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Hello and welcome everybody to our coverage of the third and final free practice for the Bahrain GP.
Like yesterday the amount of usable data to collect will be somewhat limited as the temperatures are much higher than in tonight’s qualifying or tomorrow’s race. Current air temperature is 29°C.
The expected storm has yet to show up, so far the air is relatively calm.
The last sixty minutes of free practice are underway and the first cars go out. Like yesterday, Rosberg should be eager to get some mileage. The track suits him. He had his F1 debut for Williams here and immediately scored the race’s fastest lap. He’s still the youngest driver to drive the fastest lap in a Grand Prix.
FIA has announced that the Vettel/Perez incident from yesterday’s second practice will not be punished.
Since both Mercedes and Ferrari’s performance are heavily influenced by the track temperature, this race could be a bit of a lottery. The qualifying and race setups had to be guesstimated base on the FP2 data. Pole is pretty much guaranteed for Mercedes, but the Ferrari’s were marginally faster on the long-runs, especially on the favored options, which according to Pirelli should make 18 laps or more.
Jenson Button sets the first timed lap, but complains about lack of grip and bad traction. Well, at least he got a little further than in FP1.
Rosberg starts his day, and if his team mate wasn’t trouble enough for the German, he’s got to deal with a slight eye infection as well.
None of the top drivers has bothered to set a time yet.
Rosberg has now set a 1:37.599, 0.4 seconds faster than the Reverend’s Lotus. So far everyone’s been on Medium’s. Nobody has done any quali runs.
Both Ferraris go faster than Rosberg. Kimi beats Vettel by about 0.3 secons. 1:36.973 is the new yard stick.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz complains about a lot of lacking power.
And we’re stopped!
Daniil Kvyat has beached his RB11. That’s not gone well, but at least it’s not burning.
The track is open again for the last twenty-five minutes. And something we haven’t heard for a while – Lewis’s bum gets hot.
Like in the equally hot first free practice the two Mercedes cars are relatively far back by their standard. Pirelli meanwhile say that qualification sims would be pointless as the temperatures are much higher than later on. It would be a waste of option tyres.
Very little running for McLaren. Alonso hasn’t done more than two laps so far while Jenson reports loss of power.
Hülkenberg beat’s Räikkönens time by half a second, which neatly shows how ridiculously much slower the primes are.
Rosberg goes fastest with a 1:34,968, two seconds faster than the Ferraris, but his team mate shaves another four tenths off that time.
Vettel puts his fezza in between the two Mercs. Räikkönen is 0.5 seconds slower than the German. Like in Australia the Finn seems to be closer to his team mate on primes.
Kvyat goes out for a final check of his cleaned-up RB11 while youngster Verstappen complains about hefty oversteer.
There’s the table cloth!!
This session won’t help Rosberg’s confidence much. He wasn’t only beaten by Lewis again, but one of the Ferraris, too.
(provided by RTL.de)
|5||V. Bottas||Williams F1||1:35,393|
|6||F. Massa||Williams F1||1:35,471|
|8||D. Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:36,335|
|9||N. Hülkenberg||Force India||1:36,421|
|10||F. Nasr||Sauber F1||1:36,429|
|12||M. Ericsson||Sauber F1||1:36,612|
|13||M. Verstappen||Scud. Toro Rosso||1:36,684|
|14||S. Perez||Force India||1:36,727|
|16||C. Sainz jr.||Scud. Toro Rosso||1:36,979|
|18||D. Kvyat||Red Bull Racing||1:38,531|
|19||W. Stevens||Manor Marussia||1:39,745|
|20||R. Merhi||Manor Marussia||1:40,541|