Azerbaijan GP, Practice Three: Charles Leclerc fastest as Ferrari dominate
Advantage Ferrari, and advantage Leclerc in Baku with Red Bull and Mercedes over 1s off the pace; Watch qualifying at 2pm on Sky F1
By Matt Morlidge in Baku
Last Updated: 27/04/19 2:29pm
Ferrari hold a significant advantage over their rivals heading into Azerbaijan GP qualifying after Charles Leclerc set a soaring pace in final practice.
Leclerc, who also dominated Friday's running, posted the fastest lap of the weekend so far - a 1:41.604 - to lead another Scuderia one-two, finishing two-tenths of a second ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Neither Mercedes driver hooked up a complete lap during their qualifying simulations on soft tyres, and Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton could only manage fourth and fifth, an eye-catching one-and-a-half seconds behind Ferrari.
"I can't get the feeling Mercedes are that far away," said Sky F1's Paul DI Resta. "But Ferrari, and especially Leclerc, are in control at the moment."
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Instead it was Red Bull who emerged as the Italian team's closest competition, with Max Verstappen third and looking a real threat to Mercedes as he benefitted from a tow from Pierre Gasly - who will start the race in the pit-lane - on the long Baku straight.
Verstappen was, however, still 1.2s behind Leclerc, who was flying around the Baku streets - where he won in F2 and secured his first F1 points last season.
Qualifying takes place at 2pm on Sky Sports F1, with build-up from 1pm.
Mercedes even drifted into a tight midfield pack in Practice Three, with Daniil Kvyat within a tenth of Hamilton's fastest time in sixth for Toro Rosso, who look a strong contender to finish 'best of the rest'.
Alex Albon was eighth in the sister car, with Kevin Magnussen splitting the pair for Haas.
Sergio Perez, who has two Baku podiums to his name, and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top-10, with Daniel Ricciardo 11th as Renault continued to be left behind by their rivals.
Nico Hulkenberg was only 16th.
McLaren slipped back to 13th and 14th after an encouraging Friday, while George Russell got his first true Baku F1 laps under his belt after returning following the drain-cover drama from P1.
Russell finished 19th, ahead of Gasly but behind Williams team-mate Robert Kubica. The two Williams cars finished over four seconds off the pace.
Azerbaijan GP Practice Three Timesheet
|1) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||1:41.604|
|2) Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+0.198|
|3) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+1.248|
|4) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+1.460|
|5) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+1.572|
|6) Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+1.619|
|7) Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+1.690|
|8) Alex Albon||Toro Rosso||+1.696|
|9) Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+1.826|
|10) Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+1.933|
|11) Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+1.957|
|12) Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+2.033|
|13) Lando Norris||McLaren||+2.320|
|14) Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+2.374|
|15) Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+2.435|
|16) Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+2.439|
|17) Romain Grosjean||Haas||+2.770|
|18) Robert Kubica||Williams||+4.396|
|19) George Russell||Williams||+4.686|
|20) Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||+6.232|
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