Hamilton heads another Mercedes one-two
5 April 2014 – Lewis Hamilton headed another Mercedes one-two during final practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon. The former World Champion clocked a time of 1:35.324 to edge out team-mate Nico Rosberg by just over one tenth of a second, while Force India's Sergio Pérez emerged as their nearest challenger.
With FP3 getting underway three hours earlier than qualifying and Sunday's race, drivers were faced with largely unrepresentative conditions, highlighted by the fact that the lead time on the Soft tyre was almost a second slower than what was witnessed on Friday evening.
Mercedes again looked dominant from the off, controlling the pace on the Medium rubber before solidifying its advantage with rapid, Soft tyre laps. Although Rosberg found himself ahead after the Prime runs, Hamilton made the most of the Option compound to finish on top.
This ensured that the Briton and his team completed a clean sweep of practice sessions in the desert.
Ferrari's Fernando Alonso was closest to the Silver Arrows during Friday's pair of practice sessions, but it was Pérez who this time took third position, albeit it more than half a second adrift of pace-setter Hamilton.
Williams duo Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who again spent a long time waiting for track conditions to improve, finished fourth and fifth, just ahead of Button, the aforementioned Alonso and Nico Hülkenberg.
Toro Rosso rookie Daniil Kvyat impressed once more en route to ninth, edging out Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen, who slashed his deficit to team-mate Alonso to 0.318 seconds after a troublesome opening practice day.
Red Bull's session was a particularly challenging one. While Daniel Ricciardo wound up almost two seconds slower than Hamilton, team-mate Sebastian Vettel missed the final 20 minutes after spinning out at Turn 2.
The reigning World Champion ultimately finished 21st, ahead of only Max Chilton in the Marussia.
A number of drivers, including Mercedes duo Hamilton and Rosberg, were caught out under braking for Turn 11 in the early stages of the session, thanks to a sizeable tail wind along the back straight of the circuit.
Saturday's qualifying session at Bahrain International Circuit begins at 6pm local time (GMT +3)