After a Friday dominated by Mercedes, Ferrari fought back in final practice with Kimi Räikkönen heading a one-two for the Scuderia ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
After leading the way during the medium-tyre shod opening half of the session with a time of 1:22.409, Raikkonen bolted on soft tyres shortly after the halfway point in the one-hour final practice session and immediately lowered the benchmark by more than two seconds, logging a best time of 1:21.214 that stood until the end of the session.
He was quickly joined at the front of the order by Vettel who ended the session just 0.242s behind his team-mate. The four-time champion’s soft tyres effort was to be his last of the session, however. As he left the garage with 10 minutes remaining he stopped in the pit lane as the team has “noticed an anomaly with the telemetry”. The decision was taken to call him back to the garage and the team set about changing power unit elements “as a precaution” in the run-up to qualifying.
Lewis Hamilton, who had finished on top in both of Friday’s sessions, had to settle for third place ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Russian Grand Prix winner Bottas had a disrupted session, however. The Finn spent the bulk of the session in the garage as his crew worked to prep his car following an engine change due to a water leak and he only joined the action with nine minutes left in the session. He immediately went out on a set of soft tyres and set a best time of 1:20.868.
Bottas was followed by the Red Bull pairing of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, with the Dutchman edging his Australian team-mate by two tenths of a second.
Nico Hulkenberg was seventh for Renault, ahead of Felipe Massa’s Williams and local favourites Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and Fernando Alonso of McLaren rounded the top 10, the latter recovering from a difficult Friday in which he again suffered power unit problems.
2017 Spanish Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:20.214s – 20
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:20.456s 0.242s 7
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:20.595s 0.381s 12
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:20.868s 0.654s 7
5 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:21.025s 0.811s 14
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:21.249s 1.035s 15
7 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:21.670s 1.456s 13
8 Felipe Massa Williams 1:21.746s 1.532s 19
9 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:21.835s 1.621s 19
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:22.093s 1.879s 16
11 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:22.128s 1.914s 21
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:22.214s 2.000s 12
13 Sergio Perez Force India 1:22.237s 2.023s 19
14 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:22.297s 2.083s 22
15 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:22.391s 2.177s 15
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:22.513s 2.299s 20
17 Lance Stroll Williams 1:22.574s 2.360s 19
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:22.755s 2.541s 13
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:22.853s 2.639s 15
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:22.974s 2.760s 19