Rosberg ends Hamilton’s run to finish quickest in FP3

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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.

Red Bull Air Race: Yoshi Muroya joins Sato as Japanese champs at Indy

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool
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Takuma Sato isn’t the only major Japanese athlete to take home top honors at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this year. Countryman Yoshihide Muroya joined him in that on Sunday after winning Red Bull Air Race at IMS, and the Red Bull Air Race World Championship in the process.

Fittingly, the 101st Indianapolis 500 champion was there on site to join him in the celebration.

Muroya flew with a track-record run in the final and erased the four-point deficit to points leader Martin Sonka. The record run came after a disappointing qualifying effort of 11th in the 14-pilot field in the Master Class.

A day after the win, Muroya joined Sato in heading to Sato’s new Verizon IndyCar Series team, Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing’s, Indianapolis-based shop.

A few social posts from Muroya’s victory and the subsequent celebration are below.

CHECKING OUT EACH OTHER’S RIDES

ASTLES BREAKS THOUGH AS WELL

Muroya wasn’t alone among big winners at the Speedway. In the Challenger Class, Melanie Astles of France became the first woman to win a major race at IMS, and is the first female winner in the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Nine women have competed in the Indianapolis 500 (Janet Guthrie, Lyn St. James, Sarah Fisher, Danica Patrick, Milka Duno, Simona de Silvestro, Pippa Mann, Ana Beatriz, Katherine Legge) and Mann is the first woman to have been on the pole position at IMS, having done so for the Freedom 100 in 2010 in Indy Lights.

Photo: Joerg Mitter/Red Bull Content Pool