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F1 Spanish GP: Mercedes in front ahead of qualifying as Vettel looms

Less than two tenths cover Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel ahead of qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix; Max Verstappen fourth
Nico Rosberg has topped third and final free practice for the Spanish Grand Prix as less than two tenths covered a top three of himself, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel ahead of qualifying at the Circuit de Catalunya.

The German hit the front early on with his first soft tyre run and though he suffered a scare in the closing stages when his Mercedes W07 slipped into 'protective limp mode' to indicate a problem, a promptly fixed sensor issue would see him back on course for the final minutes.

Stopping the clock at 1min 23.078secs, though Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel would set faster sector one and two times than the championship leader with their final efforts, a superior third sector by Rosberg would see him come out on top at the chequered flag by 0.126s and 0.147s respectively.

Having spent the first day finding the limit of the Red Bull RB12, Max Verstappen took a noticeable step forward in FP3, setting an eye-catching fourth best time, six tenths off the top spot and a tenth up on team-mate Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.

A compromised lap for Kimi Raikkonen would see him down in sixth position, ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez in the leading Williams and Force India.

Making good gains from Friday, Daniil Kvyat ended up FP3 inside the top ten in ninth position for Toro Rosso, with McLaren's Fernando Alonso rounding out the leading positions in tenth place.
by Ollie Barstow



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