Third free practice ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s Formula One Canadian Grand Prix produced a measure of surprise, as pace-setters Mercedes appeared to struggle to extract speed from Pirelli’s super-soft tyre and were consequently split at the top of the timesheets by the Williams of Felipe Massa.
Lewis Hamilton was still the fastest man at the end of the 60 minute session, but both he and team-mate Nico Rosberg – who was 3rd – failed to improve their laptimes after switching to the softer and theoretically faster red-marked tyres.
Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo maintained the Ferrari and Red Bull challenge in 4th and 5th respectively, but were almost half a second slower than the benchmark of Hamilton despite using the super-soft rubber to good effect.
Daniil Kvyat and Jean Eric Vergne showed excellent pace to enter the top ten for Toro Rosso, at the expense of McLaren who faded into obscurity after showing early promise on Friday.
The only incident of major note was the spin of Esteban Gutierrez who buried his Sauber against the outside wall of turn four. Turns one and two continued to reap a cull of the unwary and over-optimistic, though all escaped unharmed.
Qualifying is at 18:00 GMT.
CLASSIFICATION – FP3 – Canadian Grand Prix – 7th June 2014