Valtteri Bottas maintained his flying start to Formula 1’s Portuguese Grand Prix by topping the third and final practice session, but Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton closed in.

Both Mercedes drivers suffered wide moments throughout FP3 but it was Bottas who ultimately set the pace to top all three practice sessions at the Algarve circuit.

Bottas posted a 1m16.654 to edge out Hamilton by 0.026s during the qualifying simulations, with the world championship leader sliding through the gravel after losing control of his W11 at Turn 8 on his final flying effort.

Hamilton had also gone two-tenths faster than anyone else in the middle sector on his previous run but a lock up at Turn 14 cost him time as he failed to improve, suggesting he has more pace to come in qualifying.

Max Verstappen was third-quickest and just 0.158s off Bottas’ benchmark despite running on the slower Medium compound, which will act as encouragement for Red Bull.

The Dutchman also had the outright fastest time of the session deleted for a track limits infringement at Turn 1.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly split the Red Bull duo in fourth with a strong lap on Softs, as the under-pressure Albon rounded out the top five with a time that three-tenths slower than what his teammate managed.

Charles Leclerc once again featured inside the top six for Ferrari, while Carlos Sainz, Sergio Perez, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 for McLaren, Racing Point and Renault.

A late red flag for a loose drain cover that was dislodged by Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari hampered a number of drivers plans to complete a late qualifying simulation run.

Daniel Ricciardo was one of those to lose out as he ended up 14th, after DRS issues prevented the Renault driver putting in a low-fuel run prior to the session end.