Nico Rosberg has broken Lewis Hamilton’s spell of dominance to finish quickest in the final practice session for the Spanish Grand Prix today.
The German driver finished some eight-tenths of a second clear of his teammate, but his quickest time was set on the softer tire with low fuel. After setting the fastest time in the middle sector on a set of the options, Hamilton chose not to complete the lap and instead returned to the pits, happy with how the car was working.
The final 60 minute session saw teams complete their final checks and runs ahead of qualifying later today (live on NBCSN from 8am ET), but it did not go to plan for all of the drivers. Max Chilton’s session once again ended in the gravel after he made a mistake and spun off at turn five, whilst Adrian Sutil complained that his Sauber was undriveable.
Pace-setter Rosberg even had some problems with understeer on the softer compound of tire, but he still managed to finish well clear of the rest of the field.
Home favorite Fernando Alonso put in a good run on the soft tire to finish third behind the Mercedes drivers, and he was followed in fourth place by Felipe Massa. Romain Grosjean finished fifth, and the Frenchman’s time suggests that Lotus could be on the cusp of breaking into the top ten this weekend in Spain.
However, the advantage still clearly lies with Mercedes, but it will be a close-run thing between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for pole position later today.
You can watch qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 8am ET.