Hamilton completes practice sweep in rain-affected session | 2018 Japanese Grand Prix third practice

Lewis Hamilton completed a sweep of all three practice sessions for the Japanese Grand Prix by setting the fastest time on a windy Saturday morning at Suzuka.

The final hour of practice was significantly disrupted by a rain shower shortly after the start, which confined drivers to their garages for a significant part of the hour’s running.

When the session resumed a very quick run through the first sector put Hamilton ahead. However championship rival Sebastian Vettel was just a tenth of a second behind him, having been quicker through the other two sectors. Team mate Kimi Raikkonen backed him up in second place.

The session was red-flagged with a few minutes left to run when Nico Hulkenberg crashed in the Esses. He was able to climb out of his Renault which sustained heavy rear end damage in the impact after he ran wide at turn four and spun into the turn five barriers.

Max Verstappen the quickest of the Red Bull drivers, was seven-tenths of a second off Hamilton’s pace. Esteban Ocon, leading the midfielders, was another 0.7 seconds behind.

There was some cheer for Renault as Carlos Sainz Jnr put his car in ninth place. Kevin Magnussen’s Haas completed the top 10.

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Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’29.599

+0.116 Sebastian Vettel – 1’29.715

+0.455 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’30.054

+0.705 Max Verstappen – 1’30.304

+0.823 Valtteri Bottas – 1’30.422

+0.875 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’30.474

+1.489 Esteban Ocon – 1’31.088

+1.884 Sergio Perez – 1’31.483

+1.914 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’31.513

+1.922 Kevin Magnussen – 1’31.521

+2.037 Romain Grosjean – 1’31.636

+2.161 Charles Leclerc – 1’31.760

+2.431 Brendon Hartley – 1’32.030

+2.602 Lance Stroll – 1’32.201

+2.625 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’32.224

+2.843 Marcus Ericsson – 1’32.442

+3.009 Fernando Alonso – 1’32.608

+3.032 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’32.631

+3.435 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’33.034

+3.506 Pierre Gasly – 1’33.105

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’28.691 1’28.217 1’29.599 +1.382 69
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’29.137 1’28.678 1’30.422 +1.744 69
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’29.685 1’29.050 1’29.715 +0.665 70
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’29.841 1’29.257 1’30.304 +1.047 75
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’29.373 1’29.513 1’30.474 +1.101 69
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’29.627 1’29.498 1’30.054 +0.556 66
7 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’30.591 1’30.035 1’31.088 +1.053 72
8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’30.814 1’30.440 1’31.636 +1.196 68
9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’31.073 1’30.478 1’32.442 +1.964 72
10 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 1’31.908 1’30.502 1’32.030 +1.528 63
11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’31.272 1’30.510 1’31.483 +0.973 69
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’31.418 1’30.644 1’32.224 +1.58 66
13 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda 1’31.073 1’30.795 1’33.105 +2.31 40
14 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’31.100 1’30.904 1’31.513 +0.609 68
15 Charles Leclerc Sauber-Ferrari 1’30.929 1’30.906 1’31.760 +0.854 67
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’31.274 1’30.956 1’31.521 +0.565 66
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Renault 1’32.034 1’30.988 1’32.608 +1.62 69
18 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 1’32.513 1’31.087 1’32.631 +1.544 79
19 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’31.508 1’31.215 1’32.201 +0.986 73
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 1’31.981 1’33.034 +1.053 45
21 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’32.683 30

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2018 Japanese Grand Prix

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