Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2015

Rosberg heads Hamilton in final practice

2015 Malaysian Grand Prix third practice

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2015The two Mercedes drivers took up their usual places on top of the times sheets as practice ended with a half-second margin over their Ferrari rivals.

Conditions remained very hot at the Sepang International Circuit. Track temperatures exceeded 60C, and on the slippery surface Nico Rosberg’s session-topping time of 1’39.690 was only a tenth of a second faster than the best seen yesterday, and over half a second slower than the he managed in the same session last year.

Hamilton failed to improve on his best time from yesterday on his quickest run and complained about braking problems in his Mercedes.

Kimi Raikkonen was third-quickest for Ferrari despite only completing nine laps as he suffered a left-rear puncture shortly after leaving the pits. He also had a run-in with former team mate Romain Grosjean, who Raikkonen accused of turning in on him when the Ferrari went to pass the Lotus.

The second Ferrari was next, Sebastian Vettel just a couple of hundredths off Raikkonen’s pace. The Williams pair were next, Felipe Massa edging Valterri Bottas by a similar margin.

Daniel Ricciardo did his run on the softer medium compound tyres early in the session and slipped down to seventh by the end but still within a second of the Mercedes. The two Toro Rossos also made it into the top ten.

Roberto Merhi had another spin in his car, this time at turn nine, but unlike yesterday he was able to keep going. He also set a time within 107% of the fastest lap seen in the session, giving the team some encouragement ahead of qualifying, but team mate Will Stevens did not after managing just six laps.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’39.69013
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’39.8730.18310
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’40.2450.5559
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’40.2660.57613
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’40.3910.70114
677Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’40.4060.71615
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’40.5900.90019
855Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’40.6010.91119
933Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’40.9891.29918
109Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’41.2001.51019
118Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’41.2061.51616
1213Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’41.5921.90218
1326Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’41.7752.08514
1427Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’41.8042.11415
1514Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’41.9912.30113
1611Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’42.0992.40914
1712Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’42.1172.42718
1822Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’42.3192.62913
1998Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’46.6476.9579
2028Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’47.0597.3696

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’40.1241’40.2181’39.690-0.43459
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’39.7901’39.873+0.08330
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’40.4971’40.1631’40.245+0.08255
4Sebastian VettelFerrari1’40.9851’40.6521’40.266-0.38655
5Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’42.0551’40.3461’41.775+1.42949
6Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’42.1031’40.5601’40.391-0.16964
7Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’41.8821’40.4501’40.406-0.04469
8Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’41.7871’41.7991’40.590-1.19742
9Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’41.5961’42.2911’40.601-0.99576
10Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’41.8031’41.2201’40.989-0.23171
11Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’42.0641’41.2611’41.200-0.06165
12Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’41.5431’42.9481’41.206-0.33737
13Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’42.5671’41.8771’41.592-0.28552
14Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’42.8931’42.3301’41.804-0.52656
15Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’41.9881’42.117+0.12948
16Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’42.8851’42.5061’41.991-0.51558
17Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’43.0541’42.2421’42.099-0.14353
18Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’43.1001’42.6371’42.319-0.31856
19Raffaele MarcielloSauber-Ferrari1’42.62113
20Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’46.6861’45.7041’47.059+1.35526
21Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’47.6831’47.2291’46.647-0.58223

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “Rosberg heads Hamilton in final practice”

  1. All drivers in the top 3 teams really close together, should be interesting in qualifying. Mclaren seem to have improved alot, which is nice too. Kvyat on the other hand seem to have a terrible time in the Redbull, being nowhere compared to Ricciardo at the moment. Also I’m not expecting Merhi to finish the race on sunday. Much like last year in his practice sessions with Caterham, he seems to crash more often then not..

    1. Kvyat on the other hand seem to have a terrible time in the Redbull, being nowhere compared to Ricciardo at the moment.

      Ummm, Kvyat had the fastest practice time between the two?

      1. One quick lap on friday does not make a race. All weekend he has been struggling. He is yet to find any consistency.

  2. Why are the times 0.5 sec slower than last year’s P3?

    1. The track temps are much hotter this year making it a lot more slippery

  3. Merc are either sandbagging (possible, but doesn’t make much sense) or they’ve done something and gone backwards.

  4. alonso is still getting the better of his team mate. up fernando .

    1. But isn’t that because there is a clause in his contract that ensures his teamates are slower than him even when they’re not?

      1. Haha… Brilliant! :-) :-)

        I guess he forgot that Jenson spent most of the session in the garage with his car getting fixed.

      2. Clause? I think you are mistaking talent with something in the contract.

        1. Could it be the other way around perhaps?

          1. do you believe in that ?

          2. Didn’t know his contract was available for public viewing. Please share it if you have seen it already. Will make things clear for us as well.

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