Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2012

Rosberg on top as Bahrain practice finishes

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix third practice

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain, 2012Nico Rosberg led the final practice session in Bahrain ahead of the Red Bull pair.

Track conditions had deteriorated since yesterday, with noticeably more dust on the circuit.

That didn’t stop Force India making an early start to proceedings, having missed yesterday’s second practice session.

The Lotus pair were next onto the track, with first Kimi Raikkonen, then Romain Grosjean leading the times.

The fastest driver on the medium tyres was Sebastian Vettel, who set a 1’34.225 before drivers started using the softs.

Daniel Ricciardo was the first driver to demote him using the soft tyres, but the Mercedes drivers showed even better pace.

Michael Schumacher set a 1’33.796, then reported his rear tyres had started to go off soon afterwards.

But as in China team mate Nico Rosberg found over a half a second more time. A 1’33.254 put him comfortably fastest.

Lewis Hamilton was next up to try to beat the mark but could only better Schumacher’s mark by a hundredth of a second. Jenson Button took to the track a few minutes later and a lap of 1’33.899 put him fourth.

But the McLarens and Schumacher were relegated by a late effort from the Red Bulls. Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber claimed second and third, the world champion lapping within 0.147s of Rosberg.

Raikkonen took seventh ahead of Ricciardo and Grosjean. Fernando Alonso scraped into the top ten, just two-hundredths of a second faster than Pastor Maldonado.

In the hot, dusty conditions, Rosberg’s quickest lap was 0.438s slower than yesterday’s best time.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
18Nico RosbergMercedes1’33.25414
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’33.4010.14714
32Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’33.6630.40915
44Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.7820.52816
57Michael SchumacherMercedes1’33.7960.54216
63Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.8990.64514
79Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’33.9760.72214
816Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’34.1970.94314
910Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’34.4011.14716
105Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’34.8951.64111
1118Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’34.9181.66412
1217Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’34.9771.72312
1314Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’35.1281.87414
1411Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’35.3362.08222
156Felipe MassaFerrari1’35.5362.28215
1619Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’35.6232.36916
1720Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’35.6942.44019
1812Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’35.7732.51921
1915Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’36.0672.81317
2021Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’36.5323.27817
2125Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’37.2674.01318
2224Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’37.6544.40018
2322Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’38.9735.71911
2423Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’39.2215.9679

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’34.2491’32.8161’33.254+0.43872
2Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’34.5521’33.2621’33.663+0.40164
3Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’33.8771’33.5251’33.401-0.12463
4Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’33.5721’33.7471’33.782+0.2153
5Michael SchumacherMercedes1’34.4831’33.8621’33.796-0.06665
6Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’34.2771’34.2461’33.899-0.34756
7Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’34.6091’35.1831’33.976-0.63365
8Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’34.1501’35.336+1.18648
9Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’36.5911’34.8951’34.197-0.69863
10Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’34.3441’35.773+1.42947
11Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’34.8471’34.6151’34.401-0.21468
12Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’35.9291’34.4111’35.128+0.71772
13Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’35.4361’34.4491’34.895+0.44663
14Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’35.0241’34.8931’36.067+1.17473
15Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’35.2681’35.4591’34.918-0.3575
16Felipe MassaFerrari1’35.7191’34.9411’35.536+0.59564
17Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’36.1951’35.2291’34.977-0.25258
18Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’35.49724
19Bruno SennaWilliams-Renault1’36.1691’35.623-0.54646
20Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’36.3301’35.9681’35.694-0.27465
21Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’36.4841’35.9131’36.532+0.61968
22Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’38.0061’36.5871’37.654+1.06769
23Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’37.4671’37.8031’37.267-0.269
24Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’38.8771’37.8121’38.973+1.16158
25Narain KarthikeyanHRT-Cosworth1’39.9961’39.6491’39.221-0.42859

2012 Bahrain Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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14 comments on “Rosberg on top as Bahrain practice finishes”

  1. The place looked like a ghost town, I think there was spectators at testing this yr.

    1. Apparently there’s 1 dead person so far. According to reports there’s no reason to think it was done by the authorities.

      1. Apart from the obvious humanitarian reasons why this GP should be withdrawn, there is nobody there watching (no real surprise given the circumstances). So its just TV money. I’m no Bernie basher, but come on. Sport doesn’t survive without the fans – and even the worldwide tv audience is now held hostage. Watch it or not.
        Surely there must be many countries that have fans that would flock to a GP. Or even countries that deserve 2 (I know some already do). Can we have a poll Keith?

  2. Rosberg’s FP3 time alone is faster than any McLaren effort. Maybe you can put that down to what Hamilton was saying about unpredictable wind direction, or maybe Mercedes will stick it out front again? They certainly look strong, especially given past tyre trouble. Still, the race is a different story.

    In conclusion, I don’t have a clue :D

    1. And that’s what’s so great about 2012 :)

    2. Maybe the McLaren is very sensitive to crosswinds.

    3. i am not quite sure about merc having got on top of their tyre issues. it remains to be seen wether they can be kind to them in traffic for a whole race distance. It certainly is looking good for the Red Bulls, not for pole though, but if they can get rid of Rosberg in the opening laps I cant see anybody challenging them for victory.

  3. Like to see the speed trap figures to see if Merc have dialled up the downforce, Q is going to be interesting with the track as slippery as it is, overdriving is going to have serious consequences.

    1. @hohum In the speed trap in FP3 Raikkonen was the fastest (318kph), from his team-mate, Force Indias and Saubers.

      Based on sector speeds on the live timing, I’d guess Mercedes’ gear ratios are more on acceleration than top speed.

      1. @enigma, thanks, I’m guessing it’s more (wing) downforce that’s taken away their speed advantage.

  4. Its crazy that Hamilton’s fastest time this weekend has been in FP1. I think with regards to wind directions, track temperature etc, we could be in for a lottery qualifying session. But I still see Niko nicking it!

  5. Red Bull look very strong this weekend. Maybe they finally put everything into together and from now will fight for victories?

    1. Hoping ( but not holding my breath ) to hear Advance Australia Fair soon.

  6. Just watching the qualifying. Where are all the spectators?

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