FP3: Rosberg heads Mercedes 1-2

Date published: May 14 2016 - Editor

Nico Rosberg topped a Mercedes 1-2 despite a slight worry when his W07 entered “protective limp home mode” while Sebastian Vettel in third was a tenth off the pace.

Blue skies and a warming track awaited the drivers at the start of Saturday’s third and final practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Felipe Nasr, Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel also spent a few minutes up in P1 on the medium tyres before being blitzed by Rosberg.

Using the soft tyres for his first run, the German clocked a 1:23.078 to top the timesheets by over a second.

His team-mate Lewis Hamilton, also on the softs, slotted into second place in yet another Mercedes 1-2.

The duo headed out on brand new softs later in the session in ideal conditions. Rosberg’s lap ended with the words “still a problem” while Hamilton’s left him P2 as he lost time in the final sector. He was 0.126s down on Rosberg’s earlier time.

Mercedes reported: “We’ve brought Nico Rosberg back into the garage after car went into protective limp home mode.”

Rosberg did venture out again later but did not improve on his 1:23.078.

Vettel was third quickest as the Ferrari driver was quickest in the first and second sectors before losing time in the third. He finished 0.147s behind Rosberg.

It was a great showing from Max Verstappen as the new Red Bull driver was fourth, a tenth of a second ahead of his more experienced team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

Raikkonen, who had traffic on his lap, was sixth ahead of Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez and Daniil Kvyat. Fernando Alonso completed the top ten, 1.477s off the pace.

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:23.078 15 laps
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.204 +0.126 11 laps
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:23.225 +0.147 16 laps
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:23.719 +0.641 10 laps
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 1:23.816 +0.738 9 laps
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:24.110 +1.032 13 laps
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:24.356 +1.278 14 laps
8 Sergio Perez Force India 1:24.472 +1.394 15 laps
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:24.553 +1.475 13 laps
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:24.555 +1.477 13 laps
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:24.585 +1.507 15 laps
12 Felipe Massa Williams 1:24.621 +1.543 15 laps
13 Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 1:24.695 +1.617 21 laps
14 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team 1:24.981 +1.903 13 laps
15 Jenson Button McLaren 1:25.051 +1.973 13 laps
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault F1 Team 1:25.100 +2.022 12 laps
17 Esteban Gutierrez Haas F1 Team 1:25.130 +2.052 17 laps
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault F1 Team 1:25.376 +2.298 13 laps
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber 1:25.383 +2.305 22 laps
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:25.401 +2.323 24 laps
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor Racing 1:26.097 +3.019 13 laps
22 Rio Haryanto Manor Racing 1:26.251 +3.173 19 laps