Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014

Mercedes ahead by a second in final practice

2014 Malaysian Grand Prix third practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Sepang International Circuit, 2014Mercedes stamped their authority over proceedings in Sepang, lapping over a second faster than their rivals in the final practice session.

Nico Rosberg led the way, setting the fastest lap of the weekend so far with a 1’39.008 on medium tyres, almost a second quicker than he managed yesterday.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton, who had been quicker earlier in the session while running on the harder compound, lapped just over two tenths of a second slower than his team mate.

Several drivers complained of poor grip conditions on the track in the final session and most failed to improve on their Friday lap times. But the Mercedes drivers gained as much as nine tenths of a second, revealing the extent to which they had concealed their pace yesterday.

Kimi Raikkonen consistently led the charge of Mercedes’ rivals but ended the session 1.1 seconds slower than Rosberg in third place.

Behind the Ferrari driver the gaps were much closer. Sebastian Vettel set the best time for a Renault-powered car, three-tenths of a second faster than team mate Daniel Ricciardo, the pair separated by Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

Both Williams drivers and the second Force India of Sergio Perez also featured in the top ten.

However it was a disastrous session for McLaren, with both drivers failing to set a representative time. Kevin Magnussen pitted with an engine problem soon after joining the track. Although McLaren got him back on the track later in the session he suffered a repeat of the same problem, which could jeopardise his participation in qualifying.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’39.008 13
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’39.240 0.232 13
3 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’40.156 1.148 13
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’40.387 1.379 14
5 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’40.523 1.515 15
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’40.686 1.678 14
7 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’40.736 1.728 14
8 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’40.781 1.773 20
9 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’40.891 1.883 20
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’41.029 2.021 15
11 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’41.182 2.174 18
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’41.441 2.433 18
13 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’41.552 2.544 15
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.041 3.033 17
15 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’42.749 3.741 16
16 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’43.539 4.531 20
17 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’43.977 4.969 16
18 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’44.170 5.162 18
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’44.457 5.449 12
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’46.015 7.007 7
21 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2’05.555 26.547 4
22 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 5

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.028 1’39.909 1’39.008 -0.901 62
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’40.691 1’40.051 1’39.240 -0.811 64
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’40.843 1’39.944 1’40.156 +0.212 63
4 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’41.523 1’39.970 1’40.387 +0.417 53
5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’41.923 1’40.103 1’40.736 +0.633 57
6 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’41.686 1’40.112 1’40.781 +0.669 77
7 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’42.117 1’40.276 1’40.686 +0.41 63
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’41.642 1’40.691 1’40.523 -0.168 68
9 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.111 1’40.628 2’05.555 +24.927 52
10 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’41.830 1’40.638 1’40.891 +0.253 77
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’41.402 1’40.777 1’41.441 +0.664 66
12 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’41.274 1’41.014 43
13 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’41.671 1’41.029 -0.642 42
14 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’42.869 1’41.325 1’41.182 -0.143 71
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.365 1’41.257 1’41.552 +0.295 64
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.904 1’41.407 1’42.041 +0.634 74
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’42.531 1’42.749 +0.218 34
18 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’43.539 22
19 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’46.911 1’43.638 1’43.977 +0.339 46
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’43.825 1’43.752 1’44.170 +0.418 65
21 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’45.775 1’45.703 1’44.457 -1.246 67
22 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’51.180 1’46.015 -5.165 17

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei