Nico Rosberg fastest ahead of qualifying in Spain

Nico Rosberg set the fastest lap in FP3 to top the final practice session ahead of qualifying, having already been fastest in FP1.

Pastor Maldonado was the first driver out on track to start FP3. The Lotus driver had restricted running in FP1 yesterday due to a gearbox issue but was able to get 34 laps under his belt in FP2. He was soon joined on track by local hero Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and Daniel Ricciardo who endured a difficult start to his weekend yesterday, completing just 13 laps over two sessions. Early phases of running saw drivers’ tyres below the optimum operating temperature and a number struggled with lock-ups.

Daniil Kvyat was confined to the garage for most of the session due to a water leak but he eventually got out with twenty minutes to go. Lewis Hamilton found the limit at Turn 3, spinning as he drifted wide onto the astroturf. He was able to select reverse in the car and get going again. In the final 20 minutes drivers started to put on the option compound tyre to do qualifying runs ahead of the real thing this afternoon. This resulted in a number of time improvements with Valtteri Bottas taking over at the top from initial pacesetter Nico Rosberg, who then got it back again. He ended up ahead of Sebastian Vettel and team-mate Lewis Hamilton who set the pace in FP2.

Times from FP3:

  1. Nico Rosberg – 1:26.021 – 19 laps
  2. Sebastian Vettel – 1:26.177 – 14 laps
  3. Lewis Hamilton – 1:26.222 – 10 laps
  4. Valtteri Bottas – 1:26.682 – 19 laps
  5. Kimi Raikkonen – 1:26.944 – 14 laps
  6. Daniel Ricciardo – 1:27.048 – 19 laps
  7. Felipe Massa – 1:27.109 – 19 laps
  8. Max Verstappen – 1:27.132 – 18 laps
  9. Daniil Kvyat – 1:27.313 – 7 laps
  10. Carlos Sainz – 1:27.809 – 17 laps
  11. Jenson Button – 1:27.938 – 17 laps
  12. Nico Hulkenberg – 1:28.082 – 13 laps
  13. Felipe Nasr – 1:28.096 – 23 laps
  14. Fernando Alonso – 1:28.304 – 17 laps
  15. Romain Grosjean – 1:28.578 – 17 laps
  16. Pastor Maldonado – 1:28.618 – 18 laps
  17. Marcus Ericsson – 1:28.788 – 20 laps
  18. Sergio Perez – 1:28.996 – 14 laps
  19. Will Stevens – 1:31.125 – 16 laps
  20. Roberto Merhi – 1:31.749 – 17 laps
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