Formula 1 News

Mercedes stay ahead in final Bahrain practice

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were first and second in FP3 in Bahrain, while Sebastian Vettel spun out of the session.
Saturday, April 5, 2014

April 5th, 2014 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Lewis Hamilton led the third Mercedes 1-2 of the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, topping the times ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg in the third and final practice session for Sunday's race. Best-of-the-rest was Sergio Perez for Force India.

It was no surprise that Mercedes were quickest in the session - they've been quickest all season. What was surprising was the extent to which Red Bull struggled. Sebastian Vettel spun off after losing the back end of his Red Bull on the exit of turn two. He came to a stop in the gravel trap and was unable to keep his engine running, which meant his session was over before he'd had a chance to do a soft-tyre run. Ricciardo took part in the whole session, but was only 13th fastest, 1.8 seconds slower than the leading Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.

If the results of FP3 are anything to go by, qualifying will be thoroughly dominated by Mercedes-powered teams. The top six cars in the session - those of Hamilton, Rosberg, Perez, Bottas, Massa and Button - were all propelled by Mercedes power. Nico Hulkenberg in eighth for Force India made it seven out of the top ten for the Mercedes power unit. The other three places went to the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen (seventh and tenth respectively) and the Renault-powered Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat in ninth place.

While Mercdes should dominate qualifying barring any technical issues or major driver errors, the battle for third on the grid looks like it will be quite competitve. Force India, Williams and McLaren are all looking very quick and very close together. Ferrari are not too far behind and Red Bull can never be counted out, despite their poor showing in FP3.

Qualifying begins at 18:00 local time in Bahrain.

Full results from FP3:

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:35.324 12
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:35.439 0.115 12
3 11 Sergio Perez Force India 1:35.868 0.544 10
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams 1:36.116 0.792 10
5 19 Felipe Massa Williams 1:36.364 1.040 8
6 22 Jenson Button McLaren 1:36.394 1.070 8
7 14 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:36.454 1.130 12
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India 1:36.455 1.131 11
9 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:36.680 1.356 16
10 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:36.772 1.448 13
11 20 Kevin Magnussen McLaren 1:36.822 1.498 8
12 25 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso 1:37.030 1.706 11
13 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:37.119 1.795 11
14 21 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber 1:37.325 2.001 18
15 99 Adrian Sutil Sauber 1:38.089 2.765 24
16 10 Kamui Kobayashi Caterham 1:38.400 3.076 17
17 17 Jules Bianchi Marussia 1:38.736 3.412 15
18 13 Pastor Maldonado Lotus 1:38.880 3.556 21
19 9 Marcus Ericsson Caterham 1:38.971 3.647 18
20 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus 1:39.208 3.884 17
21 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:39.225 3.901 8
22 4 Max Chilton Marussia 1:39.597 4.273 14

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2 Lewis Hamilton 161
3 Daniel Ricciardo 98
4 Fernando Alonso 87
5 Valtteri Bottas 73
6 Sebastian Vettel 70
1 Mercedes 326
2 Red Bull Racing 168
3 Ferrari 106
4 Williams F1 103
5 Sahara Force India 91
6 McLaren 90

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