Sepang, Malaysia - It was Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel that went the fastest for Ferrari at last Saturday’s final practise session in Sepang International Circuit, Malaysia despite some concern when Vettel’s car had to limp to the pits after instructions were given to stop towards the final minutes. In third was the Red Bull of Daniel Ricciardo.
With temperatures soaring between 45 to 47 degrees Celsius, Raikkonen set the pace from the onset at a warm and dry Sepang as most drivers were on Pirelli supersofts. The Finn’s initial 1 minute 32.665 seconds was later joined by Vettel on 1 minute 32.686 seconds before being bested by the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton with a 1 minute 32.650 seconds and a 1 minute 32.539 seconds.
Mercedes was in a sea of change during FP3 as the team had split set-ups the night before with Hamilton reverting back to his Singapore GP settings and Valtteri Bottas persevering with a new floor and other changes introduced for Malaysia that had caused balance problems from earlier practise sessions.
Both Scuderias improved on their second runs retaking their 1-2 places just as Bottas too went faster with a 1 minute 32.329 seconds from 1 minute 33.094 seconds, unfortunately for Mercedes, Hamilton did not score a faster time. The pair then ended FP3 in fourth and fifth as Ricciardo’s fastest lap time of 1 minute 33.091 seconds gave him his third spot for Red Bull.