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|
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