Nico Rosberg has topped all three practice sessions for the German Grand Prix, having finished a fraction of a second ahead of his teammate Lewis Hamilton.
Both Mercedes drivers set their best laps earlier than usual in the final practice session, as Hamilton jumped to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:15.795 halfway through the session.
Rosberg replied to his teammates flyer by going 0.057 seconds faster to secure top spot in the final practice session ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying.
However, Hamilton may be in a bit of strife with the Stewards, as he is currently under investigation by the Stewards for an unsafe release at the beginning of FP3 where he impeded Haas’ Romain Grosjean.
Should the world champion receive a reprimand for the incident, he will drop 10 places from wherever he qualifies this afternoon as it will be his third reprimand of the season.
Behind the battle for top of the timesheets the two Ferrari’s were scrapping for third position throughout the session. Sebastian Vettel set the benchmark for the rest of the field with a 1:16.104 to take back third position from Max Verstappen.
Raikkonen then registered a lap that was two-tenths of a second quicker than his Ferrari teammate to demote Vettel to fourth position.
Daniel Ricciardo spent the first half of the session in the garage before heading out to the Hoeckenheimring on a set of soft compound tyres. The Australian spent a few laps on the softs to post a best lap just over a second off Rosberg’s benchmark.
Once the super softs were bolted onto the Red Bull, Ricciardo set a blistering time to steal third position from Raikkonen and get within a tenth of a second to session leader Rosberg.
Despite it being the final practice session of the weekend where teams carry out their preparations for qualifying, the best time of the weekend remained from the first practice session when Rosberg posted a 1:15.517.
Max Verstappen ended his session in sixth position and just under half a second off the Rosberg’s best time. A but further behind was the Williams pair of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa, who improved on their times from yesterday although are still a bit off the pace.
Fernando Alonso was over a second off the pace for McLaren in ninth position while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg rounded out the top ten. Alonso’s teammate Jenson Button had car troubles throughout the hour session and was only able to complete six laps which saw the Briton finish in a lowly 19th position.
Grosjean had a spin off the track at the exit of Turn 3 which saw the Haas face the wrong way as it slide across the grass. The Frenchman then reported that there was a problem with the gearbox as he limped his way around the circuit back to the pits.
The team later confirmed that Grosjean’s car requires a new gearbox and as a result he will incur a five-place grid penalty.
Image via Mercedes AMG F1 Petronas