Spanish GP P3: Nico Rosberg fastest with Lewis Hamilton in a spin
Just two-tenths separates top three in final practice at Barcelona
By Pete Gill in Barcelona
Last Updated: 12/05/15 2:03pm
Nico Rosberg set the pace in final practice for the Spanish GP after team-mate Lewis Hamilton spun his Mercedes.
Rosberg was quickest with a lap of 1:26.021, two tenths of a second clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and a further tenth ahead of Hamilton after a scruffy lap from the world champion in the final stages.
Hamilton had earlier spectacularly spun his Mercedes W06 in a plume of smoke after pushing too hard around Turn Three but managed to avoid hitting the wall into which Fernando Alonso crashed during pre-season testing.
Heading into this afternoon’s qualifying session, Mercedes still appear to boast a single-lap pace advantage over Ferrari but the Scuderia are expected to prove more competitive in race trim.
In the second Ferrari, Kimi Raikkonen was only fifth, behind Williams' Valtteri Bottas, after the Finn's pit crew mistakenly put him on track with the "wrong setting" on his ERS system.
After finishing in the top ten in Friday afternoon practice, there was further encouragement for McLaren as Jenson Button propelled the heavily-revised MP4-30 up to 11th in the timesheets, while Toro Rosso maintained their strong form this weekend with Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz eighth and tenth respectively.
Once again, the two Manors propped up the timesheets, over five seconds behind Mercedes' latest benchmark.
1. N Rosberg Mercedes 1:26.021
2. S Vettel Ferrari 1:26.177
3. L Hamilton Mercedes 1:26.222
4. V Bottas Williams 1:26.682
5. K Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.944
6. D Ricciardo Red Bull 1:27.048
7. F Massa Williams 1:27.109
8. M Verstappen Toro Rosso 1:27.132
9. D Kvyat Red Bull 1:27.313
10. C Sainz Toro Rosso 1:27.809
11. J Button McLaren 1:27.938
12. N Hulkenberg Force India 1:28.082
13. F Nasr Sauber 1:28.096
14. F Alonso McLaren 1:28.304
15. R Grosjean Lotus 1:28.578
16. P Maldonado Lotus 1:28.618
17. M Ericsson Sauber 1:28.788
18. S Perez Force India 1:28.996
19. W Stevens Manor 1:31.125
20. R Merhi Manor 1:31.749