Tag Archives: FP3

Mercedes Return To Top Of The Timesheets In FP3

Mercedes showed that they appear to have retaken their stronghold over the rest of the field when they clocked the two fastest laps of FP3, over half-a-second clear of their closest rival.

It was Nico Rosberg who had the run on his team-mate when teams finally got a chance to complete some dry-weather practice before Sunday’s Grand Prix. The German was the only man to break into the 1m 33’s while Hamilton set a lap over two-tenths slower. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was the best of the rest as he led the Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa. Bottas had sat out the rain-affected FP2 knowing the rest of the weekend would be dry, and appears to have suffered no disadvantage in return. The Ferrari drivers were sixth and eighth, with last-time race winner Vettel 1.2s shy of the Mercedes drivers. Verstappen took seventh for Toro Rosso while Grosjean taking ninth and Sainz rounding out the top ten – the latter completing the most laps of anyone this morning.

Nico Hulkenberg in eleventh led an extremely close group of drivers where only four-tenths of a second separated eleventh to seventeenth. Button, in twelfth, looked strong at his engine supplier’s home race, but the Briton missed out on any low-fuel running as the team rebuilt a broken floor on the McLaren. Ericsson was thirteenth for Sauber while FP2 leader Daniil Kvyat couldn’t better fourteenth. Pastor Maldonado brought his Lotus to fifteenth ahead of Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez for McLaren and Force India respectively. Felipe Nasr finished eighteenth while the Marussia drivers of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi took their usual spots at the back of the grid for Marussia.

Mercedes look to have stood back up and dusted themselves off after being trampled on in Singapore. Although still leading the Championship by 41 points, Hamilton will be keen to exert his dominance and return to the top of the podium. The question of qualifying therefore is can Rosberg beat Hamilton to the front of the grid?

Free Practice Three results:

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Daniel Ricciardo
  4. Valtteri Bottas
  5. Felipe Massa
  6. Kimi Raikkonen
  7. Max Verstappen
  8. Sebastian Vettel
  9. Romain Grosjean
  10. Carlos Sainz
  11. Nico Hulkenberg
  12. Jenson Button
  13. Marcus Ericsson
  14. Daniil Kvyat
  15. Pastor Maldonado
  16. Fernando Alonso
  17. Sergio Perez
  18. Felipe Nasr
  19. Will Stevens
  20. Alexander Rossi

Image courtesy of Mercedes F1 Team.

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Vettel Quickest As Mercedes Avoid Rain-Affected Practice

The rain came down on the Silverstone circuit before the third practice session got underway, leaving teams sheltering in their garages and hoping that the track would dry itself. In the first fifteen minutes, no one circulated for a timed lap, but Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton all did installation laps, the latter conducting practice starts at the end of the pitlane.

Finally, Marcus Ericsson led Kamui Kobayashi across the line to record first and second, before being beaten by the Toro Rosso duo and split by the Marussia of Jules Bianchi. Daniil Kvyat had a big sideways moment coming out of the final corner but skilfully held control of the STR9 and stayed out of the wall. Romain Grosjean came a lot closer to tearing the nose cone off his car when he lost control out of the same corner and spun sideways across the line, while setting the second fastest lap. He too managed to regain control, with a few inches to spare, and went on his way.

Daniel Ricciardo jumped to the top of the timesheets when he set his first lap, and was then beaten by Vettel, also on his first lap. Lewis Hamilton came out to exert his dominance, and was half-a-second up on Vettel’s time until he went wide at Stowe corner, to the chuckles of team-mate Nico Rosberg in the garage.

Jules Bianchi made the same mistake a few minutes later, but at a much higher speed, and skidded into the tyre barriers at the end of hangar straight, ending his session prematurely. Adrian Sutil did a similar thing, too, but just about managed to get the car turned and out of the gravel.

Bottas, a driver who usually excels in the wet conditions, was the next to take to the track for the first time and went seventh provisionally. Jenson Button, a driver who also performs best in the wet, then put in a lap to also go seventh.

The rain had stopped by the time the session came towards the end, but the remaining water proved enough to catch a few drivers out – such as Sergio Perez who locked his tyres up into Stowe corner, or Nico Hulkenberg who suffered a nasty twitch which sent him wide at the old pit straight.

Although the two Red Bull drivers ended the session fastest, the two Mercedes drivers didn’t record a time, meaning this session is not representative. The Mercedes speed over Red Bull, before pitting, was strong enough to suggest yet another Mercedes 1-2 lockout in Qualifying – but will it be Hamilton or Rosberg who takes the glory?

Free Practice Two results:

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

Image courtesy of Red Bull/Getty Images. 

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