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FP3 - Rosberg edges Hamilton in Mexico City

31 Oct 2015

Mercedes got back on top in Saturday morning’s final practice session at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez, as Nico Rosberg edged out team mate Lewis Hamilton by just 0.014s. But with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel hard on their heels, the Silver Arrows drivers won’t be able to relax in qualifying.

PRACTICE THREE RESULTS

Pos. No. Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Rosberg ROS Mercedes 1:21.083 23
2 44 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes 1:21.097 +0.014s 23
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo RIC Red Bull Racing 1:21.201 +0.118s 21
4 5 Sebastian Vettel VET Ferrari 1:21.294 +0.211s 24
5 26 Daniil Kvyat KVY Red Bull Racing 1:21.530 +0.447s 27
6 11 Sergio Perez PER Force India 1:21.603 +0.520s 27
7 77 Valtteri Bottas BOT Williams 1:21.772 +0.689s 26
8 55 Carlos Sainz SAI Toro Rosso 1:21.775 +0.692s 28
9 19 Felipe Massa MAS Williams 1:21.945 +0.862s 27
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg HUL Force India 1:22.010 +0.927s 25

The session confirmed just how close things will be this afternoon, as Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari, Force India, Williams and Toro Rosso were all within a second of each other.

Rosberg set the final pace with 1m 21.083s on the soft Pirelli tyres, but right at the end, after several less than scintillating laps, Hamilton got things warmed up nicely and managed 1m 21.150s and then trimmed that to 1m 21.097s. On the medium tyres, he had earlier set the pace with 1m 21.840s after sitting out the first 30 minutes.

The track was as slippery as ever, partly because heavy overnight rain had washed away yesterday’s rubber, and several drivers had minor off-course moments.

Red Bull continued to look very strong, almost against their own expectations of Mercedes and Ferrari ramping up the pace, and Ricciardo took third with 1m 21.201s just ahead of Vettel’s Ferrari on 1m 21.294s. The German’s partner, Kimi Raikkonen, dropped out early on with a smoking rear end on his SF15-T.

Daniil Kvyat backed Ricciardo with 1m 21.530s for fifth, while Sergio Perez delighted his countrymen with sixth on 1m 21.603s for Force India. Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa in their Williams sandwiched Carlos Sainz’s Toro Rosso; the Finn lapped in 1m 21.772s, the Spaniard in 1m 21.775s, and the Brazilian 1m 21.945s. Nico Hulkenberg completed the top 10 with 1m 22.010s in the second Force India as Friday morning hero Max Verstappen did 1m 22.039s in the second Toro Rosso to pip Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado on 1m 22.042s.

Further back, it was Alexander Rossi’s turn to have Marussia’s gremlins today, while Jenson Button struggled with numerous power unit problems on his McLaren.

Qualifying is going to be an absolute humdinger.