Lewis Hamilton kept Mercedes fastest at Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix as final practice came to a premature end following a bizarre accident for Renault’s Esteban Ocon.
In hot and sunny summer conditions at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya Hamilton converted Mercedes’ pacesetting form from Friday during the final one-hour session.
A best time of 1:17.222 from Hamilton left him 0.151s in front of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Mercedes has not been beaten in qualifying at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya since 2012 and is firm favourite for top spot later on Saturday afternoon.
Ocon in unusual clash
Esteban Ocon and Kevin Magnussen both classified outside of the top 10 in a session that had little in the way of action until the final two minutes.
Magnussen, on a hot lap, passed Ocon through the start of Turn 3 but then backed off on his push effort and pulled to the middle of the circuit, as an AlphaTauri approach at speed.
Ocon followed Magnussen’s path but then the Haas driver slowed, with a Williams on a hot lap on the racing line, at which point Ocon locked his rear wheels in avoidance and spun into the wall on the inside of the track.
Ocon was unhurt but the session was red-flagged and did not restart.
Stewards are investigating the incident.
Verstappen best of the rest again
For the third successive session Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished as the fastest non-Mercedes driver, with a reduced deficit of 0.515s to Hamilton.
Carlos Sainz Jr. claimed a strong fourth on home soil for McLaren while Racing Point, Ferrari and AlphaTauri all followed close behind, as Sergio Perez, Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly finished fifth, sixth and seventh respectively.
Lance Stroll, Alexander Albon – again adrift of team-mate Verstappen – and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10.
Vettel off the pace, Haas slower
Sebastian Vettel continued to lag behind the sister Ferrari of Leclerc and finished down in 12th place.
Romain Grosjean, fifth in second practice, fell to 13th, just 0.011s clear of lead Alfa Romeo driver Kimi Raikkonen.
Williams was again slowest as George Russell clung to the coattails of nearest opponent Antonio Giovinazzi, with Nicholas Latifi half a second behind.
Qualifying for Formula 1’s Spanish Grand Prix will begin at 15:00 local time.
|3||M. Verstappen||Red Bull||1:17.737||+0.515||10|
|5||S. Perez||Racing Point||1:18.096||+0.874||16|
|8||L. Stroll||Racing Point||1:18.309||+1.087||16|
|9||A. Albon||Red Bull||1:18.371||+1.149||13|
|14||K. Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||1:18.721||+1.499||11|
|18||A. Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||1:19.175||+1.953||13|