Errors leave Hamilton behind Rosberg in final practice

2015 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix third practice

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Nico Rosberg ended the final practice session of 2015 with the fastest time following two mistakes by his team mate.

Lewis Hamilton was almost three-tenths of a second off Rosberg’s time after running wide at turn six. The world champion spun at the same corner earlier in the session.

Nonetheless Mercedes wrapped up another session occupying the top two places in the times with Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari their closest rival just four-hundredths of a second behind Hamilton.

Force India again showed strong pace with Sergio Perez up in fourth and his team mate in seventh place. The pair were separated by Kimi Raikkonen and Daniel Ricciardo, the latter the only Red Bull to set a time after an electrical fault was discovered on Daniil Kvyat’s car.

Fernando Alonso was frustrated with traffic and unable to replicate his top ten placing from yesterday. Team mate Jenson Button was much happier with his set-up, saying it felt like he had a “different car”, and was just kept out of the top ten by Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’41.856 20
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’42.137 0.281 20
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’42.185 0.329 20
4 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’42.448 0.592 18
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’42.627 0.771 18
6 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’42.726 0.870 15
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’42.859 1.003 18
8 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’43.173 1.317 24
9 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’43.239 1.383 19
10 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Renault 1’43.429 1.573 22
11 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’43.508 1.652 15
12 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 1’43.680 1.824 18
13 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’43.718 1.862 24
14 33 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault 1’43.826 1.970 19
15 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes 1’43.928 2.072 21
16 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’44.014 2.158 13
17 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’44.325 2.469 21
18 28 Will Stevens Manor-Ferrari 1’47.283 5.427 16
19 98 Roberto Merhi Manor-Ferrari 1’47.520 5.664 17
20 26 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault 2

Third practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’41.856

+0.281 Lewis Hamilton – 1’42.137

+0.329 Sebastian Vettel – 1’42.185

+0.592 Sergio Perez – 1’42.448

+0.771 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’42.627

+0.870 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’42.726

+1.003 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’42.859

+1.317 Felipe Massa – 1’43.173

+1.383 Valtteri Bottas – 1’43.239

+1.573 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’43.429

+1.652 Jenson Button – 1’43.508

+1.824 Pastor Maldonado – 1’43.680

+1.862 Felipe Nasr – 1’43.718

+1.970 Max Verstappen – 1’43.826

+2.072 Romain Grosjean – 1’43.928

+2.158 Fernando Alonso – 1’44.014

+2.469 Marcus Ericsson – 1’44.325

+5.427 Will Stevens – 1’47.283

+5.664 Roberto Merhi – 1’47.520

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’43.895 1’41.983 1’41.856 -0.127 89
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’43.754 1’42.121 1’42.137 +0.016 78
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’44.742 1’42.717 1’42.185 -0.532 78
4 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’44.934 1’42.610 1’42.448 -0.162 68
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’44.500 1’42.849 1’42.627 -0.222 81
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1’44.893 1’42.647 1’42.726 +0.079 76
7 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull-Renault 1’44.702 1’42.798 59
8 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’44.751 1’42.928 1’42.859 -0.069 75
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’45.865 1’42.955 1’44.014 +1.059 64
10 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’45.433 1’43.506 1’43.173 -0.333 75
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’45.603 1’43.441 1’43.239 -0.202 73
12 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Renault 1’46.220 1’43.854 1’43.429 -0.425 63
13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 1’45.314 1’43.431 1’43.680 +0.249 83
14 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’45.773 1’44.050 1’43.508 -0.542 61
15 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso-Renault 1’45.718 1’43.662 1’43.826 +0.164 90
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’46.115 1’44.116 1’43.718 -0.398 80
17 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Mercedes 1’43.929 1’43.928 -0.001 48
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’46.407 1’45.245 1’44.325 -0.92 77
19 Will Stevens Manor-Ferrari 1’48.836 1’46.450 1’47.283 +0.833 70
20 Jolyon Palmer Lotus-Mercedes 1’46.501 8

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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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13 comments on “Errors leave Hamilton behind Rosberg in final practice”

  1. Lewis under pressure, wish Rosberg had shown this earlier, then we’d probably had a 3 way championship battle with Vettel having mathematical chance and close between the 2 mec drivers.

    1. @illusive What exactly is Lewis under pressure of? It really tickles me when I see such statements – like “Rosberg back on top”. Back on top of what? As far as I can remember, the championship was decided quite a few races ago, with Lewis Hamilton being crowned World Drivers Champion (for the second consecutive time, and third total time I may add). Is it possible, just humanly possible that maybe Lewis is deliberately cooling off a bit? Maybe he’s just encouraging Nico a bit? Maybe he’s been “asked” to encourage Nico a bit? All just speculation I agree, but lets be honest, a lot of that is done in these comments. Thankfully this is the last race weekend of the season, and we’ll soon be back to – hopefully – some relevant racing again. Cheers, and enjoy the weekend.

      1. @stubbornswiss Don’t think Lewis is that kind of driver who backs off, he likes to win as evident from the last few races where in one race he questioned the race strategy and asked for a different one in Brazil. If Lewis is under pressure, then it doesn’t necessarily mean i am critical of him, he’s loosing to teammates consistently, so he’d want to end his season on a high with a win, which is kind of a pressure when your teammate is performing well. I don’t favour anyone of those, I just want good healthy competition and rivalry. Cheers.

  2. Lewis lost his mojo, this is what I retain from this session.

    1. its just practice. We have seen him miss apexes, get his braking wrong, complain about balance etc, in FP sessions only to dominate qualifying.

      Not saying that he will do that again today, but given that he just has to cut out his own mistakes to be up there, its quite possible that he will be.

    2. It’s called Free what 3? ;)

  3. ColdFly F1 (@)
    28th November 2015, 11:46

    Quite a few drivers slower than yesterday! Set-up or track conditions?

    1. Track conditions. FP3 is run when the sun is still shining; quali and the race will be in the twilight with much cooler track temperature.

  4. If you look across all of the practice sessions at Abu Dhabi – it seems to me that Lewis is quicker on the softs, and Nico is quicker on the super-softs. Nico just seems to be a little more consistent on the softer compound – possibly he doesn’t push quite as hard – but the end result is that Nico is faster at the current time.

  5. The red stripes on the Williams are worth about half a second.

  6. I think Lewis no longer cares about F1 racing any more. He has emulated his hero. His job here is done.

    1. He loses a couple of races, so that means he’s bored of F1? What are you smoking?

    2. HAM still has the 8 consecutive poles record of Senna to look forward to..and he also has to look forward to ROS not getting it before him..

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