Free Practice 3 as it happened

Keep up to date with all the live action from the third and final practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix with our live blog:

9:00 – And that brings to a close our coverage for the third practice session from the Bahrain GP. Catch us in a little more than hour for what is bound to be an exciting qualifying session.

9:00 – Here’s how the top 10 looked at the end of the session:

8:58 – Not long left in the session now, as Ferrari take P1 and 2…

8:55 – With 5 minutes left in the session, this is what the speed trap table looks like:

8:54 – After having trouble early in the session, Button is finally back on the track.

8:53 – After posting identical time earlier, there remains very little between the two Mercs.

8:51 – After a nightmare start to the day, Stoffel is finally out on the track.

8:49 – With just about 10 minutes left in the session. The Mercs are out again with some fresh rubber. Those look like the supersofts.

8:44 – A bit of a lull in the action now, as most of the drivers prepare for their last stint before qualifying. Meanwhile, quite a good day for the Finns so far.

8:41 – A bit of a cryptic one from the Mercedes team there…

8:37 – Massa heads back to the pits with a little more than 20 minutes to go. A quick tyre change for the Brazilian perhaps? The Mercs and the Ferraris are heading back to the pits as well.

8:33 – Provisional classification at the half-way stage of the session:

8:30 – Nearly half an hour into the session and it is getting hotter and hotter. Raikkonen on his first flying lap, meanwhile, comes though with a 1:32.863 and into P1. And he is using the softs, the same tyre as Mercedes.

8:25 – Well that’s not something you see every day. Inseparable!

8:22 – Slowly but surely, everyone is making their way onto the track. Vetel too joins the action, and comes up behind the Toro Rosso of Verstappen. Instead of making a lunge, he holds back letting the Dutchman have some room. But a slide from Max allows Vettel right back up and he passes him.

8:18 – Admittedly, not every driver has set a hot lap yet, but things are looking good for Force India at this stage of the session.

8:14 – Sergio Perez in the Force India has set an early hot lap, but the Mercs are only joining the action now…

8:10 – After a great FP2, Button’s McLaren has seemingly run into a bit of trouble early in FP3.

8:07 – Track temperatures are up from Friday, which means the times should drop even more, after yesterday’s sessions were some 3s faster than their equivalents from 2015.

8:03 Massa, using that new Williams wing, is immediately on the soft tyres.

8:00 – 3… 2… 1… and it’s a go!

7:59 – With just seconds to go before the start of the session. Most of the drivers are making their way into the pit lane.

7:55 – Some interesting news coming from the Williams garage concerning their plans for FP3.

7:51 – 10 minutes or so to the start of the session.

7:48 – The weather on Friday, though, was cooler than expected or witnessed in the past. And although today’s temperatures also won’t reach the heights of yesterday, it is at least warmer. The day’s high is 25’C and the wind is a northwesterly.

7:45 – Just 15 minutes before the green light for the start of the session is signaled. The surprise package from FP2 was Jenson Button in the McLaren-Honda. We wonder how much Fernando Alonso is regretting being unavailable for this week’s race…

7:38 – Valtteri Bottas was the fastest through the speed trap on Friday, and the Finn certainly seems upbeat ahead of FP3.

7:33 – While we wait for the action to start, why not re-live last year’s battle for P2 between Rosberg and the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen:

7:27 – The Force India crew, meanwhile, are taking the time to hand out some autographs for their fans.

7:22 – Still some time from any action on the track, but the Mercedes mechanics are already hard at work…

7:17 – The big news from the paddock so far today involves Kevin Magnussen – the Renault driver will be starting the race from the pit lane.

7:10 – The Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton dominated the first two sessions, as was expected. It wasn’t all work for the duo, who had a bit of fun before the start of proceedings on Saturday.

7:05 – With just under an hour left before the session starts, all the teams are on the paddock busy with their final preparations

7:00 – Good day and welcome to our coverage of the Bahrain GP.

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