Nico Rosberg has topped all three practice sessions in Brazil by out-pacing team-mate Lewis Hamilton by a tenth of a second ahead of qualifying.

The Mercedes duo left it quite late to make the switch from the medium compound tyre to the softs, although it didn’t matter as the pair went straight to the top of the table once the switch was made.

The two Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas were at the sharp end of the grid all session, and finished in third and fourth place respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth for Red Bull and seemed much more comfortable than his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who was further down the timesheets in eleventh and eight-tenths slower than Ricciardo.

Drivers were tasked with laying rubber on the track again during FP3, as heavy rain overnight washed away whatever grip was left on the circuit.

The green track caught out a few drivers especially at Turn One. Hamilton had a big moment when he locked his rear brakes and slid off the circuit, damaging his tyres. Jean-Eric Vergne was another casualty, also locking up at Turn One and using the escape road to re-join the track.

Ferrari had a strong practice ahead of qualifying, with Kimi Raikkonen again finishing ahead of Fernando Alonso. The pair finished in seventh and eighth respectively, as Alonso ended his session early due to an apparent lack of power. The Spaniard opted to save the engine for qualifying rather than risk damaging it in practice.

Lotus looked promising in the early stages of the session as both cars spent a fair while in the top 10. However they were quickly demoted with Pastor Maldonado ending up in 12th position while Romain Grosjean was in fourteenth.

The two Force India’s were out of place in the last two positions on the timesheets. Nico Hulkenberg was 1.8 seconds off Rosberg’s benchmark while his team-mate Sergio Perez was a further 2.4 seconds adrift in his first session of the weekend.


2014 Brazilian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:10.466 28
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:10.560 + 0.114 20
3. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:10.875 + 0.429 21
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:11.054 + 0.608 23
5. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:11.188 + 0.742 11
6. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:11.210 + 0.764 19
7. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:11.316 + 0.870 15
8. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:11.399 + 0.953 8
9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:11.499 + 1.053 19
10. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:11.834 + 1.388 26
11. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:11.967 + 1.521 21
12. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:12.069 + 1.623 29
13. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:12.184 + 1.738 27
14. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:12.235 + 1.789 30
15. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:12.235 + 1.789 29
16. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:12.286 + 1.840 24
17. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:12.324 + 1.878 17
18. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:12.942 + 2.496 25

Image via XPB Images

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