Rosberg Keeps Mercedes In World Of Their Own

Nico Rosberg kept Mercedes firmly fastest in the final piece of track action before Qualifying at the Malaysian Grand Prix. The German kept his dominance over team-mate Lewis Hamilton as he looks to take a back-to-back win this Sunday, trumping Hamilton’s time by three-tenths of a second.

Kimi Raikkonen was the closest driver to the Silver Arrows,  but he was still a full 1.2 behind the title favourites. Behind Raikkonen was Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull, who himself led from Force India’s promising Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, who will be eager to make the podium after being disqualified from second at his home Grand Prix two weekends ago.

Fernando Alonso was noticeably slower than his team-mate as he occupied seventh place and narrowly fended off former team-mate Felipe Massa for Williams. Massa’s team-mate, Valtteri Bottas, took ninth while Sergio Perez filled out the top ten for Force India.

The Toro Rosso duo of Daniil Kvyat and Jean-Eric Vergne took eleventh and twelfth ahead of the Sauber pairing of Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil, thirteenth and fourteenth. The Lotus drivers finally got some running under their belt, although Romain Grosjean had an off-track excursion in the final seconds of the session and subsequently declared the E22 a ‘disaster’ over the team radio.

Max Chilton was seventeenth for Marussia, ahead of team-mate Jules Bianchi and the Caterham duo of Marcus Ericsson and Kamui Kobayashi. Kobayashi failed to get any noteworthy running on Friday due to technical gremlins, and needed to maximise the hour today. However, another technical issue reared its head and saw him ending his session after seven laps. McLaren report ‘hardware issues’ in their cars which saw them finish twenty-first and twenty-second this morning, and these problems will be tough to fix before Qualifying.

Free Practice 3 Results:

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Kimi Raikkonen
  4. Sebastian Vettel
  5. Nico Hulkenberg
  6. Daniel Ricciardo
  7. Fernando Alonso
  8. Felipe Massa
  9. Valtteri Bottas
  10. Sergio Perez
  11. Daniil Kvyat
  12. Jean-Eric Vergne
  13. Adrian Sutil
  14. Esteban Gutierrez
  15. Romain Grosjean
  16. Pastor Maldonado
  17. Max Chilton
  18. Jules Bianchi
  19. Marcus Ericsson
  20. Kamui Kobayashi
  21. Jenson Button
  22. Kevin Magnussen
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