Final free practice for the German Grand Prix topped by Nico Rosberg

For the second time this weekend, a free practice session for the German Grand Prix was topped by Nico Rosberg. Rosberg managed to be the only driver to set a lap time in the 1:17’s at the Hockenheimring which saw him secure the top spot with a sizeable margin back to his team-mate.

Going into Saturday, Mercedes had topped both FP1 and FP2 sessions. But they only by a slim margin back to the field. Friday also saw the temperatures reach highs of 58 degrees Celsius out on track, with no signs of that easing up for Saturday. As come the start of FP3 the track had already reached 43 degrees Celsius, with the ambient temperature reaching 28.

When the final free practice session for the German Grand Prix got underway only a handful of drivers ventured out in the early minuets. Last year’s German Grand Prix winner at the Nurburgring, Sebastian Vettel, was one of those to hit the track early. In the previous years that the race has been held at the Hockenheimring, Vettel has never won. Another German yet to win at the Hockenheimring, Rosberg, has actually never finished on the podium in any race in Germany. With the battle for the drivers championship being just four points ahead of this weeks race, Nico will need to rectify that in order to maintain his lead.

For this weekends race, McLaren will be looking for a stronger result than they were possibly expecting, after the team has opted to use their gearbox ratio joker card. This in order to change the pre-set gear ratios the team had chosen at the start of the season. In the early FP3 stages it appeared that this had given them some gain as Magnussen set the first lap in the 1 minuet 19’s.

Turn one was proving to be a challenge for some of the drivers today. Sebastian Vettel was one of those to struggle to get their car turned in at turn one on numerous occasions. Other drivers to run wide at turn one included Grosjean and Kvyat.

Down at Ferrari, Raikkonen suffered another issue with his car. Yesterday there was a water pump problem with his Ferrari, today however it was a fuel system problem. Luckily for the Finn, Ferrari managed to fix the issue and he was back out on track a few minuets later. When Kimi returned to the track he was the first to change to the supersoft tyres and saw his first lap time rocket him to the top spot after a 1:18:842. The first 1:18 of the day. Unfortunately for Kimi, this would not be the end of the fuel system issue he suffered as he was later forced to finish his session early. Ferrari opted to bring Kimi back to the pits so that they can change a part related to the fuel pump, in order to avoid any problems in qualifying.

After Kimi’s FP3 session coming to an end, Marcus Ericsson joined him on the sidelines as the other drivers changed for the supersofts, Caterham say that Ericsson had a hydraulics issue. But for the drivers still running out on track Rosberg went top of the time sheets once on the red marked tyres. The supersoft tyres were helping the drivers to find a lot of time. However drivers appeared to be struggling in the final sector.

But for Rosberg, his timed lap that saw him go P1 was the first lap of the day to break into the 1:17’s. His lap time of 1:17:779 was actually over 6 tenths of a second better than his team-mates at this stage. With Lewis loosing 3 tenths of a second to Rosberg during the middle sector.

Come the chequered flag, no one could get near Nico’s lap time and for the third time this weekend, the session ended with a Mercedes one-two. Like yesterday, the gap back to third place was extremely slim with Alonso finishing in 3rd place, just 4 thousandths of a second behind Hamilton.

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:17.779 24
2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:18.380 0.601 20
3 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:18.384 0.605 11
4 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1:18.575 0.796 18
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1:18.611 0.832 19
6 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1:18.756 0.977 16
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:18.769 0.990 13
8 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:18.842 1.063 8
9 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:18.890 1.111 17
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:19.127 1.348 19
11 26 Daniil Kvyat STR-Renault 1:19.131 1.352 19
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Renault 1:19.470 1.691 20
13 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:19.489 1.710 15
14 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1:19.505 1.726 21
15 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:19.601 1.822 23
16 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:20.078 2.299 23
17 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1:20.198 2.419 21
18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1:20.466 2.687 19
19 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1:20.844 3.065 6
20 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1:21.018 3.239 21
21 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1:23.077 5.298 14
22 4 Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1:23.449 5.670 7

One thought on “Final free practice for the German Grand Prix topped by Nico Rosberg

  1. Pingback: Pole for Nico Rosberg at the German Grand Prix | Kyle Archer

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