Rosberg tops the timesheets in third practice
Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in third practice at the Hockenheimring, finishing well clear of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton.
The final practice session ahead of German Grand Prix qualifying and tomorrow’s race took place in warm and dry conditions. Adrian Sutil, Jean-Eric Vergne, Pastor Maldonado and Felipe Massa were the first drivers to take to the circuit.
Kevin Magnussen and Nico Rosberg briefly traded fastest times, with McLaren changing their gear rations and using the sole joker available for the season prior to the session. The two Williams drivers then moved to the front, Valtteri Bottas ahead of Felipe Massa, as the field completed their first runs on the soft tyre.
Kimi Raikkonen was the first to switch to the super-soft tyre with 29 minutes of the session to go, just after his team-mate Fernando Alonso spun at turn eight. With higher wind speeds and the loss of the FRIC suspension system, drivers continued to struggle, with the run-off area at turn one frequently being used.
Following a brief spell of silence, the rest of the pack returned to the Hockenheimring in the final 10 minutes of third practice on the option Pirelli compound. Alonso held the top spot, before the Mercedes duo moved to the top of the timesheets.
Rosberg’s first lap, a 1m17.779, was good enough for first place in the final practice session. The German, who ended Friday morning fastest, finished six tenths clear of his team-mate Hamilton. The 2008 world champion complained of a vibration on his final run, ending practice three just 0.004 seconds ahead of Alonso.
Massa and Bottas completed the top five for Williams, with Magnussen and Daniel Ricciardo finishing the session in sixth and seventh. Raikkonen slipped to eighth, with Sebastian Vettel and Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top 10.
The Toro Rosso duo of Daniil Kvyat and Vergne were 11th and 12 respectively. Jenson Button finished down in 13th after struggling in third practice. Sergio Perez, Esteban Gutierrez, Romian Grosjean and Jules Bianchi were next up.
Pastor Maldonado was 18th, with Adrian Sutil, Kamui Kobayashi, Marcus Ericsson and Max Chilton – who only managed six laps due to an electrical issue – completing the timesheets ahead of German Grand Prix qualifying.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:18.769||+0.990||13|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1:18.890||+1.111||17|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:19.127||+1.348||10|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:19.131||+1.352||19|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1:19.470||+1.691||20|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:19.505||+1.726||21|
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic
Jack Leslie is a freelance motorsport journalist. He has been part of the Richland F1 team since the very start and made his debut in the F1 paddock for the website at the 2014 Austrian Grand Prix. Jack also writes for Car Throttle and RumbleStripNews, as well as running a popular blog.