Sebastian Vettel bounced back from a difficult Friday to top the final Formula 1 practice session for this weekend’s Azerbaijan Grand Prix for Ferrari, beating Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton by three-tenths of a second.

Vettel faded to 11th in FP2 on Friday afternoon as he failed to find any kind of rhythm around the tight Baku City Circuit, and was quick to take full responsibility for his struggles.

Vettel was able to recover in style by putting in a fastest lap time of 1:43.091 on a used set of Ultrasoft tyres for Ferrari, giving him top spot to close out FP3 ahead of qualifying later today.

Lewis Hamilton was able to rise up to second for Mercedes despite struggling for much of the session, lapping three-tenths of a second back from Vettel.

Kimi Raikkonen took third in the second Ferrari, finishing four-tenths off the pace of his teammate, while Max Verstappen led Red Bull’s charge in fourth place.

Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo only got one qualifying simulation attempt in following a red flag in the closing stages caused by a crash for Sergey Sirotkin at Turn 3, leaving the Williams team with repairs to complete ahead of qualifying later today.

While Verstappen made his single run with three minutes remaining work, Friday pace-setter Ricciardo was unable to get a clean lap after a yellow flag, meaning he was down in P12 at the chequered flag.

Valtteri Bottas took fifth for Mercedes ahead of Sergio Perez, who led the midfield for Force India ahead of Haas driver Kevin Magnussen.

Williams’ solid weekend thus far continued as Lance stroll took eighth, with Sirotkin finishing 10th despite his crash. The duo were split by Esteban Ocon in the second Force India.

Fernando Alonso took 11th for McLaren ahead of Ricciardo and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly, while Charles Leclerc ended the session 14th for Sauber.

Romain Grosjean had a difficult final practice as he struggled repeatedly with oversteer, leaving him 15th overall. Carlos Sainz Jr. was 16th for Renault ahead of teammate Nico Hulkenberg, while McLaren’s Stofel Vandoorne was 18th.

Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley propped up the timesheets in 19th and 20th respectively.

 

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