5/12/2018 2:52:27 PM

Hamilton and Mercedes on top in crash-hit Spanish GP practice

Hamilton and Mercedes on top in crash-hit Spanish GP practice

Barcelona: Lewis Hamilton topped the times ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in Saturday morning's crash-curtailed third and final free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix.

In cooler conditions, the session was brought to an early conclusion when New Zealander Brendon Hartley lost control of his Toro Rosso car at Turn Nine and spun violently into the barriers.

The rear of his car was destroyed by the high-speed impact, both rear wheels and the rear of the gearbox were left hanging by their tethers, but Hartley was unhurt, if severely dazed.

"I'm OK," he responded on the team's radio link.

Hartley was assisted by medical staff as he walked away from his wrecked car.

Hamilton, the championship leader and defending world champion, had earlier clocked a best lap in one minute and 17.281 seconds, leaving him 0.013sec clear of his Finnish team-mate.

The two Ferraris of four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel, who trails Hamilton by four points in the title race, and 2007 champion Finn Kimi raikkonen were third and fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull ahead of Dane Kevin Magnussen and his Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean, Carlos Sainz of Renault and two-time champion Fernando Alonso of McLaren.

There were big cheers from the crowd for Hartley, in his first full season in F1, as he climbed from the wreckage of his car.

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