FP3: Rosberg edges Hamilton in final practice


Nico Rosberg edged ahead of Lewis Hamilton in final practice for the Brazilian GP as he claimed P1 by 0.09s.

Despite light rain falling as the session began, the drivers acknowledged during their installation laps that slick were still the order of the moment.

It wasn’t exactly a mad rush as Kimi Raikkonen went quickest on the soft tyres with a 1:12.860, putting him 0.902s up on Daniel Ricciardo, who was running the medium tyres.

Raikkonen upped his pace to a 1:12.530 with Sebastian Vettel making it a Ferrari 1-2. The German was 0.131s off his team-mate’s best.

Max Verstappen slid up into third place but, unlike the Ferrari drivers on the soft tyres, he was running the mediums.

With 20 minutes remaining there was a change at the top as Ricciardo went quickest on the soft tyres with a 1:12.287.

Verstappen briefly took over at the front only for Nico Rosberg, who like Lewis Hamilton had been focusing on long distance runs for the first 45 minutes of the session, to lay down a 1:11.787.

Hamilton went second, 0.093s down on his team-mate, while Vettel put in a late soft run to go third, 0.219s off the pace.

Raikkonen was fourth ahead of Verstappen, Ricciardo, Valtteri Bottas and Jolyon Palmer.

Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso completed the top ten.

There were, however, problems for Alonso as a gearbox sensor issue that kept him off the track in the first half of the session.

Marcus Ericsson was another in trouble as he covered one lap before heading back into the pits where his Sauber was immediately up on the jacks. Sauber reported that his car needed an engine change.

1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:11.740s
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:11.833s
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:11.956s
4. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:12.027s
5. Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:12.077s
6. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:12.287s
7. Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:12.614s
8. Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:12.968s
9. Felipe Massa Williams 1:12.990s
10. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:13.002s
11. Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:13.203s
12. Sergio Perez Force India 1:13.231s
13. Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:13.255s
14. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:13.293s
15. Romain Grosjean Haas 1:13.344s
16. Esteban Gutierrez Haas 1:13.596s
17. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:13.609s
18. Jenson Button McLaren 1:13.750s
19. Pascal Wehrlein Manor 1:13.972s
20. Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:13.992s
21. Esteban Ocon Manor 1:14.222s
22. Marcus Ericsson Sauber No time