Hamilton throttles Merc to top in day 3 testing

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Lewis Hamilton is providing Mercedes fans with more than just hope, they’re getting downright excited about the prospect of a competitive Merc driven by a brilliantly fast Hamilton.

On the third day of the final test before the first grand prix in Australia, Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets again. The British champion is setting good pace on Pirelli soft compounds and while the weather has been a bit dodgy, today was the best running conditions so far.

1.  Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes      1m20.558s            117   Soft
2.  Felipe Massa          Ferrari       1m21.266s  + 0.708s  94    Supersoft
3.  Adrian Sutil          Force India   1m21.627s  + 1.069s  109   Soft
4.  Pastor Maldonado      Williams      1m22.305s  + 1.747s  34    Soft
5.  Valtteri Bottas       Williams      1m22.468s  + 1.910s  31    Soft
6.  Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber        1m22.553s  + 1.995s  99    Soft
7.  Mark Webber           Red Bull      1m22.658s  + 2.100s  59    Soft
8.  Sergio Perez          McLaren       1m22.694s  + 2.136s  101   Soft
9.  Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso    1m23.223s  + 2.665s  114   Soft
10.  Romain Grosjean       Lotus         1m23.380s  + 2.822s  46    Medium
11.  Davide Valsecchi      Lotus         1m23.448s  + 2.890s  16    Soft
12.  Jules Bianchi         Marussia      1m24.028s  + 3.470s  74    Soft
13.  Giedo van der Garde   Caterham      1m24.235s  + 3.677s  126   Soft

Today’s test also saw the first running of Jules Bianchi in his new ride at Marussia as the former driver, Luiz Razia, failed to get his supporters to cut the payment for the ride.

Hamilton has been quick to suggest that his Merc won’t be as competitive as the Red Bull’s, Ferrari’s or McLaren’s but so far, he’s making the 2013 chassis look pretty darned good so far.

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