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Italian GP 2014


Practice 3 Report - Bookends

Lewis Hamilton
© The Cahier Archive

Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg formed the bookends of Free Practice 3 at Monza. Hamilton was at the top of the times, and 0.412 of a second quicker than Fernando Alonso's Ferrari. Nico Rosberg, who had gearbox problems in his Mercedes and did just 3 laps, was at the bottom of the chart having not set a lap time.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 77 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Centigrade.)

Out went the red lights and on went the green lights and Daniil Kvyat was first out in his Toro Rosso.

6 minutes into the session, Kamui Kobayashi posted the first lap time - 1:33.344 - in his Caterham, but Jenson Button soon beat that with a 1:30.913 in his McLaren. Kobayashi responded with a 1:30.612 only to have his teammate Marcus Ericsson top that with a 1:30.923. Then Button got serious and slammed in a 1:27.076.

At this stage the drivers were on Pirelli's hard compound slicks.

The times continued to come down, and Button lowered the mark to 1:26.845. Valtteri Bottas (Williams) was second and Nico Hulkenberg (Force India) was third 18 minutes into the session.

20 minutes into the session, Mercedes teammates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were in 10th and 22nd places.

21 minutes into the session, Bottas clocked a 1:26.693, and then his teammate Felipe Massa took second place with a 1:26.790.

So the top four were all Mercedes powered cars: Bottas, Massa, Button and Hulkenberg. Next were Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) with their Ferrari and Renault engines.

Rosberg was still in the pits having completed just 3 laps.

24 minutes into the session, Alonso equaled Bottas' time of 1:26.693.

Midway through FP3 the top six were: Bottas, Alonso, Massa, Button, Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) and Hulkenberg. Ricciardo, Sergio Perez (Force India), Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Kvyat rounded out the top 10.

Things turned for the worse for Perez who stopped in the middle of the Curva Grande. Rosberg was still in the pits. His car had gearbox problems and he would not run for the rest of the session. That was bad news for him because he would not get a chance to do a qualifying simulation before qualifying.

With 24 minutes remaining in the session, Button popped to the top with a 1:26.573, but Hamilton beat that with a 1:25.742. Both were on the hard tires.

With 19 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso went second quickest with a time of 1:25.931 set on the medium compound tires. Raikkonen, also on the mediums, moved into third with a 1:26.327.

With 11 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg, on mediums, could only manage ninth best.

With 10 minutes remaining in the session, more drivers were now trying Pirelli's medium slicks. Ricciardo, who was fifth, had a go, and got up one place to fourth.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Button did a 1:26.294 for third place, but Bottas deposed him with a 1:26.090. Hamilton, meanwhile, and not improved his time whilst on the medium tires.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Massa took fourth place behind Hamilton, Alonso and Bottas.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel snatched sixth. Hamilton had another go on the mediums and turned a 1:25.519.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Hamilton, Alonso, Bottas, Massa, Button, Vettel, Raikkonen, Kvyat, Ricciardo and Hulkenberg.