Vettel quickest as Mercedes endures scrappy FP3
Canadian Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel quickest as Mercedes endures scrappy FP3

Sebastian Vettel topped the last 60 minutes of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix as title rivals Mercedes endured a scrappy session ahead of qualifying.

Championship leader Vettel's 1:12.572 was 0.3s quicker than Lewis Hamilton's pole time around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve last year and had roughly the same gap as his margin to Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen in FP3. It was a strong showing by Ferrari ahead of qualifying, though it is hard to judge Mercedes on a session which saw both drivers lose time.

It was a curious session for the world champions, with both drivers struggling to get near the benchmark set by Vettel. Hamilton finished 0.3s behind, with radio from Mercedes saying most of his time was lost in the final sector -- where the team had been strongest on Friday. When Hamilton asked if he was losing time through the final chicane, the team replied "no", suggesting the bulk of that deficit was instead lost on the long straight that makes up most of the final sector.

Max Verstappen split the Mercedes drivers in fourth, ending the session just 0.393s off the lead as Red Bull made up for time lost with stoppages for both cars in FP2 on Friday. Valtteri Bottas was fifth, though much of his 0.6s margin can likely be traced to two big errors on his lap. The Finn nearly put his Mercedes W08 in the wall with a massive wobble on the exit of Turn 4, before locking up and running deep at the hairpin.

Nico Hulkenberg claimed an impressive sixth for Renault, a big improvement after both cars struggled to break the top ten in either of Friday's session. Felipe Massa and Daniel Ricciardo were both within 0.05s of the former Le Mans winner, with Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz rounding out the top ten.

Daniil Kvyat was 11th ahead of Fernando Alonso, who did not repeat his FP2 heroics in a session which saw him record the joint-lowest number of laps (18). Force India's Sergio Perez could only register 13th, meaning both Force India's finished outside the top ten for the first time this weekend. Romain Grosjean was 14th, ahead of the under-pressure Jolyon Palmer, who was a massive 0.6s behind teammate Hulkenberg.

Stoffel Vandoorne was 16th, 0.4s behind Alonso, while Magnussen had a delayed session and could only register a time good enough for 17th. Local boy Lance Stroll was 18th, 0.9s behind Williams teammate Massa, with Sauber pair Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein rounding out the order on what looks set to be a punishing weekend for the team and its year-old Ferrari power unit.

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