Reigning champion Lewis Hamilton topped third and final practice ahead of the Formula 1 season-opener in Australia, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc ended up second and third.
Low grip conditions as a result of cooler track temperatures at the start of the session meant that times were slower than in FP2 for the majority of FP3.
Hamilton had hit the top of the timesheet with a 1m23.699s – a second slower than his fastest FP2 time – and this remained the fastest time heading into the final 20 minutes of the hour long session.
Vettel was the first driver to dip into the 1m22s, eclipsing Hamilton’s Friday benchmark with a 1m22.556s to demonstrate Ferrari’s pace after he finished only fifth on Friday.
However, Hamilton lowered his time with session best sector one and three splits to post a 1m22.292s to finish on top of the times.
Vettel ended up second, with his team-mate Leclerc a further two tenths adrift in third place.
Behind the Ferrari duo, the Haas pairing of Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finished an impressive fourth and fifth.
Grosjean was just 0.820s behind Hamilton’s pace, suggesting that Haas is the strongest contender to be best of the rest and match its 2018 qualifying performance.
Red Bull ran off sequence with the rest of the field, as Pierre Gasly and Max Verstappen spent a significant part of the session running the medium compound tyre.
The pair only switched to the soft rubber in the final seven minutes of the session. With just one run, Gasly climbed to sixth while Verstappen ended up in ninth.
Red Bull completed a chassis change on Verstappen’s car overnight, after the Dutchman had to run on higher fuel during Friday to deal with an issue regarding the tank.
Slotting in between the Red Bulls, Valtteri Bottas was out of position in seventh after he dipped two wheels onto the grass at the slow speed Turn 15 and lost a significant chunk of time. Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat was eighth.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10, squeezing ahead of his new team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in the closing stages of the session.
Antonio Giovinazzi finished ahead of Kimi Raikkonen for the first time in the intra-team battle at Alfa Romeo, with the Italian ending up 12th. Raikkonen was, however, an unrepresentative 17th, after finding significant traffic in the final sector on his fastest lap.
Williams again occupied the bottom of the timesheet, with George Russell ahead of Robert Kubica, who hit the wall on pitlane entry and shaved bodywork off of his FW42.
Russell was 3.652s off the pace while Kubica was 4.297s behind Hamilton’s time.