Ferrari dominate in FP3
Leclerc top of the timings in FP3 (Photo Credit: Dimitar Dirkoff, Getty Images) 

Ferrari dominate in FP3

Ferrari finished one-two in the final practice session for the Russian GP

callum-mcavoy
Callum McAvoy

Charles Leclerc finished ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, with Ferrari looking set to continue their imperious form in Sochi.

The Scuderia are looking to make it four poles and four race wins in-a-row this weekend.

The Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were close behind however, whilst Romain Grosjean was the surprise of the session, with his Haas finished sixth, splitting the Red Bulls.

No rain but drivers continue to slip

Rain had been forecast for Saturday but none came during FP3. Regardless, drivers still struggled to a stay on track.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez dangerously locked up and went off, not once but twice, at Turn 14.

Max Verstappen spun into the barriers towards the end but was able to avoid picking up any major damage.

Things were worse for home racer Daniil Kvyat, whose Toro Rosso engine broke down and will now miss qualifying.

McLaren and Mercedes reunited

The big news of the weekend dropped just before FP3 today, when McLaren announced that they would once again be powered by Mercedes engines.

The new three-year deal, which starts in 2021, will reunite the McLaren-Mercedes partnership that last raced in 2014.

The Woking-based team went from frontrunners to backmarkers when they ditched Mercedes for Honda in 2015 and although they have improved under Renault in recent times, they are still well off the pace of the big three teams.

Zak Brown, the CEO of McLaren Racing said:

"This announcement is an important message to our fans that we are committed to retuning McLaren to the front of the field."

Mercedes unquestionably provide the best engines at the moment but in two years time that could change. Renault made the bold claim that they would be challenging for the Championship in 2021, so Brown's decision may not be a sure-fire hit.

FP3 final standings:

  1. Charles Leclerc - 1:32.733
  2. Sebastian Vettel +0.316s
  3. Lewis Hamilton +0.396s
  4. Valterri Bottas +0.621s
  5. Max Verstappen +1.494s
  6. Romain Grosjean +1.575s
  7. Alexander Albon +1.638s
  8. Nico Hulkenberg +1.688s
  9. Lando Norris +1.794s
  10. Kevin Magnussen +1.813s
  11. Pierre Gasly +1.831s
  12. Daniel Ricciardo +1.853s
  13. Carlos Sainz Jnr. +1.874s
  14. Antonio Giovinazzi +2.033s
  15. Sergio Perez +2.127s
  16. Lance Stroll +2.165s
  17. Kimi Raikkonen +2.981s
  18. George Russell +3.278s
  19. Daniil Kvyat +3.348s
  20. Robert Kubica +4.209s
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