Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final Bahrain GP practice

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Sebastian Vettel ended Mercedes’ domination of practice in Bahrain by topping the final session on Saturday afternoon ahead of qualifying at the Bahrain International Circuit.

Vettel and Ferrari struggled to match the pace of Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton on Friday, but managed to finish P1 thanks to a super-soft run late on.

Vettel produced a fastest lap of 1:31.683 to finish 0.040 seconds clear of teammate Kimi Raikkonen at the head of the timesheets.

Rosberg and Hamilton had set identical lap times on the soft compound tire before making the switch over to super-softs with 15 minutes remaining in the session, elevating them into first and second place respectively.

However, Ferrari showed signs of its pace for the first time over the weekend as Vettel and Raikkonen went four-tenths of a second quicker with their laps, leaving the Mercedes pair with one final chance to hit back.

Despite heading out again on the super-softs, neither Rosberg nor Hamilton opted to chase a flying lap time, leaving them third and fourth respectively in the classification.

Valtteri Bottas finished fifth for Williams, while Haas enjoyed a strong session as Romain Grosjean finished sixth with teammate Esteban Gutierrez in eighth, split by Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat.

Felipe Massa followed in ninth for Williams ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who rounded out the top 10 in the sister Red Bull car.

Stoffel Vandoorne’s final practice session ahead of his first F1 qualifying outing was far from ideal as an oil leak cost him track time. The Belgian ultimately finished FP3 14th overall, just 0.04 seconds slower than teammate Jenson Button.

Qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix is live on CNBC from 11am ET on Saturday.