Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2016

Mercedes lead Ferrari by a tenth of a second

2016 Spanish Grand Prix third practice

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The Mercedes drivers ended final practice for the Spanish Grand Prix with just a tenth of a second in hand over Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.

Nico Rosberg lowered the best time of the weekend to a 1’23.078 halfway through the session. He wasn’t able to beat it with his final run on soft tyres having been forced back into the pits to have a problem investigated on his power unit.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton was second-fastest, his final effort bringing him within a tenth of a second of Rosberg. Rosberg led Hamilton by four-tenths of a second after their first runs on soft tyres, Hamilton running wide in the high-speed Campsa corner.

At this point Vettel was 1.1 seconds further back after Ferrari did their first run on medium tyres. Vettel owned up to losing time in the final sector. For his final effort he put soft tyres on and set the quickest time in the first two sectors of the lap. However Mercedes had enough in hand in the final sector to confine Vettel to third.

The other Ferrari ended practice in sixth place after Kimi Raikkonen caught traffic at the end of his quickest lap, leaving him eight-tenths of a second off Vettel.

The two red cars were separated by the two Red Bulls, headed by the team’s new driver Max Verstappen. Ricciardo emulated Hamilton’s error at turn nine during his quickest run.

Valtteri Bottas was the quickest Williams in seventh place, followed by Sergio Perez in the upgraded Force India. A varied top ten also included Daniil Kvyat, the quickest of the two Toro Rosso drivers, and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

Romain Grosjean was 14th in his Haas, but ended the session complaining about being forced wide by Kevin Magnussen.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
16Nico RosbergMercedes1’23.07815
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’23.2040.12611
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1’23.2250.14716
433Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’23.7190.64110
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’23.8160.7389
67Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’24.1101.03213
777Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’24.3561.27814
811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’24.4721.39415
926Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’24.5531.47513
1014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’24.5551.47713
1127Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’24.5851.50715
1219Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’24.6211.54315
1355Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’24.6951.61721
148Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’24.9811.90313
1522Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’25.0511.97313
1620Kevin MagnussenRenault1’25.1002.02212
1721Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’25.1302.05217
1830Jolyon PalmerRenault1’25.3762.29813
1912Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’25.3832.30522
209Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’25.4012.32324
2194Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’26.0973.01913
2288Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’26.2513.17319

Third practice visual gaps

Nico Rosberg – 1’23.078

+0.126 Lewis Hamilton – 1’23.204

+0.147 Sebastian Vettel – 1’23.225

+0.641 Max Verstappen – 1’23.719

+0.738 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’23.816

+1.032 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’24.110

+1.278 Valtteri Bottas – 1’24.356

+1.394 Sergio Perez – 1’24.472

+1.475 Daniil Kvyat – 1’24.553

+1.477 Fernando Alonso – 1’24.555

+1.507 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’24.585

+1.543 Felipe Massa – 1’24.621

+1.617 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’24.695

+1.903 Romain Grosjean – 1’24.981

+1.973 Jenson Button – 1’25.051

+2.022 Kevin Magnussen – 1’25.100

+2.052 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’25.130

+2.298 Jolyon Palmer – 1’25.376

+2.305 Felipe Nasr – 1’25.383

+2.323 Marcus Ericsson – 1’25.401

+3.019 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’26.097

+3.173 Rio Haryanto – 1’26.251

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Nico RosbergMercedes1’24.4541’23.9221’23.078-0.84484
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’24.6111’24.6411’23.204-1.40771
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’23.9511’25.0171’23.225-0.72673
4Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’25.5851’25.3751’23.719-1.65670
5Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’25.4161’25.1941’23.816-1.37871
6Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’24.0891’24.1761’24.110+0.02162
7Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’25.6721’25.7081’24.356-1.31680
8Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’27.0641’25.4371’24.472-0.96556
9Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.5831’26.3751’24.553-1.82278
10Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’26.2431’25.3421’24.555-0.78762
11Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’26.9381’25.4531’24.585-0.86877
12Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’26.1861’26.4911’24.621-1.56583
13Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.0781’25.1311’24.695-0.43679
14Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’27.2581’25.8991’24.981-0.91863
15Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’27.6101’25.8931’25.051-0.84252
16Kevin MagnussenRenault1’26.5761’26.2441’25.100-1.14482
17Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’27.2831’28.2051’25.130-2.15344
18Jolyon PalmerRenault1’26.7701’25.376-1.39429
19Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’27.2531’27.8121’25.383-1.8789
20Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’27.3921’28.5011’25.401-1.99190
21Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’28.0841’26.9601’26.097-0.86382
22Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’29.0521’27.2521’26.251-1.00192

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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 “Mercedes lead Ferrari by a tenth of a second”

  1. What’s with Ted Kravitz and being happy Rosberg ran into trouble? I rarely watch on SKy but whenever I do I can’t help but notice every little thing where they praise Hamilton and try to take a cheap shot at Rosberg (and several other drivers).

    1. Never liked ted kravits or his insights/commentry. He comes across as smarmy, arrogent and someone who thinks he is an F1 driver just because he sits in the pit lane.

      He always tries too hard to be clever and witty but he just comes across as trying too hard.

      To me anyway….

      1. @mach1 I agree. That’s how Ted rose to prominence, that’s how sky is selling f1, Herbert does the same low level journalistic work.

        Anyhow I don’t infer what is inferred above. I would like to point out that Vettel did mistakes in both of his S3’s not just the first and Hamilton who did run slightly wide at campsa, didn’t lose the lap there he lost it on s3, the slowest part of the lap, where it seems both haven’t got the right balance to string the hideous chicane together.

      2. I agree too. Very… ‘look at me I’m really chummy with my mates… that don’t consider me a mate at all.’

      3. Croft is a much nicer individual for me, really.

    2. I agree @xtwl, that was disappointing as a reaction (though maybe not quite unexpected), right when we were hoping to finally have a full Merc,Ferrari showdown in this quali. Glad it was ‘only’ a sensor issue; hope none of them have problems in qualil.

      Sure, Merc will be gaining more than Ferrari in Q3, but still, Ferrari is too close to allow for mistakes by the Mercedes drivers – Q3 should be a blast, and race looks like it could be good here too, which is a bit of a surprise from this track.

    3. Rose tinted specs plus broadcasting a UK driver to UK audience .

      I’m sticking to Ch4 whenever possible.

      1. It’s pretty refreshing coverage I’m finding (ch4 that is). Just too bad we know it won’t last.

    4. What’s with the incredibly outdated behaviour over a pink shirt, over women wearing pink. That was even worse.

    5. The final sector by Rosberg is another good example. It was mighty, considering it was done on his only proper fast lap.
      But on Sky F1: “Hamilton and Vettel are struggling in the final sector”. When in fact it was actually very fast and tidy by Rosberg.

    6. Well its Kravitz after all the duo of Kravitz and Croft both make this kind of things for a quite a long time. So i started to ignore them.

    7. Porsche I’ve always appreciated your inputs but I am starting to think you are slowly joining the anti Lewis brigade.

  2. It’s just free practice, but with Ferrari and Mercedes close, Verstappen ahead of Ricciardo and the midfield fight incredibly tight, I am very excited.

  3. Wondering where the “I’m not watching quiet cars” choir boys are. Bet they’ve not missed a GP this year.

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