Hamilton fastest in rain-affected FP3 at Suzuka

Hamilton fastest in rain-affected FP3 at Suzuka

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton: Photo: Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time on a windy Saturday morning 3rd practice for the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka.

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

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.

But it sustained heavy rear end damage in the impact after he ran wide at turn four and spun into the turn five barriers. His car may be not ready for the qualifying.

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 Junior put his car in ninth place. Kevin Magnussen in a Haas completed the top 10.