Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was fastest in the third and final practice session for the Japanese Grand Prix, ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
With the rain finally out of the way at Suzuka, team’s had this one hour session to test it all in preparation for Qualifying and Sunday’s race, using both hard and medium P Zero compounds.
While difficult to judge true performance, Mercedes look very quick in pace, but it’s Red Bull who look really good on track, and stand like this weekend’s challengers, with Scuderia Ferrari placed sixth and eight. There’s still Qualifying to confirm pace.
Williams’ Head of Performance, Rob Smedley, said Williams has still a lot of work to do, and "look to be quite competitive". Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were fourth and fifth, respectively.
Toro Rosso completed the most laps in the session (16 Carlos Sainz, 14 Max Verstappen), followed by Ricciardo (13). Red Bull and Mercedes’ Rosberg used the most amount of tyre compounds (5 a piece).
It’s still troubled times for McLaren, with Jenson Button missing out stuck in the garage. In the leaderboard, he finished twelfth, with Fernando Alonso sixteenth.
Qualifying for the Japanese GP is up next, in two hours time.
FP3 top ten
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:33.995
2. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +0.297
3. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, +0.502
4. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +0.802
5. Felipe Massa, Williams, +0.939
6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, +1.087
7. Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso, +1.165
8. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, +1.227
9. Romain Grosjean, Lotus, +1.607
10. Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso, +1.968