German GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report
Ferrari was the first of the fastest cars behind the Mercedes team in Free Practice 3. Nico Rosberg posted the fastest time, while his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was second quickest. Best of the rest was Fernando Alonso in his Ferrari ahead of Williams teammates Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
The ambient temperature at the start of the 60-minute session was 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 108 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Centigrade.)
Germany’s Adrian Sutil got things rolling in his Sauber.
8 minutes into the session, Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) was quickest with a time of 1:20.034, ahead of Mercedes teammates Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton. They were only three drivers to have set lap times at this stage.
Fernando Alonso wasn’t even sitting in his car but instead having a chat with Ferrari test driver Pedro de la Rosa.
11 minutes into the session, Rosberg went quickest after posting a 1:20.025.
13 minutes into the session, Magnussen responded with a 1:19.878. His teammate Jenson Button was in fifth place. While these lap times were early in the session and not indicative of McLaren’s overall pace, the upgrade package the team had brought to Germany was obviously working.
16 minutes into the session, Valtteri Bottas topped the times with a 1:19.259 in his Williams while Alonso continued to stroll around the Ferrari garage. Felipe Massa moved his Williams into second place with a 1:19.651. Bottas then lowered the barrier to 1:19.052 while Massa posted a 1:19.442.
23 minutes into the session, Daniel Ricciardo was in the pits having done just one lap in his Red Bull.
So far the drivers had been using Pirelli’s soft compound slick tires with the yellow sidewalls.
26 minutes into the session, Mercedes drivers Rosberg and Hamilton were in sixth and 16th places respectively.
28 minutes into the session, Alonso was on track and getting up to speed as he moved up to seventh spot. Ricciardo was finally out there as well and immediately grabbed third place.
29 minutes into the session, Alonso spun at Turn 8.
Midway through FP3 the top six were: Bottas, Massa, Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari), Rosberg and Magnussen, Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) was seventh and Alonso eighth.
With 26 minutes remaining in the session, Raikkonen moved to first place with a time of 1:18.842 running on Pirelli’s super soft tires.
With 20 minutes remaining in the session, the other drivers were still lapping on the soft compound tires.
With 15 minutes remaining in the session, the top six were: Raikkonen, Bottas, Massa, Ricciardo, Rosberg and Hamilton. By now most drivers were in the pits preparing for their qualifying simulation runs on the super soft tires.
With 14 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel was the only driver on track and then he pitted.
With 11 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso became the first driver to head back out on to the track. Next out was Rosberg.
With 9 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso posted a lap time of 1:18.384 to go to the top of the timing screens. Then Rosberg slammed in a 1:17.779.
With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Massa moved into third with a 1:18.575 while Bottas took fourth with a 1:18.611.
With 5 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton was on a flier but his 1:18.380 was only good enough for second place.
With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Ricciardo turned a 1:18.769, seventh fastest at that time. Vettel’s 1:1890 put him down in ninth.
The top six at the end of FP3 were: Rosberg, Hamilton, Alonso, Massa, Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India.)