21/04/12 - 09:00
Bahrain Grand Prix
Bahrain International Circuit • Free Practice 3

Free Practice 3

Follow the Bahrain Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 09:00 on 21 April 2012. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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That's the end of the session, and it's Nico Rosberg on top again! He will be a strong favourite for pole position in qualifying. Join us for that at noon UK time.


P2 for Sebastian Vettel, dragging himself to within two tenths of Nico Rosberg. A fine lap, and that should be all as far as the top of the timesheet is concerned.


It just makes you feel sad every time you see Felipe Massa. He clocks his best time, but it's only good enough for P15. Mind you, Fernando Alonso is just P10 so that's hardly a triumph.


It does not look like Vettel will be coming back this morning. Safety first for Red Bull.


Concern in the Red Bull garage - it looks like Sebastian Vettel's car is overheating.


It's not a great lap from Button, nearly two-thirds of a second behind Rosberg. It's good enough for fourth behind both Mercedes and Hamilton.


Hamilton pits, and now Button embarks on a flying lap...


Hamilton, Vettel and Kobayasi are currently the only men on track... Button is just leaving the pits.


Hamilton goes P2 with a 1:33.782 as the field start to return to the pits en masse.


Fastest lap of the session, 1:33.254 for Nico Rosberg! He has got Schumi's number, and indeed everyone else's!


1:33.796 for Michael Schumacher, who would dearly love to get one over his team-mate this weekend. Mercedes favourites for pole position.


Daniel Ricciardo takes P1 on soft tyres - 1:34.197, but Michael Schumacher is on a flier.


Michael Schumacher is on softer tyres than Nico Rosberg, and he is duly outperforming his team-mate. He is P3 to Rosberg's P6, with four tenths of a second between them.


Nico Rosberg is out of his car, which is being worked on by about a dozen mechanics. They are making numerous setup changes, and affixing a new front wing.


All 24 drivers have set a timed lap - from Vettel's 1:34.2 to Karthikeyan bringing up the rear with a 1:39.7.


Hamilton does almost exactly the same as Schumacher, overcooking turn one and going straight on. A huge run-off area there - no gravel, just differently-coloured tarmac.


We're onboard with Sebastian Vettel, who sets a P1 time of 1:34.225 on his first flying lap. Mind you, Rosberg's best time yesterday was a 1:32.8.


Without wanting to big up a rival broadcaster, Sky have just done an interesting little segment on the different aero packages of the two McLarens. Jenson Button is running a newer front wing design than Lewis Hamilton, based on their respective preference for understeer and oversteer.


P1 for Romain Grosjean, 1:34.401.


Schumacher locks up his front right tyre at the end of the start-finish straight, aborts his right turn and carries straight on. Schumi really does like an encursion in practice, doesn't he?


P1 for Kimi Raikkonen, who has made an encouraging start to his career at Lotus, despite his DNF in China.


Jenson Button sits in his car, and gives the camera a wink and a wave. It could be a tough weekend for McLaren, who appear to have been overhauled by Mercedes and their controversial 'double DRS' machine.


A few more cars are starting to emerge now. Meanwhile, Di Resta has improved his lap time to 1:35.384.


Of course, Force India are out there because they skipped the second session yesterday over security concerns.


There are only two cars on the track, Paul Di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg - Di Resta sets the first timed lap of the hour, 1:41.356.


No times laps completed yet. The air temperature is 27C, track temperature 40C and it is very hazy. There is also a bit of a blustery wind. Officially it is only 3.3m/s, but the palm trees around the circuit are certainly blowing, and a couple of teams have mentioned the wind over their radios.


Lewis Hamilton was not too happy with the state of the track, describing it as like an ice rink.


Pastor Maldonado has sustained a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.


On the track, yesterday was a good day for Mercedes, with Nico Rosberg fastest in FP2.


Such is the complex set-up of Formula One that neither Bernie Ecclestone, the FIA or the teams could pull out of this race without opening themselves up to major liability, and so here we are.


If you have been living under a rock for the past few days, this race is set against a backdrop of popular protests against the Gulf state's regime. Yesterday we had the Crown Prince at the circuit guaranteeing the teams' safety and insisting that the race should go on.


Welcome to live coverage of free practice 3 on a hazy, blustery morning in Bahrain.