Nico Rosberg quickest for Mercedes again in final Bahrain Grand Prix practice
|Saturday, April 21st 2012, 09:02 GMT|
Nico Rosberg emphasised his and Mercedes' potential in Bahrain by going quickest in a second consecutive practice session on Saturday morning at Sakhir.
The German, fresh from his maiden pole and victory in China a week ago, lapped in 1m33.254s to beat the two Red Bulls to the fastest time in final practice.
The McLarens were fourth and sixth, sandwiching the second Mercedes of Michael Schumacher.
When the serious running commenced after a quiet start, it was Lotus that held a one-two for some time, before Sebastian Vettel put his Red Bull on top just after the session's halfway point.
But then Mercedes showed its pace, moving onto soft tyres and taking first Schumacher, then Rosberg to the front. The Shanghai winner's 1m33.254s put him half a second clear of his team-mate, and was as fast as he needed to go to end the morning on top.
Vettel got within 0.147 seconds in the final moments, but had to settle for second, just ahead of team-mate Mark Webber.
Lewis Hamilton was the top McLaren runner in fourth, pushing Schumacher back to fifth place, followed by the second McLaren of Jenson Button.
Lotus ended up seventh and ninth with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean, the pair split by the resurgent Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo. Fernando Alonso completed the top 10 for Ferrari.
After missing Friday's second practice session, Force India returned and went 15th (Paul di Resta) and 19th quickest (Nico Hulkenberg).
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m33.254s 14 2. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m33.401s + 0.147s 14 3. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m33.663s + 0.409s 15 4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m33.782s + 0.528s 16 5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m33.796s + 0.542s 16 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m33.899s + 0.645s 14 7. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m33.976s + 0.722s 14 8. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m34.197s + 0.943s 14 9. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m34.401s + 1.147s 16 10. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m34.895s + 1.641s 11 11. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m34.918s + 1.664s 12 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m34.977s + 1.723s 12 13. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.067s + 1.813s 17 14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m35.128s + 1.874s 14 15. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m35.336s + 2.082s 22 16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m35.536s + 2.282s 15 17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m35.623s + 2.369s 16 18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m35.694s + 2.440s 19 19. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m35.773s + 2.519s 21 20. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m36.532s + 3.278s 17 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.267s + 4.013s 18 22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m37.654s + 4.400s 18 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m38.973s + 5.719s 11 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m39.221s + 5.967s 9 All timing unofficial