Rosberg pegs Hamilton back as practice ends

2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix third practice

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Yas Marina, 2014Mercedes continued to lead the way in the final practice session in Abu Dhabi – but for the first time this weekend Nico Rosberg was their quickest driver.

Much of Rosberg’s advantage appeared to come in the final sector of the lap. Lewis Hamilton, who has tended to be strong around that part of the Yas Marina circuit, lost most of the three-tenths gap to his team mate there.

No other car was able to get within a second of Rosberg’s mark. Felipe Massa led the charge for Williams after Valtteri Bottas made a mistake on his first flying lap on super-soft tyres.

Fernando Alonso appeared to be adopting an unusual strategy in response to the time he lost during yesterday’s second practice session. He did just eight laps at the beginning of practice, including one on the super-softs which was good enough for fourth place, before returning to the pits for work to be done on his car ahead of qualifying.

There was very little to separate the cars behind Alonso which included both Red Bulls, Jenson Button, Botttas and Daniil Kvyat covered by 0.15 seconds. The second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen completed the top ten.

Newcomer Will Stevens ended practice at the bottom of the times sheets but within a second of Caterham team mate Kamui Kobayashi.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’41.42419
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’41.7930.36917
319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’42.4291.00518
414Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’42.6531.2298
51Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’42.6791.25519
622Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’42.7681.34420
73Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’42.7731.34914
877Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’42.7941.37019
926Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’42.8091.38520
107Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’43.0381.61414
1120Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’43.1121.68813
1225Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’43.3521.92820
1311Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’43.3601.93619
1427Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’43.5012.07718
1521Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’43.6432.21924
1613Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’43.7182.29417
178Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’43.7782.35418
1899Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’44.0222.59822
1910Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’45.0443.62016
2046Will StevensCaterham-Renault1’45.9594.53521

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’43.6091’42.1961’41.424-0.77286
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’43.4761’42.1131’41.793-0.3283
3Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’46.5491’43.5581’42.429-1.12959
4Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’45.1841’42.653-2.53132
5Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’45.3341’42.9591’42.679-0.2882
6Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’47.2351’43.5031’42.768-0.73550
7Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’45.3611’43.1831’42.773-0.4168
8Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’45.9131’43.0701’42.794-0.27661
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’45.8351’43.5461’42.809-0.73790
10Kevin MagnussenMcLaren-Mercedes1’46.0491’42.8951’43.112+0.21772
11Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’46.1311’43.4891’43.038-0.45169
12Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Renault1’45.7181’44.1571’43.352-0.80575
13Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’45.9831’43.7461’43.360-0.38678
14Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’46.0301’44.0681’43.501-0.56774
15Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1’46.5561’44.3161’43.643-0.67389
16Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Renault1’46.7111’44.0051’43.718-0.28785
17Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’44.9861’43.778-1.20852
18Adrian SutilSauber-Ferrari1’44.7631’44.022-0.74158
19Kamui KobayashiCaterham-Renault1’47.9711’45.5051’45.044-0.46178
20Will StevensCaterham-Renault1’50.6841’47.0571’45.959-1.09868
21Esteban OconLotus-Renault1’47.06629
22Adderly FongSauber-Ferrari1’48.26925

Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

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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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11 comments on “Rosberg pegs Hamilton back as practice ends”

  1. The fastest man out there today was actually Bernie Ecclestone, running away from Jonny Herbert!

  2. I think Hamilton had traffic in the final sector and backed off. Considering Nico has been faster in S1 and S2 previously (with Lewis making up all his time in S3) this bodes ominously for Nico. If Lewis is now faster in those first two sectors AND still has his favorite sector in hand, Nico should be worried.

  3. Actually, I would say that this is a very decent showing from Stevens. In only his 3rd session in these complicated F1 cars he gets close enough to Kobayashi to show promise. And huge progress from the first session too.

    1. Very impressed by him. Hope that he makes it into F1.

    2. @bascb I was about to say the same. To be 1 second away from the guy that drove that car almost all season, and has F1 experience, is a very good performance

  4. Logically Rosberg will have optimised his car to be sharp on options for qualy and be planning to back Lewis into the Williams/Red Bulls in the race.

    His nightmare scenario is for Lewis to clear off in the lead.

    So I would not be surprised to see Rosberg on pole.

  5. Sick picture to accompany the report. Really showcases intensity and speed.

  6. Astounding interview with Ron Dennis on the BBC show. It sounds as though he’s waiting to see if Hamilton misses out tomorrow and might be more persuadable in returning to McLaren for 2016. Presumably Alonso is fishing for a one-year deal and Ron wants to see if Hamilton might make that more acceptable to him …

  7. le’s go for it Nico…i belive it

  8. ALO, BUT, VET all shining in their final drives for their respect teams?

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