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Mercedes duo top Sepang P3

2015-03-28 10:07

TOP DOG: Mercedes' Nico Rosberg takes the track and sets the fastest time during final practice ahead of the 2015 Malaysian GP. Image: Manan Vatsyayana / AFP

SEPANG, Malaysia - Nico Rosberg led another Mercedes 1-2 in the final practice session for the Malaysian Grand Prix, edging out Lewis Hamilton by 0.184 seconds a few hours ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

With track temperatures soaring up to 62 degrees Celsius early in the 60-minute session, a majority of the field sat out the middle section before donning the faster medium-compound tyres in the final minutes to set timed laps.

Rosberg was quickest on the hard tyres but managed to coax his Mercedes around the 5.5km Sepang International Circuit in 1min39.690sec in the closing stages to set the fastest time of the weekend.


Hamilton complained over the radio that "his braking was all over the place" after locking up twice on slow corners early in the session but the 2014 F1 champion appeared more comfortable on his return to the track as he crossed the line in 1min39.874.

The Mercedes duo were the only cars to break the 1min40 seconds barrier but Ferrari continued to display plenty of pace as Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were comfortably the best of the rest around half a second behind Rosberg.

The Mercedes-powered Williams were also consistent and will be hoping to get among the Ferraris in qualifying and during the race as Felipe Massa edged out team mate Valterri Bottas to finish fifth in the session, the pair lapping around two-tenths slower than the Italian outfit.

McLaren's Fernando Alonso managed to rack up plenty of laps on his return to racing after he missed the season-opener in Australia due to concussion but his best efforts were only good enough to clock the 15th-fastest time of 1min41.991.

Team mate Jenson Button was down in 18th place, ahead of the reborn Manor Marussia pair driving modified 2014 cars, but McLaren does look capable of mixing it with the Force Indias this weekend, a team they were well behind in Australia.

Qualifying is due to start at 11am SA-time.

Malaysia third practice times
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min39.690
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min39.873
3 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min40.245
4 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min40.266
5 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams-Mercedes 1min40.391
6 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams-Mercedes 1min40.406
7 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) RedBull 1min40.590
8 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 1min40.601
9 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso - Renault 1min40.989
10 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 1min41.200
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min41.206
12 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus1min41.592
13 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull 1min41.775
14 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min41.804
15 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min41.991
16 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min42.099
17 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 1min42.117
18 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min42.319
19 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 1min46.647
20 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 1min47.059

Malaysia 2015 second practice times
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min39.790
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min40.163
3 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min40.218
4 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) RedBull  Renault 1min40.346
5 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min40.450
6 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 1min40.560
7 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min40.652
8 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 1min41.220
9 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 1min41.261
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min41.799
11 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min41.877
12 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 1min41.988
13 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min42.242
14 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 1min42.291
15 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min42.330
16 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min42.506
17 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min42.637
18 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min42.948
19 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 1min45.704
20 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 1min47.229

Malaysia 2015 first practice times
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min40.124
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min40.497
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min40.985
4 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus1min41.543
5 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 1min41.596
6 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min41.787
7 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 1min41.803
8 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min41.882
9 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 1min42.055
10 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 1min42.064
11 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 1min42.103
12 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min42.567
13 Raffaele Marciello (Italy) Sauber 1min42.621
14 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min42.885
15 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min42.893
16 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min43.054
17 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min43.100
18 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 1min46.686
19 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 1min47.683
20 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes - No time

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