Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Suzuka, 2015

Rosberg leads Hamilton in busy final session

2015 Japanese Grand Prix third practice

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A busy final hour of practice for the Japanese Grand Prix ended with Nico Rosberg leading a one-two for Mercedes.

With all of yesterday’s running having been disrupted by rain, teams had to condense four hours of running into a single hour on Saturday morning. Although the track had dried out, the surface lacked grip and many drivers complained about problems with understeer.

Six cars queued up at the pit lane exit ready for the first dry weather running of the weekend, and there was little let-up in the action once the session began.

Daniel Ricciardo led the early running and ended the session best of the rest behind the Mercedes. Team mate Daniil Kvyat ran wide at Degner Two during one of his flying efforts, scattering the gravel in his Red Bull.

Williams got both its drivers into the top five and within a second of Mercedes, but Ferrari were off the pace: both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel over a second off Rosberg’s mark.

The two red cars were split by Max Verstappen, who looked quick from the beginning of the session but complained on more than one occasion about how quickly his tyres were going off.

Jenson Button, 12th, was the quicker of the two McLarens but continued to report sever understeer in his car. Team mate Fernando Alonso was just two-tenths of a second off after running wide at Spoon during one of his laps.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’33.99519
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’34.2920.29720
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’34.4970.50222
477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’34.7970.80227
519Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’34.9340.93925
67Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’35.0821.08716
733Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’35.1601.16526
85Sebastian VettelFerrari1’35.2221.22716
98Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’35.6021.60720
1055Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’35.9631.96829
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’36.1102.11519
1222Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’36.1742.17915
139Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’36.1992.20419
1426Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’36.2942.29923
1513Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’36.3072.31221
1614Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’36.3602.36518
1711Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’36.4302.43521
1812Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’36.9192.92424
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’39.6535.65824
2053Alexander RossiManor-Ferrari1’39.8195.82422

Third practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’33.995

+0.297 Lewis Hamilton – 1’34.292

+0.502 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’34.497

+0.802 Valtteri Bottas – 1’34.797

+0.939 Felipe Massa – 1’34.934

+1.087 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’35.082

+1.165 Max Verstappen – 1’35.160

+1.227 Sebastian Vettel – 1’35.222

+1.607 Romain Grosjean – 1’35.602

+1.968 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’35.963

+2.115 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’36.110

+2.179 Jenson Button – 1’36.174

+2.204 Marcus Ericsson – 1’36.199

+2.299 Daniil Kvyat – 1’36.294

+2.312 Pastor Maldonado – 1’36.307

+2.365 Fernando Alonso – 1’36.360

+2.435 Sergio Perez – 1’36.430

+2.924 Felipe Nasr – 1’36.919

+5.658 Will Stevens – 1’39.653

+5.824 Alexander Rossi – 1’39.819

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’50.0771’48.3001’33.995-14.30541
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’50.7221’48.8531’34.292-14.56134
3Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’49.0971’34.497-14.633
4Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’53.9641’34.797-19.16741
5Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’52.2881’52.7651’34.934-17.35443
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’51.2121’50.3191’35.082-15.23747
7Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’50.9401’50.5421’35.160-15.38241
8Sebastian VettelFerrari1’50.5191’50.2681’35.222-15.04646
9Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’52.5341’35.602-16.93226
10Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’49.4341’50.4181’35.963-13.47145
11Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’51.6741’36.110-15.56434
12Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’55.6781’51.8611’36.174-15.68730
13Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’53.8201’51.9341’36.199-15.73543
14Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’49.9381’48.2771’36.294-11.98335
15Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’51.5571’36.307-15.2529
16Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’55.2391’36.360-18.87933
17Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’52.0701’36.430-15.6432
18Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’54.0131’50.9681’36.919-14.04943
19Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’58.0591’39.653-18.40633
20Alexander RossiManor-Ferrari1’59.4191’39.819-19.633

2015 Japanese Grand Prix

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2015 F1 practice sessions

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Author information

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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14 comments on “Rosberg leads Hamilton in busy final session”

  1. Well, it’s service as usual. Guess we’ll never know what really “happened” to the Mercs in S’pore.

    1. Ferrari dominated 12 of the first 13 races in 2004, but were completely outclassed by Renault in Monaco. This wasn’t the first time such a scenario has occurred and it probably won’t be the last. Some circuits just don’t suit some cars.

    2. I wouldn’t be so sure. The Merc didn’t look as connected as the RB. Merc was blinding quick through the speed trap and looked loose on the medium.

  2. Looks like Ferrari might be 4th best team this weekend..

    1. Ferrari were pretty slow in practice at Hungary too. I’d wait before judgement, but it’s not exactly looking promising.

    2. Dunno what people expect. It’s only logical….

    3. Just wait for qualy. Their long runs in the first half of the session looked quite good. Their times were similar to those of the Mercs.
      It won’t be easy for sure against the Williams & RB, but I think they’ve got still something in hand for qualy.

  3. Looks like the Merc mojo is back which was expected though. Wait for quail than the race where it counts. A dry race on Sunday will be gratifying.

    1. I think you meant “boring”.

  4. Top marks to all of the teams for finding so much time between Friday and Saturday ;)

  5. Vettel shoud hve this

    1. You must be kidding…

  6. Good…

Comments are closed.