Mercedes still on top as Vettel spins

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix third practice

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two for the third consecutive practice session in Bahrain.

But the gap between the two W05s narrowed in the final hour of running before qualifying. The pair traded fastest sectors with Hamilton emerging on top by less than a tenth of a second.

Mercedes-powered cars led the way in the final practice session with seven of them inside the top eight. Sergio Perez got closest to the works team’s pace, lapping half a second off Hamilton’s time in his Force India.

The Williams drivers again left it until late in the session to set their flying times on soft tyres. Valtteri Bottas was the quicker of the pair with Feliepe Massa joining him in the top five.

Jenson Button was sixth followed by the first car to be powered by something other than a Mercedes – Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. Nico Hulkenberg was eighth for Force India.

Daniil Kvyat and Kimi Raikkonen completed a top ten in which neither of the Red Bull cars featured.

There was 20 minutes left to run in the session when Sebastian Vettel’s running came to an early end. The world champion spun his car in the middle of turn two and skidded into a gravel trap on the outside of the next corner.

Vettel had also been one of several drivers to take to the run-off at turn 11 as they struggled to get their cars turned in to the long left-hander.

Kamui Kobayashi and Jules Bianchi ended the session ahead of both Lotus drivers. An unhappy Romain Grosjean repeatedly complained on the radio about his car’s lack of grip.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’35.324 12
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’35.429 0.105 12
3 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’35.868 0.544 10
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’36.116 0.792 10
5 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’36.364 1.040 8
6 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.394 1.070 8
7 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’36.454 1.130 12
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’36.455 1.131 11
9 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’36.680 1.356 16
10 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’36.772 1.448 13
11 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’36.822 1.498 8
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’37.030 1.706 11
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’37.119 1.795 11
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.325 2.001 18
15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’38.089 2.765 24
16 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’38.400 3.076 17
17 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’38.736 3.412 15
18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’38.880 3.556 21
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’38.971 3.647 18
20 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’39.208 3.884 17
21 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.225 3.901 8
22 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’39.597 4.273 14

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’37.502 1’34.325 1’35.324 +0.999 54
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’37.733 1’34.690 1’35.429 +0.739 56
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’37.953 1’35.360 1’36.454 +1.094 57
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’40.406 1’35.433 1’37.119 +1.686 58
5 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’39.533 1’35.442 1’36.364 +0.922 32
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.636 1’35.528 1’36.394 +0.866 45
7 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’39.389 1’35.606 1’39.225 +3.619 54
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’39.056 1’35.640 1’36.680 +1.04 71
9 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1’38.949 1’35.662 1’36.822 +1.16 45
10 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’39.102 1’35.802 1’35.868 +0.066 71
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’35.920 1’36.116 +0.196 19
12 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1’39.862 1’35.972 1’37.030 +1.058 70
13 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’38.783 1’36.366 1’36.772 +0.406 58
14 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’38.122 1’36.998 1’36.455 -0.543 39
15 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1’40.652 1’36.962 1’38.089 +1.127 57
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’36.975 1’37.325 +0.35 53
17 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1’40.793 1’37.259 1’38.880 +1.621 77
18 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’41.036 1’37.599 1’39.208 +1.609 64
19 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1’40.889 1’37.800 1’38.736 +0.936 50
20 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1’41.794 1’38.247 1’39.597 +1.35 44
21 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1’38.257 1’38.400 +0.143 50
22 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1’42.711 1’39.136 1’38.971 -0.165 69
23 Felipe Nasr Williams-Mercedes 1’40.076 14
24 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’40.913 20
25 Robin Frijns Sauber-Ferrari 1’42.417 35

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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21 comments on Mercedes still on top as Vettel spins

  1. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 5th April 2014, 14:13

    Top 12, 8 Mercedes.
    I think that the only question is Rosberg or Hamilton on qual? I recon Ham…
    The rest its just the same, nice times from Hulk and Kvyatt..

    • Simon (@soplaynice) said on 5th April 2014, 14:22

      Hamilton I think, he just seems to have that little bit of extra speed all the time. I would love a surprise though and to see Mercedes then have to fight from further down the field.

    • Chris (@tophercheese21) said on 5th April 2014, 14:44

      Hulk has a good chance of getting on the podium I reckon. Perhaps only the Mclaren’s and/or Ferarri’s stand in his way.

    • Yobo01 (@yobo01) said on 5th April 2014, 14:59

      It makes me wonder if we are going to see all the Mercedes-powered car in Q3. I think it could happen, to be honest.
      That said, the conditions are going to be very different, maybe Ferrari and Red Bull will bounce back.

  2. ruliemaulana (@ruliemaulana) said on 5th April 2014, 14:14

    Looking forward for in-team battle!

  3. Ean (@ean) said on 5th April 2014, 14:20

    Kvyat real find of the season

  4. Broc Smith (@strifeforce) said on 5th April 2014, 14:35

    Anyone still doubting that Kvyat was the right choice for Toro Rosso? Lol

    • Max Jacobson (@vettel1) said on 5th April 2014, 14:51

      I suppose you can’t really answer that with any certainty, but yeah he is looking good (as I thought he would after seeing his GP3 performances) :P

      • Robbie (@robbie) said on 5th April 2014, 15:31

        Not taking anything away from Kvyat, nor any new driver, but I’ll reserve my judgement for a time when we can see how he handles pressure when it is at it’s greatest.

      • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 5th April 2014, 15:47

        @vettel1 – Kvyat’s GP3 season was one of two halves, with a dominant second half following an anonymous first half. Worryingly though, Kvyat’s form climbed in tandem with his Arden teammates, suggesting that much of Kvyat’s speed was in Arden’s form in GP3, whilst Da Costa’s struggles, as well as those of teammate Pietro Fantin, suggest an Arden out of sorts in FR3.5.

    • WilliamB (@william-brierty) said on 5th April 2014, 15:40

      @strifeforce – Whilst Daniil is doing a decent job, the reference in question, Vergne, is pretty mediocre. Da Costa would have still been my choice.

    • Ciaran (@ciaran) said on 5th April 2014, 15:43

      I’ve been seriously impressed by Kvyat so far, the fact that he’s scored points with such little fuss surely means he’s definitely going to improve as well. I feel sorry for people who wrote him off as a pay driver!

  5. Eggry (@eggry) said on 5th April 2014, 14:36

    the Prediction would be easy. I’m afraid whether Ferrari is weakened…

  6. Oscar (@oscar) said on 5th April 2014, 14:54

    Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome to the 2009 Formula One Season!
    Maybe in the second half anybody can catch us, but it will be tooooo late… mwahahahaaaa

  7. John H (@john-h) said on 5th April 2014, 14:54

    Alonso showing Kimi who’s boss again.

  8. Sean Doyle (@spdoyle17) said on 5th April 2014, 15:24

    Nice form from Checo, I hope he can keep it up through the weekend and soundly beat Hulk.

    • rez (@rez0) said on 5th April 2014, 15:32

      I’m an fan of Hülkenberg, but I too hope Perez will have a good weekend. His practice times look really promising! Force India need to maximize their points considering the other, better-funded teams probably will out-develop them later in the season.

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