Briton Hamilton is now 14 points behind championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who also used ultra softs to take his Ferrari to third.
Hamilton was 0.262 seconds quicker than Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in second, with Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas third. Bottas has also scored the most points of any driver in the last six races, proving his pedigree as a consistent talent, and that Mercedes made the right call in bringing him on-board.
Vettel's deal with Ferrari expires at the end of the season but Hamilton believes the 30-year-old would not join Mercedes, as he is unlikely to accept driving for a team where both drivers are granted equal status.
Hamilton - a victor of this race in 2010 and 2015 - topped the timesheets in Friday's rain-hit second practice session with Vettel down in fifth, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff expects his outfit to face stiff competition when the main action gets under way. The long run was better.
Vettel is out of contract at Ferrari this winter and is remaining coy about his future with the Italian team, who are understood to have a contract offer on the table.
John Cena Breaks Down in Tears After Surprise From Fans
Finally, Cena was shown a video of Tyler Schweer, a young boy whose mother suffered from breast cancer. When the young boy bursts through a paper wall to surprise his idol, Cena leaps up to embrace him .
"When you have been racing for so long you would think that the passion and desire to win would fade, but it is stronger than ever, and that's exciting for me".
Ferrari are putting their best efforts to retain their star driver for the next three seasons.
"For me I was not so happy".
"I hope to be in the Sauber seat next year, we'll see how things go".
"I think we're closer than many other people think", said a nevertheless optimistic Raikkonen. "We just didn't get a very good weekend but it's true that Mercedes was very strong there", he said.
"I need to do my job and then we should be fine".
It is a race which threatens to be hit by bad weather, but Hamilton, so often a master in the rain, is typically not fazed.