• Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets at the end of Practice 3.
• He was followed by Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen.
• Esteban Ocon crashed with two minutes remaining.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Mercedes again dominated the third and final practice session ahead of qualifying later today. Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas showed their class today, but it was clear that both drivers were not giving their cars the full beans.
Max Verstappen was again the driver to slot into third place, but he was closer in this session than the two preceding ones. Verstappen's Red Bull race car is the closest competitor to Merc's dominance, and he will be pulling out all the stops when qualifying comes around.
With less than two minutes remaining, Esteban Ocon crashed his Renault after Kevin Magnussen moved in front of him.
Predictions for qualifying
If predictions are to be believed, then we can expect the Mercedes duo to be leading from the front during qualifying. The Mercedes race cars are head and shoulders above the rest of the field and have few kinks in their armour.
Over the three practice sessions, the German team has shown that it has pace both over one lap and longer stints. This would be very discouraging for rival teams, knowing that there is nothing they can do to halt the defending champions' performance.
Verstappen is likely to qualify in third place, but his team mate, Alex Albon, has some ground to make up if he wants to find himself in the top five. Albon has a car underneath him that can challenge for a top-three position, but he needs to get the car there. Something he's failed to do thus far.
After a promising opening day, Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel looked as if he would be able to challenge team mate, Charles Leclerc. After third practice, Vettel was not on the button and off the pace of the leaders and his team mate. Leclerc could, at best, hope on a top-five qualifying position if he can deal with the McLarens of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz.
Qualifying is going live at 15:00.