Bahrain GP: Kimi Raikkonen “could have pushed more” in qualifying
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen admitted he underestimated the grip level at the end of Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying as he ended up fourth on the grid.
The Finn – who last week in China described poor qualifying as a “habit” he needed to break – achieved his best grid position of the year, but he was overshadowed by Ferrari team-mate Vettel splitting the Mercedes to get on the front row.
“I think there was more grip than I expected,” said Raikkonen.
“Afterwards it’s easy to say I could have pushed a bit harder in certain places but I wasn’t sure.
“But the car was OK, the lap wasn’t too bad, maybe I just ran a little bit wide in one corner but that wouldn’t have cost a lot of laptime.
“I could have pushed more in certain places because there was surprisingly good grip.”
The result was still Raikkonen’s best qualifying position since the 2013 German GP.
“It gives you a better chance or a more easy life for tomorrow as long as we make a good start out of it,” he said.
“Obviously then the race can turn out to be different because of that, so that helps.
“We know that we still have some work to do and things to improve but I’d take this rather than fifth or sixth place – I’m kind of happy.”
Kimi Raikkonen – A good starting point
Kimi Raikkonen: “It was a positive day even if it’s a bit disappointing to finish fourth, because our aim is to be at the front. My last lap was quite good, I made a small mistake and ran wide a little bit in one corner, but it was nearly nothing, it did not cost me a lot of time. It was very close with everybody. On the track there was more grip than I expected and probably I could have pushed a little bit more, but I was not sure I could. My car was working well today, the position on the grid is not ideal but it’s a good starting point for the race. Tomorrow we’ll try to make a good start, and move on from there with a good first lap. To get ahead of Rosberg would help a lot, and then we’ll see what we can do. We’ll do our maximum”.
Bahrain GP F1: Lewis Hamilton beats Sebastian Vettel to pole
Lewis Hamilton continued his dominance of Formula 1 qualifying in 2015 by securing pole position for the Bahrain Grand Prix, but Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel denied Mercedes a front row lockout.
Reigning world champion Hamilton was the only driver to lap below 1m33s in Q2 and found a tenth of a second on his only run in Q3 to secure pole by over four tenths of a second.
Vettel was the only other driver to lap in sub 1m33s, his 1m32.982s lap good enough to relegate Hamilton’s team-mate Nico Rosberg to third.
Rosberg, who qualified on pole for this race for the last two years, lost crucial time in the first sector and couldn’t recover, ending up 0.147s slower than Vettel, but just ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.
Williams locked out row three, with Valtteri Bottas substantially faster than team-mate Felipe Massa.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo qualified less than a tenth adrift in seventh, but with a gap of over six tenths to the remainder of the top 10.
Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India qualified a superb eighth, just 0.012s clear of the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr, while Romain Grosjean’s Lotus rounded out the top 10, just 0.022s further back.
Both Force Indias made it through to Q2 for the first time this season, with Sergio Perez edging out team-mate Hulkenberg by two tenths of a second in Q1.
But the Mexican just missed out on joining him in Q3 during a tight battle in the middle portion of qualifying.
Perez looked on course to make the top 10 as the session finished, but lost out Sainz by just 0.063s so wound up 11th.
That meant both Saubers missed out on making Q3 – with Felipe Nasr just 0.033s slower than Perez in 12th.
Marcus Ericsson made an error on his best lap so was almost three tenths further back in 13th.
In fact the Swede was only fractionally faster than Fernando Alonso, as McLaren-Honda made it through to Q2 for the first time this season.
Alonso qualified 14th, just ahead of the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen, who complained of a lack of power at the start of Q2.
Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus, Daniil Kvyat’s Red Bull and Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda joined the Manor/Marussias in filing through the Q1 exit door.
A problem with Maldonado’s Mercedes engine meant he missed the cut by just 0.024s, having looked strong throughout free practice.
A poor lap from Kvyat, who lost much of Saturday’s practice session when he beached his RB11 in the gravel, meant the Russian languished down in 17th place, his worst qualifying result of the season so far.
Will Stevens again comfortably outpaced team-mate Roberto Merhi, as Manor qualified off the final row of the grid for the first time this season thanks to more problems for Button’s McLaren.
Button’s car, which suffered reliability dramas throughout practice on Friday, stopped exiting Turn 3 on his out-lap with a suspected electrical problem, so the 2009 world champion failed to set a time.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m33.832s||1.261s|
|8||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.450s||1.879s|
|9||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m34.462s||1.891s|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m34.704s||–|
|15||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m35.103s||–|
|17||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m35.800s||–|
Bahrain GP: Lewis Hamilton edges out Sebastian Vettel in FP3
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton edged Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to the quickest time in the third and final Formula 1 practice session for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion clocked a 1m34.599s – the fastest time of the weekend so far – on the soft tyre to finish 0.069s clear of Vettel.
The other Mercedes of Nico Rosberg was third, after a slow first sector, 0.369s off the pace with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen fourth.
Raikkonen led the way after the medium tyre runs, with Ferrari team-mate Vettel 0.245s adrift in second – but the order changed significantly when drivers bolted on the soft tyres with 13 minutes of the one-hour session to go.
Rosberg was the first of the frontrunners to do a performance run, but his first sector was three tenths slower than his best on Friday.
His team-mate Hamilton had a much cleaner lap to top the charts for the first time this weekend.
The circuit was very dusty early on amid blustery conditions, with winds hitting 20mph and track temperatures 15C lower than they were during Friday’s daytime session.
The dirty circuit meant a number of drivers struggled for grip with both Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Hamilton locking up on the run to Turn 1 and running wide onto the run-off.
Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were fifth and sixth respectively, ahead of the Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, who was as high as fifth during the medium-tyre runs.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo, who didn’t go out until the final half and hour and ran wide at Turn 13 on his medium-tyre run, was eighth, with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr completing the top 10.
Jenson Button was the first driver out on track in a bid to make up for a loss of track time on Friday, when he completed just a handful of laps.
The Briton was the leading McLaren in 11th after 14 laps, five places and half a second quicker than team-mate Fernando Alonso in 16th.
Kvyat, who was caught out when he spun at Turn 4 and beached his Red Bull in the gravel, ended up 12th after the team got him back out for the final few minutes of the session.
Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber was 13th, ahead of Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso and Force India’s Sergio Perez.
It was a disappointing session for Carlos Sainz, who could only manage 17th, one place clear of Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who asked his team early in the session, "how can the car be so different?"
The Manors brought up the rear of the field, with Will Stevens eight tenths quicker than team-mate Roberto Merhi. Both were within the 107 per cent cut-off time.
|8||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.335s||1.736s||8|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.421s||1.822s||13|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m36.548s||1.949s||7|
|14||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.684s||2.085s||11|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m36.727s||2.128s||14|
|17||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m36.979s||2.380s||14|
F1 Chinese GP: Hamiton shades Rosberg in Mercedes qualifying 1-2
Lewis Hamilton fended off Mercedes Formula 1 team-mate Nico Rosberg by less than half a tenth of a second to take Chinese Grand Prix pole at Shanghai, maintaining his perfect qualifying record in 2015.
Hamilton had been strong favourite for pole after topping all three practice sessions and Q2.
A 1m35.782s on his first Q3 run emphasised that status, with Rosberg three tenths adrift at that point.
But it became closer in the final battle, with Hamilton unable to improve and Rosberg closing to within 0.042s.
Malaysian GP winner Sebastian Vettel was nearly a second off Hamilton’s pole time in third place for Ferrari.
That denied the resurgent Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, which were top-three contenders but ultimately found themselves three tenths and half a second down on Vettel respectively.
They still beat the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who was sixth ahead of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Daniil Kvyat failed to reach Q3 for the second time in three appearances with Red Bull, taking 12th.
Romain Grosjean was eighth for Lotus, while his team-mate Pastor Maldonado missed out on Q3 by just 0.007s and will start 11th.
Sauber was the midfield underdog starring in Q3 this time, securing the fifth row places with Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.
By contrast the Toro Rossos were left out in Q2. Max Verstappen, who locked up heavily on his last run, and Carlos Sainz Jr share row seven.
McLaren’s encouraging Friday times proved deceptive as Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso found themselves out in Q1 and on row nine, just 0.004s apart.
They were at least within a tenth of the Force Indias. Nico Hulkenberg only got ahead of Button with a final Q1 effort, while Sergio Perez scraped through into Q2 then languished seven tenths off the Toro Rossos.
The Manor-run Marussias were 3s off the tail of the field but made the 107 per cent target in Q1 so are both clear to start the race, Will Stevens ahead of Roberto Merhi.
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m37.540s||1.758s|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m38.209s||–|
|13||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.393s||–|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m38.538s||–|
|15||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.290s||–|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.216s||–|
F1 Chinese GP: Hamilton makes it three from three in final practice
Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep of Chinese Grand Prix Formula 1 practice sessions by beating Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg on Saturday morning at Shanghai.
Hamilton was quickest in both segments of the session – leading his team-mate by three tenths on medium tyres and then by 0.226 seconds after the qualifying simulations on softs.
The reigning F1 world champion could have been faster still, outpacing Rosberg by four tenths at sector two on his best lap before losing some of his cushion on the run to the line.
Ferrari was again Mercedes’ closest rival. Sebastian Vettel got within a tenth of Rosberg on mediums but on softs the gap to Hamilton’s pacesetting time grew to 0.7s.
Kimi Raikkonen slotted the second Ferrari into fourth, behind Vettel.
Fernando Alonso was only able to do half a lap in the session as his McLaren-Honda stopped with an apparent engine problem within moments of taking to the track.
Despite McLaren’s best efforts, he was unable to get out again. Jenson Button represented the team alone in 15th, but had looked stronger on medium tyres.
There were headaches for Red Bull and Williams too. Red Bull had to warn Daniil Kvyat to take care of his brakes again, while smoke in the Williams cockpit caused concern for Felipe Massa.
Red Bull ended up better off on pace – Daniel Ricciardo and Kvyat taking fifth and sixth, half a second off the Ferraris and just ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr’s Toro Rosso.
Valtteri Bottas and Massa were only eighth and 11th in the Williams, sandwiching Max Verstappen’s Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean’s Lotus.
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.020s||1.405s||8|
|6||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m39.106s||1.491s||14|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.113s||1.498s||17|
|9||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m39.274s||1.659s||19|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.513s||1.898s||14|
|17||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m39.781s||2.166s||17|
Malaysian GP: Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen cites bad timing for Q2 exit
Ferrari Formula 1 driver Kimi Raikkonen blamed his failure to reach the third Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying session on bad timing.
While his team-mate Sebastian Vettel headed the queue of cars out of the pitlane at the start of Q2 at Sepang as teams tried to pre-empt the expected heavy rain, Raikkonen was the fifth car out.
He took to the track behind Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson.
"I tried to overtake Ericsson because he was in front of me," said Raikkonen, who had been Mercedes’ closest rival in all three practice sessions.
"But at the last corner I couldn’t slow down because there were other people pushing me forward.
"We just got the timing wrong. That’s how it ended up."
With heavy rain preventing anybody from improving after their first laps, Raikkonen ended up qualifying in 11th position.
But he refused to blame his team for the traffic problem, although Ferrari chief Maurizio Arrivabene had suggested the Finn could have cleared Ericsson sooner.
"I don’t know if it helps to blame anyone," Raikkonen said.
"It’s easy to say afterwards that I should have been waiting behind Sebastian but the end result is this and whatever we will do now will not change it."
Vettel reached Q3 and went on to qualify second between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes.
Raikkonen added that the Ferrari was fast even though his feeling with it was not perfect.
"It’s not often that a car is completely perfect so there are always things we want to improve.
"It’s not the ideal feeling with the car, sliding a bit, but it’s part of being here in Malaysia.
"It’s very hot and I think you can see everybody has had issues.
"The lap time is good but the feeling could be better."
Malaysian GP: Lewis Hamilton resists Sebastian Vettel for wet pole
Lewis Hamilton beat Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari to pole position for the Malaysian Grand Prix by less than a tenth of a second in a rain-affected Formula 1 qualifying session.
Hamilton’s first flying lap on intermediate tyres in Q3 proved enough to secure top spot, as Vettel split the reigning F1 world champion from his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg by qualifying second.
The two Mercedes drivers appeared to get in each other’s way in the crucial closing stages of the session, and Hamilton failed to improve on his final run while Rosberg’s final lap was only good enough for third.
Red Bull team-mates Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat were fourth and fifth, just ahead of the Toro Rosso of teenaged rookie Max Verstappen, who rounded out the top six.
The drivers who began the session on full wet tyres and had to switch to intermediates filled the remaining spots in the top 10.
Romain Grosjean’s Lotus split Williams drivers Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, who could only manage seventh and ninth fastest times respectively, while Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber rounded out the Q3 times.
A thunderstorm in the early stages of Q2 effectively reduced the second segment of qualifying to a single-lap shootout, and delayed the final session by half an hour.
The highest-profile casualty of the scramble for track position to get one dry lap in before the rain came was Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
The 2007 world champion was delayed at the final corner trying to pass Ericsson’s Sauber (the last car to make the cut in 10th) and by being passed by Hamilton’s Mercedes at Turn 1, and wound up only 11th fastest.
Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus, the Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez (who both ran on used medium tyres), and the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr – who impressively matched Vettel in setting the fourth fastest time in Q1 – were also eliminated.
Australian GP star Felipe Nasr failed to escape Q1, having struggled to get comfortable with his Sauber’s handling since taking his car back from Ferrari junior driver Raffaele Marciello after the first practice session on Friday.
The Brazilian qualified almost three tenths adrift of Perez and the same margin ahead of Jenson Button’s McLaren-Honda.
McLaren failed to get either of its cars out of Q1 for the second straight race, as Button and returning team-mate Fernando Alonso wound up 17th and 18th fastest.
Manor GP has at least completed track running this weekend, but failed to qualify within the 107 per cent cut-off in Q1.
Roberto Merhi set a time almost half a second too slow to make the cut-off (7.4s shy of the outright pace), while a fuel system problem discovered in morning practice confined his team-mate Will Stevens to the garage, so he failed to set a time.
However, Stevens registered a lap quick enough to make the cut in the second free practice session on Friday.
Previously the stewards have allowed cars to start the race in such circumstances, even if they haven’t posted a time in qualifying.
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m51.541s||1.707s|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m51.950s||2.116s|
|6||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m51.980s||2.146s|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.022s||–|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m43.468s||–|
|15||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m43.700s||–|
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|
Australian GP: Vettel, Raikkonen say their errors hampered Ferrari
Ferrari Formula 1 team-mates Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both reckoned third place on the Australian Grand Prix grid was within reach.
The German and Finn were edged out for best-of-the-rest behind Mercedes in the closing stages of the session by Williams driver Felipe Massa.
Both Ferrari drivers reckoned that small errors on their part had proved decisive.
Vettel, who lined up fourth, thought he should have done a better job on his first set of tyres in Q3.
"Felipe nailed the lap. I think it was in reach on the first set, and ideally it should have been a bit quicker, but it wasn’t," he said.
"That was down to me. The second shot in terms of strategy we could have done things differently, but all in all it was a very good result to have both cars in the top five."
Fifth-fastest Raikkonen said he had lost valuable time when he got Turn 3 slightly wrong on his final lap.
"I had quite a big mistake, three tenths in corner three, and messed it up the next two corners," he explained.
"The rest of the lap was pretty good and I caught up with the laptime, but it was pretty much done.
"We should have been in P3 but that is how it is. And probably we would have been one second behind Mercedes."
Raikkonen remains upbeat about Ferrari’s grand prix prospects following a strong race run in Friday practice.
"We knew we cannot fight with them [Mercedes] in qualifying, but yesterday we had pretty good long run," he said.
"Tomorrow the weather plays a big part, but like last year we are more confident with the race pace and this year we improve a lot overall.
"So it is a bit disappointing to have a mistake and start in P5, but I think we can still do a good race."
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|