Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015

Hamilton quickest, but Vettel is closer than Rosberg

2015 Bahrain Grand Prix third practice

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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2015Lewis Hamilton topped the time sheets in final practice ahead of qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix, but Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari was less than a tenth behind.

Vettel split the two Mercedes after the qualifying simulation runs on the Soft compound tyre at the end of the session, with Nico Rosberg third quickest and Kimi Raikkonen fourth.

It was a hot and windy start to the session with little running in the early stages due to the conditions.

Romain Grosjean had an off at Turn Four, filling his Lotus’s tyres with gravel.

The Ferraris were quickest after the initial runs were completed on the Medium tyre with Kimi Raikkonen fastest.

The session was briefly stopped around half way through when Daniil Kvyat lost control of his Red Bull at Turn Four, spinning backwards into the gravel.

When the session resumed, there was little improvement out on track before the circuit fell quiet before Nico Hulkenberg was the first man out to attempt a qualifying run.

The Force India driver initially went quickest, but Nico Rosberg comfortably eclipsed that on his first effort on the faster tyre.

Then it was the turn of Lewis Hamilton to post a Soft time and the world champion duly set the fastest lap of the weekend with a 1’34.599.

After showing good speed in all three sessions, Sebastian Vettel showed that Ferrari’s pace was genuine by posting a time within a tenth of a second of Hamilton’s to go second quickest.

Kimi Raikkonen could only manage a lap that was half a second slower than his team mate, while Red Bull were able to get Kvyat back out at the close of the session for one final flying lap.

Pos.No.DriverBest lapLaps
144Lewis Hamilton1’34.59913
25Sebastian Vettel1’34.66814
36Nico Rosberg1’34.96816
47Kimi Raikkonen1’35.14113
577Valtteri Bottas1’35.39318
619Felipe Massa1’35.47115
713Pastor Maldonado1’36.30714
83Daniel Ricciardo1’36.3358
927Nico Hulkenberg1’36.42113
1012Felipe Nasr1’36.42918
1122Jenson Button1’36.48814
1226Daniil Kvyat1’36.5487
139Marcus Ericsson1’36.61217
1433Max Verstappen1’36.68411
1511Sergio Perez1’36.72714
1614Fernando Alonso1’36.89911
1755Carlos Sainz1’36.97914
188Romain Grosjean1’37.15117
1928Will Stevens1’39.74512
2098Roberto Merhi1’40.54114

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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16 comments on “Hamilton quickest, but Vettel is closer than Rosberg”

  1. Shaping up to be a great session. But I have a feeling the Merc’s are going to turn up the juice on the engine and pull out ~0.5 seconds more from the Ferrari’s. On race pace though, the Vettel and Kimi are right there. If Kimi has a clean qualy, my money is on him for the race!

      1. Lmao @ Brian Kneis

  2. Any reason why there’s such a HUGE gap between P6 and P7? This is truly gonna be a tiered race by the way it’s shaping up.

    Also, pretty sure at least one McLaren will make it out of Q1 this time, maybe even sneak into Q3 cause it’s so tight there in the midfield.

    1. That gap is surely where McLaren and Red Bull will end up when their engines get more powerful. On that note probably Toro Rosso will be getting close to it as well, battling with Lotus, Force India, Sauber.. even on power tracks.

  3. I gambled on the Ferrari cars pushing Rosberg off the podium but I don’t think they can so in qualy.

    1. +1! Quali for Mercedes, but Rosberg will crack in race!

    2. Rosberg isn’t on top of his game at the moment I think, or maybe he did not push too hard to save his engine.

  4. Immediately after FP3 I put some money on Vettel for pole and the win. Pretty long shot, especially qualifying, but odds were great :)

    1. Good luck! To both you and him. If Vettel takes pole, that’d be sensational

      1. Thanks! Fingers crossed :)

  5. .7 dif between 7th and 17th!

    1. Top 6 take each other out at 1st corner and we’d have a psycho race then!

  6. Hamilton looks like a lock for pole. I’m assuming Mercedes will turn their engines up for qualifying, getting a bit of daylight between themselves and Ferrari. Maybe not much, but by a few tenths.

    Hamilton looks comfortable, and seems to have 3 tenths or so on Rosberg so far. The interesting thing is that if Nico doesn’t up his game he may be in danger of being pipped by one of the Ferrari’s.

    1. Is Rosberg the new Webber ? I hope so.

      1. I don’t…having two drivers constantly battling each other is a lot more fun than one dominating the other. I hope Nico can challenge Hamilton this year but it’s looking less and less likely.

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