FP3: Hamilton blitzes the competition in Malaysia

Lewis Hamilton put in a mammoth 1:34.434 to go four-tenths clear of Max Verstappen in final practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix.

In a session where the action was minimal to start with given that many of the drivers were saving their hard and medium tyres for the race, Daniel Ricciardo set the early pace for Red Bull Racing.

The Aussie posted a 1:36.483 to lead the way ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Felipe Massa.

However, as expected the arrival of the Mercedes drivers changed all of that.

Nico Rosberg went quickest on the medium tyres with a 1:36.361, which was set on his second flying lap as he had to back right off on his first when he came across the spinning Esteban Ocon.

Hamilton followed suit, taking the P1, only to lose it minutes later to Ricciardo, who was the first of the big boys to put in a soft tyre run.

He did a 1:35.461 on his soft Pirellis to beat Hamilton's medium run by 0.151s.

Rosberg went quickest again when the Mercedes drivers swapped to the soft tyres, a 1:35.293 for the German.

That, though, was blitzed by Hamilton who crossed the line with a 1:34.434 to go eight-tenths clear of his team-mate. He hit a top speed of 321.3kph through the speed trap.

Rosberg closed the gap but only to 0.619s as Ricciardo finished third fastest, a full second short of Hamilton's best.

A late run from Verstappen saw the Dutchman take second place, 0.445s short of Hamilton's best, which bumped Rosberg down to third.

Kimi Raikkonen was fourth ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas.

Carlos Sainz and Massa completed the top ten.

Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'34.434 16 laps
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'34.879 0.445 14 laps
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1'35.053 0.619 16 laps
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1'35.150 0.716 15 laps
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1'35.170 0.736 14 laps
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1'35.461 1.027 22 laps
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1'35.776 1.342 16 laps
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1'35.902 1.468 17 laps
9 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1'36.222 1.788 18 laps
10 Felipe Massa Williams 1'36.227 1.793 20 laps
11 Sergio Perez Force India 1'36.259 1.825 15 laps
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1'36.363 1.929 11 laps
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1'36.553 2.119 14 laps
14 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1'36.604 2.170 20 laps
15 Romain Grosjean Haas 1'36.687 2.253 15 laps
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1'36.741 2.307 19 laps
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1'36.752 2.318 20 laps
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1'36.765 2.331 19 laps
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1'37.106 2.672 18 laps
20 Esteban Ocon Manor 1'37.961 3.527 17 laps
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1'38.089 3.655 13 laps
22 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1'41.199 6.765 15 laps

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