FP3: Hamilton grabs late P1

Lewis Hamilton put in a late run to take P1 off Nico Rosberg in final practice in Baku while Sergio Perez put in a late crash to cause a few headaches at Force India.

Final practice got underway with a bit of drama as despite efforts overnight to make the track safer, a grate came off in the pit lane as Valtteri Bottas returned after his installation lap.

The Finn sent it flying into the air, ripping a hole in his sidepod and narrowly missing team personnel watching on.

"I think some drain cover or something came up in the pit lane, have a look at the car," said Bottas. Williams responded that there was a "big hole in the sidepod."

Bottas did not put in a second lap in FP3 as it emerged that the damage was worse that initially thought with his radiator also punctured.

Out on track Daniel Ricciardo set the early pace ahead of the two Force Indias but that changed when Mercedes entered the fray 20 minutes in.

Nico Rosberg went quickest with a 1:45.435 while Lewis Hamilton was second, 0.108s down.

Heading out on a new set of supers, Rosberg lowered the benchmark time to a 1:44.610 but even that could not prevent Hamilton from grabbing a late P1 with a 1:44.352. Rosberg was second, 0.258s off the pace.

Nico Hulkenberg was third fastest, 1.188s down, ahead of Ricciardo, Sebastian Vettel and Sergio Perez.

Max Verstappen finished the session in seventh place ahead of Jenson Button, Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen.

Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’44.352 17 laps
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’44.610 0.258 22 laps
3 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1’45.540 1.188 18 laps
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1’45.620 1.268 13 laps
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’45.630 1.278 20 laps
6 Sergio Perez Force India 1’45.735 1.383 17 laps
7 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1’45.901 1.549 14 laps
8 Jenson Button McLaren 1’45.954 1.602 17 laps
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1’45.981 1.629 19 laps
10 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’46.024 1.672 16 laps
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1’46.131 1.779 16 laps
12 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 1’46.190 1.838 17 laps
13 Romain Grosjean Haas 1’46.361 2.009 21 laps
14 Felipe Massa Williams 1’46.510 2.158 20 laps
15 Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1’46.670 2.318 21 laps
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1’47.024 2.672 16 laps
17 Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1’47.100 2.748 19 laps
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’47.158 2.806 18 laps
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1’47.328 2.976 14 laps
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1’47.379 3.027 18 laps
21 Rio Haryanto Manor 1’47.556 3.204 18 laps
22 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1 lap

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