Morning pacesetter Hamilton had been quickest using medium tyres during the early runs, but when he changed to softs he lost the rear of his car mid-way through the Turn 8/9 chicane.
The champion team had been nearly a second clear of its rivals in the morning, but Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was outpaced by both Ferraris in the afternoon soft tyre runs.
Bottas was using hard tyres at that point, and was within three tenths of a second of Hamilton's medium tyre pace initially before improving to just 0.142s behind.
Though the Ferraris closed to just under seven tenths away from Hamilton on mediums, the session seemed set to be a repeat of the earlier Mercedes domination.
Max Verstappen had used hards to get between the Mercedes and the Ferraris as the early runs finished, but his soft tyre effort was spoiled when he came upon Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly moving slowly at the final chicane.