Spanish Grand Prix practice: Rosberg fastest, Ferrari still close

Championship leader Nico Rosberg set the pace in final Formula 1 practice for the Spanish Grand Prix, but Ferrari remained hot on Mercedes' heels ahead of qualifying

Spanish Grand Prix practice: Rosberg fastest, Ferrari still close

The German clocked a 1m23.078s with his first flying lap of the day on the soft tyres and that remained unbeaten in the one-hour session.

Team-mate Lewis Hamilton was just 0.126s adrift with Sebastian Vettel proving Ferrari's pace with a time just 0.147s slower than Rosberg.

On their qualifying simulations, Hamilton and Vettel set fastest first and second sectors but both lost time in the final sector.

Rosberg abandoned his first attempt at a late qualifying run on the soft tyres when his car went into protective limp mode.

Mercedes found it was a sensor problem and resolved it in time to get him out for the final few minutes of the session.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen outperformed team-mate Daniel Ricciardo on his first weekend with the team as he went fourth quickest.

The teenager, who swapped places with Daniil Kvyat, was 0.641s off the pace, just under a tenth ahead of Ricciardo.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez, who said on Friday the Force India had improved "everywhere" following an update.

Kvyat, in his first weekend back with Toro Rosso, was quicker than team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr in ninth with McLaren's Fernando Alonso completing the top 10.

Nico Hulkenberg was 11th, ahead of Felipe Massa with Romain Grosjean the leading Haas in 14th place.

Jenson Button failed to set a lap time until the second half of the session and ultimately ended the morning 15th, ahead of Kevin Magnussen and Esteban Gutierrez.

Jolyon Palmer was 18th ahead of the two Saubers of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson and the Manor duo of Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto.

FP3 TIMES

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.078s 15
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0.126s 11
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.147s 16
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 0.641s 10
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 0.738s 9
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1.032s 13
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1.278s 14
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1.394s 15
9 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1.475s 13
10 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.477s 13
11 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1.507s 15
12 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1.543s 15
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1.617s 21
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1.903s 13
15 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1.973s 13
16 Kevin Magnussen Renault 2.022s 12
17 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 2.052s 17
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 2.298s 13
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 2.305s 22
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 2.323s 24
21 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 3.019s 13
22 Rio Haryanto Manor/Mercedes 3.173s 19

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