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Summary

  1. Mercedes' Bottas posts quickest time of week so far
  2. Ferrari remain Mercedes' nearest challengers
  3. Williams rookie Stroll hits barriers - his third accident in two days
  4. Get involved: #bbcf1

Live Reporting

By Jamie Strickland

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Time to drive off into the sunset

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getty

Another day of pre-season ticked off. Just one more to go this week.

Mercedes and Ferrari remain joined in battle at the head of the standings, but it remains too early to draw any firm conclusions on which of them has the edge.

Elsewhere, Renault have shown good speed, McLaren's reliability is improving even if their pace isn't, and Williams will be hoping rookie Lance Stroll can quickly get to grips with the FW40 after three accidents in two days.

Andrew Benson's full report will be live on the site shortly, and we'll be back with you for coverage of day four from 07:55 GMT tomorrow. 

Final times

1 Bottas   Mercedes   1:19.705 75 laps Ultrasoft

2 Vettel   Ferrari   1:19.952 139 Soft 

3 Ricciardo   Red Bull   1:21.153 70 Soft 

4 Palmer   Renault   1:21.396 51 Soft 

5 Hulkenberg   Renault   1:21.791 42 Soft 

6 Ericsson   Sauber   1:21.824 125 Supersoft 

7 Hamilton   Mercedes   1:22.090 95 Soft   

8 Grosjean   Haas   1:22.118 56 Supersoft 

9 Stroll   Williams   1:22.351 98 Soft

10 Alonso   McLaren   1:22.598 72 Ultrasoft   

11 Sainz   Toro Rosso   1:23.540 32 Medium 

12 Celis Jr   Force India   1:23.619 70 Soft 

13 Kvyat   Toro Rosso   1:23.952 31 Medium 

Chequered flag

The Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas finishes quickest of the third day of pre-season testing.

Full times to follow.

Green flag

Four minutes to go.

Red flag

The Ferrari of Vettel slows to a halt on the pit straight.

That's the Scuderia's first mechanical issue of the week.

Get Involved

#bbcf1

@bbcf1 Stroll may be struggling as a rookie in the Williams but Celis Jr. is coping just fine in the Force India #bbcf1

Day over for Renault


          Nico returns from his latest run and that is it from us today! 
#F1Testing

Nico returns from his latest run and that is it from us today! #F1Testing

A good day for the Enstone guys and gals. P4 and P5 as it stands after sharing the car between their drivers today.

Latest standings

1 Bottas  Mercedes  1:19.705 75 laps Ultrasoft

2 Vettel  Ferrari  1:19.952 126 Soft 

3 Ricciardo  Red Bull  1:21.153 67 Soft 

4 Palmer  Renault  1:21.396 51 Soft 

5 Hulkenberg  Renault  1:21.396 42 Soft 

6 Ericsson  Sauber  1:21.824 117 Supersoft 

7 Grosjean  Haas  1:22.118 50 Supersoft 

8 Hamilton  Mercedes  1:22.216 83 Soft   

9 Stroll  Williams  1:22.351 98 Soft

10 Alonso  McLaren  1:22.598 72 Ultrasoft   

11 Sainz  Toro Rosso  1:23.540 32 Medium 

12 Celis Jr  Force India  1:23.619 63 Soft 

13 Kvyat  Toro Rosso  1:23.952 31 Medium 

Down at Renault, Nico Hulkenberg has put on a set of soft tyres and does a 1:21.791. He's now in fifth.

The two Renaults are best of the rest after Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull as things stand.

Day over for Williams

We won't be running again today. The #FW40 is back in the garage and we are assessing damage after the car went off track. #F1Testing #F1

It's like Bernie is still with us...

Ross Brawn, the new sporting director of Formula 1, would like a non-championship race inserted into the calendar where organisers could experiment with new formats and rules.

It's the gossip.

Get Involved

#bbcf1

To be fair to Stroll these cars are meant to be tough to drive. It's tough to be a rookie this year. #bbcf1 @bbcf1 #F1Testing #F1Test #f1

Who, what, where, when - the answer

Yes, yes. I make these far too easy.

As 90% of you correctly told me, this is Michael Schumacher and Jean Alesi having a natter at the end of the 1997 Canadian Grand Prix, a race cut short by a leg-breaking crash for Olivier Panis. 

I promise to make tomorrow's harder. I will set my Getty Images search parameters to the 1950s.

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Getty Images

McLaren and Honda deny split rumour

Dan Knutson

F1 journalist in Barcelona

McLaren’s Racing Director Eric Boullier and Honda’s F1 chief Yasuke Hasegawa have just had a sit-down meeting with the media.

I asked if they could put to rest the rumour making the rounds on the internet that McLaren and Honda will split.

“We are supposed to ditch Honda?” Boullier asked. “No. There is no plan at all.”

Hasegawa added: “Of course not.”

Asked about the problems encountered so far this week, Boullier said: “We had many issues. I think no one is obviously fundamental. All of them are fixable. I am not sure we know all of them yet, even Hasegawa-san, because yesterday’s engine is on the way to Japan. 

"Today finally we can run, so have some other glitches, the usual ones you get on day one. But we have them on day three.”

The problem with Stoffel Vandoorne's engine on Tuesday – the one that is now being flown to Honda’s factory in Japan – should be known on Thursday.

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Lewis Hamilton is not going for any Hollywood laps in the Mercedes today. It's all about the hard yards.

That said, he has just improved on the soft tyre, going sixth with a 1:22.216. 

Tough times for Stroll

Stoll
Getty Images
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Getty Images

Get Involved

#bbcf1

Stroll Maldonado mk2?? 👀 #bbcf1

Looks like Williams have another Pastor Maldonado on their hands... Worth it for the money? Not if it all goes on repair bills #bbcf1

Time to relaunch the 'Has Maldonado crashed yet?' website for Stroll? #BBCF1 #F1Testing

Green flag

Let's try that again.

Red flag

Lance Stoll again. That's three offs in two days for the Williams rookie. 

Two of those have ended in the gravel trap. This one has taken him into the barriers.

Green flag

McLaren's Alonso and Force India test driver Celis immediately head out.  

Red flag

Carlos Sainz has stopped on track. Turn four.

Alonso improves to seventh

No sooner have I posted that update than it changes again. 

Fernando Alonso puts on the ultrasofts and does a 1:22.598. Not exactly rapid.

But... that's nearly 50 laps in the bag for McLaren today, so they are at least getting the mileage in.

Latest standings

1 Bottas Mercedes 1:19.705 75 laps Ultrasoft

2 Vettel Ferrari 1:19.952 94 Soft 

3 Ricciardo Red Bull 1:21.153 67 Soft 

4 Palmer Renault 1:21.396 51 Soft 

5 Ericsson Sauber 1:21.824 86 Supersoft 

6 Stroll Williams 1:22.351 89 Soft

7 Grosjean Haas 1:22.884 37 Soft 

8 Hulkenberg Renault 1:23.137 32 Medium 

9 Alonso McLaren 1:23.146 44 Soft 

10 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:23.540 25 Medium 

11 Celis Jr Force India 1:23.781 43 Soft 

12 Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:23.952 31 Medium 

13 Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.965 41 Soft 

It's pretty quiet...

So let's sneak another one of these in. 

Who, what, where, when?

Go.

#bbcf1

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Get involved

#bbcf1

maybe a dumb question, but why would teams hide ultimate pace? are other teams going to think "oh they're fast - better work harder!" #bbcf1

Not a dumb question at all. (I don't have the answer, mind)


          Two drivers under the magic 1:20.000 barrier now 👏

BOT 1:19.705
VET 1:19.952 📸

#F1Testing

Two drivers under the magic 1:20.000 barrier now 👏 BOT 1:19.705 VET 1:19.952 📸 #F1Testing

Vettel goes into second

OK, that's an interesting development.

Sebastian Vettel has gone out on the soft tyre in his Ferrari and pumped in a 1:19.952.

That's just over two tenths off Valtteri Bottas's best time of the week for Mercedes, which was set on the ultrasoft tyre.

It is also 0.155s faster than Bottas went on the softs earlier.

Obviously everything comes with the caveat of not knowing fuel loads and engine modes etc, but that is an eye-catching time nevertheless.  

vettel
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