Rosberg on top as Hamilton eases off in Spain

BARCELONA, Spain - Nico Rosberg responded to Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton's supremacy  by topping the times during the third and final free practice session ahead of Sunday's 2014 Spanish GP (May 11).

On a warm spring day at the Circuit de Catalunya, where the temperature rose past 22 degrees celsius, the Formula 1 Championship-leading driver clocked a best lap in 1min25.887 seconds.


Hamilton, winner of the last three races and second behind Rosberg in the title race, was second-fastest, eight-tenths of a second down on his Mercedes partner but the Hamilton's time was not a true reflection of his speed as he chose not to show his hand on the softer tyres in the final stages of the session.

Local hero and two-time champion Fernando Alonso was third for Ferrari ahead of his friend and former team mate, Felipe Massa of Williams.

Romain Grosjean was fifth for Lotus ahead of rookie Kevin Magnussen of McLaren and seventh-placed Daniel Ricciardo in the leading Red Bull car.

Jenson Button was eighth for McLaren ahead of Pastor Maldonado in the second Williams and, mysteriously, defending four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull.

Vettel had missed nearly all of Friday practice after suffering an electrical problem.

The session was mostly incident-free other than the sight of Max Chilton running off the track in his Marussia and into a gravel trap at turn five, for the second time during a Spanish GP practice session.

The struggling Caterham team, whose drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Marcus Ericsson were 21st and 22nd fastest, confirmed they had "parted company" with technical director Mark Smith.

2014 Spanish Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya:

Third practice
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min25.887 
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min26.756 
3 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min27.188 
4 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams1min27.223 
5 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min27.682 
6 Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) McLaren 1min27.806 
7 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min27.808 
8 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min28.006 
9 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min28.076 
10 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min28.085 
11 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams1min28.101 
12 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min28.242 
13 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso 1min28.298 
14 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min28.419 
15 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min28.571 
16 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min28.668 
17 Adrian Sutil (Germany) Sauber 1min28.715 
18 Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Sauber 1min28.865 
19 Max Chilton (Britain) Marussia 1min30.169 
20 Jules Bianchi (France) Marussia 1min30.670 
21 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Caterham 1min30.712 
22 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Caterham 1min31.559

Second practice
First practice
Stay with Wheels24 for the 2014 Spanish F1 GP weekend. 

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