Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2014

Rosberg nears record-breaking pace in final practice

2014 Brazilian Grand Prix third practice

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Interlagos, 2014Nico Rosberg continued to set the pace at Interlagos, heading the times for the third session in a row, followed by team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Times continued to fall on the resurfaced Interlagos circuit, and Rosberg’s session-topping lap of 1’10.446 was faster than any pole position seen at the circuit, and just six tenths of a second off the record time, set ten years ago.

Hamilton had a spin at turn one earlier in the session but the first sector was the only part of the lap where he was able to beat Rosberg. His team mate found most of his advantage in the twisty middle part of the lap.

The pair bided their time early in the session while the Williams pair set the pace. They ended the session in third and fourth places, with Felipe Massa the only other driver to lap the track in under 71 seconds.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest but team mate Sebastian Vettel ended the session outside the top ten. The Force India pair struggled as well, ending up at the bottom of the times.

The final practice session ran in dry conditions following overnight rain. Esteban Gutierrez was almost caught out by the rain which had collected in the exit kerb at Juncao, the Sauber snapping sideways during one of his early laps.

However there were no incidents during the session, which was the first of the weekend not to be interrupted by a red flag.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’10.44628
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’10.5600.11420
319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’10.8750.42921
477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’11.0540.60823
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’11.1880.74211
622Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’11.2100.76419
77Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’11.3160.87015
814Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’11.3990.9538
920Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’11.4991.05319
1026Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’11.8341.38826
111Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’11.9671.52121
1213Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’12.0691.62329
138Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’12.2351.78930
1425Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’12.2351.78929
1599Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’12.2801.83427
1621Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’12.2861.84024
1727Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’12.3241.87817
1811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’12.9422.49625

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’12.7641’12.1231’10.446-1.67794
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.9851’12.3361’10.560-1.77688
3Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’13.8111’13.0991’10.875-2.22476
4Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’13.0351’11.054-1.98154
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’14.1971’12.9561’11.188-1.76862
6Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes2’00.0001’14.2091’11.210-2.99951
7Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’14.1141’12.6961’11.316-1.3879
8Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’13.7421’13.1221’11.399-1.72358
9Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’14.1361’13.4791’11.499-1.9882
10Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’13.7231’13.2541’11.834-1.42100
11Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’14.9021’13.3331’11.967-1.36673
12Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’14.0341’13.4971’12.069-1.42893
13Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’15.1091’13.7141’12.235-1.47990
14Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’17.1711’12.235-4.93634
15Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’14.4341’14.2041’12.280-1.92494
16Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari3’00.0001’13.9021’12.286-1.61655
17Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’14.6781’13.8821’12.324-1.55882
18Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes2’00.0001’12.942-47.05825
19Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’13.82726
20Felipe NasrWilliams-Mercedes1’14.52222
21Daniel JuncadellaForce India-Mercedes1’16.03017

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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26 comments on “Rosberg nears record-breaking pace in final practice”

  1. Hm, I would really love to see enough dry running to get a record time on for pole (or even for just Q1 or something) today.

    1. I would prefer to see a fast and dry qualifying as well.

      As for the reasons for the fast times, apart from the resurfacing and the teams improving their cars I think the fact that we have turbos at this altitude for the first time for a long period of time is playing a role.

      And this track is optimal for the recovery systems due to the layout and short length. Because the regulations limit the amount of energy that can be deployed or recovered per lap, not per a set distance. (which is quite silly I think, though GP tracks are overall quite similar in length, there is a lot of variation for the margins F1 operates at.)

      1. Great analysis! Hadn’t thought about the turbo and recovery aspect of it before. This track really does seem to be a perfect storm for the new cars.

        1. @mateuss – The entire ERS assembly is not oxygen dependent, so as we are seeing some the best Interlagos times in F1, despite it being one of the shortest tracks on the World Endurance Championship calender, the advantage the hybrid LMP1 cars have over the naturally aspirated LMP2 and GTE are some of the largest of the season. Also the tyre compounds are possibly a factor: albeit the 2014 soft tyre is very similar to the 2012 medium tyre.

          Ultimately it is just remarkable that despite loosing downforce, two cylinders and only having 1.6 litres of capacity, and with an additional 40 kgs, they appear now to be faster racing cars than those of 2013. You may simply say that that is what happens when you invest so much money and development time in a project like the W05, but for all their political smoke, mirrors, cloaks and daggers, the guys in F1 are very good at their jobs.

          1. @countrygent Indeed. Turbo-electric high altitude advantage over naturally aspirated cars.

            But apart from the awesome straight line performance, the cars have also looked quite impressive through the twist bits, if not quite as fast as the few previous years, but still impressive to watch.

            Can’t wait to see what they come up for the second year of this formula, with this years experience.

            I certainly hope that the engine guys will do a better job than the chassis guys, because I’am very pleased with the balance between power and grip we have, and I’ll happily see it shift even more in favor of power. Though I am not one to advocate on cutting downforce.

    2. Lots of F1 fans would love to be able to see an F1 race on TV, but that won’t happen because they aren’t in the exclusive group that F1 management prefers watch the race.

  2. I really would like qualifying to be dry as I really think whoever gets pole will set a new lap record.

    So much for all the complaining about the 2014 cars/power units been too slow.

    1. Do you think this year’s cars are faster than last year’s? The speed is because new layout is smoother and therefore has more grip. These cars are way much slower than ten years ago, otherwise teenagers wouldn’t be driving them.

      1. “Do you think this year’s cars are faster than last year’s?”

        In terms of straght line speed they are as the new power units actually produce a bit more power than the V8’s.

        They have less rear downforce so on aero-dependant circuits they have been a bit slower.

        “These cars are way much slower than ten years ago, otherwise teenagers wouldn’t be driving them.”

        Jenson Button 1st drove an F1 car as a teenager & was signed by Williams while still a teenager, We had V10’s back then.
        Vettel was also a teenager when he 1st drove an F1 car & was barely out of his teens when he made his race debut.

        Jaime Alguersuari was 19 when he made his F1 debut as was Ricardo Rodriguez when he made his F1 debut was back in 1961 as was Mike Thackwell in 1980 & Fernando Alonso in 2010.

        The likes of Kvyat & Verstappen getting to F1 so young has nothing to do with this years cars, Its just because there exceptionally good & almost certainly woudl have been just as good regardless of what era of car they were driving.

        If this years cars really were easy to drive we wouldn’t see drivers spinning off or making mistakes, Yet we do so clearly there not easy at all, In fact as has been pointed out all year these cars are actually a little harder to drive because of the extra torque & lower downforce meaning they can no longer plant the throttle like they could with the torque-less V8s.

        1. ” Fernando Alonso in 2010″

          Should read 2001.

          1. I’d also point out that F1 cars are still faster than anything else.

            Rosberg’s pole time at COTA last weekend was 1:36:067.
            The pole time for the WEC race a few weeks earlier was 1:49:093.

        2. +1
          Couldn’t have put it better myself

    2. There are so many new variables at Interlagos this year that I think it’s very hard to compare laptimes. The whole track being resurfaced changes absolutely everything…

      So they might break the record laptime but I don’t think it means much….

  3. Liam McShane (@)
    8th November 2014, 14:09

    Would have been interesting to see the times of v8’s with the new tarmac.

  4. Surely this pace is entirely due to the new tarmac, and of course the bumps being flattened out.

    1. @cruzmisl Doubt it! Look at the speed traps from 2004 qualifying.

      It’s only FP3, but the fastest speeds were already 11,6 kph faster at the trap and climbing. It’s a number of factors, but one of the big ones is the new power units. Turbos at high altitude and an optimal layout for the recovery systems, like I’ve said above.

      1. @mateuss remember the speed trap comes after the DRS zone.

        The 2004 cars, with DRS, would’ve been flying at that point…

        1. @fer-no65
          The 2004 cars, with current weight limits, would have been slower.
          The 2004 cars with current aero restrictions would have been slower.
          The 2004 cars with V6 turbos would have been slower.
          The 2004 cars with fuel flow limits would have been slower.
          The 2004 cars with current fuel limits wouldn’t have made it to the end of the race.
          The 2004 cars with designed for the show tyres would have been slower.
          The 2004 cars with all of the above would have been very very poor versions of 2014 cars (and much much slower)

          In summary – the 2014 cars are far superior in almost every way to their 2004 descendents and (at Interlagos at least) faster despite the hundreds of handicaps placed on them in the decade between. That’s progress!

        2. @fer-no65 So what? Did the 2004 cars have DRS? No. The cars are different now. That’s the point, these cars are faster at this track.

          Different aero, gearboxes, power units, tyre philosophy etc.

    2. And those were the 3.0 liter V10s, don’t forget.

      Will be interesting to see how the engines improve for next season.

    3. Actually the Finnish commentators said that some drivers complained that the bumps had only gotten worse with the resurfacing.

      1. The track was also completely resurfaced in 2007. Couldn’t find information on older repairs.

  5. OmarR-Pepper (@)
    8th November 2014, 14:28

    Is the layout the exactly the same as last year? I know the pits have been modified, but talking about the racetrack itself, is it the same?

    1. The only thing I’ve heard anyone talking about is re-surfacing the track. I took that to mean that the layout was the same.

  6. *Junção. I think Pirelli brought the right tyres.

    1. I don’t know as they were still blistering in FP3.

      They said on Sky that I think it was Perez’s tyres were nu-usable due to blistering after only 9 laps, A number of others suffered from the same problem through friday.

      If that continues then they are certainly NOT the right tyres!

Comments are closed.