BARCELONA: Kimi Raikkonen clocked the fastest time as Ferrari bounced back to top the times ahead of Mercedes in Saturday morning’s third and final free practice session for Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The Finn, who dominated the session, clocked a best time of one minute and 20.214 seconds to outpace his Ferrari team-mate and championship leader four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel by 0.242 seconds.
Briton Lewis Hamilton was third fastest for Mercedes, who had a troubled morning as team-mate Finn Valtteri Bottas managed only seven laps after mechanical problems had forced a change of engine during the session.
Bottas, who scored his maiden victory at last month’s Russian Grand Prix, was switched back to the power unit used in the opening four races after suffering electrical and water leak problems.
Hamilton had topped the times in both sessions on Friday to encourage Mercedes to believe that their upgrades package had brought them back to the front of the pack.
Last year’s winner Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was fifth for Red Bull ahead of team-mate Australian Daniel Ricciardo, German Nico Hulkenberg of Renault and Brazilian Felipe Massa of Williams.
Spaniard Carlos Sainz was ninth for Toro Rosso ahead of his compatriot and local hero two-time champion Fernando Alonso in his troubled McLaren-Honda, a strong showing in front of their home fans.
Alonso will miss the Monaco Grand Prix later this month to take part in the Indianapolis 500.