Red Bull fastest as Mercedes hold back

2016 United States Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen led Daniel Ricciardo in a Red Bull one-two in the final practice session but the Mercedes drivers clearly had more pace in hand.

The silver cars waited until the dying seconds of the session to respond to the quickest times set by the RB12s. But Rosberg abandoned his effort on super-softs and Hamilton, having begun his lap moments before the session began, caught traffic at the end of his run. “Really poor timing, guys,” he told them on the radio.

The upshot was neither W07 featured in the top three. Verstappen, who set his lap later in the session than Ricciardo, was ahead by just over a quarter of a second.

Kimi Raikkonen was half a second off the Red Bull but the other Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was hindered by a a gearbox problem.

Both McLarens made it into the top ten behind the Mercedes-powered duo Nico Hulkenberg and Valtteri Bottas. The Toro Rosso pair could only manage 14th and 15th places, Carlos Sainz Jnr suffering two separate punctures during the 60-minute sessions.

Proceedings were interrupted by red flags caused by Pascal Wehrlein who spun off at the penultiamte corner. He had to be told several times to switch his engine off as he tried to wait for marshals to push him out of the gravel trap.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’36.76616
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’37.0320.26619
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’37.2840.51815
444Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’37.4830.71712
56Nico RosbergMercedes1’37.7841.01810
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’37.8941.1288
727Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’37.9481.18217
877Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’38.1881.42216
922Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’38.2121.44614
1014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’38.4521.68613
1111Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’38.5121.74616
1230Jolyon PalmerRenault1’38.5281.76214
1319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’38.6071.84115
1426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’38.6911.92516
1555Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’38.7101.9446
1621Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’38.9392.17313
178Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’39.0972.33113
1820Kevin MagnussenRenault1’39.1052.33914
199Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’39.2392.47314
2012Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’39.5092.74314
2131Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’39.7713.00519
2294Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’41.4274.6617

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’36.766

+0.266 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’37.032

+0.518 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’37.284

+0.717 Lewis Hamilton – 1’37.483

+1.018 Nico Rosberg – 1’37.784

+1.128 Sebastian Vettel – 1’37.894

+1.182 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’37.948

+1.422 Valtteri Bottas – 1’38.188

+1.446 Jenson Button – 1’38.212

+1.686 Fernando Alonso – 1’38.452

+1.746 Sergio Perez – 1’38.512

+1.762 Jolyon Palmer – 1’38.528

+1.841 Felipe Massa – 1’38.607

+1.925 Daniil Kvyat – 1’38.691

+1.944 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’38.710

+2.173 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’38.939

+2.331 Romain Grosjean – 1’39.097

+2.339 Kevin Magnussen – 1’39.105

+2.473 Marcus Ericsson – 1’39.239

+2.743 Felipe Nasr – 1’39.509

+3.005 Esteban Ocon – 1’39.771

+4.661 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’41.427

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’39.3791’38.2581’36.766-1.49271
2Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’39.9631’37.5521’37.032-0.5278
3Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’39.4071’38.8651’37.284-1.58167
4Nico RosbergMercedes1’37.7431’37.3581’37.784+0.42670
5Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’37.4281’37.6491’37.483+0.05569
6Sebastian VettelFerrari1’39.9881’38.1781’37.894-0.28458
7Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’39.7121’38.5081’37.948-0.5676
8Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’39.7761’39.1971’38.188-1.00980
9Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’41.6631’38.7131’38.212-0.50164
10Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’40.3621’38.8011’38.452-0.34969
11Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’38.5681’38.512-0.05647
12Jolyon PalmerRenault1’42.3321’39.4551’38.528-0.92779
13Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’40.1911’39.2811’38.607-0.67472
14Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.1311’39.2021’38.691-0.51168
15Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’40.1401’38.9711’38.710-0.26163
16Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’40.9701’40.1141’38.939-1.17554
17Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’40.8261’39.5541’39.097-0.45752
18Kevin MagnussenRenault1’41.9421’39.1591’39.105-0.05459
19Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’40.2871’39.1891’39.509+0.3258
20Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’41.1701’40.2191’39.239-0.9859
21Esteban OconManor-Mercedes1’43.8741’40.0861’39.771-0.31573
22Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’41.1311’41.427+0.29638
23Alfonso CelisForce India-Mercedes1’41.42227
24Jordan KingManor-Mercedes1’42.01229

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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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3 comments on “Red Bull fastest as Mercedes hold back”

  1. Track Limits not apply on this track? Why bother with white lines to keep between if the times set by competitors abusing theoretical track limits are allowed to stand. Watching VES set the fastest time was a joke.

    1. Try to check todays Kimi’s ultimate “track limit” lap, he went wide at one of the corners at Indianapolis!

      1. It was an “interesting” line for sure. Although in his case I’m pretty sure he would have been faster staying on the track.
        (That still doesn’t make it right)

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