Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was fastest in half a session of running ahead of Valtteri Bottas and team-mate Lewis Hamilton before a big accident from Carlos Sainz.
All teams we’re eagerly waiting to hit the track following two short sessions (diesel spillage delay in FP1; washout in FP2) and we’re - except for Ferrari - lined up at the end of the pit lane to start the session.
The Scuderia though, completed the most laps, with a total 11 laps from each of their drivers. However, it was only Kimi Raikkonen who managed to get in more laps on the supersoft tyre.
FP3 transpired normally with everyone following their specific programme, and before the half-time mark it was Nico Hulkenberg who had a bizarre moment. He was instructed to head out onto the track without his engineer knowing about it.
In the second part of practice Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz went into the barriers at Turn 13 in a massive crash, to cause double yellows and then a red flag.
It took a while before we could learn anything from Sainz and if he was okay. Eventually, and the latest update as of yet, he was lifted onto a stretcher and on the ambulance to be taken to the medical centre; Carlos was giving a thumbs up.
Replays of the accident showed he lost control leading up to Turn 13, hit the inside wall with his front left and had no way of stopping his car into the barriers.
FP3 top ten
1. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, 1:38.561
2. Valtteri Bottas, Williams, +0.726
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, +0.802
4. Sergio Perez, Force India, +1.055
5. Felipe Massa, Williams, +1.314
6. Nico Hulkenberg, Force India, +1.356
7. Jenson Button, McLaren, +2.020
8. Pastor Maldonado, Lotus, +2.206
9. Fernando Alonso, McLaren, +2.639
10. Felipe Nasr, Sauber, +2.668