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Rosberg tops times in Spanish Grand Prix final practice

Nico Rosberg topped the times again in Saturday morning's final free practice for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

other Updated: May 09, 2015 21:59 IST
Nico Rosberg,Spanish Grand Prix,practice

Nico Rosberg topped the times again in Saturday morning's final free practice for Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix.

The 29-year-old German, without a win this season and 27 points behind Mercedes teammate and defending world champion Lewis Hamilton in the title race, clocked a best time of one minute and 26.021 seconds.

That left him one-tenth of a second ahead of nearest rival, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari, and two-tenths clear of Hamilton, who spun at Turn Three in the closing stages of an otherwise uneventful and routine session.

Hamilton, who had done only one earlier installation lap, ran wide across the run off area. He spun, but avoided hitting the barriers and then had to reverse before rejoining the session.

Finn Valtteri Bottas of Williams was fourth ahead of compatriot Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari and Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who bounced back to a semblance of his form for Red Bull by taking sixth spot.

He spent most of Friday's practice sessions in the team pits garage as a Renault power unit was installed in his car, the fourth this year.

Brazilian Felipe Massa was seventh in the second Williams ahead of Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in a Toro Rosso, Russian Daniil Kvyat in the second Red Bull and Spaniard Carlos Sainz in the second Toro Rosso car.

Briton Jenson Button, the 2009 champion, was 11th in his McLaren Honda, three places ahead of team-mate and two-time champion Fernando Alonso, who took part despite the discomfort of struggling with an eye infection.

As on Friday, the conditions were hot and dry with a track temperature of 35 degrees and air temperature of 24.

Raikkonen provided his usual shaft of entertainment on the Ferrari team radio in the final minutes when, seeking a fast lap, he was frustrated to wind up only fifth.

His race engineer contacted him to say: "Ok, Kimi, we have a wrong setting." The reply was classic Ice Man sarcasm: "Excellent! Excellent!"

Despite his position, Raikkonen and Ferrari again demonstrated their potential to upset Hamilton and Mercedes' supremacy, but two-time champion Hamilton is likely to be more concerned at Rosberg's rejuvenated speed.

First Published: May 09, 2015 21:52 IST