre, setting a 1:17.281. Bottas initially was a tenth off the pace but improved on his next lap to sit 0.013 seconds behind Hamilton who could not improve his time.

The session ended under red flag conditions after Brendon Hartley smashed his Toro Rosso Honda into the barriers at the high-speed Turn 9 right-hander, clipping the grass on the entry to the corner. He was able to get out of the car and will be taken to the medical centre for a precautionary check-up.

Sebastian Vettel was third for Ferrari, 0.269 seconds off the pace, heading his team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who has a new internal combustion engine, turbo charger and MGU-H after a power unit issue in FP2. Both spent the session using the supersoft tyre.

Both Red Bulls spent the majority of the session on the medium tyre. When Daniel Ricciardo eventually put on the supersofts he took three laps to put in a competitive run, leaving him fifth and 0.700 seconds off Hamilton.

Max Verstappen had an electrical issue towards the end of the session, preventing him from completing a qualifying simulation.

Kevin Magnussen headed his Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean in sixth and seventh, with Carlos Sainz Jr., Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly completing the top ten.

Grosjean had a trip through the gravel at Turn 2 as his slid his car while following Sergey Sirotkin’s Williams.

Lance Stroll ran his Williams through the gravel at Turn 4 after losing the rear on the entry to the corner. He finished the session 19th, 0.009 seconds ahead of Sirotkin.

Click here to see the session results.

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Chris Stevens

Chris is a member of the Autosport Academy and has been writing about motorsport professionally since 2015. He has been one of the top Formula E journalists since he went to Donington Park for pre-season testing a week after picking up his A-Level results.

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