Rosberg leads Vettel as Hamilton spins

2015 Spanish Grand Prix third practice

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Nico Rosberg led the final practice session at the Circuit de Catalunya as team mate Lewis Hamilton was delayed by a mid-session spin.

The Mercedes pair waited until the middle of the session to begin their first runs and soon took over the top of the times, both setting quicker laps on hard compound tyres than Daniel Ricciardo was able to do on his early run on mediums in the Red Bull.

However Hamilton’s progress was interrupted when the car got away from him in turn three – the corner made infamous by Fernando Alonso’s crash during testing. The Mercedes understeered wide then snapped sideways on the outside of the corner and skidded to a halt. Hamilton was able to get going again but his tyres were ruined by the slide. Meanwhile Rosberg improved on the best time of the weekend up to that point, lapping in 1’26.777.

When the pair came out for their performance runs on the medium tyre a clean lap put Rosberg ahead by two-tenths of a second. And worryingly for Mercedes, Sebastian Vettel was able to get his Ferrari in between the pair of them.

Kimi Raikkonen might have been able to do the same in his Ferrari, but the team discovered a problem related to an incorrect setting on his car after he began his run. “Excellent. How can we be in wrong settings?” exclaimed a frustrated Raikkonen, who ended the session fifth behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.

Ricciardo’s early run on mediums turned out to be good enough for sixth ahead of the second Williams of Felipe Massa. Both Toro Rosso drivers ended the session in the top ten, separated by the other Red Bull of Daniil Kvyat, who made a late start to proceedings after a further technical problem on his car.

Jenson Button was the quicker of the two McLarens in 11th, while Alonso set the 14th-best time after clouting a kerb at the chicane on his quickest run.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’26.02119
25Sebastian VettelFerrari1’26.1770.15614
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.2220.20110
477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’26.6820.66119
57Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’26.9440.92314
63Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’27.0481.02719
719Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’27.1091.08819
833Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’27.1321.11118
926Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’27.3131.2927
1055Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’27.8091.78817
1122Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’27.9381.91717
1227Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’28.0822.06113
1312Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’28.0962.07514
1414Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’28.3042.28317
158Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’28.5782.55717
1613Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’28.6182.59718
179Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’28.7882.76720
1811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’28.9962.97514
1928Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’31.1255.10416
2098Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’31.7495.72817

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’26.8281’27.6161’26.021-0.80782
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1’27.8061’27.2601’26.177-1.08372
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.8981’26.8521’26.222-0.6363
4Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’28.5251’26.682-1.84358
5Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’27.8321’27.7801’26.944-0.83666
6Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’29.0751’29.0981’27.048-2.02732
7Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’28.8311’28.7121’27.109-1.60376
8Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’28.5291’28.0171’27.132-0.88573
9Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’28.7851’27.9431’27.313-0.6339
10Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’28.1321’28.6741’27.809-0.32375
11Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’29.8171’28.4941’27.938-0.55670
12Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’29.4091’29.6011’28.082-1.32771
13Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’29.1401’29.3331’28.096-1.04465
14Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’29.8131’28.7231’28.304-0.41967
15Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’29.0861’28.578-0.50831
16Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’30.1101’29.2171’28.618-0.59959
17Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’29.3611’28.788-0.57354
18Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’30.0961’29.7071’28.996-0.71168
19Raffaele MarcielloSauber-Ferrari1’29.63015
20Jolyon PalmerLotus-Mercedes1’29.67621
21Susie WolffWilliams-Mercedes1’29.70822
22Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’32.4711’31.9291’31.125-0.80468
23Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’32.6471’32.7511’31.749-0.89860

Author information

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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9 comments on “Rosberg leads Vettel as Hamilton spins”

  1. iAltair (@)
    9th May 2015, 11:08

    Not sure what to expect but it seems like its the usual for 2015 with Mercs in front, then the Ferraris and followed by the Williams.

  2. If Ferraris can get within 0,5 sec in quali on such aerodynamic circuit, then I’ll be pretty happy.

    1. +1! That’s what I’m thinking too! Last year Merc were more than 1s faster than everybody in Barcelona. So let’s hope Ferrari is closer in the rest of the season!

      1. But there’s another problem right now in Vettel car, so -.-

  3. McLaren pace looks better than Force India and Lotus all weekend. Hoping one of them could genuinely fighting to get into Q3 later.

  4. “Excellent. How can we be in wrong settings?” exclaimed a frustrated Raikkonen

    Vintage Kimi :))

    1. Alexander (@)
      9th May 2015, 11:48

      Had a good laugh at this :D

  5. @KeithCollantine

    I have to say, the title of this post is incredibly misleading. It makes it sound as if Rosberg and Vettel are only ahead of Hamilton because he spun, not on merit.

    But according to the article (I didn’t see FP3), Ros and Vet are ahead of Ham on merit. The spin was on the hard compound and had nothing to do with who topped the time sheets.

    It’s no big deal if Hamilton wasn’t the fastest in FP3.

Comments are closed.