Nico Rosberg has posted the fastest lap time in a bizarre final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix at Montreal.
The session was twice red-flagged – and ultimately stopped earlier than its scheduled 60 minutes – thanks to separate incidents for Felipe Nasr and Jenson Button, while Rosberg’s teammate Lewis Hamilton had a scrappy session and was the slowest driver in the field.
While the main focus of the session should have been teams doing a mixture of programmes due to a shortened FP2 and and to finalise their qualifying set-ups, the biggest story of the session was was Felipe Nasr’s crash.
Yesterday we saw his teammate Marcus Ericsson weaving his Sauber car in order to get temperature into the tyres; similarly, the Brazilian was doing the same, before he lost control of the car after accidentally triggering his DRS and ended up in the barriers on the back straight.
The rookie driver was fortunate to walk away from the heavy shunt, but he is unlikely to take part in qualifying given the major damage to his car.
The session was red-flagged, and Nasr was taken for a precautionary check-up at the circuit medical centre while the track was being cleared for accident debris.
Following a driver’s briefing on Friday, a new orange sausage kerb was added after on the final chicane to stop drivers gaining an advantage. It was an addition that many drivers questioned based on safety with rejoining the track – one critic was Sebastian Vettel, who launched his Ferrari over the kerbs early in FP3 as if to demonstrate the point.
As many as seven different drivers cut the final chicane at Turn 14, and the stewards kept a close eye on how the drivers navigated the run-off and later rejoined the track.
Hamilton spent the early part of the session sitting on the sidelines, before getting into the car and promptly running off-track on his first flying lap. Subsequent efforts and set-up changes appeared to do little, and the two red flag stoppages ensured he didn’t set a representative lap-time in the session.
Scuderia Toro Rosso confirmed that Max Verstappen would take a double grid penalty for the race. In addition to his five-place grid drop for his collision with Romain Grosjean in Monaco, he will also drop a further ten grid slots for moving to his fifth power unit element.
Fernando Alonso was himself sidelined for much of FP3 while his McLaren mechanics installed his fourth and final penalty-free Honda power unit into his MP4-30. He only emerged with 11 minutes of the session left and clocked just three laps before teammate Jenson Button suffered his own apparent power unit failure with six minutes of the session to run. Button is also unlikely to participate in qualifying this afternoon.
Qualifying for the Canadian Grand Prix begins at 13:00 local time (UTC -04:00).
|Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada 2015 – Free Practice 3 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:15.660||17|
|2.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:16.133||+ 0.573||20|
|3.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:16.672||+ 1.112||14|
|4.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:16.814||+ 1.254||17|
|5.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:16.893||+ 1.333||16|
|6.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:16.921||+ 1.361||19|
|7.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:17.022||+ 1.462||18|
|8.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:17.097||+ 1.537||18|
|9.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:17.296||+ 1.736||25|
|10.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:17.473||+ 1.913||12|
|11.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:17.478||+ 1.918||21|
|12.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08||1:17.776||+ 2.216||14|
|13.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:17.792||+ 2.232||18|
|14.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:18.346||+ 2.786||12|
|15.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:18.373||+ 2.813||18|
|16.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:18.392||+ 2.832||18|
|17.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:19.722||+ 4.162||16|
|18.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:19.774||+ 4.214||3|
|19.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03||1:20.131||+ 4.571||16|
|20.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:21.392||+ 5.832||9|
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team