Charles Leclerc edged out championship rival Max Verstappen to lead the way in final practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, as Mercedes continued to show a newfound turn of pace.
Championship leader Leclerc clocked a 1m 19.772s at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on his low-fuel soft tyre run to end the 60-minute session less than a tenth of a second clear of Verstappen.
George Russell pipped seven-time world champion team mate Lewis Hamilton to third, with Mercedes 0.2s off the quickest time.
The Silver Arrows brought a raft of upgrades to Spain – and they appear to have found a solution to eradicate porpoising, which in turn has made them significantly more competitive on the straights.
Home favourite Carlos Sainz was fifth, ahead of Sergio Perez, with the top six running two sets of soft tyres and separated by under half a second on what was an unseasonably hot day in Barcelona.
FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DE ESPAÑA 2022
Practice 3 results
|1 Charles LECLERC Ferrari||1:19.772|
|2 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing||+0.072s|
|3 George RUSSELL Mercedes||+0.148s|
|4 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes||+0.230s|
|5 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari||+0.357s|
Lando Norris, who was running the full upgrade after his McLaren team completed repairs to his floor damaged on a kerb on Friday, was seventh, with Kevin Magniussen the leading Haas in eighth.
Valtteri Bottas, in a heavily updated Alfa Romeo, was ninth as Alpine’s Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.
Daniel Ricciardo was P11 and half a second adrift of McLaren team mate Norris, with Sebastian Vettel putting the significantly upgraded Aston Martin AMR22 12th.