Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton continued their seesaw battle for supremacy at the German Grand Prix with the home favourite topping final practice at Hockenheim. Rosberg proved stronger on the super soft tyres late in FP3 to go six tenths quicker than his teammate with Fernando Alonso taking over as the chief rival to the Silver Arrows.
The Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa led the session at halfway but Kimi Raikkonen was the first to blink with a set of supersofts, going a couple of tenths faster than his compatriot. Kimi’s time was always highly unlikely to stay unbeaten and his cause wasn’t helped by fuel system problems on his Ferrari which ultimately curtailed his session, the team keen to give themselves as much time as possible to fix the issue for qualifying.
Fernando Alonso picked up the baton for Ferrari by setting a 1:18.384 to go fastest nine minutes from the end but Rosberg returned Mercedes to the top almost instantly, setting the quickest lap of the weekend so far. Hamilton was expected to mount a serious challenge to his teammate’s 1:17.779 but the Briton came up six tenths short, complaining of a small vibration on his option tyres.
Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas both found time on the super soft rubber but with their rivals making greater strides, the Williams duo ended the morning fourth and fifth. Kevin Magnussen continued to shine in the McLaren with sixth while Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel took seventh and ninth for Red Bull, sandwiching the Ferrari of Raikkonen.