Red Bull and Ferrari may have looked stronger during long runs during second practice, Mercedes is likely to proper itself as the top-runner on Saturday.
Race simulations appeared to give an indication that Ferrari and Red Bull have an upper hand, with Mercedes reduced to the third fastest team.
On the medium tyres, Max Verstappen had the best average of all with 1:23.636, with Vettel only a tenth behind with 1:23.795.
Nico Rosberg, the only Mercedes runner to try the white-striped tyrem was nearly three tenths slower and marginally quicker than Daniel Ricciardo, who did a very long stint towards the ends of the session.
But as we’ve seen over the last few races, Mercedes always has something in hand, never unleashing its true pace until Saturday. If the trend of recent races continue, the Brackley-based squad is likely to have another cake walk.
Interestingly, all teams suffered severe tyre degradation on the supersoft tyre, particularly towards the end of the stint. This is likely to prompt some teams to qualify on the soft tyres as the supersoft compound is likely to degrade very quickly in the race.
Vettel - 1:24.261
Rosberg - 1:24.416
Ricciardo - 1:24.445
Hamilton - 1:24.587
Verstappen - 1:24.758
Raikkonen - 1:26.199s
Hamilton - 1:23.269 (short)
Verstappen - 1:23.636
Rosberg - 1:23.959
Ricciardo - 1:23.999 (long)
by Rachit Thukral