Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg leads Lewis Hamilton in final practice

Mercedes continued its dominance of Formula 1 as Nico Rosberg topped the third practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix ahead of his team-mate Lewis Hamilton

Qualifying this afternoon will most likely be another personal duel between the two Silver Arrows machines. They were split by 0.869 seconds in Saturday morning practice.

Local hero Fernando Alonso was third quickest in his Ferrari, more than 1.3s behind Rosberg and just fractionally ahead of Felipe Massa's Williams.

Frenchman Romain Grosjean was fifth quickest for Lotus ahead of Kevin Magnussen (McLaren), Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) and the other McLaren of Jenson Button.

Pastor Maldonado was ninth quickest in the second Lotus, while Sebastian Vettel made up for the time he lost on Friday by completing 20 laps in his Red Bull and finishing with the 10th fastest time.

At the beginning of the hour the Ferraris set the early pace, with firstly Kimi Raikkonen, then his team-mate Alonso going fastest on the hard tyres in the first 20 minutes.

As the half hour mark approached the Mercedes drivers emerged from the pits and started lighting up the timesheets. Rosberg was first to post the quickest time, over a second faster than Alonso's Ferrari.

Rosberg and his team-mate Hamilton then traded fastest lap times at the top of the order, but it was clear that a number of drivers continued to struggle with the low grip on a dry but overcast day in Barcelona.

Several drivers, including the spectacular Alonso, battled with rear grip issues and once again Max Chilton's session ended in the gravel trap, this time after he locked up his front left heading into Turn 5 and slid wide into the gravel on the outside of the corner.

Kamui Kobayashi also had a late off-track excursion in his Caterham but was able to continue unharmed.

Pos Driver             Team                  Time       Gap    Laps
 1. Nico Rosberg       Mercedes              1m25.887s           16
 2. Lewis Hamilton     Mercedes              1m26.756s  +0.869s   9 
 3. Fernando Alonso    Ferrari               1m27.188s  +1.301s  15
 4. Felipe Massa       Williams-Mercedes     1m27.223s  +1.336s  10
 5. Romain Grosjean    Lotus-Renault         1m27.682s  +1.795s  18
 6. Kevin Magnussen    McLaren-Mercedes      1m27.806s  +1.919s  16
 7. Daniel Ricciardo   Red Bull-Renault      1m27.808s  +1.921s  12
 8. Jenson Button      McLaren-Mercedes      1m28.006s  +2.119s  11
 9. Pastor Maldonado   Lotus-Renault         1m28.076s  +2.189s  19
10. Sebastian Vettel   Red Bull-Renault      1m28.085s  +2.198s  20
11. Valtteri Bottas    Williams-Mercedes     1m28.101s  +2.214s  12
12. Jean-Eric Vergne   Toro Rosso-Renault    1m28.242s  +2.355s  16
13. Daniil Kvyat       Toro Rosso-Renault    1m28.298s  +2.411s  16
14. Kimi Raikkonen     Ferrari               1m28.419s  +2.532s  16
15. Sergio Perez       Force India-Mercedes  1m28.571s  +2.684s  13
16. Nico Hulkenberg    Force India-Mercedes  1m28.668s  +2.781s  13
17. Adrian Sutil       Sauber-Ferrari        1m28.715s  +2.828s  16
18. Esteban Gutierrez  Sauber-Ferrari        1m28.865s  +2.978s  18
19. Max Chilton        Marussia-Ferrari      1m30.169s  +4.282s  15
20. Jules Bianchi      Marussia-Ferrari      1m30.670s  +4.783s  12
21. Kamui Kobayashi    Caterham-Renault      1m30.712s  +4.825s  18
22. Marcus Ericsson    Caterham-Renault      1m31.559s  +5.672s  19
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