Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was the first man out on track, having missed the majority of Fp3 due to an overheating issue. The German lapped the circuit and set a lap time but was almost immediately beaten by the Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez, while Max Chilton slotted in behind the Mercedes.
Rosberg’s next lap was two-seconds up on his first attempt and put him at the top of the time sheets, whilst Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Pastor Maldonado and Adrian Sutil also got laps in. The Ferrari duo came out on track at their home race, and Fernando Alonso shot to the top of the standings while Felipe Massa slotted in fourth.
Jean-Eric Vergne took the baton from Fernando before overshooting the first corner and taking to the escape road. In the sister team, Mark Webber reported that he was running with electrical issue. In the other, more reliable Red Bull, Vettel went out for his first lap with six minutes remaining and went third, six-hundreths shy of Vergne.
Lewis Hamilton was the next man across the line and went first. Not for long though as Vettel’s next lap saw him now take the top spot. Romain Grosjean went sixth before skipping across the chicane at the first corner and returning to the garage. Esteban Gutierrez needed to improve – and did so by two-thousandths of a second, demoting Pastor Maldonado to seventeenth, until the Venezuelan retaliated and pushed the Mexican back into the knock-out zone. Adrian Sutil narrowly made it to the next session, with Valtteri Bottas failing to progress to Q2.
- Esteban Gutierrez
- Valtteri Bottas
- Giedo van der Garde
- Charles Pic
- Jules Bianchi
- Max Chilton