Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2014

Rosberg comfortably quickest in final practice

2014 Australian Grand Prix third practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2014Nico Rosberg ended the final practice session comfortably quickest for Mercedes.

Rosberg’s lap of 1’29.375 is the fastest seen so far this weekend and was the quickest of any driver in the session by a clear second.

The Mercedes driver enjoyed the benefit of setting a clean lap on the soft tyres, something not all of his rivals managed to do. Lewis Hamilton aborted his soft tyre run after running wide at turn nine.

That proved a problem corner for several drivers. Jenson Button went off there twice on his way to the second-fastest time in the McLaren, albeit well over a second off Rosberg’s pace.

Team mate Kevin Magnussen also went off there, as did Kimi Raikkonen.

Fernando Alonso set the third-fastest time for Ferrari ahead of Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo. The latter was the quickest of the Red Bull drivers as Sebastian Vettel was forced to abandon his soft tyre run due to a problem with his engine map. “We are concerned some settings may damage the engine,” advised race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin.

Other drivers had more serious problems. Valtteri Bottas and Esteban Gutierrez both had gearbox failures and will require replacement units, incurring five-place grid penalties.

And Romain Grosjean’s session was dogged by repeated setbacks, beginning with an engine misfire, leading to a series of increasingly terse radio conversations. “Even the pit limiter doesn’t work,” he sighed at one point.

Fears that few teams would run during the session due to reliability concerns proved unfounded. Under overcast skies the track was quickly full of cars as teams feared a rain shower was imminent. It failed to materialise, and by the end of the session the air temperature was nudging 30C. However a chance of rain remains ahead of the first qualifying session of the year.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’29.375 15
2 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’30.766 1.391 20
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’30.876 1.501 11
4 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’30.919 1.544 13
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’30.970 1.595 13
6 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’30.978 1.603 16
7 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’31.156 1.781 12
8 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’31.251 1.876 22
9 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’31.665 2.290 17
10 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’31.723 2.348 20
11 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’31.925 2.550 17
12 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.255 2.880 14
13 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’32.417 3.042 16
14 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’34.184 4.809 15
15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’34.188 4.813 16
16 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’34.413 5.038 19
17 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’34.717 5.342 15
18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’34.754 5.379 15
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’36.159 6.784 21
20 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 2
21 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 2
22 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 4

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’32.604 1’29.782 1’29.375 -0.407 63
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’29.625 1’30.919 +1.294 51
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’31.840 1’30.132 1’30.876 +0.744 59
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.793 1’30.381 1’32.255 +1.874 65
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’32.357 1’30.510 1’30.766 +0.256 76
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’32.599 1’30.538 1’30.970 +0.432 77
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’32.977 1’30.898 1’31.156 +0.258 63
8 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’32.403 1’30.920 67
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’33.533 1’31.054 1’30.978 -0.076 72
10 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’32.847 1’31.031 1’31.251 +0.22 84
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’33.446 1’31.060 1’32.417 +1.357 81
12 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’32.431 1’31.119 1’31.723 +0.604 70
13 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’33.855 1’31.283 1’31.665 +0.382 77
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’34.272 1’32.495 1’31.925 -0.57 82
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.445 1’32.355 1’34.188 +1.833 65
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’35.578 1’32.468 35
17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’40.859 1’33.486 1’34.184 +0.698 50
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’33.646 16
19 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’34.413 20
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’46.922 1’34.757 1’34.717 -0.04 48
21 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’34.754 17
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’36.159 23

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

24 comments on “Rosberg comfortably quickest in final practice”

  1. Too bad I had my alarm set but I had a deep sleep and I missed the session.

  2. It’s tight between Rosberg and Hamilton. I’m going to go with Hamilton for pole and win.

  3. iAltair (@)
    15th March 2014, 4:20

    Definitely going to be Rosberg on pole.

    As for the win, I don’t really know. Mercedes having tyres problem.

    1. Why definitely?

    2. pxcmerc (@)
      15th March 2014, 4:40

      actually its more likely to be Lewis, cause hes only 1.6 seconds behind Nico on the slower tires that are supposed to be worth at least 2 seconds. Anything can happen, and I believe Lewis made some suspension changes before he went out on his softs.

      1. Hamilton was on softs as well, according to the live timing app.

        1. Hamilton soft tyre run was slower as he had slid on the turn (probably T11) and lost about 5 secs in the 2nd sector compared to rosbrerg (he was ahead of rosberg till that point)..

        2. Tom (@newdecade)
          15th March 2014, 5:00

          He was a tenth or so up on Nico in the first sector, before going off and aborting.

        3. pxcmerc (@)
          15th March 2014, 5:34

          he was 6/10s faster on the same tires (medium) he never set a good time on the softs, probably because of the suspension changes, at least thats what I believe I heard (torsion bars) while he was in the pits before coming out on softs.

      2. Chris (@tophercheese21)
        15th March 2014, 5:38

        Yep, I’ve got hamilton for pole!

  4. Mashiat (@)
    15th March 2014, 4:22

    Is it just me or don’t Red Bull have the mandatory cameras on the side of the car. I was going through friday’s pics and I couldn’t see them. Anybody else notice it?

    1. @mashiat
      They placed the camera on the nose, apparently.

    2. They integrated the camera’s into the nose…look closely for the small opening on the nose cone.

      1. Mashiat (@)
        15th March 2014, 7:33

        @keithcollantine, Is that even legal? I thought that the cameras were mandatory to be on the position similar to other cars? I am probably wrong but I just want to know what makes it legal.

  5. Mashiat (@)
    15th March 2014, 4:24

    I think that Alonso is gonna leave Ferrari at the end of the season seeing as they probably won’t win the championship this year. But at least in the current point in time he is much quicker (we’re talking a few tenths here) than Kimi.

    1. And go where? No way he could go to Red Bull, and I doubt there will be an opening next year at Mercedes. Maybe McLaren if Button decides to retire or if Magnussen disappoints, or Williams if it becomes very competitive. But my money is on him staying at Ferrari.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    15th March 2014, 4:32

    The more I see these new cars, the more I love them!
    They showed almost a full onboard lap with Massa, and it was absolutely brilliant!

  7. So Mercedes are comfortably quicker than others on quali run and as competitive as others on race runs? Hang on. Didn’t Rsoberg complain ‘tyres are finished’? Another tyre eating monster on the block or it is down to setup? Looking forward to the qualifying and hope both Ferraris are at/near the top and Marussia beat Caterham :)

  8. Both Ferrari were a second slower than their time yesterday.any idea?
    Is Ferrari on race setup?

  9. I’m no engineer so don’t fully understand, but why would Hamilton change the torsion bars so late in FP3?

    He was comfortably fastest up until that point so surely it should be a case of “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”?

    1. To stay in front in F1 You have to keep pushing the whole envelope and do it before the competition catches up. If You sit and wait and “react” to the others development steps, then You are sure to loose.

      1. Yes but why do it so late in the session where you don’t have time to see if the change works for the long runs??

  10. It would be really useful if the FP and qualifying time sheets included which tyre compound the driver was using to set their best session time.

    As an example, in FP2 Button was 0.9 secs off fastest lap and was using the medium compound tyres, whereas everyone else set their quickest laps on the soft compound.

    Is there anywhere on the web that includes this info?

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