Rosberg And Mercedes Show Their Strength In FP3


Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes 1-2 in the final practice session ahead of the Malaysia Grand Prix as the Brackley squad totally dominated. Rosberg led teammate Lewis Hamilton with no other driver within a second of the Silver Arrows, Kimi Raikkonen being the nearest driver to them once again.

The writing was on the wall from the beginning of the session with the Mercedes pair already quickest on the hard tyres. Ferrari were the first major player to concentrate on qualifying simulations and not even the 1.5s boost of the softer rubber could take Fernando Alonso ahead of Hamilton. Raikkonen did find a little more pace in his Ferrari, continuing the trend from yesterday, to go fastest on a 1:40.156 but that time would be put in perspective when Mercedes fitted option tyres to their cars.

Rosberg immediately chopped a second off the benchmark time with a 1:39.008 and his teammate looked set to go even quicker before a lock-up cost him time. Hamilton eventually slotted in a quarter of a second behind but a comfortable nine tenths clear of the third-placed Ferrari. Red Bull left their medium tyre run later than most with Sebastian Vettel snatching fourth from Nico Hulkenberg while Daniel Ricciardo’s late improvement demoted Fernando Alonso to seventh. Williams remain contenders for a place near the front of the grid with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas eighth and ninth with Sergio Perez rounding out the top ten for Force India, albeit half a second down on his teammate.

Lotus enjoyed a better morning with Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado having relatively few problems but that didn’t stop the Frenchman describing the handling as a “disaster” over the radio. For once though, he found himself in a better position than the drivers next door at McLaren with both cars sidelined by a sensor problem which is in danger of keeping them out of qualifying too.

 

 2014 PETRONAS MALAYSIA GRAND PRIX – FREE PRACTICE 3 RESULT
POS DRIVER TEAM TYRE TIME
1  6. NICO ROSBERG MERCEDES MED 1:39.008
2  44. LEWIS HAMILTON MERCEDES MED 1:39.240
3  7. KIMI RAIKKONEN FERRARI MED 1:40.156
4  1. SEBASTIAN VETTEL RED BULL RACING RENAULT MED 1:40.387
5  27. NICO HULKENBERG FORCE INDIA MERCEDES MED 1:40.523
6  3. DANIEL RICCIARDO RED BULL RACING RENAULT MED 1:40.686
7  14. FERNANDO ALONSO FERRARI MED 1:40.736
8  19. FELIPE MASSA WILLIAMS MERCEDES MED 1:40.781
9  77. VALTTERI BOTTAS WILLIAMS MERCEDES MED 1:40.891
10  11. SERGIO PEREZ FORCE INDIA MERCEDES MED 1:41.029
11  26. DANIIL KVYAT STR RENAULT MED 1:41.182
12  25. JEAN-ERIC VERGNE STR RENAULT MED 1:41.441
13  99. ADRIAN SUTIL SAUBER FERRARI MED 1:41.552
14  21. ESTEBAN GUTIERREZ SAUBER FERRARI MED 1:42.041
15  8. ROMAIN GROSJEAN LOTUS RENAULT MED 1:42.749
16  13. PASTOR MALDONADO LOTUS RENAULT MED 1:43.539
17  4. MAX CHILTON MARUSSIA FERRARI MED 1:43.977
18  17. JULES BIANCHI MARUSSIA FERRARI MED 1:44.170
19  9. MARCUS ERICSSON CATERHAM RENAULT HARD 1:44.457
20  10. KAMUI KOBAYASHI CATERHAM RENAULT HARD 1:46.015
21  22. JENSON BUTTON McLAREN MERCEDES HARD 2:05.555
22  20. KEVIN MAGNUSSEN McLAREN MERCEDES HARD NO TIME