Mercedes continued to lead the way in the final practice session in Abu Dhabi – but for the first time this weekend Nico Rosberg was their quickest driver.
Much of Rosberg’s advantage appeared to come in the final sector of the lap. Lewis Hamilton, who has tended to be strong around that part of the Yas Marina circuit, lost most of the three-tenths gap to his team mate there.
No other car was able to get within a second of Rosberg’s mark. Felipe Massa led the charge for Williams after Valtteri Bottas made a mistake on his first flying lap on super-soft tyres.
Fernando Alonso appeared to be adopting an unusual strategy in response to the time he lost during yesterday’s second practice session. He did just eight laps at the beginning of practice, including one on the super-softs which was good enough for fourth place, before returning to the pits for work to be done on his car ahead of qualifying.
There was very little to separate the cars behind Alonso which included both Red Bulls, Jenson Button, Botttas and Daniil Kvyat covered by 0.15 seconds. The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen completed the top ten.
Newcomer Will Stevens ended practice at the bottom of the times sheets but within a second of Caterham team mate Kamui Kobayashi.
Combined practice times
|Pos||Driver||Car||FP1||FP2||FP3||Fri/Sat diff||Total laps|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’45.334||1’42.959||1’42.679||-0.28||82|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1’45.361||1’43.183||1’42.773||-0.41||68|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’45.835||1’43.546||1’42.809||-0.737||90|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso-Renault||1’45.718||1’44.157||1’43.352||-0.805||75|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1’45.983||1’43.746||1’43.360||-0.386||78|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1’46.030||1’44.068||1’43.501||-0.567||74|
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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei
11 comments on “Rosberg pegs Hamilton back as practice ends”
22nd November 2014, 11:11
The fastest man out there today was actually Bernie Ecclestone, running away from Jonny Herbert!
22nd November 2014, 11:23
Adam Hardwick (@fluxsource)
22nd November 2014, 11:19
I think Hamilton had traffic in the final sector and backed off. Considering Nico has been faster in S1 and S2 previously (with Lewis making up all his time in S3) this bodes ominously for Nico. If Lewis is now faster in those first two sectors AND still has his favorite sector in hand, Nico should be worried.
22nd November 2014, 11:24
Actually, I would say that this is a very decent showing from Stevens. In only his 3rd session in these complicated F1 cars he gets close enough to Kobayashi to show promise. And huge progress from the first session too.
22nd November 2014, 11:47
Very impressed by him. Hope that he makes it into F1.
Fer no.65 (@fer-no65)
22nd November 2014, 12:39
@bascb I was about to say the same. To be 1 second away from the guy that drove that car almost all season, and has F1 experience, is a very good performance
22nd November 2014, 11:29
Logically Rosberg will have optimised his car to be sharp on options for qualy and be planning to back Lewis into the Williams/Red Bulls in the race.
His nightmare scenario is for Lewis to clear off in the lead.
So I would not be surprised to see Rosberg on pole.
22nd November 2014, 11:34
Sick picture to accompany the report. Really showcases intensity and speed.
22nd November 2014, 11:38
Astounding interview with Ron Dennis on the BBC show. It sounds as though he’s waiting to see if Hamilton misses out tomorrow and might be more persuadable in returning to McLaren for 2016. Presumably Alonso is fishing for a one-year deal and Ron wants to see if Hamilton might make that more acceptable to him …
22nd November 2014, 12:23
le’s go for it Nico…i belive it
22nd November 2014, 12:23
ALO, BUT, VET all shining in their final drives for their respect teams?
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