Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, Bahrain International Circuit, 2014

Mercedes still on top as Vettel spins

2014 Bahrain Grand Prix third practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

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