Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Albert Park, 2016

Mercedes stay on top but Ferrari are close

2016 Australian Grand Prix third practicePosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton made it three out of three in practice for the Australian Grand Prix but Ferrari were just 0.2s off the pace ahead of qualifying.

The silver cars waited until the final ten minutes of the session before giving a clue to their pace on the super-soft tyres. Hamilton and Nico Rosberg took up their customary places at the top of the times sheets.

However Sebastian Vettel, who locked up at turn 15 as he set his quickest time in the Ferrari a few minutes before the Mercedes, ended the session within two tenths of a second of the champion.

His team mate Kimi Raikkonen was over half a second behind in fifth place, separated by his team mate by the flying Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jnr. Max Verstappen back up his team mate with the sixth-fastest time.

The times were close behind the second Toro Rosso: Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo were both within a tenth of a second of Verstappen. The two McLaren drivers were both within a tenth of a second of being inside the top ten.

Fernando Alonso began his session with a harmless spin at turn 15 as the drivers got down to work quickly in the first fully dry session of the weekend. Sergio Perez also had a quick spin at the slow left-hander.

As the drivers hurried to exit the pits at the beginning of the session newcomer Rio Haryanto tangled with Romain Grosjean as both pulled out of their pit garages. Damages to the two cars was minimal, though Haas had to switch floors on Grosjean’s VF-16.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’25.624 24
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’25.800 0.176 25
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’25.852 0.228 25
4 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.257 0.633 28
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’26.435 0.811 23
6 33 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’26.701 1.077 26
7 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’26.730 1.106 28
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’26.768 1.144 22
9 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’27.151 1.527 28
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’27.242 1.618 22
11 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’27.263 1.639 20
12 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’27.341 1.717 20
13 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’27.430 1.806 22
14 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’27.659 2.035 26
15 20 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1’27.871 2.247 24
16 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’27.988 2.364 22
17 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’28.117 2.493 24
18 21 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1’28.284 2.660 21
19 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’28.292 2.668 11
20 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’28.293 2.669 26
21 94 Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1’29.046 3.422 18
22 88 Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1’29.272 3.648 23

Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’25.624

+0.176 Nico Rosberg – 1’25.800

+0.228 Sebastian Vettel – 1’25.852

+0.633 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’26.257

+0.811 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’26.435

+1.077 Max Verstappen – 1’26.701

+1.106 Valtteri Bottas – 1’26.730

+1.144 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’26.768

+1.527 Felipe Massa – 1’27.151

+1.618 Sergio Perez – 1’27.242

+1.639 Fernando Alonso – 1’27.263

+1.717 Jenson Button – 1’27.341

+1.806 Daniil Kvyat – 1’27.430

+2.035 Marcus Ericsson – 1’27.659

+2.247 Kevin Magnussen – 1’27.871

+2.364 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’27.988

+2.493 Jolyon Palmer – 1’28.117

+2.660 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’28.284

+2.668 Romain Grosjean – 1’28.292

+2.669 Felipe Nasr – 1’28.293

+3.422 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’29.046

+3.648 Rio Haryanto – 1’29.272

Full practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’29.725 1’38.841 1’25.624 -4.101 45
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’31.814 1’47.356 1’25.800 -6.014 40
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’40.761 1’25.852 -14.909 40
4 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’39.694 1’26.257 -13.437 47
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’40.754 1’39.486 1’26.435 -13.051 40
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’31.720 1’26.701 -5.019 40
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’34.550 1’26.730 -7.82 36
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’30.875 1’39.535 1’26.768 -4.107 44
9 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’34.679 1’27.151 -7.528 36
10 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’33.370 1’41.256 1’27.242 -6.128 36
11 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’33.060 1’39.895 1’27.263 -5.797 47
12 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’33.129 1’40.008 1’27.341 -5.788 49
13 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’30.146 1’42.411 1’27.430 -2.716 46
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’37.956 1’27.659 -10.297 32
15 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1’34.060 1’27.871 -6.189 38
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’31.325 1’39.308 1’27.988 -3.337 38
17 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’35.477 1’28.117 -7.36 41
18 Esteban Gutierrez Haas-Ferrari 1’41.780 1’42.891 1’28.284 -13.496 39
19 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’43.443 1’43.731 1’28.292 -15.151 25
20 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’34.796 1’28.293 -6.503 33
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1’40.401 1’43.401 1’29.046 -11.355 49
22 Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1’43.372 1’44.304 1’29.272 -14.1 52