Malaysian GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton in final practice
Nico Rosberg beat Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in final practice for Formula 1’s Malaysian Grand Prix at Sepang.
Last year’s title fight runner up Rosberg was quickest after the early runs on the hard-compound Pirelli tyres as Hamilton struggled with the brakes, locking up twice at Turn 9.
And in the final 10 minutes of the session, as drivers bolted on the medium tyres for their qualifying simulation runs, Rosberg improved by seven tenths to clock a 1m39.690s.
Hamilton complained that the "braking is all over the place" when he ran the hard tyres early in the session and when he fitted the mediums, his best time was 0.184s adrift of Rosberg.
The circuit was offering little grip in the 62C degree track temperatures, which combined with high-energy corners and heavy tyre degradation.
That caught a number of drivers out. Sergio Perez and Felipe Nasr were among the drivers to take trips off the road, there were countless severe lock-ups and Roberto Merhi spun at Turn 9 and just managed to keep the Manor out of the gravel.
The Ferraris proved to be Mercedes’ closest challengers, with Kimi Raikkonen setting the fastest first sector of all on his way to the third fastest time, 0.555s behind Rosberg, and Sebastian Vettel a few thousandths further back.
Felipe Massa had a couple of off-track excursions early in the session before clocking the fifth fastest time, 0.701s off the pace and a few thousandths quicker than Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas in sixth.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was among the first on track, the Australian managing 19 laps in total and ending the one-hour session seventh ahead of the two Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen.
Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson completed the top 10, just edging out the two Lotuses of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado.
Daniil Kvyat asked for set-up changes on his Red Bull midway through the session after telling the team it had made a "step back". He ended up 13th, ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.
Fernando Alonso was 2.3s off the pace, finishing in 15th ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez, Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and McLaren team-mate Jenson Button.
The Manors brought up the rear, with Merhi heading team-mate Will Stevens.
Merhi’s time of 1m46.647s was fractions inside 107 per cent – the margin required in Q1 to ensure qualification – which means both Manor drivers have achieved the feat this weekend.
PRACTICE THREE TIMES:
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.590s||0.900s||19|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.601s||0.911s||19|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m40.989s||1.299s||18|
|13||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.775s||2.085s||14|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m41.804s||2.114s||15|
|16||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.099s||2.409s||14|
Sepang, 27th March 2015 – Kimi Raikkonen: “Today we did all we were supposed to do. In the morning the feeling with the car was better, in the afternoon was a bit more tricky, we had some handling issues and some problems with the wind and the heat, but the laptime were not so bad. Unluckily we had red flag when we went out with new softer tyres.The car is still not perfect, but I’m sure we can improve for tomorrow. We have some work to do on the set up to make everything easier, but we’ll do our best and we’ll see where we end up in qualifying”.
Raikkonen incontentabile: “Vettura non perfetta, possiamo migliorare”
27 marzo 2015 – Kimi Raikkonen gran protagonista nella prima giornata del Gran Premio di Malesia. Iceman tallona la Mercedes, soprattutto nel passo gara, ma nelle dichiarazioni non si fa prendere dall’entusiasmo.
Un venerdì così, Kimi Raikkonen l’anno scorso non l’aveva mai vissuto. Consistente nel passo gara, competitivo sul giro secco, nessun problema tecnico a rallentarne il programma di lavoro. Il tribolato 2014 sembra già lontano e la SF15-T forma con il finlandese una coppia davvero temibile anche per le velocissime Mercedes, oggi alle prese con qualche guaio di troppo che ne ha ostacolato le prove libere.
Iceman si è fermato a soli tre decimi da Hamilton nella simulazione di qualifica, ma ottenendo il suo tempo con gomma già rodata dopo aver trovato bandiera rossa durante la prima uscita. Nel passo gara è stato invece un metronomo, girando costantemente sul piede dell’1’45″ con le medie, un passo che solo Hamilton è parso in grado di riuscire a battere, seppur di poco.
Nonostante il quadro incoraggiante e il caldo torrido, il finlandese tiene fede al soprannome di Iceman e nelle dichiarazioni non si lascia andare a facile entusiasmi: “Oggi abbiamo completato tutto il lavoro previsto dal programma. Al mattino ho avuto un buon feeling con la vettura, mentre nel pomeriggio è stato un po’ più difficile, abbiamo avuto qualche problema di guidabilità ed altri, causati dal vento e dal caldo, ma il tempo sul giro non era male. Purtroppo quando siamo usciti con la mescola più morbida abbiamo avuto bandiera rossa. La vettura non è ancora perfetta, ma sono certo che per domani possiamo migliorare. Dobbiamo lavorare sul set up per cercare di rendere tutto più semplice, ma faremo del nostro meglio. Vedremo dove saremo in qualifica”.
Raikkonen ha completato in tutto 46 giri, di cui ben 29 nella sessione pomeridiana.
Malaysian GP: Lewis Hamilton tops practice two after early problem
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton bounced back from an engine problem that sidelined him for the morning session to top the times in second practice for Formula 1’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion stopped on track on only his fifth lap in first practice following a failure on the power unit inlet system and missed the rest of the session.
But Mercedes fixed the problem and got Hamilton out 40 minutes into second practice at a scorching hot Sepang International Circuit.
The Briton’s initial flying lap on the hard-compound Pirelli tyres was good enough for sixth but his run was disrupted by telemetry problems.
He rejoined the fray with just over 20 minutes remaining and clocked the fastest lap of the day – a 1m39.790s on the mediums to finish 0.373 seconds clear of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Nico Rosberg led the way after the initial runs on the hards, but lost time in sectors two and three on his qualifying simulation and ended up third quickest, 0.428s adrift of team-mate Hamilton.
Drivers struggled for grip as track temperatures hovered around 60C, hotter than anything the teams encountered in the entire 2014 season.
Sebastian Vettel was caught out on his qualifying simulation, losing the rear end of the Ferrari on the approach to Turn 11.
The German kept the car out of the gravel but did not do another quick lap on the options, instead choosing to switch his attention to longer runs. He ended up seventh.
After spending the first half of the session in the garage, Daniil Kvyat eventually headed out on track and pumped in the fourth fastest time in the Red Bull, 0.556s off the pace.
However, there were frowns on the Red Bull pitwall with a few minutes remaining when the Russian reported an engine problem on team radio.
Valtteri Bottas was fifth quickest ahead of Williams team-mate Felipe Massa, whose team was given a suspended fine after the Brazilian ran a set of tyres outside the permitted window in practice one.
Teenager Max Verstappen was eighth quickest in the Toro Rosso, 1.4s adrift of Hamilton, with Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo completing the top 10.
Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado was 11th, followed by Sauber’s Felipe Nasr in 12th and Force India’s Sergio Perez in 13th.
Carlos Sainz Jr could not repeat his good form for Toro Rosso from first practice, where he finished fifth quickest, as he ended up 14th, 1.1s slower than team-mate Verstappen while Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg was 15th.
McLaren was able to get some good mileage, but Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button finished down in 16th and 17th respectively, 2.7s off the pace.
Alonso’s long-run was disrupted when he locked-up at the Turn 15 hairpin and skated off into the gravel before recovering to the pits with a flat-spot.
Romain Grosjean reported a loss of power and retreated to the pits, with Lotus ending the Frenchman’s session 30 minutes early to investigate the problem.
Grosjean was 18th quickest, after completing just seven laps, one place ahead of Manor’s Will Stevens.
The other Manor of Roberto Merhi finished last, having brought out the red flag with a little over 30 minutes of the session gone.
The Spaniard, who ended up 20th and last, looked like he was struggling for rear grip and spun at Turn 11, beaching the Manor in the gravel.
|4||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m40.346s||0.556s||17|
|8||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.220s||1.430s||30|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.799s||2.009s||8|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.242s||2.452s||24|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.291s||2.501s||31|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.330s||2.540s||28|
Malaysian GP: Rosberg fastest in practice, problems for Hamilton
Nico Rosberg topped opening practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix, with Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton completing only four laps before stopping on track.
The German was fastest by a second during the first half-hour of the 90 minutes of running.
Rosberg then bolted on his second set of hard-compound Pirelli tyres and improved his time by 0.437s, although some strong sector times suggested that he could have been even quicker.
Hamilton was unable to complete a flying lap after aborting his first four-lap run and then grinding to a halt on his fifth lap at Turn 9.
Radio communications suggested that this was a precautionary measure because of concerns about damaging the engine, leading to the team telling Hamilton to shut the car down rather than bringing it back to the pits.
Hamilton’s absence meant that Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen was able to end the session second fastest, banging in a lap just 0.373s off Rosberg in the dying moments of the session.
Raikkonen had run well on his first set of hard rubber, although he did have a brief off at Turn 15, ending up as best of the rest.
He then set a time within nine tenths of Rosberg before his late improvement.
Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel had a troubled start to the day, failing to set a time on his first set of tyres, which can only be used during the first 30 minutes of the session.
But he returned to the track late and went third fastest, 0.861s down, momentarily snatching second from Raikkonen late in the session, seconds before the Finn improved again.
Romain Grosjean was fourth fastest for Lotus, although one of the stars of the session was Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz Jr in fifth.
The Spaniard was second fastest in the first half-hour and that time proved to be good enough for fifth overall even though he was unable to make the expected improvement on his second set of tyres.
Daniel Ricciardo was sixth fastest ahead of Max Verstappen, with the lead Williams of Valtteri Bottas eighth fastest.
Bottas was returning after missing the Australian GP thanks to a back injury, although he had been warned that he may suffer some pain.
Daniil Kvyat was ninth fastest in the second Red Bull ahead of the lead Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
Felipe Massa was 11th fastest, but the Brazilian should have set a quicker time.
On his first flier on his second set of rubber, he ran wide at Turn 11 and took a bite of the gravel, and while he subsequently improved it’s likely he would have been several places higher had he not made the error.
Pastor Maldonado was 12th, just ahead of Sauber debutant Raffaele Marciello, who had taken over Felipe Nasr’s car.
The returning Fernando Alonso was just behind in 14th place, the McLaren driver lapping 2.761s off the pace.
That put the McLaren ahead of the two Force Indias, with Jenson Button down in 17th, a couple of tenths slower than Alonso.
The Manor team made good on its promise to hit the track early in practice. Will Stevens left the pits in the second minute and team-mate Roberto Merhi completed his first lap after 13 minutes.
Although both managed to complete just a single installation lap during the first half-hour of the session, Stevens returned to the track on a second set of tyres and worked down to a best time of 1m46.686s to take 18th place.
Crucially, this was within 107 per cent of Rosberg’s pacesetting time, which is encouraging for Manor’s hopes of qualifying.
Merhi was unable to return to the circuit until the final 15 minutes after his first lap, but while he managed to set a lap of 1m47.683s on that brief run, that was just over half a second off the 107 per cent barrier.
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.596s||1.472s||26|
|6||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.787s||1.663s||15|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.803s||1.679s||23|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.055s||1.931s||18|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.893s||2.769s||13|
|16||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.054s||2.930s||15|
Australian GP: Raikkonen criticises driving as Ferrari shows pace
Kimi Raikkonen lambasted his own driving as Ferrari finished best-of-the-rest behind Mercedes in a Australian Grand Prix practice that Sebastian Vettel called the "smoothest" Formula 1 Friday he could remember.
Vettel and Raikkonen were third and fourth fastest at Albert Park, with Vettel 0.7 seconds slower than the quickest Mercedes of Nico Rosberg in the second session of the day.
Raikkonen finished up more than four tenths slower than his team-mate in practice two, but still lapped fast enough to stay ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
The Finn said he was happy with the car but not with his own performance.
"Not an ideal day, [I was] not driving very well, not putting the lap together," Raikkonen admitted.
"We chased the car a little bit on the longer runs and it seems to work a bit better, just tough to put things together.
"We know where we expect ourselves to be and it’s only Friday. We still have work to do. I just have to put things together and drive a good lap and we should be OK."
Ex-Red Bull driver Vettel said the Mercedes drivers were "out of reach" but reckoned the lack of problems encountered by his new team meant Ferrari could feel positive it is in good shape as qualifying approaches.
"I’m sure Mercedes is out of reach, you have to be realistic, but the most important today is that we ran and didn’t have any problems," Vettel said.
"It was very smooth and I don’t remember the last smooth Friday I had like this, so from that point of view it was very good."
Australian GP: Nico Rosberg on top again for Mercedes in practice
Nico Rosberg pipped Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the top of the timesheets in the second free practice session for the Australian Grand Prix.
Rosberg ended up exactly one tenth of a second quicker than his team-mate once both had completed their quick runs after switching to the soft-compound Pirellis.
The German had slipped to third overall based on his pace on the mediums thanks to Ferrari pairing Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen bolting on the softs and temporarily taking first and second places.
But at around the halfway point of the session, Rosberg set his fastest time on softs, beating Vettel by 0.715s.
Hamilton then attempted to hit back, but despite setting the fastest time of the session in the middle sector of the Albert Park circuit, could not overhaul his team-mate.
Vettel and Raikkonen held on to third and fourth places, with Raikkonen just over four tenths slower than his team-mate but admitting over the radio that it was "not a very good lap".
Valtteri Bottas was fifth fastest for Williams, 1.568s off the pace, but team-mate Felipe Massa was unable to run thanks to a water leak that was detected ahead of the session.
Red Bull also had only one car running thanks to the need for an engine change on Daniel Ricciardo’s machine.
But team-mate Daniil Kvyat was sixth fastest, albeit 2.319s off the pace and only just ahead of Carlos Sainz, who was the fastest of Red Bull’s ‘B-team’ drivers at Toro Rosso.
Sainz, who also showed well in the first session, again had a strong run, but did suffer a brief spin on the entry to the Turn 15 left-hander with 26 minutes remaining.
Lotus pairing Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean were eighth and ninth fastest, although both endured brief off-track moments early in the session.
Maldonado ran wide onto the grass exiting Turn 15, while Grosjean slid through the gravel at Turn 3.
Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 in the lead Force India, 2.776s off Rosberg’s fastest time.
The Sauber team made its first appearance of the weekend after sitting out the opening session amid its court case with Giedo van der Garde.
Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson were the first two drivers to head out onto the circuit, with the former ending up 11th quickest ahead of the second Force India of Sergio Perez.
But Ericsson had a more troubled session thanks to a problem with the left-rear corner cropping up as he exited the final corner.
Ericsson suspected a suspension problem, with the team saying that the wheel was rubbing on some bodywork, and he was unable to return to the track.
After a troubled first session, during which both Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen faced restricted running thanks to an air intake problem, McLaren again struggled.
The Dane, filling in for Fernando Alonso, crashed at Turn 6 on his fifth lap after losing the rear end and being spat into the gravel while attempting to recover.
Magnussen was uninjured, but his crash brought out the red flag for seven minutes while his car was recovered.
Button ended the session 13th, 3.690s off the pace, and one place ahead of the second Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen, whose running was limited to just six laps because of a battery problem.
Only 16 drivers were able to set a time thanks to the problems for Massa and Ricciardo, with Manor pairing Robert Merhi and Will Stevens also not participating.
The Manor team is continuing to work to reinstall software needed to operate the car, a consequence of all of its hard drives being wiped prior to the planned auction of the teams assets that was cancelled once an investor was found.
PRACTICE TWO TIMES:
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m30.016s||2.319s||27|
|7||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m30.071s||2.374s||41|
|10||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.473s||2.776s||30|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m30.980s||3.283s||32|
|14||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m31.395s||3.698s||6|
Australian GP: Nico Rosberg pips Lewis Hamilton in practice one
Nico Rosberg edged Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to top the first free practice session of the new Formula 1 season by less than half a tenth of a second.
Rosberg’s first serious effort as the teams began their preparations for Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix proved enough to top the session.
His best lap of 1m29.557s fell less than two tenths shy of the fastest lap of the entire weekend at last year’s Albert Park race.
Reigning F1 world champion Hamilton languished in the lower half of the top 10 for the first part of the session, before clocking a 1m29.586s best to leap up to second.
No one else could get within a second of the Mercedes duo, but Williams driver Valtteri Bottas got closest, lapping 1.191s slower than Rosberg to finish the session third fastest.
Toro Rosso rookies Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen were fourth and fifth (separated by just 0.053s) for much of the session, before Ferrari new boy Sebastian Vettel split them with a late improvement.
His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen was eighth quickest, just behind the second Williams of Felipe Massa.
Pastor Maldonado began the new Mercedes-powered era at Lotus by setting the ninth fastest time, but team-mate Romain Grosjean failed to record a timed lap after his E23 required a change of its floor.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo recovered from an early hydraulic problem and a brief spin to round out the top 10.
He complained of "aggressive" throttle response from the RB11’s Renault engine, while team-mate Daniil Kvyat was concerned by a lack of assistance from the power unit in slowing the car down under braking.
Kvyat finished the session just a fraction of a second clear of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, who are both making up for a late start to pre-season testing for Force India.
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen completed a combined 13 laps for McLaren-Honda, which curtailed its running early once the team discovered an engine problem.
Both McLarens lapped more than two seconds slower than the Force Indias and roughly five adrift of the pacesetting Mercedes.
Amid an ongoing legal wrangle with its former reserve driver Giedo van der Garde, Sauber did not run either of its cars in this session.
The team refused to comment on the exact reason for Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson missing the session when contacted by AUTOSPORT.
Roberto Merhi and Will Stevens also skipped the first practice session of the new season for the revived Manor GP/Marussia squad.
After its 2014 computer hard-drives were ‘wiped’ (ready to be auctioned off when the team was in administration), it was unable to update its software in time for its revised ’14 cars to run.
The team hopes to be ready in time to run in practice two later on Friday.
PRACTICE ONE TIMES:
|4||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m31.014s||1.457s||32|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m31.067s||1.510s||31|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m31.570s||2.013s||9|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m32.073s||2.516s||18|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.247s||2.690s||22|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m32.261s||2.704s||19|
Abu Dhabi GP: Rosberg beats Hamilton to pole ahead of finale
Nico Rosberg claimed pole position for the Formula 1 world championship decider in Abu Dhabi.
The German outpaced title rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by just over three tenths on the first runs in the top-10 shootout.
He then improved on his second run, avoiding the lock-up later in the lap that cost him time on the first.
Although Hamilton also improved, he ended up 0.386 seconds off Rosberg to line up second.
But even if Rosberg wins Sunday’s race, Hamilton need only finish second to be sure of the title.
Williams again looked a potential threat in qualifying but when it came to the fastest runs in Q3, the pace advantage of Mercedes shone through.
Valtteri Bottas ended up third, just over half a second off Rosberg, with team-mate Felipe Massa just behind.
Red Bull drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel locked out row three, ahead of stablemate Daniil Kvyat’s Toro Rosso entry.
Jenson Button beat the two Ferraris to eighth place, with Kimi Raikkonen ninth after only completing one run in Q3 thanks to having run out of fresh super-softs.
Fernando Alonso, on his Ferrari swansong, was 10th having failed to improve on his second run thanks to locking up and running off the track.
Kevin Magnussen in the second McLaren only had one proper run in Q2, likely because of the same underfuelling problem that also forced Button to abandon his first run before setting a laptime.
The Dane had looked set to make the top 10, only for Raikkonen and Kvyat to knock him down to 11th on their final laps.
Jean-Eric Vergne was also knocked down the order in the final seconds, ending up 12th, with the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg behind.
Sauber driver Adrian Sutil was slowest in Q2, falling three tenths short of his Q1 pace.
Romain Grosjean missed out on reaching Q2 by just over two hundredths of a second during a frenetic battle in the final seconds of the first segment of qualifying.
First, Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado moved into a Q2 position before being bumped by Esteban Gutierrez, who was then relegated by Sutil.
Grosjean’s final lap was not quite enough to beat Sutil, leaving him in 16th place, although he will drop to the rear of the field thanks to 20-place penalty for changing power unit components.
Gutierrez ended up 17th, ahead of Maldonado and the two Caterhams.
Kamui Kobayashi’s was the faster of the two green machines, although F1 debutant Will Stevens gave a good account of himself by lapping just over half a second slower despite limited running in the car.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.267s||0.787s|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m41.893s||1.413s|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m41.908s||1.428s|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.207s||1.727s|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.239s||1.759s|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m42.384s||1.904s|
Abu Dhabi GP: Nico Rosberg heads Lewis Hamilton in final practice
Nico Rosberg heads into qualifying for the Formula 1 title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as favourite after comfortably beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in final practice.
The German set the fastest time of the weekend so far in the final practice session at the hot and sunny Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
His effort, a 1m41.424s, was 0.7s faster than the Briton’s Friday benchmark and though Hamilton also improved he fell short of Rosberg’s best by 0.369s.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso set the pace early on, the Spaniard the only supersoft tyre runner for the majority of the session.
Despite ending his session prematurely, getting out of his car with more than 20 minutes to go, his 1m42.653s remained the benchmark until the times started tumbling in the final few minutes of the hour-long session as everyone switched to the supersoft Pirelli tyre.
It was the Williams of Felipe Massa who was first of the remaining runners to switch and he ended up best of the rest behind the Mercedes, albeit over a second slower than Rosberg.
The Brazilian was fourth fastest ahead of the Red Bull of outgoing world champion Sebastian Vettel and the McLaren of Jenson Button. Vettel’s team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was seventh fastest overall in his Red Bull ahead of Valtteri Bottas in the second Williams.
Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) and Kimi Raikkonen, who struggled throughout with the handling of his Ferrari, completed the top 10.
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.679s||1.255s||19|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m42.773s||1.349s||14|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m42.809s||1.385s||20|
|12||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.352s||1.928s||20|
|13||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.360s||1.936s||19|
|14||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.501s||2.077s||18|
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a very busy day and, particularly in the first session, we struggled a bit to find the right balance on the car. The programme included various set-up tests and, probably partly because of the high temperatures, my car felt rather nervous. Between the two sessions, we decided to make a few changes and in FP2, with lower temperatures, things improved, also in terms of how we compared to our competitors. My best lap wasn’t perfect, I made a small mistake. Overall, the work we did today produced positive results and this evening’s analysis of the data will deliver a lot of useful information to help us improve for qualifying and the race.”