Nico Rosberg has thrashed the rest of the field en route to setting the fastest time in final practice for the Australian Grand Prix. The German clocked a fastest time of 1:29.375 in a session hit with a brief ran shower and a number of off-track and mechanically-worrying incidents.

The Mercedes once again looked quickest, on both the harder and soft tyre compounds. Although the story wasn’t as good for Hamilton, as he finished 1.5 seconds off his team-mate.

Williams had a less encouraging day than yesterday, with Massa finishing in 12th and Bottas unable to set a time due to gearbox issues. Both he and Gutierrez, who also had troubles with his gear box, will receive a 5-place grid penalty as both gearboxes have been replaced.

Homeboy Daniel Ricciardo finished ahead of his team-mate in 5th position. Vettel, who was struggling with the set up of his car, was a full 2.8 seconds off Rosbergs time in 12th.

The weekend didn’t get any better for Lotus, who were one of the teams to use their ‘jokers’ and break curfew. Their mechanics were stuck at the track overnight until 8am Saturday morning. Judging by Grosjean’s description of the car as “unbelievable”  and Maldonado’s break down on track they still have quite a bit of work to do.

Other drivers who impressed during FP3 were Alonso in 3rd, Hulkenberg in 6th, and rookie Daniil Kvyat, who found his confidence in the car and finished two spots ahead of his team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in 11th.


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

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:29.375 15
2. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:30.766 + 1.391 20
3. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:30.876 + 1.501 11
4. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:30.919 + 1.544 13
5. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:30.970 + 1.595 13
6. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:30.978 + 1.603 16
7. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:31.156 + 1.781 12
8. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:31.251 + 1.876 22
9. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:31.665 + 2.290 17
10. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:31.723 + 2.348 20
11. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:31.925 + 2.550 17
12. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:32.255 + 2.880 14
13. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:32.417 + 3.042 16
14. Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:34.184 + 4.809 15
15. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:34.188 + 4.813 16
16. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:34.413 + 5.038 19
17. Max Chilton Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:34.717 + 5.342 15
18. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:34.754 + 5.379 15
19. Marcus Ericsson Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:36.159 + 6.784 21
20. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 no time 2
21. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 no time 2
22. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 no time 4

Images Sutton Images

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Josh Kruse

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