Nico Rosberg edges Lewis Hamilton in F1 Mexican GP final practice

Nico Rosberg pipped Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to the fastest time in final practice for the Formula 1 Mexican Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg edges Lewis Hamilton in F1 Mexican GP final practice

The German clocked a 1m21.083s, 0.014s ahead of newly-crowned world champion Hamilton with Daniel Ricciardo less than half a tenth adrift in third for Red Bull.

Overnight rain meant the track lost a lot of the rubber that was laid down during Friday practice, creating slippery conditions early in FP3.

Felipe Massa set the early pace with a 1m22.729s on the mediums, with several drivers struggling with tyre warm-up and subsequently suffering for grip.

But the track gradually improved and after 30 minutes, Sebastian Vettel was the first to fit the soft-compound Pirelli tyres to his Ferrari and promptly went fastest on a 1m21.871s.

The German was four tenths up on his next lap after two sectors but he made a mistake and backed out of it before returning to the pits.

Mercedes focused on running the medium tyre for the majority of the session, only switching to the softs with 10 minutes to go.

Rosberg promptly went fastest with a 1m21.205s, while Hamilton lost one of his attempts with a big lock-up at Turn 1.

The German went 0.122s quicker on his second, with Hamilton complaining on the radio that Rosberg was backing up into him only to be told by his engineer that there was plenty of space behind.

Hamilton regrouped and was much closer to Rosberg on his next flier, but a lock-up in the stadium section cost him and he ended the session 0.014s adrift.

Vettel completed another soft tyre run late in the session to finish fourth quickest, with just under a second separating the top 12.

Daniil Kvyat was fifth, having had a spin at Turn 6, ahead of home favourite Sergio Perez, who waved to the fans that had turned out in force for a second day running during his slow down lap at the end of the session.

Valtteri Bottas was the best placed Williams in seventh, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr with Massa and Nico Hulkenberg completing the top 10.

Kimi Raikkonen had a disappointing session, peeling off the circuit with smoke pouring from the rear of his Ferrari having managed just four laps. He was 17th quickest.

Jenson Button's difficult weekend continued as he reported vibrations from the engine at low revs and spent most of the session in the garage.

The 2009 world champion, who will take a hefty grid penalty for engine changes, was 20th and last, one place behind Manor's Alexander Rossi who also completed limited running after being told to be careful on the brake and pit after eight laps.

FP3 TIMES

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m21.083s - 23
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m21.097s 0.014s 23
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m21.201s 0.118s 21
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m21.294s 0.211s 24
5 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m21.530s 0.447s 27
6 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m21.603s 0.520s 27
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m21.772s 0.689s 26
8 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m21.775s 0.692s 28
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m21.945s 0.862s 27
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m22.010s 0.927s 25
11 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m22.039s 0.956s 31
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m22.042s 0.959s 21
13 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m22.184s 1.101s 24
14 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m22.871s 1.788s 30
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m23.065s 1.982s 26
16 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m23.067s 1.984s 23
17 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m24.648s 3.565s 4
18 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m25.654s 4.571s 20
19 Alexander Rossi Marussia/Ferrari 1m28.176s 7.093s 8
20 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m29.336s 8.253s 4

shares
comments
Manor F1 team technical chief Bob Bell leaves after five months

Previous article

Manor F1 team technical chief Bob Bell leaves after five months

Next article

Michael Schumacher 'is still fighting' - Jean Todt

Michael Schumacher 'is still fighting' - Jean Todt
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg , Lewis Hamilton
Author Lawrence Barretto
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Plus

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his team-mate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

Formula 1
May 5, 2021
The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021