It wasn’t all good news for Ferrari, mind, with Vettel forced to return to the garage after slowing on track in the final half hour with a suspected gearbox problem. Additionally, Raikkonen was unable to do a long run on the supersoft tyre compound after flat-spotting his only set midway through the session.
It was Lewis Hamilton who had led the way after the early runs on soft tyres, although he, Raikkonen, Vettel and Rosberg were all covered by less than two-tenths of a second.
The Briton was one of several to struggle to get the best from the supersoft tyres however, leaving him fifth at the chequered flag - behind Lotus's Pastor Maldonado, who was only three-tenths of a second off the overall pace in fourth.
Le Mans winner Nico Hulkenberg was sixth fastest for Force India, with the top ten - covered by less than a second - completed by Lotus's Romain Grosjean, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
Carlos Sainz was 11th fastest in the second Toro Rosso, just fractions of a second ahead of the lead Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat and Marcus Ericsson in the second Sauber. Kvyat's team mate Daniel Ricciardo could only manage 17th.
It was another tough session for McLaren, with Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button completing just 34 laps between them en route to 16th and 18th respectively. Alonso - facing a 20-place grid drop on Sunday - did at least get to briefly trial the team’s latest aero updates, including their new short nose design.
Things were more encouraging at British rivals Williams. Though neither Valtteri Bottas (14th) nor Felipe Massa (15th) troubled the top of the timesheet, both looked promisingly quick on their race-simulating, longer runs.
At the back, Will Stevens headed Marussia team mate Roberto Merhi by half a second. Merhi was one of three drivers to bring out the yellow flags - in this instance when he slipped off track and through the gravel at Turn 3.