Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari carried their Friday advantage, after leading another 1-2 during the final practice for the Russian Grand Prix, with the nearest Mercedes three tenths adrift.
Vettel’s fastest lap was a 1.34.001, which is the fastest lap till date around the Sochi Autodrom, and that put the German 0.337s clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who set a 1.34.338.
After the Ferrari’s came the two Mercedes, who had closed down the gap, with Bottas, the fastest Mercedes, 0.363s adrift of Ferrari, with Hamilton – who goes into qualifying on the back foot – some 0.2s slower than him team-mate.
Mercedes showed signs of making progress since Friday Practice. Hamilton pipped Vettel by a tenth during their first ultra-soft tyre run, however the German was able to pull a large advantage during the second run. More notably, the Mercedes drivers struggle for tyre warm-up, whilst Ferrari are able to put in a competitive lap straight out of the box.
As it was during Friday Practice, Red Bull trailed the leading two, with Verstappen in fifth place albeit 1.4s off Vettel’s pace-setting lap. Further back, Ricciardo fell behind the Williams of Felipe Massa, and endured reliability problems during the 60-minute session.
Lance Stroll had better fortunes during final practice, as the Canadian rookie was tenth fastest, however still had to find over a second to catch experienced team-mate Massa.